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TEGNA Trains Journalists to Combat Disinformation in 2020

Expands News Fact-Checking Initiative VERIFY

Tysons, VA – TEGNA Inc. (NYSE: TGNA) today announced that it will be training all of its journalists to combat disinformation in 2020 working with First Draft, a global nonprofit that supports journalists, academics and technologists working to address trust and truth in the digital age. First Draft will train TEGNA’s journalists across the company’s 49 newsrooms to identify false information online to help audiences distinguish between accurate and inaccurate information and become better informed digital news consumers.

TEGNA is also expanding VERIFY, its stations’ news fact-checking initiative, by adding additional regional fact-checkers to provide transparency into the reporting process and authenticate topics and news submitted by viewers.

TEGNA routinely provides its journalists, producers, marketers, digital content creators and photographers with training to ensure they adhere to TEGNA’s Principles of Ethical Journalism. These principles of truth, independence, public interest, fair play and integrity guide stations’ production of and reporting of news.

“As we head into 2020, providing trustworthy news and information remains our highest priority,” said Ellen Crooke, vice president of news, TEGNA. “Journalists are trained to search for the truth. Today, they must also be highly skilled at identifying false information and understanding how best to stop the spread of that information. News consumers are demanding transparent, trustworthy content and they want help in deciphering what is real and what is false in their social media feeds.”

“Fewer than 15 percent of U.S. journalists at regional and national publications can verify misinformation online; we’re aiming to increase that number this year,” says Claire Wardle, U.S. director of First Draft. “We are thrilled and humbled that TEGNA has made a commitment to use First Draft protocols to train every single journalist at its stations across the U.S. We hope more newsrooms can join us for our trainings to ensure as many journalists are prepared for 2020 and beyond.”

Training will begin in mid-January 2020 and includes:

  • Live simulation events; 
  • Training, tools and techniques for conducting digital investigations;
  • Access to First Draft’s CrossCheck initiative, a global platform that connects journalists, experts, researchers and community leaders; and
  • Ethics and principles of reporting disinformation.  

TEGNA Inc. (NYSE: TGNA) is an innovative media company that serves the greater good of our communities. Across platforms, TEGNA tells empowering stories, conducts impactful investigations and delivers innovative marketing solutions. With 62 television stations in 51 markets, TEGNA is the largest owner of top 4 affiliates in the top 25 markets among independent station groups, reaching over 38 percent of all television households nationwide. TEGNA also owns leading multicast networks Justice Network and Quest. TEGNA Marketing Solutions (TMS) offers innovative solutions to help businesses reach consumers across television, email, social and over-the-top (OTT) platforms, including Premion, TEGNA’s OTT advertising service. For more information, visit

About First Draft
First Draft is a global non-profit that supports journalists, academics and technologists working to address challenges relating to trust and truth in the digital age. As part of its global CrossCheck initiative, First Draft has a year-long, nationwide strategy for supporting the verification and reporting of online information relating to the 2020 U.S. presidential election. Newsrooms can nominate their teams to become members of CrossCheck free-of-charge by completing an online form, and apply for a spot at one of our 11 regional trainings to be held in January, February and March.

For media inquiries, contact:
Anne Bentley
Vice President, Corporate Communications

For investor inquiries, contact:
John Janedis, CFA
Senior Vice President, Capital Markets & Investor Relations