Organization: AP Fact Check
Applicant: Barbara Whitaker
Assessor: Margot Susca
Edits made by the organization after this assessment
IFCN Staff wrote:
The AP Fact Check page on the apnews.com site now contains a new item, pinned to the top, that links to:
1. A blog post about methodology in which AP’s standards editor explains what they fact-check, and why..
2. A link to the page where people can contact AP with suggestions or questions about fact checks.
Conclusion and recommendations
Margot Susca wrote:
No one can doubt AP’s commitment to accurate journalism. However, in the scope of this application, I bring up two areas related to transparency and methodology that I believe require a deeper explanation. It seems, in part, that the work of the AP as a news source is being conflated with the Fact Check part of the organization. Some points in the application seem clearly well thought out and distinct, while others seem to rely on AP’s history of journalistic work rather than outlining specifically how the Fact Check part works/will work.
I recommend AP include a hyperlink/site online that explains exactly where its fact check methodology may be found. (I think here of how the WaPo has separated its Pinnocchios/Fact Check from its news desk.) It also should list somewhere its funding for transparency. The links provided in the application are not specific enough.
Further, its Contact Us page provides an inadequate section for helping consumers reach out related to the scope of fact checking issues. Even the addition of one hyperlink to a place where fact checking could be highlighted or to a staffer handling such issues would be helpful.