Week One: Setting up our new London headquarters

Our new British headquarters mark the start of an exciting era for our work tackling disinformation globally

For the first time, First Draft is operating independently with ongoing support from our funders and partners. This blog welcomes you into our new London HQ week by week.

After spending a few days working from a temporary one-room office with substandard wifi, we’re pleased to say we’ve officially arrived at our new London offices.

Based near Kennington Park in the south of the city, the light, airy space features desks for more than a dozen staff, a kitchenette, dining area and an events and networking space.

Starting within the same fortnight, we have nine new members of staff busy navigating the early days of the workspace. We’re a diverse line-up of people from different backgrounds, from journalism and media production to political communications and legal publishing, now working across editorial, digital production, training and research.

With collaboration, naturally, at our core, we’ve already worked together to build an employee handbook, set up our internal systems and find the best place to get Japanese food in the area. There’s even been time for after-hours birthday cake, pizza and a couple of beers.

Given that we’re building the new office from scratch, we don’t yet have all the new equipment, computers and software we need. Our logo is also stuck to the door with tape for the moment. But we finally have the most important thing for our work: a reliable internet connection.

In the coming months, we’ll be turning the office into a hub for those working in mis- and disinformation by hosting workshops teaching verification methods to students, as well as industry and networking events for journalists, researchers, and analysts.

For now, we’re busy getting the London team together and putting the final touches on our new workplace, which marks the start of an exciting new era for First Draft’s work supporting international collaborative verification.

The opening of our London office follows the launch of Comprobado, our ongoing collaborative verification project in Spain, and First Draft bureaux in the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, New York and the The Centre for Media Transition at UTS in Sydney.

We’re looking forward to opening more bureaux across the globe, and publishing further information on our new recruits and what the team is getting up to, in the following weeks.

For updates about our work and team developments, keep up-to-date with our office blog and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.