Head of Social Newsgathering
European Broadcasting Union
Derek Bowler is an Irish journalist based in Geneva, Switzerland, where he serves as the Head of Social Newsgathering at the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). Hailing from the village of Whitegate, County Cork, he graduated with a BA (Hons) degree in Journalism and New Media from the University of Limerick. Beginning his journalism career in Dublin at Storyful, the world’s first social media news agency, Bowler was promoted to senior journalist and news projects lead, working on projects with the New York Times, The Washington Post and Google News Labs. He co-produced The Young Turks mini-documentary One Month In Ferguson - The Death of Michael Brown, using eyewitness media to piece together the events surrounding Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014. His 2016 investigation and subsequent documentary into the use of eyewitness material by Irish news organisations uncovered widespread unethical practices and copyright infringements by several media companies. Upon joining the EBU, Bowler founded the Eurovision Social Newswire, a breaking news and verification service which provides public service media members and partners with verified and cleared for use eyewitness media content emerging on social media. He also launched the EBU’s Agile Newsroom event, a real-time working and training environment that sees journalists from across the EBU membership come together to create a working newsroom and learn the skills of visual verification. In 2020, the Agile Newsroom was listed among the promising practices from Media and Information Literacy (MIL) training models in the Council of Europe’s Supporting Quality Journalism through Media and Information Literacy Study. He also co-wrote the EBU Eyewitness Principles and Guidelines and has consulted on verification and fact-checking best practices with the European Commission and European Parliament.