The IFCN welcomes new applications to its Code of Principles beginning Jan. 16, 2024. Our website is currently under renovation, so new signatories should begin the application process by emailing their interest to info@ifcn.org with "New Signatory" in the subject line.

Fact Check Ghana

Organization: Fact -Check Ghana
Applicant: Evans Aziamor-Mensah
Assessor: Ebele Oputa

Background

Fact-Check Ghana is known in the West African journalism community as an independent project of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA). While the project is domiciled in MFWA for programmatic and administrative support, the practice of fact-checking is conducted by a distinct team consisting of an editor and researchers. Evidence of this relationship can be found in the "About Us" section of Fact-Check Ghana's website.

Assessment Conclusion

Compliant - Fact-Check Ghana is known in the West African journalism community as an independent project of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA). While the project is domiciled in MFWA for programmatic and administrative support, the practice of fact-checking is conducted by a distinct team consisting of an editor and researchers. Evidence of this relationship can be found in the "About Us" section of Fact-Check Ghana's website.

While Fact-Check Ghana meets a large number of criteria, there is still much room for improvement. Here are some more recommendations:

Ensuring that your parent organization clearly defines its association with your programmatic areas and organizational structure by either creating a new page to explain this relationship or by adding some information about this relationship in the Where we work>Ghana page

Always ensure that the team profile section on the website is regularly updated to reflect changes in roles. Volunteers should also be listed

On funding, the best practice would be to highlight what percentage of the total fund is allocated to the fact-checking project for complete transparency

Because of public skepticism of the government, it will be wise to provide brief explainers in each fact-check of the role of the authority and enabling statute to dispel doubts as to the credibility of government sources as primary evidence

Multiple sources of information should always be prioritized over primary sources of information, regardless of the strength of the primary source

Ensure consistency in the structure of your fact-checks. Decide how headlines will be written, where conclusions will be located, and explain this structure to your readers

on 07-Jan-2023 (1 year ago)

Ebele Oputa assesses application as Compliant

A short summary in native publishing language

Fact-Check Ghana is known in the West African journalism community as an independent project of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA). While the project is domiciled in MFWA for programmatic and administrative support, the practice of fact-checking is conducted by a distinct team consisting of an editor and researchers. Evidence of this relationship can be found in the "About Us" section of Fact-Check Ghana's website.

While Fact-Check Ghana meets a large number of criteria, there is still much room for improvement. Here are some more recommendations:

  1. Ensuring that your parent organization clearly defines its association with your programmatic areas and organizational structure by either creating a new page to explain this relationship or by adding some information about this relationship in the Where we work>Ghana page
  2. Always ensure that the team profile section on the website is regularly updated to reflect changes in roles. Volunteers should also be listed
  3. On funding, the best practice would be to highlight what percentage of the total fund is allocated to the fact-checking project for complete transparency
  4. Because of public skepticism of the government, it will be wise to provide brief explainers in each fact-check of the role of the authority and enabling statute to dispel doubts as to the credibility of government sources as primary evidence
  5. Multiple sources of information should always be prioritized over primary sources of information, regardless of the strength of the primary source
  6. Ensure consistency in the structure of your fact-checks. Decide how headlines will be written, where conclusions will be located, and explain this structure to your readers

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.

Fact -Check Ghana
05-Oct-2022 (1 year ago)

Fact-Check Ghana is a fact-checking project of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA). The MFWA is West Africa’s biggest and most influential media development and freedom of expression advocacy organisation with headquarters in Accra Ghana and national partner organisations in all 16 countries of West Africa. The project has a dedicated team of experienced journalists and researchers who are supported by programme and administrative staff of the MFWA.

Our legal status as an organisation is clearly spelt out in the "about us" section. Below is a link attached.

https://www.fact-checkghana.com/about/

Ebele Oputa Assessor
19-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Fact-Check Ghana is known in the West African journalism community as an independent project of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA). While the project is domiciled in MFWA for programmatic and administrative support, the practice of fact-checking is conducted by a distinct team consisting of an editor and researchers. Evidence of this relationship can be found in the "About Us" section of Fact-Check Ghana's website.


done_all 1.1 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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?

Fact -Check Ghana
05-Oct-2022 (1 year ago)

Ghana has over the years witnessed a significant increase in access to the internet and ownership of smartphones. The country is also home to a diverse, pluralistic media scene and a vibrant, competitive multi-party democratic political environment. This myriad of factors among others has led to the proliferation of fake news, misinformation and propaganda, especially during electioneering campaigns, political debates, public health and other emergencies, and other matters of significant national and/or international public interest.

During electioneering campaigns, for example, political parties and candidates tend to wittingly or unwittingly peddle falsehood, misleading statements and propaganda in their bid to earn votes. Such claims often gain public traction in both online and legacy media through republications. Over the years, such claims by politicians have not been subjected to any form of routine fact-checking, a situation that has allowed political parties and candidates to often pay little attention to the veracity of the claims and messages they make.

The proliferation of fake news, misinformation and propaganda in public discourse if not countered, has a great potential of influencing people to make wrong choices and sometimes, dangerous and harmful decisions.

Established in 2016, the Fact-Check Ghana project, therefore, seeks to enhance fact-based public discourse, debates and decision-making in Ghana’s democratic governance and development processes. This is done by fact-checking claims, statements, promises and messages that are of public interest, and widely publicising findings to help the public make informed opinions, decisions and choices.
Currently, the team is made of 8 fact-checkers and Researchers, including an Editor-In-Chief.

Ebele Oputa Assessor
19-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Fact-Check Ghana has stated -

1. that the project was set up in 2016 to "enhance fact-based public discourse, debates and decision-making in Ghana’s democratic governance and development processes" as a result of the "proliferation of fake news, misinformation and propaganda, especially during electioneering campaigns, political debates, public health and other emergencies, and other matters of significant national and/or international public interest."

2. (in this application) that there are 8 fact-checkers and researchers, including an Editor-In-Chief, although, on the website, there is mention of 1 Editor, 1 Programme Officier, and 5 Researchers/Writers

3. that the project fact-checks claims, statements, promises and messages that are of public interest, and widely publicising findings to help the public make informed opinions, decisions and choices. There doesn't seem to be other activities apart from the sole business of fact-checking.

4. There is no mention of the goals for the coming year. It is, however, assumed that the project will continue to conduct fact-checking in accordance with IFCN's principles



done_all 1.2 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

Fact -Check Ghana
05-Oct-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Yes. We have published at least one article a week over the course of six months prior to the date of application. Here is the latest article on our website. 
https://www.fact-checkghana.com/15-faqs-about-the-right-to-information-law/

Ebele Oputa Assessor
19-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Upon reviewing the fact-checks/articles on the website, I can confirm that fact-checks were not published on at least the following weeks:

1. September 25th - October 1st

2. September 18th - September 24th

3. September 11th - September 17th

4. August 28th - September 3rd

Also, a total of 22 fact-checks including monthly round-ups were published between May 1st, 2022, and October 31st, 2022 

It is possible that my assessment is wrong; as such, I would recommend attaching a spreadsheet of fact-checks published over the last six months with links to the exact article on the website and the date published.


cancel 1.3 marked as Request change by Ebele Oputa.
Ebele Oputa Assessor
07-Jan-2023 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Upon reviewing the fact-checks/articles on the website, I can confirm that fact-checks were not published on at least the following weeks:

1. September 25th - October 1st

2. September 18th - September 24th

3. September 11th - September 17th

4. August 28th - September 3rd

Also, a total of 22 fact-checks including monthly round-ups were published between May 1st, 2022, and October 31st, 2022 

While it seems that at least one fact-check was not published over the course of the six months prior to the date of application, yet, enough fact-checks have been published in 2022 which signifies a dedication to the practice of fact-checking.


done_all 1.3 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

Ebele Oputa Assessor
19-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

I can confirm that on average, at least 75% of the applicant’s fact checks focus on claims related to issues that, in my opinion, relate to or could have an impact on the welfare or well-being of individuals, the general public or society. These fact-checks are in the categories of economy, health, politics, and education, all of which are fundamental to the functioning of a democratic society.


done_all 1.4 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

Fact -Check Ghana
05-Oct-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The activities of Fact-check Ghana are underwritten by Media Foundation for West Africa. More details are in the link attached: https://www.fact-checkghana.com/funders/


Ebele Oputa Assessor
19-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Upon review of the financial support details contained in the website of Fact-Check Ghana's parent organization, there does not seem to be any funding relationship with the state, politicians or political parties in Ghana.

The parent organization, MFWA, receives funding from a diverse pool of grant-giving organizations as stated on this page: https://www.mfwa.org/about-us/our-partners/funding-partners-2/


done_all 1.5 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

Fact -Check Ghana
05-Oct-2022 (1 year ago)
Ebele Oputa Assessor
19-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

In this page, Fact-Check Ghana explains the editorial independence of its work as it relates to funding.

"While Fact-check Ghana is underwritten by the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) and operates under the Media and Good Governance portfolio of the MFWA managed by Abigail Larbi Odei, editorially, it operates independently. At the helm of editorial decision making is an independent editorial board made up of accomplished media practitioners and academics. The editorial board approves the editorial strategy and policies of Fact-check Ghana. The board holds periodic meetings to review editorial operations and make new recommendations."


done_all 1.6 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

Fact -Check Ghana
05-Oct-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

As indicated in our methodology, all fact-check reports undergo these processes:

Is the statement verifiable?

Is the claim significant?

Is the claim thought to be misleading?

Is the claim likely to be repeated as fact during public discourse?

Would the average person be misled by the claim?

And of course, we do make sure that all but opinions count in our fact-checking process.

Here are links to 10 of our fact-check reports

1. https://www.fact-checkghana.com/ndc-national-organisers-claim-on-use-of-guns-during-demo-false/

2. https://www.fact-checkghana.com/there-was-no-procurement-process-transport-ministry-contradicts-paul-adom-otchere-on-airport-xmas-tree-saga/

3. https://www.fact-checkghana.com/bawumiaspeaks-here-are-the-false-misleading-claims-in-the-veeps-economy-speech/

4. https://www.fact-checkghana.com/john-kumahs-claim-on-total-infractions-in-auditor-generals-report-false/

5. https://www.fact-checkghana.com/false-ken-ofori-atta-did-not-say-govt-spent-gh%c2%a236-million-on-agenda-111-logo/

6. https://www.fact-checkghana.com/covid-19-vaccination-sammy-gyamfis-use-of-whos-side-effect-data-misleading/

7. https://www.fact-checkghana.com/its-false-nobel-prize-winner-did-not-say-all-vaccinated-people-will-die-within-2-years/

8. https://www.fact-checkghana.com/fake-parliament-house-has-not-hanged-john-mahamas-photo-as-president-of-ghana/

9. https://www.fact-checkghana.com/who-built-the-keta-sea-defence-wall-napos-false-misleading-claims/

10. https://www.fact-checkghana.com/pokuase-interchange-mahama-or-akufo-addo-legacy-here-are-the-bare-facts/


Ebele Oputa Assessor
19-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

After reviewing Fact-Check Ghana's website, I can see that there are two fact-checking methodologies - for the selection of claims and for the investigation of claims. For the selection of claims, researchers ask the following questions:

  • Is the statement verifiable?
  • Is the claim significant?
  • Is the claim thought to be misleading?
  • Is the claim likely to be repeated as fact during public discourse?
  • Would the average person be misled by the claim?

For the investigation of claims, the editorial process is to:

  • Call or contact claimants to get more details on the claim or subject matter if necessary.
  • Map and select available credible sources for verification.
  • Contact experts.
  • Produce reports

Fact-Check Ghana produces fact-check reports in the thematic areas of politics, education, health and economy. These reports do not seem to be targeted toward a particular political party or regional entity, but rather, selected for their ability to influence public discourse negatively or positively. 

Generally, the reports follow the same investigative process, and where there is a deviation, it is clear that the step was not necessary for the production of a credible report. For instance, claimants are not always contacted when there is video evidence of the claimant making the assertion.


done_all 2.1 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

Fact -Check Ghana
05-Oct-2022 (1 year ago)
Ebele Oputa Assessor
19-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Fact-Check Ghana's methodology can be found on its website. Here's an excerpt of the page's contents -

"Fact-checkers look for claims to fact-check in transcripts (interviews or Speeches), major political and current affairs shows, news stories, radio interviews and discussions, social media, party manifestos and press releases.

"Only newsworthy claims are checked and the following criteria are taken into consideration;

  • Is the statement verifiable?
  • Is the claim significant?
  • Is the claim thought to be misleading?
  • Is the claim likely to be repeated as fact during public discourse?
  • Would the average person be misled by the claim?
  • Opinions do not count."

done_all 2.2 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

Ebele Oputa Assessor
19-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Fact-Check Ghana in its fact-checks always states the source of its evidence which in most cases are official bodies which the legal authority to provide such information.


done_all 2.3 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

Ebele Oputa Assessor
19-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago
Fact-Check Ghana does not seem to be unduly influenced by any politician nor does it seem to be affiliated to any political party or candidate. In fact, a section on its website contains resources that could help the citizens of Ghana know their candidates. The information provided therein is not centered around a single political party. Moreover, fact-checks are worded in such a structural manner that shows a logical flow from the assertion to the supporting evidence to the conclusion. The conclusion never focuses on the inaccuracy of the person but on the inaccuracy of the claims.



done_all 2.4 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

Fact -Check Ghana
05-Oct-2022 (1 year ago)
Ebele Oputa Assessor
19-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Fact-Check Ghana has a very detailed ethics policy on non-partisanship on its website -

"Fact-Check Ghana strives to present facts which are unaffected by personal biases or political agenda.

Fact-Checkers under the project do not let their personal opinions or political alliance affect their work when producing fact-check reports. They work with an independent mindset and are fair in their processes of fact-checking claims.

Consequently, our fact-checkers do not publicly express their political opinion or are involved in any partisan process or activity apart from their civic duty as registered Ghanaian voters who will not discuss their votes after the electoral process.

Our work as fact-checkers are not meant as a contribution to any political party neither is our work meant to project or undermine any political campaigns.

We share our stories on social media, but it is not meant to endorse one political opponent over the other. Also, fact-check Ghana does not express personal political views on social media.

The team is further guided by general media ethical principles including fairness, balance and impartiality in the process of producing fact-check reports. In order to avoid anything that compromises fact-check Ghana, this policy applies to all our fact-checkers because independence and fairness is paramount to us."


done_all 2.5 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

Ebele Oputa Assessor
19-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Fact-Check Ghana does indeed identify the source of all significant evidence in its fact-checks. In this fact-check on the strength of Ghana's currency, Bloomberg's World Currency Ranker was hyperlinked. Similarly, in this fact-check, Fact-Check Ghana not only links to news articles on the data breach but also the official statement by the affected company. In some other cases and where unapplicable, Fact-Check Ghana does not provide links, however, screenshots of original paper documents are provided as evidence. Case in point, this fact-check - https://www.fact-checkghana.com/there-was-no-procurement-process-transport-ministry-contradicts-paul-adom-otchere-on-airport-xmas-tree-saga/.



done_all 3.1 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

Ebele Oputa Assessor
19-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

In most cases, Fact-Check Ghana utilizes primary sources of information to provide evidence. In this fact-check, Fact-Check Ghana directly links to the foreign news report containing the data in question. Also, in this report, fact-Check Ghana shows that evidence was obtained from the Ghana Health Service following a Right to Information (RTI) request.

This seems to be the norm in the other fact-checks that were reviewed.


done_all 3.2 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

Ebele Oputa Assessor
19-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

In most cases, Fact-Check Ghana provides a single authoritative source of evidence that suffices as credible information for refuting or confirming a claim. This is because the evidence is usually obtained from a primary source thereby giving the report a higher level of credibility that multiple secondary sources will not give. Nevertheless, one can always agree that researchers should strive for multiple sources as is the case in this factcheck - https://www.fact-checkghana.com/russian-and-ukraine-are-not-part-of-countries-with-highest-food-inflation-rate-but-ghana-is/


done_all 3.3 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

Ebele Oputa Assessor
19-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Fact-Check Ghana 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 Ebele Oputa.

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.

Fact -Check Ghana
05-Oct-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Fact-check Ghana is underwritten by the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) and operates under the Media and Good Governance portfolio of the MFWA.

 At the helm of editorial decision-making is an independent editorial board made up of accomplished media practitioners and academics. The editorial board approves the editorial strategy and policies of Fact-check Ghana. Fact-check Ghana is underwritten by the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) and operates under the Media and Good Governance portfolio of the MFWA managed by Abigail Larbi Odei, editorially, it operates independently. At the helm of editorial decision-making is an independent editorial board made up of accomplished media practitioners and academics. The editorial board approves the editorial strategy and policies of Fact-check Ghana. The board holds periodic meetings to review editorial operations and make new recommendations.

Overall day-to-day editorial decisions and final approval of all content is made by the Editor of Fact-check Ghana hold periodic meetings to review editorial operations and make new recommendations.

Overall day-to-day editorial decisions and final approval of all content is made by the Editor of Fact-check Ghana.

Ebele Oputa Assessor
19-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Factcheck Ghana has a statement on the "About Us" section of its website which reads - "Fact-Check Ghana is a fact-checking project of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)". On the Funders page, there is a quick statement that affirms this relationship and includes a link to MFWA's website where funding partners for the entire organization are listed.

However, there is no mention of the actual organization that funds the fact-checking unit and if it is a fraction of a joint funding pool, there is no mention of the percentage of the total fund that is allocated to the fact-checking project. I would recommend reviewing Africa Check's format for disclosure of funding sources to meet transparency requirements - https://africacheck.org/who-we-are/how-we-are-funded


cancel 4.1 marked as Request change by Ebele Oputa.
Ebele Oputa Assessor
08-Dec-2022 (1 year ago)

Factcheck Ghana has a statement on the "About Us" section of its website which reads - 

"Fact-Check Ghana is a fact-checking project of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA). Registered as an Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) with CG069472016, the MFWA is West Africa’s biggest and most influential media development and freedom of expression advocacy organisation with headquarters in Accra Ghana and national partner organisations in all 16 countries of West Africa. The project has a dedicated team of experienced journalists and researchers who are supported by programme and administrative staff of the MFWA."

On Factcheck Ghana's Funders page, funding support is seen to be by the Dutch Foreign Ministry.


done_all 4.1 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

Fact -Check Ghana
05-Oct-2022 (1 year ago)
Ebele Oputa Assessor
19-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Factcheck Ghana has a statement on the "About Us" section of its website which reads - "Fact-Check Ghana is a fact-checking project of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)".

For the purposes of this application, I have seen organizations provide a notarized copy of a document stating the relationship between the parent organization and fact-check organization. The registration number of the parent organization is also disclosed on the website so anyone can verify the legal status of the organization. Please provide that information if possible


cancel 4.2 marked as Request change by Ebele Oputa.
Ebele Oputa Assessor
08-Dec-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

On its website, Factcheck Ghana explains its relationship to its parent organization, Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA).

"Fact-Check Ghana is a fact-checking project of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)."

The registration number of the parent organization is also disclosed on the website so anyone can verify the legal status of the organization. 

"Registered as a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) with CG069472016, the MFWA is West Africa’s biggest and most influential media development and freedom of expression advocacy organisation with headquarters in Accra Ghana and national partner organisations in all 16 countries of West Africa."


done_all 4.2 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

Fact -Check Ghana
05-Oct-2022 (1 year ago)
Ebele Oputa Assessor
19-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

In the Editorial process page, Fact-Check Ghana highlights the organizational structure and defines the role of each member. According to the Fact-Check Ghana, the organization consists of -

1. an independent editorial board made up of accomplished media practitioners and academics who approve the editorial strategy and policies of Fact-check Ghana

2. the Programme Officer who is in charge of the coordination of editorial content and supervision of Fact-checkers 

3. the Editor who reviews the reports and makes final decisions on the reports

4. the researchers

While the researchers, programme officer, and editor are mentioned on another page on the website, there is no further information about the editorial board which is supposed to provide strategy and exercises editorial control


cancel 4.3 marked as Request change by Ebele Oputa.
Ebele Oputa Assessor
08-Dec-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

In the Editorial process page, Fact-Check Ghana highlights its organizational structure and defines the role of each member. According to Fact-Check Ghana, the organization consists of -

1. an independent editorial board made up of accomplished media practitioners and academics who approve the editorial strategy and policies of Fact-check Ghana

2. the Programme Officer who is in charge of the coordination of editorial content and supervision of Fact-checkers 

3. the Editor who reviews the reports and makes final decisions on the reports

4. the researchers

A dedicated page was also created to showcase the biographies of "the team" including the editorial board which provides strategy and exercises editorial control.


done_all 4.3 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

Fact -Check Ghana
05-Oct-2022 (1 year ago)
Ebele Oputa Assessor
19-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The team of fact-checkers, editor, and programme officer can be found on Fact-Check Ghana's website as stated.


done_all 4.4 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

Fact -Check Ghana
05-Oct-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

At the extreme bottom of our "about" section, an avenue is provided for people to reach out to us  with a question, comment, suggestion or any other form of support. Attached is a link: https://www.fact-checkghana.com/about/


Ebele Oputa Assessor
19-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Users are encouraged to communication with the editorial team with a question, comment, suggestion or any other form of support by writing to Fact-Check Ghana on: info@fact-checkghana.org. You can submit claims for fact-checking through: claims@fact-checkghana.org or facts@fact-checkghana.org 


done_all 4.5 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

Fact -Check Ghana
05-Oct-2022 (1 year ago)
Ebele Oputa Assessor
19-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Fact-Check Ghana has an easy-to-find page devoted to its methodology for the selection, research, writing, and publication of fact-checks


https://www.fact-checkghana.com/our-methodology/ 


done_all 5.1 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

Ebele Oputa Assessor
19-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago
Upon review of a cross-section of fact-checks in the categories of health, economy, politics, and education, it is clear that Fact-Check Ghana selects claims that provide the most value to its audience. Only newsworthy claims that have become a point of contention are checked.

done_all 5.2 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

Ebele Oputa Assessor
19-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago
Although there is much room for improvement, Fact-Check Ghana does provide relevant evidence to support/refute claims. 




done_all 5.3 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

Ebele Oputa Assessor
19-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago
Fact-Check Ghana does not seem to be partisan in its approach to fact-checking. There is no cause for me to believe that a different set of standards are applied to claims by one political party over another. There seems to be a clear decision to focus on the facts of the statement as opposed to the person who made the claim. Also, Fact-Check Ghana does not seem to be unethical in evidence gathering, that is, manipulating facts to serve its goals.

done_all 5.4 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

Ebele Oputa Assessor
19-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago
In most fact-checks, there was no indication to show that the person who made the claim was contacted, however, Fact-Check Ghana did state that contacting a claimant is an important step.

"Once a claim or a subject matter is established as worthy of fact-checking based on our methodology, the following step-by-step processes are undertaken to conduct the fact-checking:

  • Calling or contacting claimants to get more details on the claim or subject matter if necessary.
  • Mapping and selecting available credible sources for verification.
  • Contacting experts.
  • Producing reports"

Nevertheless, here is a sample fact-check where the person who makes the claim was contacted but failed to reply - https://www.fact-checkghana.com/cost-of-free-shs-figures-from-finance-education-ministries-contradictory/ 


done_all 5.5 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

Fact -Check Ghana
05-Oct-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago


At our " about" section, people are encouraged to send in claims for fact-checking purposes. 

These are the various email addresses claims are sent through:  claims@fact-checkghana.org or facts@fact-checkghana.org



Ebele Oputa Assessor
19-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Fact-Check Ghana encourages users to send in claims via their contact emails. It is assumed that by reading the "What is the Approach" section of the About us page, users will know what is fact-checkable and what isn't.


done_all 5.6 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

Fact -Check Ghana
05-Oct-2022 (1 year ago)
Ebele Oputa Assessor
19-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Fact-Check Ghana provides a detailed corrections policy on its website -

"We at fact-check Ghana do our best to be accurate and unbiased in our reports. However, we recognize that mistakes may happen, new information may emerge concerning published reports or some important information may be missed.

We commit to addressing all concerns speedily, with fairness and transparency. In the event that there are factual errors or the context within which the report is published changes or new information changes our understanding of the subject which warrants clarification or correction, we will make corrections and highlight the corrections made in the original report with an explanation to readers why the correction was made. Where corrections are made or reports are updated to reflect the new information or correction “CORRECTED” or “UPDATED” will be attached to the headline and a underneath the headline will be an explanation as to which part of the report has been altered and why.

Where the change or clarification makes a significant impact on the conclusion of the report, the change will be effected and reposted as lead story on the fact-check website. Where it is a minor change, the report will not be made the lead story but rather remain in the chronological order within which it was published.

If you as our reader you find any errors that are factual or any published reports with a context that needs correcting, please contact our editor for review and correction.

Telephone: +233 30 255 5327

Email: Info@fact-checkghana.ocm "


done_all 6.1 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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

Ebele Oputa Assessor
19-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago
According to Fact-Check Ghana, factual errors, contextual omissions, or information changes are subject to clarification or correction. Where corrections are made or reports are updated to reflect the new information or correction, “CORRECTED” or “UPDATED” will be attached to the headline and underneath the headline will be an explanation as to which part of the report has been altered and why.


To fully meet this requirement, I advise that you include a statement that defines what or why some complaints may receive no response in order to set the expectation for your readers


cancel 6.2 marked as Request change by Ebele Oputa.
Ebele Oputa Assessor
08-Dec-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago
According to Fact-Check Ghana, factual errors, contextual omissions, or information changes are subject to clarification or correction. Where corrections are made or reports are updated to reflect the new information or correction, “CORRECTED” or “UPDATED” will be attached to the headline and underneath the headline will be an explanation as to which part of the report has been altered and why.


The correction policy also sets out, in clear words, scenarios where complaints may not justify a response - "if we consider the complaints to be against the IFCN Principles, which our methodology and editorial policies are based on."

Furthermore, Factcheck Ghana explains how major and minor mistakes will be handled.

"Where the change or clarification makes a significant impact on the conclusion of the report, the change will be effected and reposted as lead story on the fact-check website. Where it is a minor change, the report will not be made the lead story but rather remain in the chronological order within which it was published."


done_all 6.2 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

Fact -Check Ghana
05-Oct-2022 (1 year ago)

There was no request for coreection by any applicant however, Fact-Check Ghana activated this button voluntary after we made an error in an earlier report.
Here is an example of demonstrating when this was used.

https://www.fact-checkghana.com/bawumias-lecture-on-digitisation-these-claims-are-false-misleading/

Ebele Oputa Assessor
19-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago
According to Fact-Check Ghana, there has been no correction request in the past year and this is acceptable. Rather, the organization self-corrected a mistake it made as you can see in the link provided.


While that action is applaudable, the problem is Fact-Check did not follow its corrections policy as it relates to the structure of a corrected fact-check. In this example, there is no “CORRECTED” or “UPDATED” label in the headline and underneath the headline explaining which part of the report has been altered and why. Instead, the correction is located at the bottom of the long article as the editor's note.

It's important that readers get what they are promised.


cancel 6.3 marked as Request change by Ebele Oputa.
Ebele Oputa Assessor
07-Jan-2023 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago
According to Fact-Check Ghana, there has been no correction request in the past year and this is acceptable. Rather, the organization self-corrected a mistake it made as you can see in the link provided.

https://www.fact-checkghana.com/bawumias-lecture-on-digitisation-these-claims-are-false-misleading/


done_all 6.3 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

Ebele Oputa Assessor
19-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

There is no statement on Fact-Check Ghana's website that tells users to inform the IFCN if there is a violation of the IFCN Code of Principles. What is applicable is the IFCN badge which when clicked, directs users to IFCN's profile page for Fact-Check Ghana.

This, in my opinion, does not meet the criteria


cancel 6.4 marked as Request change by Ebele Oputa.
Ebele Oputa Assessor
08-Dec-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

At the bottom of the Corrections Policy page on Fact-Check Ghana's website, there lies a statement that tells users to inform the IFCN if there is a violation of the IFCN Code of Principles. 

A recommendation would be to highlight the hyperlinked text that directs to the IFCN's website in blue or any other accessible color.


done_all 6.4 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.

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.

Fact -Check Ghana
05-Oct-2022 (1 year ago)
Ebele Oputa Assessor
19-Nov-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

There is no corrections policy on the parent media company's website.


cancel 6.5 marked as Request change by Ebele Oputa.
Ebele Oputa Assessor
08-Dec-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The parent company, Media Foundation for West Africa, is not a Fact-checking organization, hence does not have a corrections policy. 


done_all 6.5 marked as Compliant by Ebele Oputa.