Colombiacheck

Organization: Colombiacheck
Applicant: Pablo Medina Uribe
Assessor: Ramón Salaverría
Conclusion and recommendations
on 30-May-2019 (1 year ago)

Ramón Salaverría wrote:

According to the evidences provided in the assessment, we suggest accepting the application with just a minor edit: in order to fully comply with the criterion 6b, a public page listing all the corrections should be published by the signatory on its website. Apart from that detail, Colombiacheck complies with all the requirements of the IFCN Code of Principles.

on 30-May-2019 (1 year ago)

Ramón Salaverría 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.

Colombiacheck
13-May-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Colombiacheck is a project conceived and developed by Consejo de Redacción (CdR), a Colombian NGO that promotes investigative journalism in Colombia. This project was launched in June, 2016 (https://consejoderedaccion.org/), and it is currently the only media outlet exclusively dedicated to fact-checking in Colombia.

In our website we clearly declare that CdR is the organization behind our work: https://colombiacheck.com/sobre-nosotros.html (see article and footer).

Here you can find documents that certify CdR's legal registration:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/15Y_MY2zGNplYCj3rPT_NTdvkthm13RbL/view?usp=sharing

Ramón Salaverría Assessor
30-May-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Set up in 2016, Colombiacheck is a news organization devoted to fact-checking and debunking of missinformation. It is a project launched by Consejo de Redacción, a legallly registered non-for-profit news organization in Colombia, composed by independent journalists and media scholars.


done_all 1a marked as Fully compliant by Ramón Salaverría.

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.

Colombiacheck
13-May-2019 (1 year ago)
Ramón Salaverría Assessor
30-May-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Over the three months (Mar.-May. 2019) considered for this assessment, Colombiacheck has published nearly a hundred fact-checks, resulting on an average of one report per day, around seven per week. On the period assessed, there has been no week without at least one fact check published.


done_all 1b marked as Fully compliant by Ramón Salaverría.

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.

Colombiacheck
13-May-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

During the first year of Colombiacheck, we focused only in fact-checking statements related to the peace process that Colombia was conducting with the guerrilla Farc. In that period, our commitment was to check claims from all the stakeholders of that situation. Once negotiations finished, we moved our attention to 2018 presidential and congressional elections. We have published the bulk of our content after that period and we have widen our scope and dedicated more time and resources to check viral messages on social networks, media and other web pages, about a larger number of subjects, all relating to the public sphere in Colombia.

Still, we emphasize political discourse and give special attention to that related with the implementation of peace agreements. Currently, our main focus is to check statements from (or critical of) all political parties facing regional and local elections to be held in October this year.

Like our declaration of principles states (https://colombiacheck.com/metodologia), we do not select the claims to check with any ideological preference.

Also, when developing the fact-checking process, we turn to a variety of sources that guarantee a plurality of points of view, and we make sure to analyze all the collected data before finally rating the statement.

Below are ten examples.

During the peace process:

1. Government:

https://colombiacheck.com/chequeos/santos-dos-de-tres-frente-a-de-klerk.html

2. Guerrilla:

https://colombiacheck.com/chequeos/consulta-plebiscitaria-no-tiene-efecto-juridico-alguno-el-efecto-es-politico-timochenco.html

3. Opposition: https://colombiacheck.com/chequeos/nadando-en-coca.html

During elections

4. Four fact-checks to Congress candidates from different parties, ranging form right-wing to a former guerrilla member:

https://colombiacheck.com/index.php/chequeos/chequeos-express-candidatos-la-camara-por-bogota

5. Right-wing candidate for president: https://colombiacheck.com/chequeos/ivan-duque-basa-propuesta-de-campana-en-informacion-falsa.html

6. Left-wing candidate for president:

https://colombiacheck.com/index.php/chequeos/los-argumentos-falsos-del-fraude-que-denuncia-petro

After elections

7. New Government: https://colombiacheck.com/index.php/chequeos/duque-exagera-el-numero-de-cosechas-de-coca-que-se-producen-anualmente-en-colombia

8. Opposition: http://colombiacheck.com/chequeos/aida-avella-escribio-un-trino-inexacto-sobre-la-ley-de-financiamiento

Fake news:

9. http://colombiacheck.com/chequeos/el-mocho-franklin-y-el-mocho-kiko-no-son-la-misma-persona

10. http://colombiacheck.com/chequeos/es-falso-que-petro-vaya-demandar-duque-por-decreto-de-dosis-minima-ante-la-corte-penal

Ramón Salaverría Assessor
30-May-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Since the beginning of its fact-checking service, March 2016, Colombiacheck has focused mainly on national politics, without leaving aside a number of other topics, such as social issues, economics and environment. Occasionaly, it also fact-checks reports on international issues. In front of all these issues, Colombiacheck does not unduly concentrate on one side of the question analyzed; on the contrary, it strives to provide unbiased and accountable information, in order to allow their users to get a clear and contextualized understanding of the issues.


done_all 2a marked as Fully compliant by Ramón Salaverría.

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.

Colombiacheck
13-May-2019 (1 year ago)

Our internal regulation (CdR's statute) states that "The associates must declare the conflict of interests between their professional functions and the objectives and activities of the organization, inform of any situation that goes against the principles of CdR and announce when they stop exercising the journalistic profession": https://consejoderedaccion.org/asociados/registrarse

Also, Colombiacheck's code of principles declares that "We do not defend any ideology, nor do we carry out political activism or of any other type": https://colombiacheck.com/metodologia.html

When hired, our journalists commit to follow both principles.

Ramón Salaverría Assessor
30-May-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Colombiacheck has a clear and sound policy to avoid partisanship, expressed in a fully disclosed code of principles. It enforces their journalists and associates to declare any conflict of interests prior to doing fact-checks, preventing them from covering issues in which they are personally or institutionally compromised. Colombiacheck has not ever supported a candidate in any election nor advocate or take partisan positions on any issues.


done_all 2b marked as Fully compliant by Ramón Salaverría.

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.

Colombiacheck
13-May-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Our source policy and code of principles, made public in our website (https://colombiacheck.com/metodologia.html), state:

“Colombiacheck will not use anonymous sources. The sources will be identified and cited. In addition, whenever possible, links to the original documents will be included in our articles so that the data is accessible. We will describe the route of the check (how it was done), to make the journalistic exercise transparent. Thus, any reader who wants to reproduce a check and find the original data, can do so and come to the same conclusion.”

(...)

“Once a statement is selected, we go to the person who said it and try to find out the original source of the data he/she used. We then try to access that original source directly and consult others to corroborate its validity and explain its relevance and impact. If this is not possible to access the original source of the data, the check is made through alternative means: documents (reports, studies, statistical compilations, public and private files) and interviews with experts. In case any of the sources used to contrast the checked data belong to a political group or has a relevant ideological position, it will be explicitly mentioned.”

Editors have the responsibility to guarantee that every check is made following these and all other principles.

Ramón Salaverría Assessor
30-May-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Colombiacheck consistently backs the fact-checks with links to reliable sources of data. In the  frequent cases when fact-checks refer to social media updates, these updates are not only linked but also embedded in the fact-check, so that users can easily access them. The use of anonymous sources in fact-checks is forbiden by the code of principles.


done_all 3a marked as Fully compliant by Ramón Salaverría.

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.

Colombiacheck
13-May-2019 (1 year ago)

The source of our funding is clearly stated in our “About Us” section:

https://colombiacheck.com/sobre-nosotros

Ramón Salaverría Assessor
30-May-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Colombiacheck is a not-for-profit, non-governmental news start-up, owned by a non-partisan organization composed by Colombian journalists and media scholars. On its website it fully discloses information about its ownership and current funding scheme. In 2019, Colombiacheck gets 70% of its funding from National Endowment for Democracy, Deutsche Welle Akademie and Facebook. The rest of funding comes from its own activities (25%) and a financial suppot from Javeriana University (5%).


done_all 4a marked as Fully compliant by Ramón Salaverría.

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.

Colombiacheck
13-May-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago
Ramón Salaverría Assessor
30-May-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Colombiacheck provides detailed, clear and easy-to-reach information about the board and staff members. Their biographies are published at the Consejo de Redacción's website, accessible from Colombiacheck's 'About us' (Sobre nosotros) page.


done_all 4b marked as Fully compliant by Ramón Salaverría.

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

Colombiacheck
13-May-2019 (1 year ago)
Ramón Salaverría Assessor
30-May-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago
Users can easily contact Colombiacheck through different means, such as a contact form, different social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram...), and staff members' emails, which are openly disclosed. 

done_all 4c marked as Fully compliant by Ramón Salaverría.

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.

Colombiacheck
13-May-2019 (1 year ago)
Ramón Salaverría Assessor
30-May-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Inspired in the Argentinean fact-checking organization Chequeado, longtime signatory of the IFCN Code of Principles, Colombiacheck's fact-checking methodology is sound and reliable. It is consistently applied and clearly disclosed on its website.


done_all 5a marked as Fully compliant by Ramón Salaverría.

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.

Colombiacheck
13-May-2019 (1 year ago)

Our readers can submit claims or contribute with new data or information about our stories, by emailing us or contacting us through social network, as explained here:

https://colombiacheck.com/sobre-nosotros

They can also write to us at our social media profiles:

http://twitter.com/colcheck

http://facebook.com/colombiacheck

https://www.instagram.com/colombiacheck/

Or they can send us a message at our WhatsApp for Business profile: +57 322 8523557

Ramón Salaverría Assessor
30-May-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

As mentioned in the assessment of criterion 4c, Colombiacheck allows users to send claims and corrections through different means of contact.


done_all 5b marked as Fully compliant by Ramón Salaverría.

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.

Colombiacheck
13-May-2019 (1 year ago)
Ramón Salaverría Assessor
30-May-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Colombiacheck invites users to send claims and corrections through different means of contact. In case a mistake has been notified, Colombiacheck commits itself to responding to claims in less than 48 hours.


done_all 6a marked as Fully compliant by Ramón Salaverría.

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

Ramón Salaverría Assessor
30-May-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Where a correction had to be made to fact-checks, Colombiacheck has provided a detailed correction in that same page, even highlighting the update in the headline of the report. However, it does not fully comply with the requirements of this criterion, as it has not a public page listing all the corrections made. We kindly invite Colombiacheck to fix this minor detail.


done 6b marked as Partially compliant by Ramón Salaverría.