First Draft helped newsrooms to prepare for online threats with its series of immersive training events.
Live simulations placed journalists at the heart of a high-intensity breaking-news story and challenged them to make reporting decisions in real time. Participants also received masterclasses on online newsgathering, verification and known tactics being used in 2020.
For journalists and editors, simulations highlighted the threat of escalating rumours or coordinated online attacks, with a particular focus on elections.
They provoked reflection on the readiness of their newsroom, and the industry as a whole, to respond to escalating online threats. By exposing gaps in protocol, newsrooms were able to surface their vulnerabilities and produce an action plan for strengthening their resilience.
For technology platforms and community leaders, simulations were designed to provoke discussions about strategies for having a positive influence during breaking news events where disinformation and media manipulation are at play.
First Draft conducted 15 live simulation events across the US that immersed journalists in a disinformation crisis scenario. We went to the following locations to train national, local and student journalists: