The policeman raises his pistol in a melee of protesters, the gun barrel flashes and a younger man falls onto his again clutching his chest – 60 seconds of video caught on digital camera on the top of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. Removed from the scene, Reuters journalists in London and Singapore watched the taking pictures, which was captured by three beginner digital camera operators.

The Reuters groups had been in search of any element – maybe a store or road signal within the background – that would assist set up the authenticity of the footage, and that it was filmed when and the place the operator mentioned it was.

Reuters has its personal TV crews and photographers overlaying the protests which have rocked Hong Kong for the reason that spring. However with quickly creating occasions, the primary photos in Hong Kong and elsewhere are sometimes caught on smartphones, motion cams and different units by folks on the scene. Information publishers world wide need these sorts of photographs from breaking tales.

However Reuters will solely license and distribute them when editors have taken steps to make sure they’re real. “We go to nice lengths to supply and authenticate this materials,” mentioned Hazel Baker, the top of Reuters’ Person Generated Content material (UGC) crew.

“It is a detailed course of that takes time and persistence. There was little question the taking pictures occurred throughout protests on Oct 1.” Scores of witnesses reported it and authorities acknowledged {that a} protester had been hit and wounded – a key second within the confrontation that triggered extra protests. The primary clips posted on social media platforms confirmed fragments of the motion, seconds-long snatches with out context.

The UGC crew determined to attend for video displaying a fuller sequence of occasions. They usually discovered three such sequences posted on-line by teams of pupil journalists, a lot of whom have contributed dependable footage for Reuters prior to now.

Yi Shu Ng, on the UGC crew in Singapore, and Baker in London contacted the scholars on cellphone and Fb messenger. “They had been all very forthcoming with info, particularly the place the place the protester was shot, who the protester was, and what occurred,” mentioned Ng.

“We cross-checked the information with what we noticed on the movies – particularly with Google Avenue View and user-submitted pictures of the store the place the incident occurred – to confirm that this was certainly the place the incident occurred.”    

Footage of every stage within the motion – the shot, the autumn, the police dashing in – was in contrast with different bits of movie caught from totally different angles to verify that none of it had been staged or in any method altered by a single digital camera operator.

Particulars of outdated pictures posted by vacationers on the similar road nook – the signage of a restaurant, the structure of the menu posted outdoors, a division retailer within the background – matched particulars within the protest movie. After greater than 5 hours of frame-by-frame checking, Ng, Baker and different colleagues lastly felt that they had gathered sufficient proof of the photographs’ authenticity and hit publish.

(Aside from the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV workers and is printed from a syndicated feed.)

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