Project Details

A close up of someone filming a protest on their mobile phone


Helping global news organisations find the signal in the noise.

Project URL:
Project Twitter: @storyful

  • Community Engagement
  • Education
  • Audiovisual
  • Social Software

Few professions have been as profoundly challenged and changed by the arrival of the web as journalism. Its business model, content and impact have, for the last decade at least, been in a state of constant upheaval, with established, powerful institutions very much not guaranteed a place in the emerging new order of things. Mark Little, on the back of a distinguished career in 'traditional' TV journalism, founded Storyful on the belief that while the business will continue to change and adapt to its new surroundings, a basic operational necessity - sourcing and verifying leads - has never been more important.

Storyful is like a vetting and quality assurance process for user generated content so that news organisations can show videos and take reports from citizen journalists on the ground confident that they are not being deliberately misled.

Crucially for Storyful's business, this process can also be powered by digital tools: their impressive list of clients pay them to sort the 'signal from the noise' using a combination of bespoke algorithms, data-mining, network analysis, time-saving online research tools and, more often than not, making a phone-call to a trusted source on the ground. This process can surface and contextualise the next viral video, or curate and balance a horrific miasma of commentry, claim and counter-claim coming out of a tragedy such as has been unfolding in Syria.

Storyful is both a commercial and a social innovation. By providing global news organisations with a more sophisticated way to interpret the chaotic, turbulent, occasionally intentionally misleading, often utterly irrational, output of the social web, it allows us, the readers and viewers to get better content that we can trust.

Storyful is helping to create meaning out of the seeming chaos of social networks and web commentary. Its recently released 'Multi-Search' tool is an open-source Chrome plug-in, developed for internal use and now freely available for any journalist, which makes it simple to search through multiple social networks simultaneously.

Image 'Protest' courtesy of Chris Brown

Last updated: 09th of May, 2014

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