At First Draft, we work to empower society with the knowledge, understanding, and tools needed to outsmart false and misleading information. Founded in 2015 with a mission to build a journalism training portal around social media verification, First Draft now has a global reputation as the leading nonprofit working to tackle misinformation.  First Draft works at the intersection of media, academia and technology to build resilience in an age of information disorder through collaboration, training and research. From publishers to policy makers, public figures, government authorities, nonprofits and prominent brands, we challenge and improve how information is verified and disseminated.

Misinformation is difficult to grapple with—it is not only difficult to define precisely, but it is also spread diffusely by actors across the media ecosystem. With that in mind, First Draft does not take a centralized or purely top-down approach to fighting misinformation. Instead, we empower others to do so. The core of our work is training people on the ground—journalists, researchers, and community groups—to identify, verify, and curb misinformation themselves.  We also work with our partners to conduct innovative research projects and develop pioneering training programs, and we share cutting-edge digital tools to help both content creators and the public make better-informed judgments about the information they encounter online.  Our vision sees that newsrooms, technologists, community groups, information professionals and academics understand the value of collaboration when investigating and talking about information disorder.

We have been pioneers in the response to the misinformation crisis and have led the debate on the need for clear definitions, including authoring the 2017 foundational report – Information Disorder – for the Council of Europe. It was one of the earliest reports to map out the field and it created a language and set of terms to describe the challenges. Since our founding, we have continued to evolve our approach and methodology to respond to increasingly complex and widespread information pollution in today’s digital and divided world, and we are actively sought out to provide training or consultancy and praised for our advanced endeavors and research.  By standing up for truth in a polarized world, we can build more trust in society and help every community to thrive.

First Draft acceptance speech

From RTDNA/RTDNF Executive Director Dan Shelley

“The fight against misinformation is an existential one – for the world, the United States, and for journalists. First Draft consistently distinguishes itself as a gold standard leader in this noble endeavor.”

From former RTDNF Chair Terence Shepherd

“First Draft is a nonprofit organization devoted to training journalists all over the world to combat disinformation. And this disinformation is becoming increasingly popular among individuals and groups seeking to sow seeds of anti-journalism, anti-truth and anti-democratic ideals.”

About the First Amendment Leadership Award

This award honors an outstanding individual or organization which champions the First Amendment and press freedoms.

First Amendment Leadership Award — 2021, First Draft

Updated on 2022-03-16T16:00:20+00:00, by firstawards.