What is Adverse Media screening (Negative News) and how can you modernize yours?

Adverse media screening is critical for determining whether an individual or an organization is a liability and whether they might jeopardize your company’s security. Many businesses are still using outdated methods for adverse media monitoring, however, including manually searching and analyzing large quantities of content each day.

In order to save time, achieve greater accuracy, and have access to every source of news worldwide, you need to be utilizing adverse media software that automates the entire process for you. Keep reading to learn more about the importance of adverse media screening, including how you can take advantage of AI, machine learning, and natural language processing to achieve depth and accuracy like never before.


What is Adverse Media and Why Should it Be Monitored?

Adverse media often referred to as negative news media, is any type of undesirable information about your potential client or customer. This type of information can be discovered in a wide range of news sources, including both conventional outlets and unstructured sources.

This includes:

  • Newspapers and magazines
  • TV or radio news programs
  • Social media networks
  • Online forums
  • Personal and commercial blogs
  • YouTube
  • Databases
  • Publicly available court records

Adverse media screens are a vital form of risk assessment. They allow you to determine whether an individual or organization is a liability and if they could potentially jeopardize the security of your own company.

Most specifically, adverse media screening aims to identify a company’s or individual’s links to risky behaviour or criminal activity, such as:

  • Money laundering
  • Financial fraud
  • Drug trafficking
  • Human trafficking
  • Fraud
  • Sexual or violent abuse
  • Organized crime
  • Terrorism

These illicit connections endanger a business’s professional reputation and can result in legal ramifications – especially if the company works in a regulated industry, such as finance, procurement, insurance, or law, for example.


The Drawbacks of Conventional Adverse Media Monitoring

In the past, companies would commonly monitor for adverse media using manual methods. They would type the individual’s or organization’s name into a search engine, before analyzing each relevant news article or link mentioning their search term.

Once any media was discovered, compliance analysts would evaluate it and cross-reference it with the client’s personal information to assess if the content is a legitimate match, as well as if the information presents a risk or not.

As you can imagine, manually performing adverse media monitoring in this way is both time-consuming and laborious. There is more “fake news” in the media than ever before, so it can be difficult to determine what constitutes a genuine and reliable news source.

Plus, when you think of the sheer volume of content being created online every second (let alone each day) you can quickly understand how ineffective conventional adverse media monitoring can be. This is especially true for rapidly growing companies that are adding new clients every day.

This, of course, doesn’t even factor-in content produced in different languages, media sources that are overlooked, or even those that offer limited access. Allowing adverse media to fall through the cracks like this can have disastrous ramifications for your own business.


Why You Should Automate Your Adverse Media Screening Process

Thankfully, companies don’t have to monitor adverse media using this manual method. Instead, automated adverse media screening has been developed to offer greater ease, accuracy, and efficiency than ever before.

Automated solutions provide curated material from around the world and deliver real-time feedback that’s continuously updated. Additionally, software developers have begun to integrate artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and natural language processing (NLP) into their adverse media software.

Machine learning involves a collection of computer algorithms that are capable of learning from experience. When used in adverse media monitoring, they scan news sources at unrivaled speeds, as well as with a depth and accuracy that cannot be matched by conventional methods.

AI, on the other hand, can determine if the name of a person or an organization is linked to a crime or just referenced in a news source. It can also access the language used within the content to determine the overall tone of the information and establish if the terminology being used is of a positive or negative nature.

Advanced automated screening also goes beyond the surface of media sources, delving into the open web, deep web, and many types of traditional and unstructured content. This is largely possible with natural language processing (NLP), which is a branch of AI. NLP is capable of analyzing enormous volumes of natural language data – including content in foreign languages.



RISKSECURE, by NGA Systems, is an AI-powered adverse media software that moves beyond traditional adverse media screening to reduce risk and fast-track your research. It uses patented Adverse Media COMFORT™ score technology, which is the first contextually accurate score of its kind to rate an individual or company based on their digital footprint risk.

While RISKSECURE offers all of the advantages outlined in the previous section, it also takes adverse media monitoring to a whole new level. It does this by including a specialized category that assists you in determining whether an entity has been cleared, wrongfully accused, or exonerated.

This leads to 90% fewer false positives during your adverse media screening, as well as 6 times faster review times.

In addition to screening default categories, RISKSECURE also identifies individuals or companies with suspected connections to political or prominent individuals or entities. This information may reveal a client’s potential ulterior motives that could significantly put your business at risk.

To reduce risk and fast-track your adverse media research, explore our Adverse Media solution or request a demo by contacting our professional team.