Plug & Play News: Sourcing, Verifying and Publishing Info in Real-Time Crisis

Standard

Earlier in May, I attended re:publia, aka Berlin’s annual gathering of innovators from the worldover. This year’s topic was “Finding Europe” [I will post a quick write-up of the #MustSee talks and the #MustFollow people from #rp15].

One of the two talks I gave focused on sourcing, verifying and disseminating information in a rapidly evolving situation, e.g. a real-time crisis. As our team of three kickass ladies was from Eastern Europe, we decided to highlight examples from this region all by re-inscribing this region in Europe. Ironically, while Tetyana Bohdanova and yours truly were providing insights about the ever-complexe-and-tough task of disseminating verified content at the right time and through the right channels, our third ‘partner in crime’, Danica Radisic, was applying these approaches while covering the unfolding turmoil in Macedonia.

Here is how we described our session:

Short thesis:
Sourcing, verifying, and getting information out to the public in these times of turmoil is often essential to minimize damage and maintain healthy societies. Based on real experience such as monitoring elections in South-Eastern Europe, relief effort during the 2014 floods in the Balkans, and the Euromaidan protests in Ukraine, this talks shows how to report about critical events in real time and ensure information is correct all with readily available online tools.

Description:
Europe has had a turbulent few years and things don’t seem to be slowing down. The world’s second smallest continent is host to over 50 countries, all of them very connected, both offline and online, and all of them going through their own issues — from devastating natural disasters, through protests, political change, crime, migrations, to armed conflict.

The knowledge and experience shared in this talk have been obtained mostly through participating in reporting on crisis situations in Eastern Europe. Yet, the know-how and the methods are applicable in similar contexts worldwide.

Sourcing, verifying, and getting information out to the public in times of turmoil are essential to minimize damage and maintain healthy societies. Based on real experiences like promoting civic engagement in and reporting on elections in Eastern Europe, the 2014 floods in the Balkans, and the Euromaidan protests in Ukraine, this session draws on real-life examples and first-hand accounts of reporting on significant real-time events using these methods to make sure the information is correct.

The room assigned to us, Stage 9, normally hosts 180 people. For our presentation, no chair was available and people were standing next to the door listening, some trying to take pictures despite uneasy angle. All in all, more than 200 people attended and feedback both on Twitter and from direct interactions with attendees were along the lines of: “Awesome, very interesting and comprehensive, smoothly and logically flowing information and tips”. Here are some of the reactions:

Few also invited me to give seminars and workshops, thus providing specific training to video and photojournalists. I am indeed very much looking forward to these!

Here are the slides:

Take-aways in tweets: