AP Fact Check

Organization: AP Fact Check
Applicant: Karen Mahabir
Assessor: Margot Susca
Conclusion and recommendations
on 10-Feb-2020 (3 months ago)

Margot Susca wrote:

It is hard to find fault with work the Associated Press does. I think the work AP Fact Check is doing is fair, reliable and meets AP's standards. 

I offer here feedback on its application because I have assessed AP before and done others from other fact checking arms of news agencies/orgs that seem to be presented more clearly online. I do not think that website design should be a red flag; that said, I note that it does sometimes seem unclear which is a policy of AP Fact Check and which is for AP that Fact Check abides by or falls under. 

I think it could benefit for transparency's sake AP Fact Check to have the following linked prominently or included on the AP Fact Check page: A link to corrections, a link to staff bios, and a link to methodology. AP Fact Check issues corrections, but you have to go through the whole article/fact check at the end to find an error that's been corrected. It may be a more fair/transparent method to have a link that says "These are our mistakes/Corrections" as well as "This is how we do our work." Also, I think the same holds true for a place for its staff to be featured prominently as well as its methodology. Right now when you go to THE site @ https://apnews.com/APFactCheck there only is a list of its fact checks with a header that says: "Fact-checking and accountability journalism from AP journalists around the globe. Tips? Contact FactCheck@ap.org." 

Maybe even a sidebar that distinguishes AP Fact Check further from AP would be helpful for "regular" readers/website users. 

on 10-Feb-2020 (3 months ago)

Margot Susca recommended Accept


Section 1: Organization

Criterion 1a
Proof of registration
Evidence required: Please provide evidence that the signatory is a legally-registered organization set up exclusively for the purpose of fact-checking or the distinct fact-checking project of a recognized media house or research institution.

AP Fact Check
29-Jan-2020 (4 months ago)

The Associated Press, one of the world’s pre-eminent news gathering organizations, has a dedicated team of fact checkers with teams based in the United States and Mexico. Their work includes the branded AP Fact Checks that examine claims by public figures, as well as debunks of false and misleading information that’s circulating online, including as part of the Facebook fact-checking program.

Fact-checking is also deeply integrated into our whole global operation and we rely on the expertise of our journalists on a wide variety of topics to inform our fact-checking work. Any AP journalist may work on a fact check with support from the Fact Check team.

For more details about fact checking at the AP, see: https://apnews.com/afs:Content:3835460002

To learn more about The Associated Press, see: https://www.ap.org/about/ 


Margot Susca Assessor
10-Feb-2020 (3 months ago)
Criterion empty.

done_all 1a marked as Fully compliant by Margot Susca.

Criterion 1b
Archive
Evidence required: Insert a link to the archive of fact checks published in the previous three months. If you do not collect all fact checks in one place, please explain how the fact-checking is conducted by your organization.

AP Fact Check
29-Jan-2020 (4 months ago)

Our primary repository of fact-checking content: https://apnews.com/APFactCheck 

Additional fact checks produced for Facebook’s initiative: https://apnews.com/Fact-checking 

Margot Susca Assessor
10-Feb-2020 (3 months ago)
Criterion empty.

done_all 1b marked as Fully compliant by Margot Susca.

Section 2: Nonpartisanship and Fairness

Criterion 2a
Body of work sample
Evidence required: Please share links to ten fact checks that better represent the scope and consistency of your fact-checking. Provide a short explanation of how your organization strives to maintain coherent standards across fact checks.

AP Fact Check
29-Jan-2020 (4 months ago)

Examples of fact checks:

AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s fusillade of misfires on fateful week

https://apnews.com/2ae833bb36d48a1ed49ac529c3a657ea

NOT REAL NEWS: A look at what didn’t happen this week (Jan. 24, 2020)

https://apnews.com/0af13d5f74470c9681ead20828b7bafa

Trump false claims around impeachment

https://apnews.com/7f739ca3fc8fa462fb9d8a3dcc82d67c

Trump distorts data, Dems cut some corner

https://apnews.com/0523413f831d9afb828329de48e35c1c

Examining claims from 2020 Democratic debate

https://apnews.com/ee38a2f568cc9a9a7cf7bb5bae146a8d

NOT REAL NEWS: A look at what didn’t happen this week (Dec. 13, 2019)

https://apnews.com/bc1c29c5cd02c581120928da497f390a

Leaders’ questionable claims in U.K. election

https://apnews.com/dc427fbfd1fe4daeb79080f0ee70b497

GOP presses empty Ukraine meddling theory

https://apnews.com/08dd50fd26b6498b8f79ab2dbf023f7f

NOT REAL NEWS: A look at what didn’t happen this week (Nov. 8, 2019)

https://apnews.com/24f2597b0e7345d0b50a096a5cd2f114

Inconvenient truths 2020 Democratic candidates

https://apnews.com/b1751f8466f34a4ebd37a95f6ca30956

State of the Union Democrats rebuttal

https://apnews.com/598bdc9d7236436cbc080f5de92dbf5d


Explanation of our standards:

All of our AP Fact Checks and debunks are subject to AP’s rigorous standards. Each item is evaluated first on its newsworthiness and discussed by reporters and editors. Reporters rely on primary sources and contacts and all reporting we use for fact checks is generated by our staff alone. Items are then edited for clarity, thoroughness, balance and tone, and reviewed by at least one editor — usually two — before being published. In addition, we seek appeals and comments to our work and address feedback directly. More details about AP’s overall standards and policies can be found here: https://www.ap.org/about/news-values-and-principles 


Margot Susca Assessor
10-Feb-2020 (3 months ago)
Criterion empty.

done_all 2a marked as Fully compliant by Margot Susca.

Criterion 2b
Nonpartisanship policy
Evidence required: Please share evidence of your policy preventing staff from direct involvement in political parties and advocacy organizations. Please also indicate the policy your organization has as a whole regarding advocacy and supporting political candidates.

AP Fact Check
29-Jan-2020 (4 months ago)

As with all AP staff, AP fact checkers must adhere to the company’s Statement of News Values and Principles, which states: “AP employees must avoid behavior or activities - political, social or financial - that create a conflict of interest or compromise our ability to report the news fairly and accurately, uninfluenced by any person or action.” It goes on: “Editorial employees are expected to be scrupulous in avoiding any political activity, whether they cover politics regularly or not.”

More information about AP’s policies on political activities can be found here: https://www.ap.org/about/news-values-and-principles/conflicts-of-interest/political-activities 

Margot Susca Assessor
10-Feb-2020 (3 months ago)
Criterion empty.

done_all 2b marked as Fully compliant by Margot Susca.

Section 3: Transparency of Sources

Criterion 3a
Sources Policy
Please share a brief and public explanation (500 words max) of how sources are provided in enough detail that readers could replicate the fact check. If you have a public policy on how you find and use sources for your fact-checking, it should be shared here.

AP Fact Check
29-Jan-2020 (4 months ago)

The findings in AP fact checks are based on original reporting, sources with firsthand knowledge around the subject and credible data sets. Sources are identified in stories and hyperlinks are provided to allow the reader to confirm details on their own. Fact checks also frequently include information from the direct observations of AP journalists.

Margot Susca Assessor
10-Feb-2020 (3 months ago)



done_all 3a marked as Fully compliant by Margot Susca.

Section 4: Transparency of Funding & Organization

Criterion 4a
Funding Sources
Evidence required: Please link to the section where you publicly list your sources of funding (including, if they exist, any rules around which types of funding you do or don't accept), or a statement on ownership if you are the branch of an established media organization or research institution.

AP Fact Check
29-Jan-2020 (4 months ago)

The AP fact-checking operation is part of The Associated Press, an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative composed of U.S. newspapers and broadcasters. The vast majority of AP’s revenue comes from licensing content to members of the cooperative and to other news outlets and organizations around the world. The AP Fact Check team is funded by AP’s general news budget, which includes revenue from AP’s participation in the Facebook fact-checking program.

Read more about the AP here: https://www.ap.org/about/

The 2018 AP annual report is available to the public: https://www.ap.org/about/annual-report/2018/ 

Margot Susca Assessor
10-Feb-2020 (3 months ago)



done_all 4a marked as Fully compliant by Margot Susca.

Criterion 4b
Staff
Evidence required: Please link to the section detailing all authors and key actors behind your fact-checking project with their biographies. You can also list the name and bios of the members of the editorial board, pool of experts, advisory board, etc. if your organization has those.

AP Fact Check
29-Jan-2020 (4 months ago)

Members of the fact-checking team are listed here: https://apnews.com/afs:Content:3835460002

Details about AP’s leadership team and board of directors can be found here: https://www.ap.org/about/our-people/leadership-team 

Margot Susca Assessor
10-Feb-2020 (3 months ago)
Criterion empty.

done_all 4b marked as Fully compliant by Margot Susca.

Criterion 4c
Contact
Evidence required: Please link to the section where readers can get in touch with the organization.

AP Fact Check
29-Jan-2020 (4 months ago)

Readers can contact the AP fact-checking operation through our email address -- FactCheck@ap.org -- which is displayed on the “about fact-checking at the AP” page: https://apnews.com/afs:Content:3835460002

They can also reach us through the @APFactCheck Twitter account, which we publicize widely and which also displays our email address in the bio. 

Margot Susca Assessor
10-Feb-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Sent email 2 p.m. Feb. 10 checking email address; received response in just a few minutes. Twitter feed looks good. 


done_all 4c marked as Fully compliant by Margot Susca.

Section 5: Transparency of Methodology

Criterion 5a
Detailed Methodology
Evidence required: Please link to a section or article detailing the steps you follow for your fact-checking work.

AP Fact Check
29-Jan-2020 (4 months ago)

All of our AP Fact Checks and debunks are subject to AP’s rigorous standards. Each item is evaluated first on its newsworthiness and discussed by reporters and editors. Reporters rely on primary sources and contacts and all reporting we use for fact checks is collected by AP staff alone. Items are then edited for clarity, thoroughness, balance and tone, and reviewed by at least one editor — often, two editors — before being published. In addition, we seek appeals and comments to our work and respond to feedback.

Fact-checking is also deeply integrated into all of the AP’s work, and we leverage the power of our global presence to produce fact-checking items. We produce fact checks when we are presented with a claim from a newsmaker or a story or image circulating online — in any format — that we suspect might be partly or completely false. The AP Fact Check team, along with our experts in the field, investigate and report out that claim or piece of content to present the facts around it. These can arise from topics or newsmakers covered by any AP news department, and they are fact-checked by our AP experts, with oversight, guidance and reporting help from the AP Fact Check team.

Learn more about the AP fact-checking operation here: https://apnews.com/afs:Content:3835460002  

Margot Susca Assessor
10-Feb-2020 (3 months ago)
Criterion empty.

done_all 5a marked as Fully compliant by Margot Susca.

Criterion 5b
Claim submissions
Evidence required: Please link to the page or process through which readers can submit claims to fact-check. If you do not allow this, please briefly explain why.

AP Fact Check
29-Jan-2020 (4 months ago)

We welcome requests submitted to us through our FactCheck@ap.org address, and we seek input from our large member network. We also rely on our editorial judgment in determining which claims or content to fact-check.

The following section is on the “Fact-checking at the AP” page (https://apnews.com/afs:Content:3835460002):

COMMENTS/SUGGESTIONS/CLAIMS TO SUBMIT

Want to reach out with a comment or fact-checking suggestion? Do you see something that needs a correction? Email us at FactCheck@ap.org.

We also widely publicize the @APFactCheck Twitter account, which the public can use to reach our team.

Margot Susca Assessor
10-Feb-2020 (3 months ago)
Criterion empty.

done_all 5b marked as Fully compliant by Margot Susca.

Section 6: Open & Honest Corrections Policy

Criterion 6a
Corrections policy
Evidence required: Please link to the page with your policy to address corrections. If it is not public, please share your organization's handbook.

AP Fact Check
29-Jan-2020 (4 months ago)

The fact-checking team follows the AP correction policy, which can be found here: https://www.ap.org/about/news-values-and-principles/telling-the-story/corrections-correctives

Margot Susca Assessor
10-Feb-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Please see fuller comments on this section in final review. 


done_all 6a marked as Fully compliant by Margot Susca.

Criterion 6b
Examples of corrections
Evidence required: Please provide two examples of a correction made, or correction requests handled, in the past year.

AP Fact Check
29-Jan-2020 (4 months ago)

Corrected Fact Check examples (note the “corrects” notes at the bottom):

AP FACT CHECK: Trump team distortions on fuel economy rules

https://apnews.com/86498e7aeb41418dbbe74282c738da69

AP FACT CHECK: Afghanistan isn't safer than Chicago

https://apnews.com/f7d815ef31864f949c31ffd38ce80e5f 

Margot Susca Assessor
10-Feb-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

But please see comments in final review. 


done_all 6b marked as Fully compliant by Margot Susca.