With news organizations utilizing social media to get onsite accounts of breaking news, a new specter has emerged - how do you verify the information in the race to publish? A recent blog post asks that question in the context of recent erroneous news stories and provides some tips as to how journalists can corroborate breaking social stories. 

One of the factors to consider is the compressed news cycle. Breaking events may have a very short shelf life. It could be a good idea to evaluate the resources required to verify a story based upon the "shelf life" of the event. If it's a minor event that will be forgotten tomorrow, do you really want to spend the time and effort necessary to vet the account? 

Consider the source. There are a number of things to consider when receiving a report from the field. From outright lying to people making mistakes with the best intentions, it is vital that events be verified by other on-site observers if possible. In this case, social corroboration, while not as effective as having a reporter on the site, can provide some credibility. 

Finally, cover your rear. By disclosing how you came by the information and whether or not it has been corroborated by staff can help your audience determine the likelihood that they may be affected. Rushing to publish in today's digital world can be dangerous enough without adding fuel to a panic fire.