First Draft in Florida: Here’s your election 2020 landing page

The election is just a little more than a month away and early voting has already started in some states. But it’s not too late to get your newsroom ready. First Draft has a new landing page to help you prepare for the crunch of election misinformation. Here’s some of the info you’ll find there.

Dear FPA members,

Subscribe to weekly disinformation briefings: This is the best way to receive the most urgent and emerging trends. First Draft has quick tutorials on verification and monitoring, responsible reporting tips and resources from partners like ProPublica, API and Trusting News.

Request a training for your newsroom: As your Florida fellow and with First Draft, you have access to a variety of personalized training options, including live crisis simulations to surface disinformation vulnerabilities in local newsrooms.

Calling all students: Join the Fall Student Network. First Draft is building an all-volunteer collaborative project that builds skills in monitoring, verifying and responsibly reporting on battleground state misinformation online. If you’re a journalism student or you have students interested and want to get involved, apply to join!

Click here for even more!


WITNESS survey: Media forensics in local news

The nonprofit WITNESS has launched a survey to assess the attitude of local newsrooms towards mis- and disinformation and their capacity to conduct media forensics: the analysis of images and videos (usually found on social media) to verify truth or detect signs of manipulation.

Get to know WITNESS and take a short survey of less than five minutes here. Consider sharing it with your networks, too!


Florida, Florida, Florida

The variety of misinformation and myths that touch Florida and other battleground states are routinely discussed in First Draft’s Slack community, with a page dedicated exclusively to the Sunshine State as well.

Join the Slack press pool for access to briefings, resources, a help desk and a direct line to First Draft’s editorial team.


Featured misinformation post

A widespread and misleading image promoted the idea that Joe Biden has no Latinx voter support in Florida.

Twitter users posted a photo of an empty room prior to a Biden event in Kissimmee in September, to claim that the event was cancelled because “nobody showed up.” While the image is real; the assertion is false. The room was designed for social distancing; it was not a rally; very few people were allowed inside; and the image in question was taken prior to the event’s beginning.

Takeaway: it’s the local context that makes this one interesting, which is that it’s another example of the narrative that Biden has no support among Latinx voters.

Other ways to stay connected

See you Thursdays

Every Thursday at 5 p.m. (EST) First Draft hosts a webinar to gather input on what resources can be built and shared that would be most helpful for your election coverage.

We want to be of service to journalists and newsrooms when it comes to finding, verifying and responsibly reporting on election mis- and disinformation.

Examples of that support could be:

  • Curated CrowdTangle dashboards led by our investigative team.
  • Twitter lists of local influencers to follow.
  • Top line trends shared via an audio recording.

Sign up for the webinars here. And please fill out the media needs assessment here.


Pre-bunk misinformation via text message

First Draft has launched a unique and free SMS course to help communities protect themselves from harmful information ahead of the elections. In a two-week text message course, you’ll learn why people create and share false and misleading content, commonly used tactics for spreading it, what you can do to outsmart it, and how to talk to family and friends about it.

You’ll get a text message every day for two weeks — full of valuable lessons to help you prepare for the threat of misinformation. Please share this link with your networks, including family and friends. The course is meant to be helpful for pre-bunking content voters might encounter in the run-up to the election.

Here’s a shareable link:

As always, let me know what questions, concerns or tips you may have. Please contact me at See you in October!


All the best,

Damon Scott

First Draft’s Florida fellow