Italy’s top news org turns to blockchain to ensure trust in COVID-19 reporting

Italy’s top news reporting agency Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata announced Monday the development of a unique news tracking system based on distributed ledger blockchain technology in collaboration with EY Advisory S.p.A., part of Ernst & Young Global Ltd.

ANSA is a leading Italian news agency that represents 24 publishers of major newspapers across Italy. The agencies of ANSA transmit more than 3,500 news and more than 1,500 photos a day to the Italian media, national institutions and international organizations.

With the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic globally, which has exceeded 1.3 million positive cases, a raft of fake narratives and mythology about the disease also accompanies those cases. “In recent days, we witnessed the frequent fraudulent use of our brand to give truth to false news,” said Stefano de Alessandri, chief executive of ANSA.

With this application of blockchain technology, which can be used to record cryptographic proof of the origin of information in a tamperproof ledger, news agencies will be able to put out articles that include proof the document is unchanged and provide verification of sources.

Using the ANSAcheck news tracking label, which is supported by EY’s OpChain Traceability technology, readers will be able to trace the history and source of each news item. This also means that reposted or altered news using ANSA’s labels will be easily distinguished from authentic reporting. The news agency envisions readers using this to continue to depend on what ANSA believes distinguishes it from other reporting.

“We are therefore particularly proud to be the first to launch a highly innovative project, carried out for all our readers and the clients of the Agency,” said de Alessandri. “Starting today, we can track the origin of the news and — at the same time — support the professionalism of our journalists. This is an important step in the fight against fake news.”

The EY OpsChain Traceability blockchain…

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