February 28, 2017

UGC Workflow Basics: Setting Up Your Social Newsgathering Processes

Almar Sheikh by Almar Sheikh

Invest in workflow

In 2016, young adults listed social media as their main source of news. Even beyond the young, 62% of adults now report they get their news from social media. Now, in 2017, we’ve reached a point where overall trust in mass media is at a historic low.

Social media is seething with unverified information. Most doesn’t pass through the proper process of verification before being published. Many journalists conduct their social newsgathering in isolation, without any guidelines or defined structure.

It’s time to invest in proper process.

Step 1: Unconfirmed

While social is a critical source of information, anyone can create a false profile, or steal another users media and re-upload it. Often, unconfirmed UGC is as good as fake.

Place social assets in unconfirmed status – this lets everyone on your team know the status of that social asset and the expected next steps.

If you start by applying clear labels it will  encourage or enforce due process in your newsroom.



Step 2: Verified

Verification is often a collaborative effort and should rarely be done in isolation – certainly not without a structured process.

Collaboration not only lessens the workload, but decreases errors and allows you to pull on strengths from your team (regional, language, subject expertise, etc.).

Once the content and source have been substantiated, change the asset tag from unconfirmed to verified.



Step 3: Cleared

Define a clear end state based on your editorial standards. This tells your newsroom UGC is ready for use.

What is your end goal? When do you declare something is safe to publish? Define the start, necessary steps and end state, to avoid publishing or pushing false content.

Once finished, tag the asset as cleared to let your team know it’s okay for use.




Define your UGC process and let SAM streamline the workflow

Among newsroom processes, social newsgathering remains the least efficient, but has quickly become the most important.

SAM enables you to define what your UGC process looks like – then greatly streamlines the steps, collaboration, verification and content clearance required for any modern newsroom.



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