Access and Feeds

Open Source News: Citizen Reporters Scrutinize News Narratives

By Dick Weisinger

Open Source News or Open Source Intelligence is a technique increasingly used by news organizations and the general public to produce reports and insights based on publicly available information.

Citizen investigators are searching the web to find information which prove or disprove the narratives portrayed by governments and organizations.

Malachy Browne, senior story producer at the New York Times, said that “there’s just this overwhelming amount of evidence out there on the open web that if you know how to turn over the rocks and uncover that information, you can connect the dots between all these factoids to arrive at the indisputable truth around an event.”

During the Russian attack on Ukrane, Kari Bingen, chief strategy officer of HawkEye 360 at the Pentagon, said that “we are seeing the unprecedented release of intelligence, sharing of information and transparency that is shining a light on Russian disinformation efforts and creating no doubt about Russia’s aggressive actions.The urgency of the moment demands it. The question going forward is, how do we better institutionalize this greater sharing of information and greater use of open-source intelligence to benefit our national security and that of our allies and partners?”

Steven Aftergood, director at the Federation of American Scientists, said that today “secrecy is harder. Clandestine operations are harder. Certain kinds of deception are more difficult and the possibilities for press and public accountability are increased.”

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