You’ve seen the picture of the Statue of Liberty with the swirling blue and gold clouds around it, right? A fake. Or the shark swimming next to the homes? Both went viral during Hurricane Sandy. Both creations. Fake. Never-happened.
So to help us from circulating similar fakes next time — check out the new Verification Handbook. Its purpose is to help reporters and news managers judge whether information they have is credible enough to distribute. These are the skills we all need to learn so that when big news breaks and we are diluged with tweets, instagram photos and facebook postings that we already know how to discern what’s real.
The handbook is a a website. but also available as a free .pdf, e-book and Kindle edition. It’s the brainchild of Craig Silverman, of Poynter‘s Regret the Error blog, but contains chapters from 21 authors from around the globe. It’s packed with case studies from Syria, Japan and Nigeria, as well as the U.S. Kudos also to the European Journalism Centre, who helped coordinate this.
I haven’t gotten through much of it yet but already see it is valuable for professionals and students. And I’ll try to summarize a few of the tips in coming weeks. But here is the table of contents, so you can see how valuable it could be to you and your news organization:
So check it out now: Verification Handboook. A chapter a day and you’ll be ready for that next big news story.