First Draft has helped numerous newsrooms to prepare for online threats with its immersive training events, including 15 live simulations across the US at academic institutions such as Arizona State University, University of Texas, and University of Oregon.
These live simulations placed journalists at the heart of a high-intensity breaking-news story and challenged them to make reporting decisions in real-time. Following the pandemic, we have brought those live simulations entirely online.
These immersive virtual training events place participants at the center of a fast-moving, simulated disinformation campaign. The simulation requires participants to research, collaborate, verify and respond rapidly.
Through an interactive Zoom experience, our facilitators simulate an environment that allows participants to read tweets, Facebook messages, emails, and other communications before acting. This is followed by a chance to debrief and reflect
For journalists and editors, these simulations highlight the threat of escalating rumors or coordinated online attacks. They also provoke reflection on the readiness of their newsroom and facilitate the production of an action plan to strengthen their resilience.
For technology platforms and community leaders, the simulations provoke discussion about how to have a positive influence during breaking news events where disinformation and media manipulation are at play.