ONA Weekly #356: Use These Digital Forensics Tools To Find The Story

By on April 21, 2021

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Use these digital forensics tools to find the story

The internet contains endless content — and that includes endless fake content. As misinformation becomes an increasing problem online, many journalists may be unsure how to verify content that may be spreading quickly, or at a loss for how to wade through the internet and find a story worth pursuing. 

During an ONA19 panel on digital forensics, four journalists — Jane Lytvynenko, Ashley Feinberg, Malachy Browne and Michelle Baruchman — shared some of their favorite tools for gathering information and telling truth from fiction online. 

  • Reverse image search
  • Exif data to learn more about when a photo was taken, and sometimes even where
  • Image forensics
  • Search operators (like “filetype: PDF”) to narrow down and find sometimes-hidden results
  • Foller.me for Twitter analytics about any account
  • Crowdtangle to see how content is spreading
  • CloudApp automatically saves screenshots to an app for easy access and organization
  • InVid EU to help verify video footage 

Dig deeper: Digital Forensics: Using Social and Online Tools to Find Great Stories — one-hour session from ONA19
Featured experts: Jane Lytvynenko, Ashley Feinberg, Malachy Browne, Michelle Baruchman
Try this, too: Check out the full digital forensics tip sheet from the session. And for even more, Bellingcat has an up-to-date and very thorough list of online investigation tools that includes everything from apps to find contact information to tools that track global transport. 

We’re always on the lookout for helpful resources and tips. If you have other examples to share, please reply directly to this email.

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ONA21 Career Day is June 21

ONA21 Career Day will be held on Monday, June 21, 12–3 p.m. EDT (16:00–19:00 UTC). The event is free for all job seekers, and attendees do not need to be registered for the ONA21 conference. Career Day is ONA’s way of giving back to the journalism community. Sign up to be notified when registration opens! If you’re a recruiter or organization interested in participating, please contact Chief Strategic Partnerships Officer Jessica Strelitz at jessica@journalists.org.

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Applications for the MJ Bear Fellowship are now open

ONA’s MJ Bear Fellowship honors and supports journalists under 30 from around the world who are working on projects that move digital journalism forward. Fellows will receive registration to ONA21, a three-year ONA membership, three online coaching sessions and networking opportunities at the conference. Apply by May 6.

The MJ Bear Fellowship is made possible through generous contributions by the MJ Bear Estate, friends of MJ Bear and ONA, MSN International and Microsoft News.

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Stat of the week

About 27% of Americans have “not very much” trust in the media, according to research from Gallup. (In comparison, 9% have “a great deal” of trust and 33% “none at all.”) For every institution, earning trust is imperative for the future. These sessions from ONA20 — a data-driven way forward for trust in news and rebuilding trust in news media one community at a time — offer ideas on how to do so. 

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Important dates

Note: All ONA events are currently happening online, and open to all regardless of where you’re located.
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Career opportunities

ONA’s Career Center is an excellent resource for jobs, fellowships and internships in digital journalism. Recent postings include:

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On our radar

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P.S. More from the ONA team

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Join as an ONA member or make a donation to help sustain ONA’s mission to inspire and support innovation in digital journalism. If you’re looking to promote an event, product, job opening or other opportunity, explore options to reach the ONA community.

We also rely on philanthropic and corporate support. Contact Chief Strategic Partnerships Officer Jessica Strelitz at jessica@journalists.org to learn about the many ways to invest in our mission.