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As they shrink, are local newspapers protecting their “iron core” of local government coverage? This paper says no
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Nov. 23, 2015, noon
Reporting & Production

Some news startups, like Eyewitness Media Hub and Storyful, are built around social media and user-generated content, with reporters trained in verifying and reporting from it. But journalists in most newsrooms don’t receive the same training, which can make it difficult to spot and then accurately report on emerging stories.

In September, Facebook announced Signal, a dashboard to help reporters gather news across Facebook and Instagram. And on Monday, a group called the First Draft Coalition is launching a website, First Draft News, that will pull together resources for gathering, verifying and creating stories from user-generated content.

The First Draft Coalition launched in June with seven partners — Bellingcat, Eyewitness Media Hub, Emergent, Meedan, Reported.ly, Storyful, and Verification Junkiewith support from Google News Lab. The Coalition published on Medium throughout the summer, and the website offers the following:

…industry news, case studies, how-to guides, tools, training resources, interactives and multimedia features exploring the crossroads between journalism and the social web.

As well as keeping up to date with this new field of journalism, First Draft News will provide guides to help journalists better understand social newsgathering, verification techniques, ethics and the law, in-depth investigations, fakes and hoaxes, and other issues affecting the modern newsroom.

Alastair Reid, the site’s managing editor, plans to publish a couple of new pieces of content every day. “The foundation of good journalism is the same, but it’s a new world, and it’s not always easy to adapt and bring that conversation together,” he said. “We can navigate this minefield collectively.”

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As they shrink, are local newspapers protecting their “iron core” of local government coverage? This paper says no
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