Colombiacheck

Organization: Colombiacheck
Applicant: Pablo Medina Uribe
Assessor: Eduardo Arriagada
Edits made by the organization after this assessment

IFCN Staff wrote:

From the applicant: 

Colombiacheck has specified that it is not a nonpartisan organization and that its staffers have the same duty.

Regarding transparency of funding, Colombiacheck has indicated the national and international finance structure. Both edits can be found in the following link:

https://colombiacheck.com/sobre-nosotros.html 


From the assessor: 

I think that with this changes now they provide enough information about their funding and has also improve the information for the readers to assure that the fact checker has political independence: I can recommend a complete compliance.



Conclusion and recommendations
on 02-Mar-2018 (8 months ago)

Eduardo Arriagada wrote:

I think that with this changes now they provide enough information about their funding and has also improve the information for the readers to assure that the fact checker has political independence: I can recommend a complete compliance.

on 02-Mar-2018 (8 months ago)

Eduardo Arriagada 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.

Colombiacheck
02-Mar-2018 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months 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 (http://cdr2.consejoderedaccion.org/noticias/item/1376-nace-colombiacheck.html), and it is currently the only media outlet exclusively dedicated to fact-checking.

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/0B5qXVYAnDzJuV3BrTWVRelRZU25SMlJCdHZHbzFCRk1KRWQw/view?usp=sharing 

Eduardo Arriagada Assessor
02-Mar-2018 (8 months ago)

Consejo de Redacción (CdR) is a international very well know professional association that promote the investigative journalism in Colombia. Even its begin to work in 2006 it legally founded in 2008 as a non profit NGO.

In a country that is finishing 50 years of war the journalist that work as voluntaries behind CdR have credentials of experience and logros related with the promotion of investigative journalist, data journalist and with Colombia Check, fact checking. During 2017 CdR were the only journalism project prized as one on the ten “better leaders of Colombia” by Revista Semana, Fundación Telefónica and Fundación Liderazgo y Desarrollo (leadership and development). Since June 2016 they conceived and develop a new web page called Colombia Check focused on fact-checking.


done_all 1a marked as Fully compliant by Eduardo Arriagada.

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
02-Mar-2018 (8 months ago)
Eduardo Arriagada Assessor
02-Mar-2018 (8 months ago)

Colombia Check publises fact-checks about the peace process on a relatively regular basis: throughout the last year analyzed (January 2017-January 2018), six months have been found with more than 10 fact-checks, although there were also a couple of months with only six. In past January they begin the change for the new main subject of the work, the future elections. In the last months, even they had a couple of weeks with no one published at least they compliance the average.


done_all 1b marked as Fully compliant by Eduardo Arriagada.

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
02-Mar-2018 (8 months 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: the government, the guerrilla, the negotiators and the opposition. Currently, we have a special focus on the presidential and congressional elections to happen this year. So, now our purpose is to check statements from all candidates and political parties. Like our declaration of principles stands (https://colombiacheck.com/metodologia.html), 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:

Government:

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

2. https://colombiacheck.com/chequeos/la-jep-funcionara-hasta-por-diez-anos-una-mentira-de-santos.html

Guerrilla:

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

Opposition:

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

5. https://colombiacheck.com/chequeos/a-uribe-le-pega-en-el-palo.html

Negotiators:

6. https://colombiacheck.com/chequeos/orgullo-inflado-por-participacion-femenina-del-gobierno-en-la-habana.html

During elections

7. Right hand Congress candidate: https://colombiacheck.com/chequeos/carlos-felipe-mejia-miente-sobre-jep-en-campana.html

8. Left hand Congress candidate: https://colombiacheck.com/chequeos/candidato-a-la-camara-casi-le-atina-al-porcentaje-de-victimas-en-uraba.html

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

10. Left hand candidate for president: https://colombiacheck.com/chequeos/imelda-daza-son-mas-los-muertos-de-otros-actores-armados-que-los-de-las-guerrillas.html

Eduardo Arriagada Assessor
02-Mar-2018 (8 months ago)

Even the subject “peace process” could be thinks as a narrow field, the work of Colombia Check in their firsts years includes a broader view of it including issues as rural economy to violence in the demilitarized zones of the country. With the evidence provided in their application and my review of the web page I can conclude that Colombia Check covers a variety of subjects or speakers in a fairly balanced way.


done_all 2a marked as Fully compliant by Eduardo Arriagada.

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
02-Mar-2018 (8 months ago)

Our internal regulation (CdR's statute) stands 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.

Eduardo Arriagada Assessor
02-Mar-2018 (8 months ago)

Based on the same evidences I conclude that Colombia Check does not, in any way, advocate in favor or against any of the the two options that separate the people of Colombia in the last peace process electoral, and in this initials weeks for the political campaign subject looks that they will work with the same non bias that the future election need. Colombia Check works under a publicly accessible Decalogue of Principles who talk about ideologies that is accepted by the journalist before they become part of the staff. I think that this documents, even could be enough for the staff its not complete for the readers. In a polarised society it's important that he visitor of the page feel sure that the fact checker has total political independence. I recommend to improve the text as you can see in some web pages of model institutions. Even the statute of Consejo de Redacción (CdR) is more clear than the Colombia Check one in relation with possible conflict of interests, by the way in their application to the IFCN they put a link to that document.


done 2b marked as Partially compliant by Eduardo Arriagada.

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
02-Mar-2018 (8 months ago)

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

“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.

Eduardo Arriagada Assessor
02-Mar-2018 (8 months ago)

In their published fact-checks Colombia Checks provides links to reliable sources of data, images and links of the social networks post that refer to them or at least they provide complete details of them to allow readers or others colleague to repeat the process by themselves.


done_all 3a marked as Fully compliant by Eduardo Arriagada.

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
02-Mar-2018 (8 months ago)
Eduardo Arriagada Assessor
02-Mar-2018 (8 months ago)

In their signatory application, Colombia Check give only general information about their funding policy, but I contact them and they explain me by email that they still work as a part of the journalist work of Consejo de Redacción (CdR) and that the budget of the project received 30% from national resources ( CdR and Universidad Javeriana) and 70% from international organizations (Open Society Foundation and National Endowment for Democracy). All this information is missed to be disclosed to the public in their Sobre Nosotros (‘About us’) page. Although the disclosure in the page about the owners behind this news outlet is correct the information about this news website’s financial structure should be somewhat expanded and improved.


done 4a marked as Partially compliant by Eduardo Arriagada.

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
02-Mar-2018 (8 months ago)
Eduardo Arriagada Assessor
02-Mar-2018 (8 months ago)

The staff of Colombia Check is a little group of journalist that are easy to find in the web site, and each member have a link with a text about their last years experience and their emails. In addition, every fact-check provides information about the journalists behind each work, including a link to the others fact checks that they had handle.


done_all 4b marked as Fully compliant by Eduardo Arriagada.

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

Colombiacheck
02-Mar-2018 (8 months ago)
Eduardo Arriagada Assessor
02-Mar-2018 (8 months ago)

As I mention every author of fact-checks are disclosed, providing their emails for contact. The web page promote readers to send corrections to the web site and define a protocol with a define schedule to respond. Is interesting that in this second stage, when they will begin to fact check an entire election process they begin the work with an open seminar about fact checking to promote the role of the citizen in the verification process.


done_all 4c marked as Fully compliant by Eduardo Arriagada.

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
02-Mar-2018 (8 months ago)
Eduardo Arriagada Assessor
02-Mar-2018 (8 months ago)

Colombia Checks provides clear details of how they make fact-checks under the title of methodology with the decalogue that I mention before. Is a very well design page that explain an very easy way their own six types of categories they use to classified each fact checks.


done_all 5a marked as Fully compliant by Eduardo Arriagada.

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
02-Mar-2018 (8 months 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.html

Eduardo Arriagada Assessor
02-Mar-2018 (8 months ago)

Colombia Checks shows clear and accessible means of contact to fact-checkers, that allow readers to send their claims. In their prominent “about us” section of the web page they finish the text with a subtitle and a paragraph related with the possible contribute from any reader.


done_all 5b marked as Fully compliant by Eduardo Arriagada.

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
02-Mar-2018 (8 months ago)
Eduardo Arriagada Assessor
02-Mar-2018 (8 months ago)

The signatory has a public corrections policy.


done_all 6a marked as Fully compliant by Eduardo Arriagada.

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

Eduardo Arriagada Assessor
02-Mar-2018 (8 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago

In their application, Colombiacheck send two good examples (1, 2) of corrections to fact-checks. Both demonstrate their will to be transparent with corrections and that they applied the correction policy time they also promote in the methodology section, even in the second example -because the complexity of the correction that implied that they change their category from true to misleading, they made an entire new text for the clarification. 


done_all 6b marked as Fully compliant by Eduardo Arriagada.