There is a major problem across the world with ‘fake news’, especially on the Internet.
The Poynter Institute is a global leader in journalism, claiming to be the world’s leading instructor, innovator, convener and resource for anyone who aspires to engage and inform citizens in 21st Century democracies.
Poynter created The International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) at Poynter, committed to promoting excellence in fact-checking.
They say that they believe nonpartisan and transparent fact-checking can be a powerful instrument of accountability journalism; conversely, unsourced or biased fact-checking can increase distrust in the media and experts while polluting public understanding.
The Poynter Institute have also created a set of principles for organisations that publish and claim to be non partisan.
- A COMMITMENT TO NONPARTISANSHIP AND FAIRNESS We fact-check claims using the same standard for every fact check. We follow the same process for every fact check and let the evidence dictate our conclusions. We do not advocate or take policy positions on the issues we fact-check.
- A COMMITMENT TO TRANSPARENCY OF SOURCES We want our readers to be able to verify our findings themselves. We provide all sources in enough detail that readers can replicate our work, except in cases where a source’s personal security could be compromised. In such cases, we provide as much detail as possible.
- A COMMITMENT TO TRANSPARENCY OF FUNDING & ORGANIZATION We are transparent about our funding sources. If we accept funding from other organizations, we ensure that funders have no influence over the conclusions we reach in our reports. We detail the professional background of all key figures in our organization and explain our organizational structure and legal status. We clearly indicate a way for readers to communicate with us.
- A COMMITMENT TO TRANSPARENCY OF METHODOLOGY We explain the methodology we use to select, research, write, edit, publish and correct our fact checks. We encourage readers to send us claims to fact-check and are transparent on why and how we fact-check.
- A COMMITMENT TO OPEN AND HONEST CORRECTIONS We publish our corrections policy and follow it scrupulously. We correct clearly and transparently in line with our corrections policy, seeking so far as possible to ensure that readers see the corrected version.
The International Fact-Checking Network:
- Monitors trends, formats and policy-making about fact-checking worldwide, publishing regular articles in the section below and in a weekly newsletter
- Helps surface common positions among the world’s fact-checkers.
- Promotes basic standards through the fact-checkers’ code of principles and projects to track the impact of fact-checking.
- Funds annual fellowships, an innovation grant and a crowdfunding match program.
- Convenes fact-checkers in a yearly conference (Global Fact) and promotes collaborative efforts in international fact-checking.
- Provides training in person and online.
- Advocates for more fact-checking, including through an annual International Fact-Checking Day.
I think we’re a long way from ever getting rid of fake news but at least this fact checking network should help organisations discern real facts from, fake facts.
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