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First Draft – a project of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government – uses research-based methods to fight mis- and disinformation online. Additionally, it provides practical and ethical guidance in how to find, verify and publish content sourced from the social web.


Claire Wardle, First Draft’s executive director

Dr. Claire Wardle, Research Fellow at the Center, leads the work of First Draft under the auspices of the Shorenstein Center and its faculty director, Nicco Mele. If you or your organization is also interested in supporting First Draft’s work, please contact us here


First Draft grew out of a collaboration between nine founding organizations in June 2015 to raise awareness, perform research, and address challenges relating to trust and truth in media in the digital age. As one of the founding organizations, Google News Lab provided assistance to develop and maintain firstdraftnews.org, supported the creation of new content and coordinated the community of practice. In September 2016, First Draft began coordinating with a community of newsrooms, technology companies, human rights organizations and universities across the globe to help inform and scale its work, and to champion collaboration. In October 2017, First Draft moved to the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where it continues its work as a project of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy.


Grants from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Open Society Foundations and the Ford Foundation support our work. We have also received additional financial support from Craig Newmark Philanthropies, Google News Initiative, Facebook Journalism Project and Twitter.

Ethics policy

Operational and editorial decisions are not influenced by funding partnerships, personal interest or the potential gain of any entities involved in or related to First Draft.

The Harvard Kennedy School, the Shorenstein Center and First Draft are committed to transparent governance and decision-making in the use of the funds; in the involvement of the Harvard Kennedy School or other Harvard faculty, staff, and students; and to public disclosure, as applicable, of support from the fund for all activities, including research projects, conferences and other events, curriculum development and other materials.

As a professional School at a nonprofit, educational institution, the Harvard Kennedy School and its component research centers and programs, faculty, staff, and students – in their official University capacities – do not advocate for specific legislation, engage in lobbying, or conduct proprietary research or consulting.