TheJournal.ie FactCheck

Organization: TheJournal.ie FactCheck
Applicant: Susan Daly (Managing Editor, TheJournal.ie)
Assessor: Margot Susca

Background

The Journal FactCheck is an existing signatory, and is seeking to continue its work. It has clearly stated its roots in the fact checking ecosystem, and here it articulates its goals for the future of fact checking including partnering potentially with other organizations to extend its expertise and work in this area. 

Assessment Conclusion

I mark each area as compliant. 

on 01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago)

Margot Susca assesses application as Compliant

A short summary in native publishing language

I believe that The Journal FactCheck could be a model in all areas for other sites wishing to become verified signatories of the IFCN. Its sources and methodology are clear and easy for readers/site users to find and to understand. It clearly states who its staff is and how they choose and conduct fact checks. If a mistake is made, the site corrects it as well as inviting feedback from its users/audience. 

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.

TheJournal.ie FactCheck
03-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Since our last assessment, we have added a section to the home page of our website for readers to access easily a description of The Journal FactCheck. It is called ‘About The Journal FactCheck’ - you can see it in the footer of the homepage of the main TheJournal.ie site or click directly here: https://www.thejournal.ie/the-journal-factcheck/

In this we outline our legal status as a unit within a registered media company, providing details of our reg number, of our founders and of how we are funded.

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago)

I like that the The Journal FactCheck includes both information on its founding as well as how the fact check site's mission has evolved. Its site reads, "It has since expanded its operations to factcheck misinformation and disinformation across all spheres that inform and influence Irish citizens' decision-making."


done_all 1.1 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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?

TheJournal.ie FactCheck
03-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

1. The Journal FactCheck unit is located within the newsroom of one of Ireland’s most-read online news sources, The Journal. It was established in early 2016 to sift truth from claims in the Irish political arena in the run-up to General Election of that year. It has since expanded its operations to factcheck misinformation and disinformation across all spheres that inform and influence Irish citizens’ decision-making. In early 2020, we launched our Covid-19 Debunking Project to stem the growing tide of coronavirus-related misinformation and to distribute quality information to the public on this topic. We continue to contribute our factchecks to the global CoronaVirusFacts Alliance effort.

Our factchecking decision-making and production process are public-facing in this piece [ https://www.thejournal.ie/factcheck-thejournal-ie-readers-guide-2987611-Sep2016/ ] on our site, and we abide by the IFCN’s Code of Principles and are fully-compliant members of the Press Council of Ireland. The Irish public can make a complaint to this body about the work of our factcheckers or our newsroom. To date, we are one of the few national members of the Council to have never had a complaint upheld against us.

2. While we have a larger number of journalists working across The Journal and our investigative outlet Noteworthy, 18 editorial and reporting staff, and one freelance reporter - a science journalist specifically engaged to bring authority to some of the more complex medical-focused factchecks during the Covid-19 pandemic - are engaged in work in our FactCheck unit. We list and give a bio to all those involved in the editorial and reporting in Factcheck work here for our readers: http://www.thejournal.ie/meet-the-team-thejournal-ie-factcheck-bios-4267874-Oct2018/

3. The volume of factchecks and explainers published by The Journal FactCheck team has increased dramatically since February 2020, largely due to a rise in online misinformation targeting Irish audiences, largely around issues related to Covid-19. The time and resources spent by the team has increased proportionately. For example, while in 2019, editorial shortlisting of claims for potential factchecks would have happened on a weekly basis, this is now a daily process for a senior editor. Likewise, there is one factchecker on duty at all times throughout the week, working on those claims, gathering supporting data, seeking clarification from experts and those making the claims (where appropriate), analysing the evidence and publishing the resulting factcheck article.

We also spend much more time on engaging with public submissions, especially through the dedicated WhatsApp line we established to accept content of concern forwarded by the public; this account is monitored daily by a staff member who also returns corrected information to contributors where possible and appropriate.

The distribution of factchecks has also become increasingly important for the team this year. We also disseminated our factcheck article links through our 3PFC partnership with Facebook and ours and the main The Journal Twitter account; this past 16 months, we have created more social media-friendly ‘quick’ factchecks, distributed on Instagram Stories and through the aforementioned WhatsApp account.

We have also added a media literacy push to our efforts. Our Managing Editor Susan was elected to the steering group of Media Literacy Ireland, and helped to create a new factchecking tips section on their site; our FactCheck lead Christine Bohan has run seminar sessions and contributed to several podcasts and panels to explain how we factcheck, what misinformation trends are out there and how the public can equip themselves against poor-quality content; our FactCheck reporters and editors have also frequently appeared on national radio and television to present debunks of common pieces of misinfo and a 'Stop. Check. Think.' literacy message to the public.

4. We have several goals for 2021 and into 2022 including a strengthening of the daily processes we have refined and resourced in 2020, in order to maintain a consistent output of factchecks. This will be important to allow us to turn our attention to other issues of import to the Irish public when Covid-19 and vaccine misinformation are no longer the dominant topic.

To this end, there is a sub-goal of increasing our access and team capabilities around tech tools that can help us prioritise what to factcheck. We are currently in talks with an academic research team with a view to helping inform a bespoke tool to help surface these claims more efficiently.

We would like to expand the reach of our factchecks to audiences who may not be direct readers of ours or of The Journal - we’re looking at the potential for partnerships with other groups interested in public media and medical literacy so that we can better respond to the misinformation they see within their spheres and they can help disseminate it to the cohorts we may not be reaching.

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

The application addresses and answers all four questions, and I believe has explained how Covid and scientific misinformation specifically have increased its staff workload and required new types of expertise. It is interesting to consider how its expertise and experience since 2016 may work in the future on collaborations. 


done_all 1.2 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

TheJournal.ie FactCheck
03-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

All of our factchecking work is gathered at this link [ https://www.thejournal.ie/factcheck/news/ ] which is also a clearly-noted section under the masthead of The Journal homepage. For your convenience, I have attached here a spreadsheet of the factchecks from the six months prior to this application (so, Dec 2020 - May 2021, inclusive).
There are 53 - an average of about 2 factcheck articles per week. 

The lead topics of these factchecks are noted in the spreadsheet; in this, you will note that 44 (83%) were Covid-related. Our focus on Covid-related misinformation is no doubt understandable but I've subdivided these on the spreadsheet to note the increasing number of factchecks concerning vaccines; as the immunisation plan for Ireland was announced and then rolled out, the high proportion of our work in this area reflects the multiplying concerns we received through our WhatsApp and other channels and we felt it a priority to contribute towards quality information being distributed around vaccines. Our objective was not to influence vaccine take-up rates necessarily, but to equip our readers so they could make an informed decision.

There are also notable numbers of Covid factchecks related to the reporting of deaths in Ireland in 2020, and also around anti-lockdown sentiment - these mirror the flashpoints these two topics have been among some consistent purveyors of misinformation in the Irish social media sphere.
There is also an intersection in Ireland between a rising tide of race-hate misinformation (especially around new migrants to the country and to our minority Traveller population) and fears stoked by Covid-19 denials so we have tackled chief viral pieces of content in that area too.

Files Attached
insert_drive_file TheJournal FactCheck... (11 KB)
Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

I can verify The Journal FactCheck averages more than the minimum required of verified signatories. Its spreadsheet, which covers the period December 2020 to May 2021, included in its application also shows how much of its work of the last year has been dominated by Covid. 


done_all 1.3 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

TheJournal.ie FactCheck
03-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

See https://www.thejournal.ie/factcheck/news/ for all of our published factchecks.

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

I hyperlinked to several of the fact checks new online now as well as other links listed in the spreadsheet and this review shows The Journal's fact check unit is in compliance. 

As an example, a fact check published this week showed a map of Europe with Ireland in red and all other countries except one in green--the red countries were those holdouts prohibiting indoor dining. It reads: "AN IMAGE BEING shared widely on social media in the past few days claims Ireland is one of the only countries in Europe where indoor dining is not currently permitted. Is it now correct? We’ve taken a look at the Covid restrictions of all the countries on that map and, yes, the vast majority of European countries are allowing indoor dining at some level." It then lists every country and explains its policies on indoor dining restrictions, due to Covid. 


done_all 1.4 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

TheJournal.ie FactCheck
03-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

We currently have none. All funding for the FactCheck unit is declared in our About The Journal FactCheck page (https://www.thejournal.ie/the-journal-factcheck/) on our homepage and reads as follows:

“Our work is funded via The Journal newsroom budget, largely from advertising revenue on the site but also increasingly from contributions to the readers’ fund by citizens like you who wish to see our factchecking and other quality journalistic work remain accessible to all.

We are also a member of the Facebook Third-Party Fact Checking programme, under which we receive some payment for submitting certain factcheck articles to be applied to misinformation on its platform.

The Journal and The Journal FactCheck are part of Journal Media Ltd, which is a registered company in Ireland, number 483623 at the CRO (Companies Registration Office). The Journal was founded in 2010 by online entrepreneurs Eamonn and Brian Fallon, who first came to public prominence by creating the online property listings portal Daft.ie in 1997.

The work of The Journal and The Journal FactCheck is in no way influenced by advertisers, shareholders or any other external party which may contribute funds now or in the future.”

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

This criteria is met, and it is clear in how it receives its funding and its relationship to its institutional/parent media organization. 


done_all 1.5 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

TheJournal.ie FactCheck
03-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

n/a

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

N/A see above 


done_all 1.6 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

TheJournal.ie FactCheck
03-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

The vast majority of our factchecks in the past 12 months have been Covid-related, in keeping with the appetite from our users for more info and debunking in that area and also with our prioritisation of misinformation which was having the biggest impact on Irish public opinion and individual decision-making in that time.

As one would expect, a review of our factchecks will surface many which tackle viral misinformation around vaccines, lockdowns and the causes, treatments and health impacts of Covid. However, we made a conscious effort to not assume that all claims emanating from places of anti-lockdown or anti-vaccine sentiment (for example) were false.

This piece shows that we applied our usual evidence-based approach to all of these claims and were willing to publish verdicts other than ‘False’ when the evidence gave us cause to. (This verdict is ‘unproven’).

It is also an example of the extra care we took to ensure a rigorous approach to the data involved; this piece is authored by Anthony King, a science journalist who we commissioned for the more complex medical factchecks that Covid was bringing up at our unit:

https://www.thejournal.ie/factcheck-ivermectin-covid-19-5385782-Mar2021/

We also employed our factfind product when we felt that users needed more than a verdict on a single claim when it emanated from a particularly contested or complex area of Covid. In this case, we sought to bring some nuance to the issue of excess deaths in Ireland during the pandemic:

https://www.thejournal.ie/factfind-ireland-excess-deaths-covid-19-5376262-Mar2021/

One of the more difficult asks of our unit is to factcheck claims made in or against another media outlet. Ireland is a small market and we are mindful of the optics to be seen to be monitoring a commercial ‘rival’.

However, these two factchecks show how we retain our approach and processes to come to a verdict, with one showing the State broadcaster to be blameless in this instance, and the other finding information published in a newspaper to be false:

https://www.thejournal.ie/debunked-rte-money-freedom-of-information-bill-gates-open-society-5349437-Feb2021/

https://www.thejournal.ie/factcheck-irish-times-covid-19-ad-5234373-Oct2020/

Misinformation with an ethnic/racial slant has become a more persistent trend in Irish social media, particularly in the past 18 months to 2 years. As Ireland has been, and is largely still, a fairly homogenous country population-wise, it can be a sensitive issue to factcheck. These two pieces - one of which finds a claim against the minority Traveller group here to be false, the other tackling a popular Irish perception that white Irish people of antiquity were ‘slaves’ abroad (diminishing the history of slavery of people of colour) - show how we have done this in the past year:

https://www.thejournal.ie/travellers-were-not-occupying-the-car-park-of-a-pfizer-factory-to-get-vaccines-5408425-Apr2021/

https://www.thejournal.ie/irish-slaves-indentured-servants-5134100-Jun2020/

Party-political issues have not disappeared in Ireland in the past 18 months; albeit they are frequently played out through the prism of the pandemic.

The factchecks show how we are continuing to factcheck both claims made AGAINST government parties: 

https://www.thejournal.ie/factcheck-eamon-ryan-asleep-dail-5194848-Sep2020/

https://www.thejournal.ie/debunked-fine-gael-senator-regina-doherty-pieta-house-5266030-Nov2020/

And claims made BY members of those government parties:

https://www.thejournal.ie/factcheck-leo-varadkar-covid-19-forced-vaccination-5188866-Sep2020/

And indeed by Opposition parties and political entities:

https://www.thejournal.ie/paul-murphy-advert-debunk-5206340-Sep2020/

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

I can see that a vast amount of its work this last year has covered the Covid pandemic and related or tangential misinformation and disinformation stemming from it. I think it is important to note The Journal FactCheck commissioned a science journalist to keep up with fact checking the scientific and health news in Ireland. I believe this illustrates the site's commitment to maintaining a healthy and robust fact check system in Ireland. And it is clear in explaining how it chooses and evaluates claims/works on the process. 

I sought out several fact checks specifically related to politics or immigration listed in its spreadsheet and/or online. I see no evidence of one political position being taken in the fact checks I reviewed related to politics or immigration. Those headlines of specific non-Covid fact checks I reviewed are listed here: 'Debunked: No, all Direct Provision residents at Mosney are not receiving vaccine ahead of priority schedule"; "Debunked: No, there wasn't a media blackout on Simon Coveney's official visit to Turkey last month"; and "Debunked: No, Eamon Ryan's nephew was not awarded a bike hire contract in Offaly."



done_all 2.1 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

TheJournal.ie FactCheck
03-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Our readers' guide is linked at the end of every published factcheck and is an accessible version of a more extensive workshop and manual with which we train staff and new reporters who might be asked to carry out research or other work for The Journal FactCheck unit: https://www.thejournal.ie/factcheck-thejournal-ie-readers-guide-2987611-Sep2016/
In this, we clearly outline what can / can not be factchecked, how we prioritise claims to check, how our processes resist partisanship and how we come to our verdicts.
While first published in late 2016, it has been updated slightly to note the expansion of our project from factchecks in the largely political sphere to the more wide-ranging effort we have today.
We are currently carrying out an editorial review of the readers' guide to further refine and clarify the language. We would be very happy for the assessor to make any recommendations or suggestions that we should look at in our review, although we do believe that the current guide is reflective of our standards and major processes. 

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

I think this section is clear and concise. It is also important for the site's readers to understand what can be fact checked and, if it can be, how it is done. 

Its site, which demonstrates its commitment to transparency and fairness, reads: "We do our best to fact-check a wide range of issues, and examine the claims of a wide range of individuals and organisations. This is to try and ensure fairness and an even distribution in our fact checks, and avoid concentrating too much on one issue, or one person or group. Our efforts on this will inevitably be imperfect, so if you ever feel this is the case, please let us know."


done_all 2.2 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

TheJournal.ie FactCheck
03-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

See https://www.thejournal.ie/factcheck/news/ for all of our published factchecks.

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

I have reviewed several fact checks. Here is an example to show its content and verdict. 

Feb. 5, 2021: Debunked: No, there wasn't a media blackout on Simon Coveney's official visit to Turkey last month

The site defined what a media blackout is and explained how a social media post suggesting there was a blackout is false. They wrote, "The government has not issued a request for a media blackout in the decade that TheJournal.ie has been operating; further, it is not certain that media outlets would comply with such a request if it did happen." Furthermore, they wrote: "The proposed trip was reported in the Irish Times on 22 January, almost a full week before Coveney travelled to Turkey. The trip was further discussed on RTE.ie on 3 February, which is after the original post was published on Facebook, but is further evidence that there has not been a blackout."



done_all 2.3 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

TheJournal.ie FactCheck
03-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

See https://www.thejournal.ie/factcheck/news/ for all of our published factchecks.

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

I have reviewed several fact checks. Here is an example to show its content and verdict. 

March 11, 2021 Debunked: No, all Direct Provision residents at Mosney are not receiving vaccine ahead of priority schedule

This fact check deals with whether refugees got vaccines ahead of Irish citizens with a social media post claiming: "It goes on to claim Irish people are 'second class citizens in our own country'."

The fact check debunked the claim, using records of the tiered-timeline-vaccination rollout to show when and why populations there would receive the vaccine. 


done_all 2.4 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

TheJournal.ie FactCheck
03-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

In previous assessments, we detailed the non-partisanship policy which we have always included in staff manuals but I am pleased to say that this policy is now given an extensive airing in the new About The Journal FactCheck page on our home page, here: https://www.thejournal.ie/the-journal-factcheck/

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

This is clear and comprehensive. I have attached a screen shot of how it appears online (and therefore to site users and readers). 

Files Attached
Screen Shot 2021-07-... (190 KB)
done_all 2.5 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

TheJournal.ie FactCheck
03-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

See https://www.thejournal.ie/factcheck/news/ for all of our published factchecks.

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

I have reviewed sourcing in several fact checks. Below is one example. 

Jan. 8, 2021 FactCheck: No, Pfizer did not say unprotected sex should be avoided after the vaccine because of risk from 'genetic manipulation'

Sources: Pfizer documents; Pfizer spokesperson; National Institutes of Health; hyperlinks provided 


done_all 3.1 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

TheJournal.ie FactCheck
03-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

See https://www.thejournal.ie/factcheck/news/ for all of our published factchecks.

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

I have reviewed sourcing in several fact checks. Below is one example. 

June 26, 2021 Debunked: No, you won't develop skin cancer from wearing sunglasses

The fact check begins: "A VIRAL IMAGE has collected thousands of views across social media this month by telling people that wearing sunglasses will cause them harm.

The claim suggests that by blocking light from our eyes, sunglasses “trick” the body into not protecting itself against the sun, leading to the development of skin cancer."

Sources used to debunk claim: Review of a University of Chicago Press biology book; interview with an Irish Cancer Society official; Health Service Executive (government health) resources 

From that ICS official: "Speaking to The Journal, ICS Cancer Prevention Manager Kevin O’Hagan said that “wearing sunglasses is extremely important for protecting people from the harmful effects of UV exposure which can cause non-melanoma skin cancers on the eyelid and the area around the eyes”.

“UV exposure can also damage the cornea, conjunctiva, lens, and retina, so there really are no downsides to keeping yourself protected,” O’Hagan said.

To find a pair of sunglasses that give good protection, he advised checking for a CE mark that indicates they reach EU standards for health, safety and environmental protection.

The marker code for meeting the European Standard is EN1836 and BS 27241987 is the British Standard."


done_all 3.2 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

TheJournal.ie FactCheck
03-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

See https://www.thejournal.ie/factcheck/news/ for all of our published factchecks.

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

I have reviewed sourcing in several fact checks. Below is one example. 

Jan. 15, 2021 FactCheck: No, the WHO didn't say a positive Covid-19 test is more likely due to a cold

The site notes, "The claim, which originated on Twitter and has been shared by Irish social media pages, says: “WHO Finally Admits, “Positive results more likely indicate ‘ordinary respiratory diseases like the common cold’.” The account that posted the original tweet, which was shared on 19 December, appears to have been suspended from Twitter."

Sources: World Health Organization; Chairperson of the Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group

Here, the Journal also included information on past fact checks related to testing/PCR testing and included information from those prior attempts to correct the record


done_all 3.3 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

TheJournal.ie FactCheck
03-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

See https://www.thejournal.ie/factcheck/news/ for all of our published factchecks.

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

I have reviewed sourcing in several fact checks. Below is one example. 

April 30, 2021 FactCheck: Yes, Black people are disproportionately affected by fatal US police shootings

In debunking false social media claims the site notes, "However, analysis of statistics for 2021 and previous years show that black people are disproportionately affected by fatal US police shootings and are killed at a higher rate than white people relative to their proportion of the population." It continued, "In a direct comparison, more white people have been shot and killed by police in the US this year than black people – but relative to their proportion of the population, black people were impacted at a significantly higher rate."

Sources: The Washington Post fatal police database; US Census figures; joint research from Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania faculty published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, which has a 10 percent acceptance rate (meaning it's highly prestigious/reputable in its field) 


done_all 3.4 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

TheJournal.ie FactCheck
03-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

The Journal FactCheck is the fact-checking unit of The Journal online news publication.
The Journal and The Journal FactCheck are part of Journal Media Ltd, which is a registered company in Ireland, number 483623 at the CRO (Companies Registration Office).

This link takes you directly to documents proving our legal status: https://core.cro.ie/e-commerce/company/search/516464

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

I have attached a screen shot of the Journal Media LTD registration document. 

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done_all 4.1 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

TheJournal.ie FactCheck
03-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

We have a section entitled ‘How we are funded’ in this page in our homepage footer: https://www.thejournal.ie/the-journal-factcheck/

This outlines the legal status of the company, our reg number (and links to the CRO site if readers wish to see our records there). It also explains who our founders and funders are and how we are funded through advertising revenue, with a small amount coming from our Facebook 3PFC partnership and some contributions from readers themselves to our readers’ fund.

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

This is clear and concise. Any reader/site user would be able to understand its place within the larger media organization and how it is funded/supported. 


done_all 4.2 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

TheJournal.ie FactCheck
03-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

On this same static page on the footer of our website (https://www.thejournal.ie/the-journal-factcheck/) we outline how the Managing Editor of Journal Media and the FactCheck lead divide up responsibilities for how FactCheck is run. 

We then link to the full biographies and role descriptions of every person involved in FactCheck. (https://www.thejournal.ie/meet-the-team-thejournal-ie-factcheck-bios-4267874-Oct2018/)

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Again, this portion of the site and the explanation of its work is clear and concise. 


done_all 4.3 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

TheJournal.ie FactCheck
03-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

This page is available on our site and also linked to in the About The Journal FactCheck page on the home page.

https://www.thejournal.ie/meet-the-team-thejournal-ie-factcheck-bios-4267874-Oct2018/

It details all of those involved in The Journal FactCheck and what roles they play/ duties they have. 

We also link to this rundown at the end of each factcheck article, with this line: "You can read about the team of editors and reporters who work on the factchecks here."

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

This is clear and I have included one staff member's bio to illustrate compliance.  

"DARAGH BROPHY Daragh is news editor at The Journal and has played a key role in planning and editing the publication’s factchecks in recent years, including during the contentious 2018 abortion referendum campaign, the lead up to the 2020 Irish general election and throughout the pandemic. Daragh has been a journalist at The Journal since 2013, and has a particular interest in covering long-running issues like the fallout from Covid-19 and the ongoing housing and homelessness crisis. He previously worked as a reporter and newsreader for UTV Radio News and Independent Network News, and as a facilitator on FETAC further education courses."


done_all 4.4 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

TheJournal.ie FactCheck
03-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

We signpost our WhatsApp number and email for users at the end of every factcheck article. In addition, we have all possible ways to contact us listed in our About The Journal FactCheck location on the home page footer (https://www.thejournal.ie/the-journal-factcheck/), and in our frequent appearances on radio and TV to talk about our work and specific factcheck articles, we have a policy of asking listeners and viewers to contact our Twitter account, email or WhatsApp.

Our site is also very user-friendly for those who wish to contact an individual journalist, lodge a complaint or give us direct feedback.

Each author’s byline comes with their individual email which is linked to an email form; there is also a ‘Send a Correction’ button on each article which alerts the editorial team to feedback. I have attached an example of how this looks on site but you can go into any factcheck article on the site and see these features at the bottom of the piece.

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Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

This could be a signatory standard best practice. 


done_all 4.5 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

TheJournal.ie FactCheck
03-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Our Readers’ Guide is here: https://www.thejournal.ie/factcheck-thejournal-ie-readers-guide-2987611-Sep2016/

This is also linked at the end of every factcheck article and in the About section on our homepage footer.

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

This section of its site is clear. Any reader would understand what is fact checked, why it was chosen and the sources and process used by which to get at the truth, if it can be discerned. 


done_all 5.1 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

TheJournal.ie FactCheck
03-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

See https://www.thejournal.ie/factcheck/news/ for all of our published factchecks.

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

April 30, 2021 FactCheck: Yes, Black people are disproportionately affected by fatal US police shootings

The methodology is clear and is laid out easily for the readers. Its fact check notes: 

"In a direct comparison, more white people have been shot and killed by police in the US this year than black people – but relative to their proportion of the population, black people were impacted at a significantly higher rate. The US Census Bureau has a publicly available breakdown of its population estimates by race."

After explaining demographic statistics, the fact check continues, "This means that black people are disproportionately negatively affected by fatal police shootings relative to the percentage of the US population they represent, while for white people, the opposite is true.

It’s also important to note that for one in four cases – 74 of 292, or 25.3% – the race of the person who was killed is currently recorded as unknown.

Analysing the data for the five years of its records, the Washington Post found that the rate of shootings annually (around 1,000) and the demographic trends have remained steady.

The rate that black people are shot and killed by police (36 per million) is more than twice as high than for white people (15 per million)."



done_all 5.2 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

TheJournal.ie FactCheck
03-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

See https://www.thejournal.ie/factcheck/news/ for all of our published factchecks.

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Jan. 15, 2021 FactCheck: Yes, masks, including cloth masks, can help prevent Covid-19 transmission

The fact check reads, "However, claims that masks are ineffective or unsafe are not supported by trusted scientific evidence nor by public health bodies which have recommended their use to curb the spread of Covid-19."

Its methodology sought to use scientific and health research on the effectiveness of masks, which was research that, of course, evolved over the months of the pandemic. Research methodology turned to both government--US and Ireland--research on masks as well as from researchers in the field of respiratory epidemiology

Its site explained: "A study published in September 2020 tested different types of common disposable masks and cloth masks, especially ones from common fabrics that could be used if there was a shortage of other masks, like surgical masks.

It recommended that cloth masks which have multiple layers and use a blend of different fabrics are the most effective, particularly ones which have an inner layer of cotton or linen, a blended middle layer, and an outer layer of polyester or nylon.

Cloth masks that are being reused should be washed daily in soap and water heated to at least 60 degrees Celsius, the study said.

“While cloth face coverings may not be as protective as surgical masks or respirators, an optimal quality cloth mask can be designed by an understanding of the principles of design and the differences between filter mediums, construction, mechanisms of action of different fabrics, key performance factors and limitations in these common masks,” it said." 



done_all 5.3 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

TheJournal.ie FactCheck
03-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

See https://www.thejournal.ie/factcheck/news/ for all of our published factchecks.

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

May 15, 2021 Debunked: No, Covid-19 vaccines didn't 'skip' or 'fail' animal trials

The site examined claims that "A NUMBER OF posts circulated on social media recently have claimed Covid-19 vaccines which have been approved for use did not go through animal trials as part of their development process." Its methodology looked at the major vaccine makers (i.e. Pfizer) to show when their vaccines went through these trials. The Journal FactCheck wrote, "In September 2020, Pfizer announced preliminary pre-clinical data on mouse and non-human primate (monkeys) models. In a pre-clinical study, testing the vaccine on rheus macaques, it was shown to induce neutralising antibodies."


done_all 5.4 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

TheJournal.ie FactCheck
03-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

See https://www.thejournal.ie/factcheck/news/ for all of our published factchecks.

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Dec. 29, 2020 Debunked: No, a Freedom of Information request to the HSE did not prove that Covid-19 does not exist

Here's the fact check basics for this one: "A NUMBER OF Facebook posts which have circulated in the past week inaccurately suggest that Irish health officials have admitted that Covid-19 does not exist. The claim originated in a series of posts by Anti-Corruption Ireland on 23 December, with an accompanying post claiming that Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan “has finally admitted that the Covid-19 virus has not been proven to exist”.

Its methodology here was to find the publicly-available information, then share it, and explain why the initial post was completely taken out of context. the fact check includes information noting "How the Freedom of Information Act works": "However, this is an incorrect interpretation of an FOI response and the specific refusal under Section 15 (1) of the Freedom of Information Act. Despite this, several other Facebook users have re-shared the FOI request and claimed that it is an admission by the HSE that Covid-19 does not exist. The Freedom of Information Act 2014 gives anyone a right to access records held by a wide range of public bodies, including government departments and the HSE."


done_all 5.5 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

TheJournal.ie FactCheck
03-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

As may probably be clear from previous entries, we place a high value on claims submitted by our users. The Journal FactCheck has access to over half a million users through The Journal platform and that constitutes a significant proportion of Ireland’s adult population. As well as the scale of this audience, we believe that being in tune with user concerns brings us closer to understanding what issues we should focus on, and which claims in those areas we should prioritise for factchecking.

The creation of our WhatsApp Debunked effort from February/March 2020 was a direct response to feedback we were receiving through our regular channels (our Twitter DMs, the factcheck email and also the general tips@thejournal.ie email for the newsroom) that WhatsApp was becoming an increasingly important place for the circulation of voice messages and other content related to the then new Covid-19 virus phenomenon.

Our WhatsApp account is manned constantly by a member of the team and we have both received and returned information to individual users this way, and in this more direct way are able to explain sometimes - without a factcheck article - where they can find public information on a topic, or point them to previous factchecks that satisfy their questions. (I have attached a screenshot sample of our responses to users on WhatsApp, including a guide to how to spot suspicious content).

We also published a misinformation series on The Journal to explain what misinformation is, what we check, trends to watch out for and how the reader can recognise what is something to be questioned (ie. what we might factcheck); you can see it here: https://www.thejournal.ie/misinformation-and-ireland/news/

One of the parts of this series was a live panel explaining the ins and outs of factchecking and action on misinformation (see here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cqbesbhj27k ) This is all part of the literacy push we have begun in the past 18 months so that we don’t just have to have a link on our site to explain what can be factchecked and what can’t, but to help the public become more comfortable and engaged with the process in general.

Nonetheless, we continue to also solicit for claims at the end of every factcheck article with details of our WhatsApp and emails, tweet and receive DMs on @TJ_FactCheck and there is of course a call for claims and feedback on both our Readers’ Guide and on About The Journal FactCheck footer page.

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Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

This is very well done. 


done_all 5.6 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

TheJournal.ie FactCheck
03-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

We have a section on our About The Journal FactCheck page on the homepage footer (https://www.thejournal.ie/the-journal-factcheck/)which states (and links to the corrections archive and more indepth explanation of how we perform corrections):

How you can contact us with a correction

Each factcheck article carries the name and direct link to the author’s email where you can get in touch. There is also a ‘send a correction’ button on every piece.

If we deem a clarification, correction or update is needed to a factcheck, we publish that on the original article and to our corrections page here.

As a signatory of the International Fact-Checking Network, we adhere to their standards of excellence. If you feel there has been a violation by The Journal FactCheck of the IFCN Code of Principles, you may report that here (links to IFCN reporting page).”

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

The site has considered how corrections and complaints should and are addressed. 


done_all 6.1 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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

TheJournal.ie FactCheck
03-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

As stated above.

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Please see the two attached screen shots, taken from the website. The first shows its corrections policy, and the second shows examples of fact checks that required corrections. These are done with transparency in mind. 

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done_all 6.2 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

TheJournal.ie FactCheck
03-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

There were two corrections (or rather, one correction and one update) necessary to our factchecks in the past 12 months.

The details of what was changed and how we note it are contained in our Corrections page here [ https://www.thejournal.ie/thejournal-ie-factcheck-corrections-policy-2987705-Sep2016/ ] and also on each of the articles themselves. One was in fact a small update to add in a study whose results had been released since publication of our factcheck and which we thought should be included.

This read:

“Update: After publishing, a study on the effectiveness of an mRNA vaccine against Covid-19 in children was added to the US National Library of Medicine database. Lines at the bottom of ‘Claim 2′ were changed to reflect this, and to clarify that no such study was visible on the database at the time of publication.”

And the second was a clarification of language used by us to describe what was meant by a claim (we had reached out to the claimant before publishing but they did not respond):

“Correction: After publishing, a line which said the bank guarantee in 2008 was popularly known as the ‘bank bailout’ and which put the cost of the guarantee at €64 billion was changed to reflect that this amount was loaned to the State by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund in 2010.

Lines in the introduction and when outlining the Taoiseach’s claim which suggested the bank guarantee and the recapitalisation of Irish banks happened at the same time – rather than one leading to the other – were also corrected.”

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

I note that its section on corrections and allowing the public to submit information that may require a correction is clear and easy-to-use. I would ask the site to consider when and how it uses "updates" rather than "corrections" and to be clear about this to its readers. 


done_all 6.3 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

TheJournal.ie FactCheck
03-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

As noted in 6.1, we publish the following in our About The Journal FactCheck page (https://www.thejournal.ie/the-journal-factcheck/):
"As a signatory of the International Fact-Checking Network, we adhere to their standards of excellence. If you feel there has been a violation by The Journal FactCheck of the IFCN Code of Principles, you may report that here." (links to: https://ifcncodeofprinciples.poynter.org/complaints-policy)

We link to the IFCN Code of Principles here and also at the end of every factcheck article too so users have an easy route to seeing if we are in violation of a specific part of the code.

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

This is clear on its website, and it demonstrates that the site is upholding the core principles of the IFCN Code. 


done_all 6.4 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

TheJournal.ie FactCheck
03-Jun-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

The Journal provides a direct and easy way for users to submit a complaint, update or correction by including a ‘Send a correction’ button on every article.

This sends the user’s message directly to the section editor. If a correction is deemed necessary, it is noted in italics at the top of the article, with an updated time stamp to show the time of correction.

We also have a section on our home page (https://www.thejournal.ie/) footer which shows we are a member of the Press Council of Ireland and links to their code and contact details.

The Journal states that it abides by their code and processes including participating in mediation when required and publishing and abiding by any decision by the Ombudsman.

We have received two complaints via this process in the past 12 months (the Press Ombudsman noted our responses to the complainants and felt we had no case to answer) so we know that people are also able to use this route to hold us to account.

Margot Susca Assessor
01-Jul-2021 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

The media organization has a clear corrections policy. 


done_all 6.5 marked as Compliant by Margot Susca.