Are you using Checkdesk?

With so many people on social media, false rumors can spread quickly, being taken seriously by hundreds of thousands of people before a legitimate news outlet debunks it. Checkdesk makes it easy for journalists across the globe to verify information they see on social media.

Journalists can use Checkdesk to keep track of all the social media (or "user generated content") emerging about a particular story, and quickly incorporate that into their reporting . As the content comes into Checkdesk - either from a journalist or a reader - newsrooms can start fact checking the media, asking questions and adding context. As journalists investigate a tweet or a YouTube video, they can assign it a status: "Verified", "False", "In Progress", or "Undetermined". These statuses are a clear indication to the reader of whether the video or tweet can be trusted.

In this kind of work, it's as important to debunk fake news circulating as it is to verify authentic content that can add value to a story. 

Periscope and Meerkat could become an important tool for citizen journalism

Twitter challenged Meerkat—a start-up that gained traction at this month's South by Southwest conference—by launching Periscope last week.

A bunch of celebrities including Jimmy Fallon to Jared Leto jumped on board to broadcast live messages to their followers.

When three buildings collapsed and ignited a blaze in New York last week, these smartphone apps brought the live video feed to anyone online wanting to watch.

The event showed how Periscope and rival app Meerkat, which can deliver live video through Twitter to anyone online, could become an important tool for citizen journalism.

By feeding live video through Twitter to anyone online, these apps eliminate the need to upload to YouTube or transfer to broadcasters like CNN to get a wide audience.

While social media has empowered citizen journalism for years, the use of live video could become a powerful tool for these reporters and change the way people get news.

Super Bowl Traffic Wars

NBC may have exclusive rights to air the big game on Sunday, but social media  platforms are expecting viewers to watch the game with their mobile devices in hands.

 Facebook’s special Super Bowl page is all prepped to entertain fans before and during the game. Facebook has also made it easier for brands to find these fans. At last year's Super Bowl, marketers on Facebook could target ads to segments of members based on their likes, profiles and demographic information. Facebook has introduced real-time targeting features since then, and this year the social network, with 155 million daily users in the United States and Canada, will customize audience clusters that advertisers can target in real time during the game.

Twitter has already launched a Super Bowl-specific timeline with #SB49 hashtag that everyone will be using.

Twitter is staffing "war rooms" of 13 advertisers for the Super Bowl, including PepsiCo and Anheuser Busch - triple the number of companies that worked directly with Twitter for last year's big game.

Staffers at the 13 companies will monitor social networks during the game and pump out videos, tweets and graphical ads. Some companies will have lawyers on hand to approve the spots.

Those who want to tune out Katy Perry can tune into YouTube at halftime — Harley Morenstein of Epic Meal Time will be hosting the video platform’s first Super Bowl halftime show.

YouTube is also hosting its annual AdBlitz channel, a collection of all the commercials that will run during the game. Nearly 70 Super Bowl ads have already been teased on AdBlitz, and users have watched 70 million minutes worth of Super Bowl ads on YouTube this year, nearly tripling that figure from the year before.


5 New Social Media Tools For Journalists in 2015

In an increasingly vital area for journalists, here are some new tools journalists can use to search, monitor or curate content from the social web.

1. Rebelmouse - This free social media aggregator which organizes content from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Tumblr, RSS and more. Users can filter results by hashtags or keywords, making it a useful tool for curating user-generated content. I've been using this platform for some time, follow me on

2. Topsy - Journalists can set their search to a particular topic to find all the tweets posted in a set period. Most of the functionality is free but there is a paid for version for advanced users.

3.  - This free app allows users to automate content sharing from high-traffic blogs and websites. Using Smqueue, users can set the time and frequency for sharing content, with the ability to post photos, videos and short links. It integrates with platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Stumbleupon, Pinterest and Google+.

4. BuzzSumo - A social search engine that allows users to find content shared across key social networks. Journalists can search by topic or by filtering the type of content they want to find, such as infographics, videos or articles. By pasting in a URL or the name of a site or topic, users can also see the most-shared content on that platform or subject area.

5. Meddle - Meddle is a free dynamic blogging and curation service which enables users to highlight excerpts of published content and add their own comments before distributing to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Follow me on

CBS Internet-Video Subscribers Are Watching Twice as Much Content

CBS last fall launched a direct-to-consumer Internet TV service to deliver more content to “super-fans” of its conten.

According to Jim Lanzone, president and CEO of CBS Interactive., people who have subscribed to All Access are watching twice as much as those who don’t subscribe.  Lanzone noted that about 10 million U.S. households have broadband but do not pay for cable or satellite TV: “We wouldn’t have had access to them otherwise.”

Lanzone, who was speaking at the Variety Entertainment Summit at the 2015 International CES trade show Wednesday, declined to disclose how many subscribers CBS has signed up for All Access, which costs $5.99 per month. has about 25 million monthly unique visitors. All Access includes access to 6,500 episodes, with next-day access to TV shows on all platforms and a library of in-season and classic series including “MacGyver” “Star Trek,” “Cheers” and “Twin Peaks.”

A recap of 2014 most cringeworthy news blunders

News blunders tend to have short lifespans. They’re outed by watchful eyes, social media erupts, and the gears of outrage begin to turn. But after a brief flourish of snarky finger-wagging, they typically disappear, lost amid the ever-expanding sea of digital content. 

This year has been one of many triumphs for journalists, who’ve told the stories of political struggle at home and violent struggle abroad, a public health crisis and airline tragedies that drew the eyes of the world, and self-examinations of American racial, domestic, and sexual norms.

Read more


Virtual reality as the new form of journalism

Consumer access to VR devices is about to take off thanks to ambitious prototypes from Oculus Rift and, in the past year, several major projects have redefined immersion journalism.

Recently, Nonny de la Peña and the USC School of Cinematic Arts debuted Project Syria at the World Economic Forum. Project Syria is a full-body experience that places viewers at the scene of a bombing, then allows them to explore a refugee camp.

These new forms of journalism are ambitious documentary enterprises, comprising many team members, cross-organizational partnerships, and potentially shocking prices to those familiar with prose journalism budgets. But this work is also providing valuable, vital public services with remarkable emotional punch. Full-body journalism is a remarkable tool for encouraging empathy. Read more.

The Plan to Turn NYC's Old Payphones Into Free Wi-Fi Hot Spots

Earlier this year, New York put out a request for proposals for plans to overhaul the existing payphone system, which is decrepit and frankly, not that useful any more. LinkNYC will bring blazing fast connectivity and other services in the form of 11-inch slim aluminum stands called "Links."

In addition to an antenna providing 150 foot Wi-Fi radius, the 9.5-foot towers will have a built-in Android tablets with series of pre-loaded apps, as well as a charging station for your personal gear. 

5 Mistakes Marketers Make When Integrating Social Media and Email Marketing

Here are some of the most common mistakes people make when combining social media with email marketing:

  1. Driving to a Facebook (or other) page that doesn’t reflect the branding and design of your company.

  2. Always using social media to sell something
  3. Not listening or responding to customers.
  4. Letting your social site become a ghost town.
  5. Starting too many places at once.

Read more

AP demands FBI never again impersonate journalist

The Associated Press on Monday, November 10th demanded assurances from the Justice Department that the FBI will never again impersonate a member of the news media, following revelations that an agent in Seattle portrayed himself as an AP journalist as part of a criminal investigation.


 An FBI agent had posed as an AP reporter to help catch a 15-year-old suspected of making bomb threats at a high school in Washington state. Comey said the agent posing as an AP reporter asked the suspect to review a fake AP article about threats and cyberattacks directed at the school to ensure that the suspect was portrayed fairly.

The bogus article contained a software tool that could verify Internet addresses. The suspect clicked on a link, revealing his computer's location and Internet address, which helped agents confirm his identity. Read more