A new Facebook page is signposting journalists to "the best" user-generated content shared publicly on the social network, verified by social news wire Storyful.
Facebook Newswire delivers multimedia content in the form of posts, with details on the source, relevant hashtags and any other information available at the time. The comments facility then used to offer additional details and updates.
The team is also running a linked Twitter account, which will share links to the Facebook page alongside any hashtags likely to be being monitored by journalists covering that area, subject or news event.
According to the Facebook page description, "FB Newswire is a resource for journalists that aggregates newsworthy social content shared publicly on Facebook by individuals and organisations".
The first piece of content published on the page was on 26 March, which was an image of a fatal mudslide in Washington, reposted from Snohomish County's Facebook page.
On the same day, the page also shared an image of a fire, one of a number being shared by Boston Emergency Medical Service (EMS) on the network "from the scene".
The post pointed people to the Boston EMS Facebook page for more information, and also reminded followers of the area's hashtag.
In a post announcing the introduction of FB Newswire, Aine Kerr, managing editor of Storyful – purchased by News Corporation late last year – said the page "will serve as a powerful tool and destination for newsrooms and journalists who are trying to source authentic content and amazing new stories."
She added that the team at Storyful will be "finding and verifying compelling videos, images and posts around breaking news stories and tentpole events, unearthing trends and memes and debunking false stories and myths".
Speaking to Journalism.co.uk, Kerr said "our challenge is extraordinary in terms of finding the really powerful content", due to the volume of material shared on the network.
As such, the team's focus will be on "unique" material, that is both "quality" and "compelling", she explained.
Storyful will curate content from across the network, from official sources and eye-witness accounts, and "tell great stories around it, contextualise it". This allows journalists to use it in meaningful ways, she explained.
While Facebook Newswire focuses on collecting verified content on Facebook, last year Storyful launched an Open Newsroom on Google+ to support journalists in the verification process.
No one at Facebook was available for comment at the time of writing, but Andy Mitchell, director of news and global media partnerships, said in a post that the social media network wanted to work with Storyful in light of its "track record of understanding both the potential of the social web as a key resource for media as well as the tools that newsrooms need to utilise it".
"We’re confident that their news expertise and best-in-class editorial team will help make it even easier for journalists to use compelling social content from Facebook in their newsgathering and reporting," he said.
Free daily newsletter
- The Washington Post's pandemic-born visual forensic team is here to stay (and still works remotely)
- Nadine Ajaka of The Washington Post on the visual forensics team
- Hollie Wong of GAY TIMES, on community building and resilience on social media
- Tip: Tools for non-native English speaking journalists
- Three reasons why your newsroom may want to use Twitter Spaces