FactCheckNI

Organization: FactCheckNI
Applicant: Orna YOUNG
Assessor: Raymond Joseph

Background

I first assessed FactCheckNI (FCNI) for IFCN membership in 2017, soon after it was launched. I again reassessed the organisation in 2020 and have done so once again this year. It is gratifying to see how FCNI has continued to grow and mature, from its early days when it was incubated within the charity Foundation (Northern Ireland), to go on to become a standalone non-profit.

The establishment of FCNI was a direct response to the impact of online rumours and misinformation was having in further marginalising already divided communities in Northern Ireland.

It is important to acknowledge the difficult terrain, especially political and religious differences, that FCNI must constantly navigate to win – and keep - the trust of all sectors of Northern Ireland’s citizenry, and also ensure that it is seen to be neutral in an environment where suspicion and mistrust are often present.

Its growth is a tribute to its jealously-guarded non-partisanship and political neutrality. Despite limited financial and human resources, they are doing an excellent job under - what at times must be - very difficult circumstances.

The transparency, simple navigation, and easy-to-understand language on FCNI's website are like a breath of fresh air. I would urge any fact-checking organisation planning to apply for International 
Fact-Checking Network accreditation to consult the FCNI site as a guide.

Also, I was really impressed with the toolkit and resources on FCNI's website and recommend them to both journalists and "civilians" interested in learning, or improving, fact-checking skills. See: https://bit.ly/3uOTqPB 

Assessment Conclusion

I have no hesitation in recommending that FactCheckNI membership of the International Fact-Checking Network be renewed.

on 14-Apr-2021 (6 months ago)

Raymond Joseph assesses application as Compliant

A short summary in native publishing language

See background

Section 1: Eligibility to be a signatory

To be eligible to be a signatory, applicants must meet these six criteria

  • 1.1 The applicant is a legally registered organization, or a distinct team or unit within a legally registered organization, and details of this are easily found on its website.
  • 1.2 The team, unit or organization is set up exclusively for the purpose of fact-checking.
  • 1.3 The applicant has published an average of at least one fact check a week over the course of the six months prior to the date of application. For applicants from countries with at least 5 or more verified signatories need to have at least a fact check a week over the twelve months of publishing track. Consult to factchecknet@poynter.org for confirmation.
  • 1.4 On average, at least 75% of the applicant’s fact checks focus on claims related to issues that, in the view of the IFCN, relate to or could have an impact on the welfare or well-being of individuals, the general public or society.
  • 1.5 The applicant’s editorial output is not, in the view of the IFCN, controlled by the state, a political party or politician.
  • 1.6 If the organization receives funding from local or foreign state or political sources, it provides a statement on its site setting out to the satisfaction of the IFCN, how it ensures its funders do not influence the findings of its reports.

Criteria 1.1
Proof you meet criteria
Please explain where on your website you set out information about your organization’s legal status and how this complies with criteria. Attach a link to the relevant page of your website.

FactCheckNI
05-Mar-2021 (7 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

FactCheckNI CIC is a company limited by guarantee, registered in Northern Ireland at Companies House (Company Registration Number: NI660549). The company was established with the objective of to improve fact-checking and critical thinking skills in Northern Ireland.The company has declared itself as a non-profit, Community Interest Company (CIC), where all generated surplus income will be reinvested in the company. Company files are lodged at Companies House and can be found here: https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company/NI660549

https://factcheckni.org/about/

Raymond Joseph Assessor
09-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

FactCheckNI (FCNI) is registered with Companies House in North Ireland as a Community Interest Company limited by guarantee (https://bit.ly/3fQUsXg). It is a non-profit and any surplus income it generates is reinvested in FCNI. There is also a link in the "About" section of FactCheckNI's website to its Company House Northern Ireland registration details https://factcheckni.org/about/

I first assessed FactCheckNI (FCNI) for IFCN membership in 2017, soon after it was launched. I again reassessed the organisation in 2020 and have done so once again this year. It is gratifying to see how FCNI has continued to grow and mature, from its early days when it was incubated within the charity Foundation (Northern Ireland), to go on to become a standalone non-profit.

The establishment of FactCheckNI was a direct response to the impact of online rumours and misinformation was having in further marginalising already divided communities in Northern Ireland. Evidence from research conducted by executive director and co-founder, Dr. Orna Young, had found that information being shared on social media was having a detrimental impact on the "nature of inter-communal relations."

It is important to acknowledge the difficult terrain – especially political and religious differences - that FCNI must constantly navigate to win – and keep - the trust of all sectors of Northern Ireland’s citizenry, and also ensure that it is seen to be neutral in an environment where suspicion and mistrust are often present.

Its growth is a tribute to its jealously-guarded non-partisanship and political neutrality. Despite limited financial and human resources, they are doing an excellent job under - what at times must be - very difficult circumstances.


done_all 1.1 marked as Compliant by Raymond Joseph.

Criteria 1.2
Proof you meet criteria
Please answer the following questions – (see notes in Guidelines for Application on how to answer)

 1. When and why was your fact-checking operation started?
 2. How many people work or volunteer in the organization and what are their roles?
 3. What different activities does your organization carry out?
 4. What are the goals of your fact-checking operation over the coming year?

FactCheckNI
05-Mar-2021 (7 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

FactCheckNI was initially established in 2015 as a response to the immediate need presented by the impact of online rumours and misinformation in further marginalising communities in Northern Ireland. Evidence from research conducted by executive director and co-founder, Dr Orna Young, found that information being shared on social media was having a detrimental impact on the nature of inter-communal relations. FactCheckNI was established as a direct response to this need.

There are three people who provide work to FactCheckNI, on a part-time basis: an executive director, an editor, and a communications director. They are complemented by two additional company directors and others in an advisory group. Furthermore, there are several volunteer researchers and commissioned writers.

FactCheckNI provides the public with accurate, fair, and reliable fact-check and explainer articles. FactCheckNI provides training courses, events, and educational resources. FactCheckNI also provides consultancy services in the specialisation of fact checking, to individual clients and academic research projects.

FactCheckNI’s goals over the coming year include increasing our capacity to produce fact check articles and thus the volume of available fact checked information in Northern Ireland. We also want to build on our existing training offering, including blended learning (training with additional education support) and asynchronous training (e.g. modules that can be completed on a self-paced, individual basis).

Raymond Joseph Assessor
09-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

1) FactCheckNI (FCNI) was founded in 2015 in response to "online rumour and misinformation" that was having a detrimental effect on "inter-communal relations".

2) There are three people who work for FCNI, on a part-time basis: an executive director, an editor, and a communications director. They are complemented by two additional company directors and several other people who serve on an advisory group. FCNI also makes use of volunteer researchers and commissioned writers.

3)FCNI provides the public with "accurate, fair, and reliable fact-check and explainer articles" It also facilitates training courses and events and provides educational resources. FCNI also offers fact-checking consultancy services to individual clients and academic research projects.

4)FCNI says its goals over the coming year include increasing capacity to increase the volume of fact-checked information in Northern Ireland. It also plans to build on its existing training offerings, including blended learning (training with additional education support) and asynchronous training (e.g. modules that can be completed on a self-paced, individual basis).


done_all 1.2 marked as Compliant by Raymond Joseph.

Criteria 1.3
Proof you meet criteria
- The applicant has published an average of at least one fact check a week over the course of the six months prior to the date of application.
- For applicants from countries with at least 5 or more verified signatories need to have at least a fact check a week over the twelve months of publishing track.
- Consult to factchecknet@poynter.org for confirmation.

FactCheckNI
05-Mar-2021 (7 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Recent fact-check articles (since 9/2020):

  1. Does Belfast/Good Friday Agreement forbid cross-border barriers?
  2. Did 33 people die by suicide during the first week of September 2020 in Northern Ireland?
  3. Does the tech sector employ 26% of the workforce in Belfast?
  4. Is there 90% compliance with wearing face coverings in retail settings in Northern Ireland?
  5. Are 95% or 98% of all households in the Holylands area of Belfast HMOs?
  6. Can you generate a positive result for COVID-19 from an RT-PCR test?
  7. Can a medicinal tea ‘help with’ COVID-19?
  8. Can face masks cause harmful levels of reduced oxygen?
  9. Are Northern Ireland retailers covering up non-essential items from sale?
  10. Is the PSNI rolling out a Snapchat scheme to monitor social mitigation compliance?
  11. Is there a greater chance of dying by being hit by a bus than by COVID-19?
  12. Was COVID-19 downgraded from being a high-consequence infectious disease?
  13. Are death rates no higher this year than in a bad flu season?
  14. Is COVID-19 being put fraudulently on death certificates?
  15. Was British Army General Robert Ross the last man to attack the US Capitol?
  16. Is there a greater chance of a motorcyclist aged 67 dying as a motorcyclist than being affected by COVID-19?
  17. Was Belfast the sixth highest in murder rate for a European city in 2010?
  18. Just 113 COVID-19 deaths in Northern Ireland since the start of the pandemic?
  19. Is Northern Ireland one of the most locked-down places in the world?
  20. Must the next electoral canvass be done by 2023?
  21. Are UK passports produced by non-UK companies?

As well as publishing fact checks, we also produce explainer articles. These articles are an effort to walk readers through more complex claims and topics that are educational and informative, but cannot so easily be reduced to the simple indication of accuracy or inaccuracy in our verdict system. Sometimes we will investigate a topic that is in the news, to provide additional context to eliminate confusion rather than responding to an individual explicit claim.

Recent explainer articles (since 9/2020):

  1. What is Northern Ireland's COVID-19 recovery plan?
  2. What is group screening for COVID-19?
  3. The accuracy of COVID-19 death statistics
  4. Pregnancies and abortion in Northern Ireland
  5. The COVID-19 mRNA vaccine: What is it and how has it been developed so quickly?
  6. COVID-19 vaccines and aborted fetuses
  7. COVID-19 vaccines and microchip devices
  8. COVID-19 and mandatory vaccination
  9. COVID-19 vaccinations: fertility and pregnancy
  10. How does a RT-PCR test for COVID-19 work?
  11. Seasonal flu and COVID
  12. The electoral register and the 10-year canvass

Raymond Joseph Assessor
09-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

FactCheckNI meets this criterion and, in fact, sometimes exceeds it. Its fact-checks cover a wide range of issues and claims. Fact-checks are easy to understand and published in a format that first describes the claim, then the conclusion. The evidence, with links to quoted stories, research, and documents, is then presented, making it easy for the reader to follow - and emulate if they wish - how a conclusion was reached. 


done_all 1.3 marked as Compliant by Raymond Joseph.

Criteria 1.4
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will assess compliance through a review of the fact checks published over the previous three months. No additional information required.

Raymond Joseph Assessor
09-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Required criterion has been met 


done_all 1.4 marked as Compliant by Raymond Joseph.

Criteria 1.5
Proof you meet criteria
Please explain any commercial, financial and/or institutional relationship your organization has to the state, politicians or political parties in the country or countries you cover. Also explain funding or support received from foreign as well as local state or political actors over the previous financial year.

FactCheckNI
05-Mar-2021 (7 months ago)

On 1 April 2018, we were awarded a grant of 208,740 euros (c. £181,056) from the Horizon 2020 Programme at the European Commission. FactCheckNI is a full partner organisation of a research and development project — Co-inform — led by Stockholm University. The Co-inform project aims to create socio-technical solutions with citizens, journalists, and policymakers. The Co-inform project runs from 1 April 2018 to 30 June 2021.

https://factcheckni.org/about/funding/

Raymond Joseph Assessor
09-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

FCNI was awarded a grant of 208,740 euros in April 2018 by the European Commission's Horizon 2020 Programme. FCNI is also a full partner organisation of the  Co-inform research and development project led by Stockholm University. The Co-inform project aims to create socio-technical solutions with citizens, journalists, and policymakers. It runs from 1 April 2018 to 30 June 2021.

FCNI joined Facebook’s Third Party Fact Checking programme in April 2019, It was paid £10,752 in the 2019 calendar year, for work under the programme.

In October 2020, FCNI was awarded £99,190.00 by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust for its “Empowering People Through Facts”. The project will run over a period of 24 months.

Details of FCNI's funding here: https://factcheckni.org/about/funding/ 


done_all 1.5 marked as Compliant by Raymond Joseph.

Criteria 1.6
Proof you meet criteria
If you confirmed the organization receives funding from local or foreign state or political sources, provide a link to where on your website you set out how you ensure the editorial independence of your work.

FactCheckNI
05-Mar-2021 (7 months ago) Updated: 7 months ago
Raymond Joseph Assessor
09-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

FCNI Ireland is open and transparent about its sources of funding: Details can be easily found in the "Funding" section of the "About" dropdown tab that is on the top of all pages of the website:

On its website, under "Funding", FCNI states: "We are transparent about our funding sources. We ensure that funders have no influence over the conclusions that we reach in our fact checks.  Project funds come from charitable trusts, statutory bodies, and individual donations. None contribute to our editorial policy nor influence what we fact check. The project costs mainly cover paying for staff (researchers, writers, and editors) and training services (trainers).

See: https://factcheckni.org/about/funding  


done_all 1.6 marked as Compliant by Raymond Joseph.

Section 2: A commitment to Non-partisanship and Fairness

To be compliant on nonpartisanship and fairness, applicants must meet these five criteria

  • 2.1 The applicant fact-checks using the same high standards of evidence and judgement for equivalent claims regardless of who made the claim.
  • 2.2 The applicant does not unduly concentrate its fact-checking on any one side, considers the reach and importance of claims it selects to check and publishes a short statement on its website to set out how it selects claims to check.
  • 2.3 The applicant discloses in its fact checks relevant interests of the sources it quotes where the reader might reasonably conclude those interests could influence the accuracy of the evidence provided. It also discloses in its fact checks any commercial or other such relationships it has that a member of the public might reasonably conclude could influence the findings of the fact check.
  • 2.4 The applicant is not as an organization affiliated with nor declares or shows support for any party, any politician or political candidate, nor does it advocate for or against any policy positions on any issues save for transparency and accuracy in public debate.
  • 2.5 The applicant sets out its policy on non-partisanship for staff on its site. Save for the issues of accuracy and transparency, the applicant’s staff do not get involved in advocacy or publicise their views on policy issues the organization might fact check in such a way as might lead a reasonable member of the public to see the organization’s work as biased.

Criteria 2.1
Proof you meet criteria
Please share links to 10 fact checks published over the past year that you believe demonstrate your non-partisanship.
Please briefly explain how the fact checks selected show that (I) you use the same high standards of evidence for equivalent claims, (II) follow the same essential process for every fact check and (III) let the evidence dictate your conclusions.

FactCheckNI
05-Mar-2021 (7 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

The selection of our fact checks below demonstrate our consistent research methodology, including the discovery of primary sources, a thorough editorial review process, and publishing our conclusions, regardless of verdict (e.g. claims that are validated as well as rebuked).

It is also important to consider the nature of societal divisions and party structure in Northern Ireland, based mainly on national identities. This is also reflected in people’s choice of media. FactCheckNI works hard to ensure a broad coverage of political orientations, suggested by the following examples:

  1. Is Northern Ireland one of the most locked-down places in the world? (DUP; British unionist party; political right)
  2. Is there 90% compliance with wearing face coverings in retail settings in Northern Ireland? (police service)
  3. Does Belfast/Good Friday Agreement forbid cross-border barriers? (TUV; British unionist party; political right)
  4. Are 82% of the public wearing face masks on Translink buses and trains? (SDLP; Irish nationalist party; political left)
  5. Did face coverings/masks become “mandatory” in shops and indoor public spaces in Northern Ireland on 1 August 2020? (Alliance; neutral party; political centre)
  6. Are 1 in 4 NI adults ‘now at risk of hunger and malnutrition’? (News Letter; newspaper; British unionist audience)
  7. Did 62 more people contract COVID-19 in care homes, before dying in hospital? (Belfast Telegraph; newspaper; general audience)
  8. Do families have to give permission for COVID-19 death statistics? (Newsnight; TV programme; general audience)
  9. Michael Davitt GAC offered as a coronavirus field hospital? (Irish News; newspaper; Irish nationalist audience)
  10. Do more than 700,000 born in Northern Ireland have an Irish passport? (BBC NI; TV programme; general audience)
Raymond Joseph Assessor
09-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

"Societal divisions and party structures in Northern Ireland are largely based on national identities, which is also reflected in the media that people consume," FCNI says in its application for membership renewal.

The examples of fact-checks provided in the application, as well as a wider analysis of fact-checks done by FCNI, illustrate how the organisation strives to ensure as broad a coverage of all political parties, politics, and issues in Northern Ireland.

FCNI uses consistent fact-checking selection - including seeking primary sources - and research methodology, including an editorial review process to ensure that all fact-checks are conducted using the same processes.



done_all 2.1 marked as Compliant by Raymond Joseph.

Criteria 2.2
Proof you meet criteria
Please share a link to a place on your website where you explain how you select claims to check, explaining how you ensure you do not unduly concentrate your fact-checking on any one side, and how you consider the reach and importance of the claims you select to check.

FactCheckNI
05-Mar-2021 (7 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Our process of fact checking can be read online: https://factcheckni.org/about/process/

Raymond Joseph Assessor
09-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

On its website, FCNI has clear explanations of how it selects and researches claims, and how it drafts, edits, and publishes fact checks and explainer articles. It also explains what it can and cannot fact-check, as well as explaining that in assessing a claim to evaluate two crucial questions are always asked:  1) Is this important? And, 2) Is it fact checkable?

It also gives people this assurance: "We may not check every claim suggested to us, but we promise to read everything that is submitted. It helps if you provide as much information as possible, such as date, source, and any particular reason why you’re skeptical about the claim."

See: https://factcheckni.org/about/process/


done_all 2.2 marked as Compliant by Raymond Joseph.

Criteria 2.3
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will assess compliance through a review of the fact checks published over the previous year. No additional information required.

FactCheckNI
05-Mar-2021 (7 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago


Raymond Joseph Assessor
09-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

All criteria met.


done_all 2.3 marked as Compliant by Raymond Joseph.

Criteria 2.4
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will assess compliance through a review of the fact checks published over the previous year. No additional information required.

FactCheckNI
05-Mar-2021 (7 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago


Raymond Joseph Assessor
09-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

All criteria met.


done_all 2.4 marked as Compliant by Raymond Joseph.

Criteria 2.5
Proof you meet criteria
Please share a link to a place on your website where you publish a statement setting out your policy on non-partisanship for staff and how it ensures the organization meets this criteria.

FactCheckNI
05-Mar-2021 (7 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

On the website page that explains our commitment to the IFCN Code of Principles, we declare: “Everyone involved at FactCheckNI — volunteers, interns, committee members, team managers and the board — work under the fundamental principles of impartiality, transparency and accuracy; these are reflected in our organisation’s Code of Conduct.”

In this statement there is a further link to our organisation’s Code of Conduct.

https://factcheckni.org/about/code-of-principles/

https://factcheckni.org/about/policies/code-of-conduct/

Raymond Joseph Assessor
09-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

From FNCI's Code of Principals: "Everyone involved at FactCheckNI — volunteers, interns, committee members, team managers, and the board — work under the fundamental principles of impartiality, transparency and accuracy; these are reflected in our organisation’s Code of Conduct.

"Impartiality means that we cover claims across the political spectrum, without fear or favour. We check all sides and provide the widest range of sources for a fact‐checked claim. Our final articles involve many participants in its creation, and thus we do not publish author by‐lines". There is a link to the Code of Principals from its site: https://factcheckni.org/about/code-of-principles/

FCNI also publishes its comprehensive Code of Conduct that all of its personnel "must read and abide by." See: https://factcheckni.org/about/policies/code-of-conduct/ 



done_all 2.5 marked as Compliant by Raymond Joseph.

Section 3: A commitment to Standards and Transparency of Sources

To be compliant on sources, applicants must meet these four criteria

  • 3.1 The applicant identifies the source of all significant evidence used in their fact checks, providing relevant links where the source is available online, in such a way that users can replicate their work if they wish. In cases where identifying the source would compromise the source’s personal security, the applicant provides as much detail as compatible with the source’s safety.
  • 3.2 The applicant uses the best available primary, not secondary, sources of evidence wherever suitable primary sources are available. Where suitable primary sources are not available, the applicant explains the use of a secondary source.
  • 3.3 The applicant checks all key elements of claims against more than one named source of evidence save where the one source is the only source relevant on the topic.
  • 3.4 The applicant identifies in its fact checks the relevant interests of the sources it uses where the reader might reasonably conclude those interests could influence the accuracy of the evidence provided.

Criteria 3.1
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the applicant’s use of sources in a randomised sample of its fact checks to assess compliance. No additional evidence is required.

FactCheckNI
05-Mar-2021 (7 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago


Raymond Joseph Assessor
09-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Criteria met.


done_all 3.1 marked as Compliant by Raymond Joseph.

Criteria 3.2
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the applicant’s use of sources in a randomised sample of its fact checks to assess compliance. No additional evidence is required.

FactCheckNI
05-Mar-2021 (7 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago


Raymond Joseph Assessor
09-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Criteria met.


done_all 3.2 marked as Compliant by Raymond Joseph.

Criteria 3.3
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the applicant’s use of sources in a randomised sample of its fact checks to assess compliance. No additional evidence is required.

FactCheckNI
05-Mar-2021 (7 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago


Raymond Joseph Assessor
09-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Criteria met.


done_all 3.3 marked as Compliant by Raymond Joseph.

Criteria 3.4
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the applicant’s use of sources in a randomised sample of its fact checks to assess compliance. No additional evidence is required.

FactCheckNI
05-Mar-2021 (7 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago


Raymond Joseph Assessor
09-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Criteria met.


done_all 3.4 marked as Compliant by Raymond Joseph.

Section 4: A commitment to Transparency of Funding & Organization

To be compliant on funding and organization, applicants must meet these five criteria

  • 4.1 Applicants that are independent organizations have a page on their website detailing each source of funding accounting for 5% or more of total revenue for its previous financial year. This page also sets out the legal form in which the organization is registered (e.g. as a non-profit, as a company etc).
  • 4.2 Applicants that are the fact-checking section or unit of a media house or other parent organization make a statement on ownership.
  • 4.3 A statement on the applicant’s website sets out the applicant’s organizational structure and makes clear how and by whom editorial control is exercised.
  • 4.4 A page on the applicant’s website details the professional biography of all those who, according to the organizational structure and play a significant part in its editorial output.
  • 4.5 The applicant provides easy means on its website and/or via social media for users to communicate with the editorial team.

Criteria 4.1
Proof you meet criteria
Please confirm whether you are an ‘independent organization’
or ‘the fact-checking section or unit of a media house or other parent organization’ and share proof of this organizational status.

FactCheckNI
05-Mar-2021 (7 months ago)

Independent organisation; see attached file.

Files Attached
picture_as_pdf FactCheckNI CIC - Ce... (79 KB)
Raymond Joseph Assessor
09-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

FCNI is an independent organisation. It has provided a valid Certificate of Incorporation as a Community of Interest Companies with its application.


done_all 4.1 marked as Compliant by Raymond Joseph.

Criteria 4.2
Proof you meet criteria
If your organization is an “independent organization”, please share a link to the page on your website where you detail your funding and indicate the legal form in which the organization is registered (e.g. as a non-profit, as a company etc).
If your organization is “the fact-checking section or unit of a media house or other parent organization”, please share a link to the statement on your website about your ownership.

FactCheckNI
05-Mar-2021 (7 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Information about FactCheckNI sources of funding is published online: https://factcheckni.org/about/funding/

Raymond Joseph Assessor
09-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

FCNI is transparent in disclosing all its sources of funding.

Details of funding are published on its website under the "funding" tab in the "About" drop-down menu. The "About" tab and other tabs to navigate to important sections of the website are strategically placed across the top of all the site's pages. See https://factcheckni.org/about/funding/ 

FCNI is an independent organisaation. Details of its registration as a Community Interest Company an be seen here: https://factcheckni.org/about/ 


done_all 4.2 marked as Compliant by Raymond Joseph.

Criteria 4.3
Proof you meet criteria
Please share a link to where on your website you set out your organizational structure, making clear how and by whom editorial control is exercised.

FactCheckNI
05-Mar-2021 (7 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

At FactCheckNI, there are three regular workers that make up the senior management team, which works in a collaborative style. The primary responsibilities of each are provided in the professional biographies published online. Editorial policy is explained in our fact-checking process, which is published online. Articles are assessed by the editor, then reviewed by at least one other member of the team before publishing. More complex or politically sensitive topics will be forwarded to a third person. The senior management team is complemented by two additional company directors and an advisory group, with details of all published online.

https://factcheckni.org/about/personnel/

https://factcheckni.org/about/process/

Raymond Joseph Assessor
09-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

FCNI has a three-person management team who work in a "collaborative style", according to the application.

Their primary responsibilities are disclosed in their professional biographies published here: https://factcheckni.org/about/personnel/ 

The editorial process is spelled out here: https://factcheckni.org/about/process/ 

The senior management team is complemented by two additional company directors and an advisory group: Details here: https://factcheckni.org/about/personnel/ 

See editorial team for details of how editorial control is exercised: https://factcheckni.org/about/process/ 


done_all 4.3 marked as Compliant by Raymond Joseph.

Criteria 4.4
Proof you meet criteria
Please share a link to where on your website you set out the professional biographies of those who play a significant part in your organization’s editorial output.

FactCheckNI
05-Mar-2021 (7 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Our staff profiles, including advisory board, can be read online: https://factcheckni.org/about/personnel/

Raymond Joseph Assessor
09-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

FCNI has a link to bios for all its key personnel. Their roles in the organisation are explained in their bios: See https://factcheckni.org/about/personnel/ 


done_all 4.4 marked as Compliant by Raymond Joseph.

Criteria 4.5
Proof you meet criteria
Please share a link to where on your website you encourage users to communicate with your editorial team.

FactCheckNI
05-Mar-2021 (7 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Our website’s Contact page describes how people can contact us with general queries, claim queries, media queries, and volunteering queries.

https://factcheckni.org/contact/

Raymond Joseph Assessor
09-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

FCNI makes it simple for people to make contact. There is a "Contact" tab, along with other important navigation tabs, along the top of all pages of the FCNI website. It gives clear details of how to contact FCNI also has a link to FAQs. The page also has contact details for general inquiries, feedback, or requests for corrections. It also has details of how to submit a claim and how to volunteer to work for FCNI. Seehttps://factcheckni.org/contact/ 


done_all 4.5 marked as Compliant by Raymond Joseph.

Section 5: A commitment to Standards and Transparency of Methodology

To be compliant on methodology, applicants must meet these six criteria

  • 5.1 The applicant publishes on its website a statement about the methodology it uses to select, research, write and publish its fact checks.
  • 5.2 The applicant selects claims to check based primarily on the reach and importance of the claims, and where possible explains the reason for choosing the claim to check.
  • 5.3 The applicant sets out in its fact checks relevant evidence that appears to support the claim as well as relevant evidence that appears to undermine it.
  • 5.4 The applicant in its fact checks assesses the merits of the evidence found using the same high standards applied to evidence on equivalent claims, regardless of who made the claim.
  • 5.5 The applicant seeks where possible to contact those who made the claim to seek supporting evidence, noting that (I) this is often not possible with online claims, (II) if the person who makes the claim fails to reply in a timely way this should not impede the fact check, (III) if a speaker adds caveats to the claim, the fact-checker should be free to continue with checking the original claim, (IV) fact-checkers may not wish to contact the person who made the claim for safety or other legitimate reasons.
  • 5.6 The applicant encourages users to send in claims to check, while making it clear what readers can legitimately expect will be fact-checked and what isn’t fact-checkable.

Criteria 5.1
Proof you meet criteria
Please provide a link to the statement on your website that explains the methodology you use to select, research, write and publish your fact checks.

FactCheckNI
05-Mar-2021 (7 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Our fact-checking methodology is explained online: https://factcheckni.org/about/process/

Raymond Joseph Assessor
09-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

FCNI's methodology, including how it selects claims for fact-checking and what it can and can't fact-check is explained in simple, easy-to-understand language on its site. It also explains that every claim is subjected to two crucial questions - Is this important? and Is it fact checkable? before a decision is reached on whether to fact-check it. See:  https://factcheckni.org/about/process/


done_all 5.1 marked as Compliant by Raymond Joseph.

Criteria 5.2
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the methodology used in a randomised sample of your fact checks to assess compliance with these criteria. No additional evidence is required.

FactCheckNI
05-Mar-2021 (7 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago


Raymond Joseph Assessor
09-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Criteria met.


done_all 5.2 marked as Compliant by Raymond Joseph.

Criteria 5.3
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the methodology used in a randomised sample of your fact checks to assess compliance with these criteria. No additional evidence is required.

FactCheckNI
05-Mar-2021 (7 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago


Raymond Joseph Assessor
09-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Criteria met.


done_all 5.3 marked as Compliant by Raymond Joseph.

Criteria 5.4
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the methodology used in a randomised sample of your fact checks to assess compliance with these criteria. No additional evidence is required.

FactCheckNI
05-Mar-2021 (7 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago


Raymond Joseph Assessor
09-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Criteria met.


done_all 5.4 marked as Compliant by Raymond Joseph.

Criteria 5.5
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the methodology used in a randomised sample of your fact checks to assess compliance with these criteria. No additional evidence is required.

FactCheckNI
05-Mar-2021 (7 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago


Raymond Joseph Assessor
09-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Criteria met.


done_all 5.5 marked as Compliant by Raymond Joseph.

Criteria 5.6
Proof you meet criteria
Please describe how you encourage users to send in claims to check, while making it clear what readers can legitimately expect will be fact-checked and what isn’t fact-checkable. Include links where appropriate. If you do not allow this, explain why.

FactCheckNI
05-Mar-2021 (7 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

FactCheckNI’s process of claim selection is explained in both our fact-checking process webpage and on our online claim submission form:

https://factcheckni.org/about/process/

https://factcheckni.org/claims

Raymond Joseph Assessor
09-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

People are able to submit claims for fact-checking via two different channels on FCNI's website.

1) Via https://factcheckni.org/about/process/, which gives details of where to send claims, as well as the process that is followed in selecting and researching claims, and how its drafts, edits, and publishes fact checks; or,


2) Via "Submit Claim", which is one of the tabs that appear on top of all pages of the FCNI website: https://factcheckni.org/claims



done_all 5.6 marked as Compliant by Raymond Joseph.

Section 6: A commitment to an Open & Honest Corrections Policy

To be compliant on corrections policy, applicants must meet these five criteria

  • 6.1 The applicant has a corrections or complaints policy that is easily visible and accessible on the organization’s website or frequently referenced in broadcasts.
  • 6.2 The policy sets out clear definitions of what it does and does not cover, how major mistakes, especially those requiring revised conclusions of a fact check, are handled, and the fact that some complaints may justify no response. This policy is adhered to scrupulously.
  • 6.3 Where credible evidence is provided that the applicant has made a mistake worthy of correction, the applicant makes a correction openly and transparently, seeking as far as possible to ensure that users of the original see the correction and the corrected version.
  • 6.4 The applicant, if an existing signatory, should either on its corrections/complaints page or on the page where it declares itself an IFCN signatory inform users that if they believe the signatory is violating the IFCN Code, they may inform the IFCN, with a link to the IFCN site.
  • 6.5 If the applicant is the fact-checking unit of a media company, it is a requirement of signatory status that the parent media company has and adheres to an open and honest corrections policy.

Criteria 6.1
Proof you meet criteria
Please provide a link to where you publish on your website your corrections or complaints policy. If you are primarily a broadcaster, please provide evidence you frequently reference your corrections policy in broadcasts.

FactCheckNI
05-Mar-2021 (7 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

FactCheckNI’s correction policy is explained online: https://factcheckni.org/about/process/

Raymond Joseph Assessor
09-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

On its website, FCNI states the following about its corrections policy: "Our process is rigorous and aims to ensure that our published work is as accurate as possible. But we recognise that mistakes can happen. Post-publication of any FactCheckNI article, we welcome receiving further evidence, whether it refutes or validates our conclusion. New evidence will be promptly considered by the editorial team. Where appropriate, we will strive to update an article within 24 hours. We are transparent about updates and signpost this in any amended article (often noting that there has been an update near the start, with a description of the change within the main body of the text or at the end).

When we publish significant amendments or updates to FactCheckNI articles on our website (other than correcting spelling mistakes or rewording a phrase for clarity), we also republish notifications on our social media channels, with clear labelling of the updated status of the fact-checked article if the verdict has changed."

See "corrections" (last section on this page): https://factcheckni.org/about/process/ 


done_all 6.1 marked as Compliant by Raymond Joseph.

Criteria 6.2
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the corrections policy to verify it meets critera. No additional information needed.

Raymond Joseph Assessor
09-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Criteria met 


done_all 6.2 marked as Compliant by Raymond Joseph.

Criteria 6.3
Proof you meet criteria
Please provide a short statement about how the policy was adhered to over the previous year (or six months if this is the first application) including evidence of two examples of the responses provided by the applicant to a correction request over the previous year. Where no correction request has been made in the previous year, you must state this in your application, which will be publicly available in the assessment if your application is successful.

FactCheckNI
05-Mar-2021 (7 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

In the past year, FactCheckNI published no corrections to any fact-check article. We did publish an update, for clarity, to one explainer article:

Raymond Joseph Assessor
09-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

FCNI published only one clarification, rather than a correction, in the past year. It dealt with a fact-check of a claim that updated an earlier fact-check that looked at the use of aborted fetuses in Covid-19 vaccines. >>  https://bit.ly/3mCpyTS 


done_all 6.3 marked as Compliant by Raymond Joseph.

Criteria 6.4
Proof you meet criteria
If you are an existing signatory, please provide a link to show where on your site you inform users that if they believe you are violating the IFCN Code, they may inform the IFCN of this, with a link to the complaints page on the IFCN site.

FactCheckNI
05-Mar-2021 (7 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

We inform users that they can submit any belief of a violation, by FactCheckNI, of the Code of Principles to IFCN, on our Code of Principles webpage:

https://factcheckni.org/about/code-of-principles/

Raymond Joseph Assessor
09-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

On its Code of Principles page (https://bit.ly/2S4TNok) FCNI states: "If you wish to report a violation of the code by FactCheckNI to the IFCN, you can do so here" It then links to the IFCN "Complaints Policy page" >>  https://bit.ly/2S4TNok 


done_all 6.4 marked as Compliant by Raymond Joseph.

Criteria 6.5
Proof you meet criteria
If you are the fact-checking unit of a media company, please provide a link to the parent media company’s honest and open corrections policy and provide evidence that it adheres to this.

FactCheckNI
05-Mar-2021 (7 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Not applicable.

Raymond Joseph Assessor
09-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

n/a


done_all 6.5 marked as Compliant by Raymond Joseph.