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The Verification Handbook is a groundbreaking new resource for journalists and aid responders, which provides step-by-step guidelines for using user-generated content (UGC) during emergencies.

In a crisis situation, social networks are overloaded with situational updates, calls for relief, reports of new developments, and rescue information. Reporting the right information is often critical in shaping responses from the public and relief workers; it can literally be a matter of life or death.

The Handbook prescribes best practice advice on how to verify and use this information provided by the crowd, as well as actionable advice to facilitate disaster preparedness in newsrooms.

While it primarily targets journalists and aid providers, the Handbook can be used by anyone. It’s advice and guidance are valuable whether you are a news journalist, citizen reporter, relief responder, volunteer, journalism school student, emergency communication specialist, or an academic researching social media.

The Handbook is developed and managed by the European Journalism Centre, based in the Netherlands, under its Emergency Journalism initiative.

Editors of the Handbook

Editor: Craig Silverman, The Poynter Institute
Copyeditor: Merrill Perlman, the American Copy Editors Society (ACES)


EJC logo

The European Journalism Centre (EJC) is an independent, international, non- profit foundation dedicated to the highest standards in journalism, inter alis through the further training of journalists and media professionals. Building on its extensive international network, the Centre operates as a facilitator and partner in a wide variety of journalism-related projects.

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Emergency Journalism is an initiative by the European Journalism Centre (EJC) that brings together relevant news and resources for media professionals


Dutch Ministry of Education logo

African Media Initiative logo


United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees logo

United Nations Alliance of Civilisations

United Nations Development Programme


Ethical Journalism Network (EJN)


Humanity Road


Dart Centre Europe

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Published on: 28 January 2014
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.