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What does content verification mean in the age of deepfakes?

| August 15, 2019 – 12:13 pm | 165 views

Deepfakes – doctored videos fabricating footage of what looks like real people – have been around for years. But the journalism community is now starting to take seriously their potential to damage trust in the media and democracy.

Most recently, a YouTube clip of Saturday Night Live’s Bill Hader, talking to David Letterman on his late night show in 2008 has gone viral for showing Hader doing an impression of Tom Cruise, while his face seamlessly morphs to Cruise’s and then back to normal.

The AI-altered video has been viewed nearly 3 million times since being uploaded to the YouTube channel Ctrl Shift Face a week ago.

One of the problems with deepfake videos is the difficulty to debunk and stop them before they go viral. And even when they are showed to be fake, our brains may still think “seeing is believing” – and we cannot un-see footage.

This is particularly concerning during breaking news, when first footage from the scene is hardly ever a professional one, according to Hazel Baker, Reuters head of user-generated content news-gathering.

Hazel Baker is amongst the first confirmed panellists for a session that will look at the latest techniques used to produce fake news material and discuss the best practices for news verification.

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Google and Facebook step up their efforts to revive local journalism

| August 8, 2019 – 11:37 am | 258 views

Last week we announced that Journalism.co.uk and Google News Initiative have partnered to offer 30 local journalists the opportunity to attend the Newsrewired conference.

We have received nearly 50 applications in one week alone, which only confirms how much demand for support there is from regional newsrooms looking to innovate and better serve their communities.

We discussed more ways in which Google supports journalists in last week’s podcast with Madhav Chinnappa, director of news ecosystem development at Google. From financing innovative news projects around the world through Google News Initiative to launching free tools that help journalists verify online content, the tech platform is making an effort to build more bridges with the media industry.

Google is not the only big tech company looking to empower local journalism in the UK. Following the launch of its Community News Project earlier this year, Facebook has trained the first cohort of freshly recruited local journalists to help spark innovation in regional newsrooms.

The two-year pilot project saw the social platform invest £4.5 million and train 82 regional journalists to strengthen local democracy and better inform underserved communities across the UK.

The candidates were selected from a pool of more than 4,000 applicants and they come from many diverse backgrounds to provide their readers with coverage of a broader range of issues.

The first group of 33 community reporters came to London to be trained in news-gathering, interviewing, storytelling, and the use of Facebook tools, such as CrowdTangle, Facebook Live, IGTV Stories or groups to report on community issues.

They were extraordinary,” said Sarah Brown, training and news literacy manager at Facebook. “It was probably the most diverse group of journalists I have ever trained.”

The main purpose of the scheme is to empower reporters who are members of local communities. With the number of regional newsrooms dwindling in the UK, some areas had no access to local news for years.

Participating publishers include Archant, Barnsley Chronicle, Baylis Media, JPI, Iliffe Media (formerly KM Group), MNA (Midland News Associates), Newbury News, Newsquest and Reach.

“It was very rewarding,” concluded Brown. “After one of the reporters returned to their newsroom at Newsquest, their colleague told me: ‘I don’t know what you’ve done to them, I’ve never seen anyone so fired up.’”

Facebook also offers online journalism courses, including a course on journalist safety.

Newsrewired to welcome 30 local journalists thanks to support from the Google News Initiative

| August 1, 2019 – 11:05 am | 701 views
GNI sponsorship

Journalism.co.uk and Google News Initiative have partnered to offer 30 local journalists the opportunity to attend the Newsrewired conference.

Thanks to the support from GNI, 10 local journalists will be able to attend both days, with a further 20 places being offered to local journalists interested in attending the conference only on 27 November 2019.

New speaker joins panel on diversity in the newsroom

| June 4, 2019 – 11:44 am | 753 views
Copy of Memberships in news organisations – lessons from the Guardian

We are pleased to announce that a new speaker will be joining Marverine Cole on the panel that will be discussing the best practices to build a diversified and sustainable newsroom.

Robyn launched The Overtake, an investigative news website for millennials based in Leeds, in October 2017. In 2018, she was shortlisted for the Georgina Henry Award at the Press Awards and this year was nominated for the Paul Foot Award for her investigation into racist London nightclubs.

New speaker announcement: Marverine Cole joins panel on diversity in the newsroom

| May 16, 2019 – 12:14 pm | 1,156 views
Organic Cat Food

We are pleased to announce that Marverine Cole, journalist, broadcaster and academic at Birmingham City University, will be joining the panel.

Marverine Cole has worked for many of Britain’s most-watched and listened to broadcasters, including Sky News, ITV Central and BBC Midlands Today.

How can diversity help news organisations regain audiences’ trust?

| May 1, 2019 – 1:17 pm | 1,009 views
Sweet Tooth Blog

Our team at Journalism.co.uk has spent the last few months talking to industry leaders about the challenges they face.

What we have found is that the lack of diversity in the newsroom is one of the most pressing problems for the top players, as well as the B2B publications and local papers.

Newsrewired November 2019: early agenda announced

| April 26, 2019 – 11:19 am | 1,046 views
Newsrewired early bird offer

The next Newsrewired digital journalism conference will take place on 27 November 2019 at Reuters in Canary Wharf, London.

One of the key sessions of the day will be a discussion around diversity in the newsroom.

Save £50 with our early-bird offer

| April 1, 2019 – 4:01 pm | 1,204 views
EARLY-BIRD TICKETS AVAILABLE

The next Newsrewired digital journalism conference will take place on 27 November 2019 at Reuters in Canary Wharf, LondonThis will be our 25th conference and, as usual, our sessions will give practical tips and advice on tools and strategies that delegates can try in their own newsrooms.

Newsrewired March 2019: seven main takeaways

| March 20, 2019 – 3:14 pm | 1,358 views
7 Newsrewired takeaways

The Newsrewired conference, which took place on 6 March 2019 at Reuters in London, showcased once again the most interesting projects and latest trends in digital journalism.

If you weren’t there, or if you simply want to remind yourself of the topics of the day, check out this editorial selection of the best conference coverage articles.

The double-edged sword of blockchain

| March 6, 2019 – 6:26 pm | 1,788 views
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Many journalists and publishers are struggling to get to grips with blockchain.

To explain it in simple terms, blockchain is a growing list of records  – called blocks – which are encrypted and linked. Each block also contains a timestamp and other information about the origin of data. By design, a blockchain is resistant to modification of the data it contains, which may come in handy when we need to protect news content from tampering or even censorship.

Publishers are experimenting with smart speakers, addressing concerns around monetisation and discoverability

| March 6, 2019 – 5:59 pm | 1,596 views
Smart Speakers panel

Difficulty to monetise, discover content and issues around privacy are some of the reasons why publishers are reluctant to start producing content for voice-controlled devices, despite their potential to be a new revenue and content stream. At Newsrewired (6 March), a panel of experts discussed how they are tackling these concerns.

BBC Local News Partnerships: collaborating with regional titles strengthens both local and national news agenda

| March 6, 2019 – 2:46 pm | 1,117 views
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by Hannah Wilson

Journalism and life very much happens outside of the capital. That was the message from Matthew Barraclough, head of BBC Local News Partnerships (LNP), speaking at newsrewired (6 March 2019).
While here in the …