AJMI’s New Book: Finding the Truth Amongst the Fakes - Al Jazeera Media Institute
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AJMI’s New Book: Finding the Truth Amongst the Fakes

AJMI - Doha

AJMI’s New Book: Finding the Truth Amongst the Fakes - Social Newsgathering and News Verification in the Arab World.

Social media has had a huge impact in the way news are covered in the Arab World. Arab youth has found there not only a medium but also a voice to speak out and show the world another version of everyday stories and current affairs happening in the region, once told exclusively by state-controlled media. Arab youth has found in social media a means to free themselves from state-imposed restrictions and convey news to local, regional and global audiences.

A lot has been reported and researched by Western media on how the Arab media landscape has been changing in the last decade, but fewer regional work has seen light. In this sense, the Al Jazeera Media Institute believes that efforts from within the Arab World should be made to talk about its own experience, creating original content that gives Arab journalists voice to tell their own stories, start a regional discussion and join the global conversation.

Recognizing this and in order to fulfill its objective of promoting and strengthening journalism, the Al Jazeera Media Institute published a book on social newsgathering and news verification that focuses on the work and lessons learned by Arab journalists and journalists with significant experience in the region.

The main aim of this new publication is to guide journalists on how to incorporate user-generated content (UGC) in news coverage ethically and successfully. Case studies on how news stories such as the Madaya crisis or a Dubai hotel fire were verified, and how post-Arab Spring news platforms bought into social media, are combined with best practices and tools to monitor social media, and verify images and video. Also, the publication discusses the essential ethical considerations that a journalist should always take into account when dealing with UGC.

The book contributors are outstanding journalists, experts in social media and the digital news ecosystem, from the Arab World and abroad. Al Jazeera journalists also participated in the publication, given their broad experience in digital transformation, platforms, and audiences, and the impact that all these have had in the newsroom –setting up social desks, adjusting news verification processes, training staff in UGC verification, among other relevant changes.

Verifying UGC is one of the main responsibilities journalists have today – for both their audience and, if it’s the case, the organization they represent. With this publication, voices from and about the Arab World join the global efforts to promote an ethical and trustworthy journalism in this digital era.