Maybe it’s time to pause and think before you share.
The same holds true for journalists and aid responders, who need to have the skills and knowledge to rapidly and reliably verify information in the wake of a disaster.
That’s the premise of the “Verification Handbook,” which is freely available to anyone.
Available for more than a year, it is an initiative by the European Journalism Centre (EJC) in the Netherlands, and financed by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, as well as the African Media Initiative (AMI).
The project is supported by various international partners including the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
According to the website, “The handbook provides actionable advice to facilitate disaster preparedness in newsrooms, and best practices for how to verify and use information, photos and videos provided by the crowd.”
If you want to know more about verifying information in a digital age, check out the Poynter Institute’s self-directed course, “Getting it Right: Accuracy and Verification in the Digital Age.” You will learn how to use facts to support your story and which tools to use for verification.
The advice is invaluable not only for journalists, but also for bloggers, citizen reporters, journalism students and those regularly sharing on social media.