Africa Check

Organization: Africa Check
Applicant: Laura Kapelari
Assessor: Laurent Bigot

Background

Africa Check is one of the pioneering media in terms of compliance with the IFCN code of principles. He therefore has a certain expertise in the implementation of these criteria, which have been consistently respected over the past years. The status and transnational work of Africa Check also allows its editorial staff to submit fairly easily to the vast majority of IFCN criteria, without having to fear the pressures and dangers of undermining press freedom.

Assessment Conclusion

According to my second assessment, I think Africa Check continues to be a reliable fact-checking partner. This media is compliant with all the new principles enacted by the IFCN.

on 29-May-2020 (2 months ago)

Laurent Bigot assesses application as Compliant

A short summary in native publishing language

Africa Check is one of the pioneering media in terms of compliance with the IFCN code of principles. He therefore has a certain expertise in the implementation of these criteria, which have been consistently respected over the past years. The status and transnational work of Africa Check also allows its editorial staff to submit fairly easily to the vast majority of IFCN criteria, without having to fear the pressures and dangers of undermining press freedom.

So according to my second assessment, I think Africa Check continues to be a reliable fact-checking partner. This media is compliant with all the new principles enacted by the IFCN. 

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.

Africa Check
14-Apr-2020 (3 months ago)

Africa Check was set up in 2012 as a fact-checking organisation, based in the offices of the Journalism Department of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, with funding from a media innovation contest organised by the International Press Institute.

Today we operate across Africa, with offices in South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Senegal. The Johannesburg office is our overall headquarters. The editorial team based in Johannesburg oversees the work of our South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya offices, shown on our English-language website: https://africacheck.org/. The Senegal office, also answers to the Johannesburg head office, and runs our French-language site, covering Senegal and other countries of francophone west Africa: https://fr.africacheck.org/.

Africa Check's governing body is the non-profit Africa Check Trust, based in South Africa. It is registered with the Master's Office in Cape Town South Africa, with registration number IT000728/2015(C). Seven years on from our founding, Africa Check Trust is today supported by Africa Check C.I.C., a non-profit Community Interest Company based in London, which exists to support the wider operation. A copy of the 2015 Trust Deed is attached. You can see our registration in the UK on this link. https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/08119885

https://africacheck.org/about-us/

Files Attached
picture_as_pdf Trust Deed.pdf (5 MB)
Laurent Bigot Assessor
10-May-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Africa Check is a legally registered organization.

All the evidences of its legal registration are presented in the “About us” or “A propos” section here: 

https://fr.africacheck.org/a-propos/comment-nous-sommes-finances/

https://africacheck.org/about-us/how-we-are-funded/

Africa Check is registered as a non-profit Community Interest Company (CIC) in the UK. 

Details of its registration can be found on this link: https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/08119885

Information about the legal status of Africa Check is set out clearly, and quick to find.



done_all 1.1 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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?

Africa Check
14-Apr-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

1. Africa Check was set up in 2012 as a fact-checking organisation to promote accuracy & honesty in public debate and the media across the continent.

2. Our team of 32 people - full-time and part-time operate across Africa, with offices in South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Senegal. The Johannesburg office is our overall headquarters. The editorial team based in Johannesburg oversees the work of our South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya offices, shown on our English-language website: https://africacheck.org/. The Senegal office, also answers to the Johannesburg head office, and runs our French-language site, covering Senegal and other countries of francophone West Africa: https://fr.africacheck.org/.

3. We carry out five key activities: Fact-check claims made by public figures and media and liaise with them to correct those that are false; Train and mentor media to carry out non-partisan fact-checking themselves; Develop fact-checking tools and accurate data on key topics more easily available; Partner with social media platforms and search engines to red flag false claims and highlight accurate information; Do outreach work to educate the public, particularly the young, to identify misinformation.

4. A key goal in the coming year is to do more information/media literacy campaigns to educate the public, particularly the youth about misinformation both online and offline.

 

Laurent Bigot Assessor
10-May-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Africa Check was set up in 2012, exclusively for the purpose of fact-checking, across the African continent. Its offices are in South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Senegal. And its team (32 people) works in both French and English :
https://africacheck.org
https://fr.africacheck.org

The political context in which AfricaCheck is operating is somewhat complex to explain, because several countries are concerned, from very diverse cultures and situations. But Africa Check has been practicing on the African continent for 8 years and produces work there without equaling on this scale and with this level of requirement. Given our personal experience in the practice of journalism in Africa in general and in the countries concerned in particular, the cross-border status of Africa Check is an asset for producing quality and impartial content in the countries concerned.

The answers provided by the leaders of Africa Check seem trustworthy.


done_all 1.2 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Africa Check
14-Apr-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Our overall output, including factchecks, blogs, podcasts, factsheets and guides to factchecking can all be seen on these two sites: https://africacheck.org/ and https://fr.africacheck.org/

In each language we produce and list three main types of fact-check (full-length fact-checks called "reports"; shorter fact-checks called "spot checks" and fact-checks we do specifically on content seen on Facebook. 

They can be seen on these links in English:

1) https://africacheck.org/latest-reports/

2) https://africacheck.org/latest-reports/spot-check/

3) https://africacheck.org/fbchecks/

And in French here:

1) https://fr.africacheck.org/articles/

2) https://fr.africacheck.org/articles/sur-le-vif/

3) https://fr.africacheck.org/fbchecks/ 

Files Attached
description IFCN AC fact-checks... (14 KB)
Laurent Bigot Assessor
10-May-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

The spreadsheet provided by the Africa Check team effectively lists fact checks published during the previous three months and identifies, for each, the main subject. The applicant has published an average of at least one fact check a week over the course of the three months prior to the date of application.



done_all 1.3 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Africa Check
14-Apr-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Please refer to the attached spreadsheet for the sample of fact-checks published in both English and French. Note that the samples are listed on two separate tabs on the spreadsheet attached.

Laurent Bigot Assessor
10-May-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

According to our assessment, the fact-checking articles presented by the candidate are in line with IFCN's expectations.

We find that these fact checks deal in majority (more than 80%) with “public interest” issues that “relate to or could have an impact on the well-being of individuals, the general public or society”.


done_all 1.4 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Africa Check
14-Apr-2020 (3 months ago)

Africa Check is not funded by any state or political actors

Laurent Bigot Assessor
10-May-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

The applicant’s editorial output is not, fo us, controlled by the state, a political party or politician.  

Africa Check sets out how the team ensure the editorial independence of its work, here :
https://africacheck.org/about-us/how-we-are-funded/
https://fr.africacheck.org/a-propos/comment-nous-sommes-finances/

The team also provides references to the Africa Check rules about funding : "As verified by the IFCN’s independent assessment of our work each year, we ensure that funders have no influence over the conclusions we reach in our reports."


done_all 1.5 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Africa Check
14-Apr-2020 (3 months ago)

We set out how we are funded and how we spend our funds on this page on our English-language site, including references to our rules about funding. https://africacheck.org/about-us/how-we-are-funded/

And we do the same in French on this page: https://fr.africacheck.org/a-propos/comment-nous-sommes-finances/

Laurent Bigot Assessor
10-May-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

No funding from local or foreign state or political sources.


done_all 1.6 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Africa Check
14-Apr-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Examples in both English and French are attached here

Files Attached
description AC French examples o... (15 KB) description AC English examples... (17 KB)
Laurent Bigot Assessor
10-May-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

The applicant fact-checks use the same high standards of evidence and judgement for equivalent claims regardless of who made the claim. We didn't find any example of unfair treatment...


done_all 2.1 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Laurent Bigot Assessor
10-May-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Africa Check does not seem to unduly concentrate its fact-checking on any one side; it seems to consider the reach and importance of claims it selects to check; and it publishes an explaination on its website to set out how it selects claims to check, here :
https://africacheck.org/how-to-fact-check/submit-a-claim-to-check/


The Africa Check team explains how they maintain standards across fact-checks:

"To help your suggestion make it as an Africa Check fact-check, first ask yourself the questions below – before you send it.

1. Is it the right topic for an Africa Check fact-check?

We focus on claims relating to Africa. We can’t check every claim made, so we focus on those in three broad fields: (1) society, politics and justice; (2) the economy and human development; and (3) health, science and the environment. If the claim is about one of these, and it relates to Africa, it is in the right area. If not, you can fact-check it yourself using our tips and advice.

2. Did they suggest they were talking fact or opinion?
Did the person suggest that what they were saying was a fact? We only investigate claims put forward as fact. We can’t fact-check people’s opinions.

3. What impact would it have unchecked?

What impact would the claim have if it went unchecked? The greater the impact, the more likely we are to check the claim you suggest. If you send in a suggestion, please say what impact you think it would have if it were not checked, and why.

4. Is it a topic or person we have covered before?

Have we covered the topic, or the person making the claim, before? One of our guiding principles is to ensure that, over time, we fact-check all sides in debate and don’t focus on any one side. If we have fact-checked the topic or the person many times before, we are less likely to cover it again in an Africa Check fact-check."


done_all 2.2 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Laurent Bigot Assessor
10-May-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

In view of what we have observed, Africa Check discloses in its fact checks relevant interests of the sources it quotes and any commercial or other such relationships it has.


done_all 2.3 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Laurent Bigot Assessor
10-May-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

In view of what we have observed, Africa Check is not as an organization affiliated with any party, any politician or political candidate.


done_all 2.4 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Africa Check
19-May-2020 (2 months ago)

All prospective hires at Africa Check are asked about current or past direct involvement in political or advocacy organisations. Candidates are not hired if they have in the past or at present held an active role in any political party. The fundamental importance of our work of non-partisanship is discussed regularly at staff meetings and staff are all required to ensure that their personal communication on social media meets these standards. Africa Check takes no advocacy position on any issue save for the importance of data transparency and accuracy. Africa Check never has and never will support any political party.

Africa Check assesses the work of all external collaborators/contributors before any work is commissioned from them. This is done to ensure that our collaborators/contributors are cleared of any actual or perceived bias and that their work is deemed credible and non-partisan. We continue to assess their work for us and others during the time they are working with us to ensure compliance with our non-partisan stance.

https://africacheck.org/about-us/our-principles/

Africa Check
19-May-2020 (2 months ago)

All prospective hires at Africa Check are asked about current or past direct involvement in political or advocacy organisations. Candidates are not hired if they have in the past or at present held an active role in any political party. The fundamental importance of our work of non-partisanship is discussed regularly at staff meetings and staff are all required to ensure that their personal communication on social media meets these standards. Africa Check takes no advocacy position on any issue save for the importance of data transparency and accuracy. Africa Check never has and never will support any political party.

Africa Check assesses the work of all external collaborators/contributors before any work is commissioned from them. This is done to ensure that our collaborators/contributors are cleared of any actual or perceived bias and that their work is deemed credible and non-partisan. We continue to assess their work for us and others during the time they are working with us to ensure compliance with our non-partisan stance.

https://africacheck.org/about-us/our-principles/

Laurent Bigot Assessor
10-May-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago

Africa Check explains its policies to preserve its non-partisan way of fact-checking claims on a page titled “Our principles” here:

https://africacheck.org/about-us/our-principles/

http://fr.africacheck.org/a-propos/nos-principes/

Its code of principles evokes :

"Africa Check is a non-partisan organisation that exists to promote accuracy and honesty in public debate and the media in Africa.

To do this effectively, we follow the best practices in fact-checking, recognised by leading non-partisan fact-checking organisations around the world. We adhere to the fundamental operating principles of commitment to impartiality, transparency and accuracy.."

The Africa Check team also explains, in this application form:

All prospective hires at Africa Check are asked about current or past direct involvement in political or advocacy organisations. Candidates are not hired if they have in the past or at present held an active role in any political party.”

Africa Check should try to detail its work a little in terms of objectivity in the work of its collaborators.


As part of the reassessment process, the Africa Check team explains :

“Africa Check assesses the work of all external collaborators/contributors before any work is commissioned from them. This is done to ensure that our collaborators/contributors are cleared of any actual or perceived bias and that their work is deemed credible and non-partisan. We continue to assess their work for us and others during the time they are working with us to ensure compliance with our non-partisan stance..”


cancel 2.5 marked as Request change by Laurent Bigot.
Laurent Bigot Assessor
18-May-2020 (2 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago

Africa Check explains its policies to preserve its non-partisan way of fact-checking claims on a page titled “Our principles” here:

https://africacheck.org/about-us/our-principles/

http://fr.africacheck.org/a-propos/nos-principes/

Its code of principles evokes :

"Africa Check is a non-partisan organisation that exists to promote accuracy and honesty in public debate and the media in Africa.

To do this effectively, we follow the best practices in fact-checking, recognised by leading non-partisan fact-checking organisations around the world. We adhere to the fundamental operating principles of commitment to impartiality, transparency and accuracy.."

The Africa Check team also explains, in this application form:

All prospective hires at Africa Check are asked about current or past direct involvement in political or advocacy organisations. Candidates are not hired if they have in the past or at present held an active role in any political party.”

Africa Check should try to detail its work a little in terms of objectivity in the work of its collaborators.


As part of the reassessment process, the Africa Check team explains :

“Africa Check assesses the work of all external collaborators/contributors before any work is commissioned from them. This is done to ensure that our collaborators/contributors are cleared of any actual or perceived bias and that their work is deemed credible and non-partisan. We continue to assess their work for us and others during the time they are working with us to ensure compliance with our non-partisan stance..”


done_all 2.5 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Laurent Bigot Assessor
10-May-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

In view of what we have observed, Africa Check identifies the source of significant evidence used in its fact checks.


done_all 3.1 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Laurent Bigot Assessor
10-May-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

In view of what we have observed, Africa Check uses (most of the time the best available primary sources of evidence. 


done_all 3.2 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Laurent Bigot Assessor
10-May-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

In view of what we have observed, Africa Check checks all key elements of claims.


done_all 3.3 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Laurent Bigot Assessor
10-May-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

In view of what we have observed, Africa Check 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.


done_all 3.4 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Africa Check
14-Apr-2020 (3 months ago)

Africa Check is an independent organisation.

Africa Check's governing body is the non-profit Africa Check Trust, based in South Africa. It is registered with the Master's Office in Cape Town South Africa, with registration number IT000728/2015(C). Seven years on from our founding, Africa Check Trust is today supported by Africa Check C.I.C., a non-profit Community Interest Company based in London, which exists to support the wider operation. A copy of the 2015 Trust Deed is attached. You can see our registration in the UK on this link. https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/08119885

Files Attached
picture_as_pdf Trust Deed.pdf (5 MB)
Laurent Bigot Assessor
10-May-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Africa Check is an independent organization. There's a page on its website detailing each source of funding accounting for 1% or more of total revenue for its previous financial year, here :

https://africacheck.org/about-us/how-we-are-funded/

https://fr.africacheck.org/a-propos/comment-nous-sommes-finances/

This page also sets out the legal form in which the organization is registered:

https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/08119885


done_all 4.1 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Africa Check
14-Apr-2020 (3 months ago)
Laurent Bigot Assessor
10-May-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Africa Check is an independent organization. There's a page on its website detailing each source of funding accounting for 1% or more of total revenue for its previous financial year, here :

https://africacheck.org/about-us/how-we-are-funded/

https://fr.africacheck.org/a-propos/comment-nous-sommes-finances/

This page also sets out the legal form in which the organization is registered:

https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/08119885


done_all 4.2 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Africa Check
14-Apr-2020 (3 months ago)
Laurent Bigot Assessor
10-May-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Africa Check presents its organizational structure here :
https://fr.africacheck.org/a-propos/
https://africacheck.org/about-us/


And makes clear how and by whom editorial control is exercised (Chief editor, deputy-chief editor, etc.), here :
https://fr.africacheck.org/a-propos/notre-equipe/
https://africacheck.org/about-us/people/



done_all 4.3 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Africa Check
14-Apr-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

We list all our key staff and board here in English: https://africacheck.org/about-us/people/

And here in French: https://fr.africacheck.org/a-propos/notre-equipe/ 

Laurent Bigot Assessor
10-May-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Africa Check presents a page detailing the professional biography of all those who play a significant part in its articles:

https://fr.africacheck.org/a-propos/notre-equipe/

https://africacheck.org/about-us/people/


done_all 4.4 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Africa Check
14-Apr-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

People can contact us in many ways - via a generic email address, via social media and through contacting our offices directly. All this is set out on our contact page shown here in English: https://africacheck.org/about-us/contact-details/

And here in French: https://fr.africacheck.org/a-propos/contact/ 

Laurent Bigot Assessor
10-May-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

It’s easy for readers to contact Africa Check’s team: there’s a page that mentions all the addresses and phone numbers of the different Africa Check’s offices everywhere in Africa:

https://africacheck.org/about-us/contact-details/

http://fr.africacheck.org/a-propos/contact/

And there’s an generic email address (info@africacheck.org) and social media links on the footer of the website.



done_all 4.5 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Africa Check
14-Apr-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

A guiding principle of Africa Check is that our reports should be not just verified, by us, but verifiable by our readers and that means we have to provide the evidence we base our judgements on – links, PDFS and other such documents – not just the judgements themselves. If such documents are used, we add them to the report and add them to the Info Finder section.

The process we use to produce our work hinges on being transparent about how we find and use sources in our reports, factsheets and guides.

Once a claim is established, the most important step is to find good reliable sources of evidence to check the claim against. This can be evidence in the public domain that verifies or contradicts what has been said, data from a public database, the findings of academic studies, the opinion of established experts, or other sources.

When we find good sources, they are added to both our report and to the resources section of the website – Info Finder (currently in testing but to be launched in 2019for others to use). Our rules are replicated in French and English.

• Always use primary sources if possible

We endeavour to use primary sources for all our report whether in the form of a recording, a transcript, a database or other verifiable primary source if possible. Secondary sources are used periodically where necessary but are properly checked and attributed.

• Databases and credible sources

The Info Finder section lists databases and studies that we found credible while researching our reports. When looking for credible studies and databases on new reports, the researcher searches here first. We also provide as much explanation as required about the quality of information and any relevant caveats to enable the reader to assess the likely accuracy of the information. We also try to provide some context to the source of data by explaining, where we can, how the data should be read and understood.

• Expert analysis

Where we cannot ourselves access data, we seek insight and quote an expert in the field as commentator. Where we do quote an expert, we identify clearly who they are, who they work for, and any allegiances they may have that might affect their analysis. We also state whether we spoke to them directly and when. And if we did not, we say where we got the remarks from.

• Use of anonymous sources

All the evidence we use is verifiable by us before we publish it. If a source agrees to send us information, but demands anonymity, we cannot use it as source material if it cannot be verified, either directly or indirectly, by our readers and us.

We set out our methodology regularly in our fact-checks and in a series of "how-to" guides that we publish online and discuss in training we do for reporters and the public. 

Examples of guides can be seen here: https://africacheck.org/how-to-fact-check/factsheets-and-guides/

In addition, we set out our methodology in detail on this page in English: https://africacheck.org/about-us/how-we-work/

And in this page in French: https://fr.africacheck.org/a-propos/comment-nous-travaillons/ 



Laurent Bigot Assessor
10-May-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Africa Check gives precisions about its fact-checking methodology, with a lot of details in two sections, in English :

https://africacheck.org/about-us/how-we-work/

https://africacheck.org/about-us/how-we-rate-claims/

And in French :

https://fr.africacheck.org/a-propos/comment-nous-travaillons/

https://fr.africacheck.org/a-propos/comment-nous-evaluons-les-declarations/

These details seem very clear and accessible in both websites.



done_all 5.1 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Laurent Bigot Assessor
10-May-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

In view of what we have observed, Africa Check selects claims to check based primarily on the reach and importance of the claims, and sometimes explains the reason for choosing the claim to check.


done_all 5.2 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Laurent Bigot Assessor
10-May-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

In view of what we have observed, Africa Check sets out in its fact checks relevant evidence that appears to support the claim as well as relevant evidence that appears to undermine it. 


done_all 5.3 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Laurent Bigot Assessor
10-May-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

In view of what we have observed, Africa Check assesses the merits of the evidence found using the same high standards applied to evidence on equivalent claims, regardless of who made the claim. 


done_all 5.4 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Laurent Bigot Assessor
10-May-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

In view of what we have observed, Africa Check seeks where possible to contact those who made the claim. 


done_all 5.5 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Africa Check
14-Apr-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

We regularly use our social media feeds to appeal (Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram) to appeal to users to let us know if they think they have seen misinformation. 

At the same time, we have a page dedicated on the site to users sending in claims. The page provides clear guidance on what we can and cannot check and how we select what to chase up.

See here in English: https://africacheck.org/how-to-fact-check/submit-a-claim-to-check/

And here in French: https://fr.africacheck.org/verifier-des-faits/soumettre-une-declaration-a-verifier/ 

Laurent Bigot Assessor
10-May-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

There’s a dedicated page to invite readers to submit claims to fact-check on Africa Check’s websites. We can find it here:

https://africacheck.org/how-to-fact-check/submit-a-claim-to-check/

https://fr.africacheck.org/verifier-des-faits/soumettre-une-declaration-a-verifier/

And these pages are reachable from the menus and the websites’ homepages.

Both websites present to readers four rules to respect to submit a fact-checkable claim (sort of topic, fact or opinion, impact, already checked) and a specific form to send it to the staff.

The Africa Check staff also explains :

We regularly use our social media feeds to appeal (Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram) to appeal to users to let us know if they think they have seen misinformation."


So we can say that Africa Check 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.


done_all 5.6 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Africa Check
14-Apr-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Our corrections policy is set out here in English: https://africacheck.org/about-us/corrections/

And here in French: https://fr.africacheck.org/a-propos/politique-de-corrections/ 

Laurent Bigot Assessor
10-May-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

The Africa Check’s websites give precisions about its corrections policy in a specific webpage, here:

https://africacheck.org/about-us/corrections/

https://fr.africacheck.org/a-propos/politique-de-corrections

Feedback can be submitted in the comment section under an article or in an email to info@africacheck.org. These channels are checked daily. Every comment and all feedback will be reviewed by a senior member of staff.

So Africa Check has a corrections policy that is easily visible and accessible. 


done_all 6.1 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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

Africa Check
19-May-2020 (2 months ago)

In actioning our corrections policy, Africa Check responds to all complaints received to acknowledge receipts of the complaint and to let the complainant know what the intended next step will be in the process. We also inform all complainants about the outcome of our review process, whether the complaint raised warrants a correction, update or no action at all. 

Africa Check
19-May-2020 (2 months ago)

In actioning our corrections policy, Africa Check responds to all complaints received to acknowledge receipts of the complaint and to let the complainant know what the intended next step will be in the process. We also inform all complainants about the outcome of our review process, whether the complaint raised warrants a correction, update or no action at all. 

Laurent Bigot Assessor
10-May-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago

The Afica Check corrections policy sets out :

"Help us know exactly what your concerns are by making your comments as clear as possible. Where possible, please include any links to reference material or data that is publicly accessible. (...) We’ll let you know as soon as we have considered your feedback or comment, whether we will be making a change in our article in response to it. If we do decide to make a change, it will be highlighted in the article. In the case of a factual error, a note will be added to the report and labelled “CORRECTION”, with an explanation of what has been changed. In the case of clarifications or updates, a note will be added and labelled “UPDATE”, with an explanation of what has been changed. Finally, if you complain about a report but are not happy with our response, we will offer an internal review. If necessary, our board of trustees can appoint an independent person to review the complaint."

Africa Check doesn't explain in its website that some complaints may justify no response, but point out that the team "inform all complainants of the results of (its) review process, whether the complaint raised warrants correction, updating or no action".


cancel 6.2 marked as Request change by Laurent Bigot.
Laurent Bigot Assessor
18-May-2020 (2 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago

The Afica Check corrections policy sets out :

"Help us know exactly what your concerns are by making your comments as clear as possible. Where possible, please include any links to reference material or data that is publicly accessible. (...) We’ll let you know as soon as we have considered your feedback or comment, whether we will be making a change in our article in response to it. If we do decide to make a change, it will be highlighted in the article. In the case of a factual error, a note will be added to the report and labelled “CORRECTION”, with an explanation of what has been changed. In the case of clarifications or updates, a note will be added and labelled “UPDATE”, with an explanation of what has been changed. Finally, if you complain about a report but are not happy with our response, we will offer an internal review. If necessary, our board of trustees can appoint an independent person to review the complaint."

Africa Check doesn't explain in its website that some complaints may justify no response, but point out that the team "inform all complainants of the results of (its) review process, whether the complaint raised warrants correction, updating or no action".


done_all 6.2 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Africa Check
14-Apr-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

We continue to adhere to our corrections policy at all times by encouraging feedback or enquiry from users to all our fact-checks and making clear that there are channels where this can be done. At Africa Check, we believe that corrections are an effective tool for underpinning accountability and transparency. Our corrections policy https://africacheck.org/about-us/corrections/ offers more details to this.

We have issued three corrections over the past year, all of which we corrected on the relevant article and apologised for the error as provided for in our policy.

• In a March 2020 fact-check https://africacheck.org/spot-check/viral-unicef-message-about-preventing-coronavirus-infection-a-mix-of-some-truths-and-half-truths/ on a viral message about the cause and cures for Covid-19 supposedly from Unicef, we gave an inaccurate date of March 2019 as opposed to March 2020.

• In an October 2019 fact-check https://africacheck.org/2019/10/03/no-evidence-tambo-said-a-corrupt-anc-will-be-far-worse-than-apartheid/ of a quote attributed to a former leader of South Africa’s ruling ANC party, we stated that Pallo Jordan was the author of Oliver Tambo Remembered. He was the editor.

• In an August 2019 fact-check https://africacheck.org/reports/no-research-backs-widely-shared-statistic-about-gun-ownership-risk-in-south-africa/  on gun use, we misidentified an organisation known as Gun Safe Cities as Gun Free Cities. We have corrected this and apologise for the error.

We also corrected two ratings given in error as “false” on our Third-Party Fact-Checking project with Facebook. This project is guided by a different policy overseen by the technology platform.

These were:

• In November 2019 we wrongly flagged a post https://www.facebook.com/nelsonmandela/posts/2665661096777996 by the Nelson Mandela Foundation as false. This was done in error – our actual reference https://africacheck.org/fbcheck/facebook-posts-slightly-modify-poverty-apartheid-quote-by-mandela/ article actually established the quote in question as true.

• In September 2019, we marked a post https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.theguardian.com_global-2Ddevelopment_2019_aug_05_we-2Dlose-2Dso-2Dmany-2Dwomen-2Dthe-2Dtragedy-2Dof-2Dunsafe-2Dabortion-2Din-2Dkibera&d=DwMFaQ&c=5VD0RTtNlTh3ycd41b3MUw&r=gWC4lbtu62VI8QvkJ-EfWJorWL5bTiPp0kcfLkZpsXI&m=LKJBq3GTLiu3y3aaYktnhTReuraBClEDDAui-3aAiu4&s=AiKaNSOEBlMZLCKrKJeQiV_h-iC8TwmpPr48hxhxDuE&e= by the UK Guardian as false. While the claim disputed was certainly incorrect, this was originally made by the UN. But we could not establish the correct figure due to bureaucracy at the UN agency and conceded this following an appeal by the Guardian.

Laurent Bigot Assessor
10-May-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Africa Check provides credible evidence that it makes corrections openly and transparently, seeking as far as possible to ensure that users of the original see the correction and the corrected version.

Africa Check gives 3 examples from 3 different articles :

"CORRECTION: This article has been amended to reflect that over 3,000 deaths from Covid-19 had been recorded by 6 March 2020, and not 6 March 2019. The error is regretted. "

"CORRECTION: A previous version of this report referred to Gun Safe Cities as Gun Free Cities. We have corrected this and apologise for the error."

"CORRECTION: A previous version of this article stated that Pallo Jordan was the author of Oliver Tambo Remembered. He was the editor. We apologise for the error. "




done_all 6.3 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Africa Check
19-May-2020 (2 months ago)

We have updated our French website https://fr.africacheck.org/a-propos/nos-principes/ to inform users that if we are violating the IFCN code to inform the IFCN and provided a link. This is now the same as our English website.

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Africa Check
19-May-2020 (2 months ago)

On our principles, we inform users that they may refer any complaints to the IFCN: https://africacheck.org/about-us/our-principles/

We have updated our French website to inform users that if they believe we are violating the IFCN code to inform the IFCN through the provided a link on this page: https://fr.africacheck.org/a-propos/nos-principes

Laurent Bigot Assessor
10-May-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago

Africa Check has a  page, on its English website, where it declares itself an IFCN signatory, here :
https://africacheck.org/about-us/our-principles/

"We publish our corrections policy and follow it scrupulously. We correct clearly and transparently in line with our corrections policy, seeking to ensure that readers see the corrected version. Should you believe that we are violating the IFCN Code, you may inform the IFCN of this using the complaints page on the IFCN site."

But, on its French website, Africa Check doesn't inform users that if they believe its journalists are violating the IFCN Code, people may inform the IFCN, with a link to the IFCN site. 


The French version of the site, poorly translates this principle and makes no mention of the IFCN. It only indicates:

"Nous publions notre politique de correction et la suivons scrupuleusement. Nous apportons des corrections de manière claire et transparente conformément à notre politique de correction, en veillant à ce que les lecteurs voient la version corrigée."

"We publish our correction policy and follow it scrupulously. We make corrections in a clear and transparent manner in accordance with our correction policy, ensuring that readers see the corrected version."


cancel 6.4 marked as Request change by Laurent Bigot.
Laurent Bigot Assessor
18-May-2020 (2 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago

Applicant edits accepted.


done_all 6.4 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Laurent Bigot Assessor
10-May-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Not concerned.


done_all 6.5 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.