The critical need for verification skills in modern journalism education

A talk by the BBC's Mark Frankel reinforced the critical need for more verification skills in modern newsrooms

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

After my weekly lecture to the MA Interactive Journalism at City, University of London last night, I quietly gatecrashed a talk by Mark Frankel, the out-going social media editor of BBC News, in the main journalism department. It was a good, interesting and practical talk, as you can see from some of the tweets the Interhacktives shared during it:

However, the end of the session, where Mark shared this video from the BBC really had a strong impact on me. Warning: there are distressing scenes and events in the video.

The first was a reminder of how much more emotional violence against children makes me since I had children of my own. The second, more professional, impact was just how important a skill desk-based social media verification has become in major newsrooms β€” and how we're probably still under-invested in it. How many newsrooms actually have the capability to do what the BBC did here?

How much more could we, as journalism educators, be doing to support the development of those skills?

social media verificationmark frankelcity universityjournalism education

Adam Tinworth Twitter

Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.