The New York Times incorporates blockchain to strengthen journalism

According to a recent announcement, one of the most sought-after American newspapers with a global readership, The New York Times incorporates blockchain technology into its publishing to make the content more credible and veracious for its readers.

In a time of increased political bias and widespread social media influence, misinformation or altered news quickly makes its way into readers’ lives. Besides, there is an increased prevalence of manipulated videos and modified images to sway the readership. 

In such times, for readers to navigate through a massive jumble of information in the search for authenticity, is an undoable task.

This is where the many facets of blockchain technology show a promising improvement in developing a sustainable solution. 

Introducing blockchain to journalism

On Tuesday, the News Provenance Project website published details of the comprehensive project. Together with the Research and Development team, the publishing company aims to take assistance from Hyperledger Fabric’s permissioned blockchain to verify the credibility of the news sources, photographs and videos. 

According to the website, newsreaders are constantly bombarded with adulterated content which impairs the overall image of news publishers globally. The general idea is to broadcast the origin details along with the published news, be it on social media, newspapers or group chats.

In collaboration with IBM Garage, the project will use the fundamental structure of blockchain’s “distributed ledger” concept that allows the store and record of information at multiple sources. Any modification to the already published news will be recorded in a sequential string, empowering the audience with ways to determine the originality. 

Blockchain will make the content plausible by registering the time, date and source of the news, photo or video. 

By partnering with other organizations in the experimentation, NYT will operate proof-of-concept from this month until the end of the year to find ways to maintain the genuineness of the digital news platform. 

Interested readers can get access to the complete project details on the official tweet released by Vivian Schille, CEO of Civil Media and a post published by the project’s lead with exhaustive details.