AP Fact Check

Organization: AP Fact Check
Applicant: Karen Mahabir
Assessor: Margot Susca
Edits made by the organization after this assessment

IFCN Staff wrote:

The AP Fact Check page on the apnews.com site now contains a new item, pinned to the top, that links to:

1. A blog post about methodology in which AP’s standards editor explains what they fact-check, and why..

2. A link to the page where people can contact AP with suggestions or questions about fact checks.


Conclusion and recommendations
on 04-Jun-2018 (1 year ago)

Margot Susca wrote:

No one can doubt AP’s commitment to accurate journalism. However, in the scope of this application, I bring up two areas related to transparency and methodology that I believe require a deeper explanation. It seems, in part, that the work of the AP as a news source is being conflated with the Fact Check part of the organization. Some points in the application seem clearly well thought out and distinct, while others seem to rely on AP’s history of journalistic work rather than outlining specifically how the Fact Check part works/will work.

I recommend AP include a hyperlink/site online that explains exactly where its fact check methodology may be found. (I think here of how the WaPo has separated its Pinnocchios/Fact Check from its news desk.) It also should list somewhere its funding for transparency. The links provided in the application are not specific enough.

Further, its Contact Us page provides an inadequate section for helping consumers reach out related to the scope of fact checking issues. Even the addition of one hyperlink to a place where fact checking could be highlighted or to a staffer handling such issues would be helpful. 

on 04-Jun-2018 (1 year ago)

Margot Susca recommended Accept with edits


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
25-May-2017 (2 years ago)
Margot Susca Assessor
25-May-2017 (2 years ago)

The AP has a long history of doing accurate journalism. Its Fact Check site is clear, unbiased and offers the same level of depth as its reporting.


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
25-May-2017 (2 years ago)
Margot Susca Assessor
25-May-2017 (2 years ago) Updated: 1 year ago

AP Fact Check does report fact checks at an average of at least one per week. 


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.

Margot Susca Assessor
25-May-2017 (2 years ago)

AP Fact Check covers a variety of subjects—some are political while another the first week of May offered a fact check on a ship supposedly lost in the Bermuda Triangle that reappeared (it didn’t!).


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
25-May-2017 (2 years ago)

This is detailed in AP's Statement of News Values and Principles: https://www.ap.org/about/our-story/news-values

Margot Susca Assessor
25-May-2017 (2 years ago)

AP Fact Check has clear policies for staffers and does not support or advocate for candidates.


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
25-May-2017 (2 years ago)

Put simply, we attribute the information in all of our stories to the source that provided it to us. On occasion, we have to resort to anonymous sources, though we strive to avoid this unless it's absolutely necessary, and we don't generally rely on them for fact checks. Details are in our Statement of News Values and Principles: https://www.ap.org/about/our-story/news-values

Margot Susca Assessor
25-May-2017 (2 years ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Sources are always clearly referenced and/or linked to in a manner that readers can easily understand. Those wishing to, can find that information helpful to replicate. 


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
25-May-2017 (2 years ago)

The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit cooperative collectively owned by thousands of news outlets. Details about AP: https://www.ap.org/about/

Margot Susca Assessor
25-May-2017 (2 years ago)

The signatory has failed to make a statement on its website (in the link provided) or in its application about either its financing or its ownership.


cancel 4a marked as Non 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
25-May-2017 (2 years ago)

We don't have such a section. Our fact checks are executed by AP journalists with the appropriate expertise -- it can be any of hundreds of people from around the organization.

Margot Susca Assessor
25-May-2017 (2 years ago)

As the AP employs so many journalists, it did not provide a section in its application to do this.


done 4b marked as Partially 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
25-May-2017 (2 years ago)
Margot Susca Assessor
25-May-2017 (2 years ago) Updated: 1 year ago

I think the Contact Us page provided in the signatory’s application requires more in this area. 


done 4c marked as Partially 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
25-May-2017 (2 years ago)
Margot Susca Assessor
25-May-2017 (2 years ago)

The signatory’s website does not explain its methodology.


cancel 5a marked as Non 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
25-May-2017 (2 years ago)

We don't have a systematic process for this, though we welcome request submitted to us the various ways we can be contacted.

Margot Susca Assessor
25-May-2017 (2 years ago)

The signatory’s website provides no dedicated channel of communication for readers to submit claims to fact check.


cancel 5b marked as Non 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
25-May-2017 (2 years ago)

See the CORRECTIONS/CORRECTIVES section of our Statement of News Values and Principles: https://www.ap.org/about/our-story/news-values

Margot Susca Assessor
25-May-2017 (2 years ago)

The signatory’s website has a clear, transparent corrections policy.


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
25-May-2017 (2 years ago)
Margot Susca Assessor
25-May-2017 (2 years ago) Updated: 1 year ago

 Examples of its implementation are provided in the application.


done_all 6b marked as Fully compliant by Margot Susca.