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Postponed: Live Simulation Training: Identify and protect your newsroom from online threats and disinformation


Apr 16, 2020


PNA Headquarters, Harrisburg, PA


Teresa Shaak



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Unfortunately, the PNA Foundation and First Draft have canceled this workshop for April 16. We are working on possibly rescheduling and will provide any updates as we have them.  Please check back.  Thank you for your patience and your understanding during this uncertain time.

High intensity training that prepares newsrooms and journalists for online threats and disinformation.  Especially important during this year of elections and census taking.

First Draft will be hosting an immersive full-day event that is designed to help journalists and students build core competencies in identifying disinformation online. The workshop also focuses on developing protocols for responding to information emergencies by building institutional capacity and providing tools and resources for navigating the complexities of information disorder online.

Through a state of the art Live Simulation and four comprehensive Masterclasses, we will cover:

–Known Tactics for Targeting the Census and Election 2020

–Effective techniques for slowing down the spread of misinformation

–Effective techniques for finding content circulating on the social web

–Effective techniques for verifying content circulating on the social web

Especially appropriate for journalists covering politics, handling social media feeds, writing headlines, editing stories and managing newsrooms.  And anyone looking to learn more about securing news.

Only a dozen of these trainings are being offered across the country this year and Pennsylvania is very fortunate to have this opportunity, available through the PNA Foundation.  Don’t miss out! 

Registration is free for PNA members and student journalists; $20 for non-PNA members.  Lunch will be provided as well as a short reception at the conclusion of the workshop.  Training is set to run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 16.

Registration: To register, email foundation@pa-news.org or phone (717) 703-3003. Participants are asked to bring a fully-charged laptop with them for the day of training.  Confirmation and participation instructions will be emailed the week of the training.

TENTATIVE AGENDA  (subject to change)
9:30 – 10:00:     Registration and Coffee
10:00 – 10:30:    Welcome Remarks and Introductions
10:30 – 11:15:      Masterclass 1: Known Tactics for Targeting the Census and Election 2020
11:30 – 1:00:       Information Crisis Simulation
1:00 – 1:45:         Lunch
1:45 – 2:30:         Masterclass 2: Effective techniques for slowing down the spread of misinformation
2:30 – 3:00:       Information Crisis Simulation Feedback Session
3:15 – 4:00:        Masterclass 3: Effective techniques for finding content circulating on the social web
4:00 – 4:45:       Masterclass 4: Effective techniques for verifying content circulating on the social web
4:45 – 5:00:       Closing Remarks
5:00 – 6:00:      Reception: Relax and process the day


What participants are saying about this training:

“It really opened my eyes to how misinformation can spread in the media. And it was interesting and interactive. It was nice we didn’t just have to sit there and listen to a lecture for hours.”

“I liked that there were real-world examples. We got to see how the media has fallen into these traps, and we had the chance to really think about how we could improve. We learned practical things to take back to the newsroom with us.”

“Claire and the First Draft Team are on the cutting edge of this stuff. They’re on the right platforms and actually “get” what’s going on. I’m on the younger side of newsroom staff and it frustrates me sometimes how we are often used as a tool in the campaigns of bad actors. This kind of training is crucial to inoculate people against disinformation and trolls.”

The PNA Foundation is honored to be working with First Draft to provide this hands-on training for Pennsylvania journalists and students. First Draft is an internationally renowned nonprofit that exists to provide support and training to those on the frontlines (journalists, academics and technologists), working to address the challenges relating to truth and trust in the digital age. We conduct groundbreaking research and innovative fieldwork worldwide including our pioneering network CrossCheck which has been deployed to support democracy in elections in multiple countries worldwide.  QUESTIONS? Please contact USEvents@FirstDraftNews.com



April 16
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
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Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association Foundation
First Draft


Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association Headquarters
3899 North Front Street
Harrisburg, PA 17110 United States
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Please note this fine print:
This session is scheduled to be filmed for a documentary.  Also, registered participants must agree to the First Draft’s Code of Conduct:
First Draft is committed to fostering a respectful environment for attendees. We expect this to be a positive and harassment-free experience for all. With that in mind, simulation staff, volunteers and participants agree to:
Keep the discussion professional and courteous.
Respect all requests made by First Draft staff.
Refrain from the following behaviors:
    * Breaking confidentiality by taking notes about the simulation, or taking photos or recording video or audio from the event.
    * Invading others’ privacy, including taking photos of people without consent.
    * Being disruptive or intimidating.
    * Any behavior that discriminates against a group or class of people, including homophobic, transphobic, sexist, racist or otherwise discriminatory jokes or language.
    * Sexual harassment of any type, including unwelcome sexual attention, inappropriate physical contact and sexualized comments or jokes.
To make this exercise as realistic as possible, we have generated materials that include fictitious social media posts and videos featuring the names of real persons and organizations. Because such materials have the potential to confuse or mislead if shared beyond the simulation, and because other journalists and technologists will be running through the same simulation, we ask participants to:
Keep in mind that all information, materials and assets in the simulation belong to First Draft (“Confidential First Draft Information”).
Refrain from disclosing, sharing, publishing or using any Confidential First Draft Information without prior authorization from First Draft.
Keep everything seen and heard at the simulation strictly confidential, including not tweeting, blogging or otherwise posting any Confidential First Draft Information to any websites.
Refrain from taking photographs, recordings, screenshots or printscreens of the simulation.
To report a violation of the Code of Conduct, please contact contact@firstdraftnews.com.