Georgia's Reforms Associates (GRASS)

Organization: FactCheck Georgia
Applicant: Paata Gaprindashvili
Assessor: Oleg Khomenok

Background

The applicant has previous experience of being signatory of IFCN and since 2013 works in accordance to high professional standards. Editorial team does important and valuable work checking claims and revealing disinformation in the media and social networks.

Assessment Conclusion

The application and the website FactCheck.ge are in compliance of all criteria for signatories.

on 22-Jun-2020 (1 year ago)

Oleg Khomenok assesses application as Compliant

A short summary in native publishing language

Very good and respectful team and project.

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.

FactCheck Georgia
30-May-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

As indicated in the About Us section of the project website (see: https://factcheck.ge/en/chven-shesaxeb)FactCheck Georgia is a project of Georgia’s Reforms Associates (GRASS), a non-partisan, non-governmental policy watchdog and think tank (https://grass.org.ge/en). GRASS is legally registered at the National Agency of Public Registry. Please find the registration document attached below.

The About Us section on the GRASS's website outlines the mission of the organization and mentions the date it was established (https://grass.org.ge/en/grass-is-gundi). In addition, the information about the founders of the organization (see: https://grass.org.ge/en/grass-is-gundi/damphudzneblebi), as well as about the board members (https://grass.org.ge/en/grass-is-gundi/board) are accessible for the public. 

Files Attached
picture_as_pdf GRASS Certificate of... (135 KB)
Oleg Khomenok Assessor
22-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

FactCheck Georgia is the project implemented by Georgia's Reforms Associates, which is non-profit and non-government organisation. This is confirmed by the Georgian State Registry of Non-Commercial Organisations. This is also stated at the section About us of the website&


done_all 1.1 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

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?

FactCheck Georgia
30-May-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Established in 2013, FactCheck Georgia (https://factcheck.ge/en) is an innovative media project in Georgia, piloted and actively implemented by Georgia’s Reforms Associates (GRASS). As of now, fifteen people work for the project, out of which ten people represent fact-check experts, who specialize in different fields, such as journalism, economics, law and judiciary, international relations, public policy and good governance, education, propaganda and disinformation, etc. Other five people include project director, project coordinator, project assistant, financial manager and driver, who ensure the management and technical operation of the project. 

FactCheck’s main objectives are as follows: (1) providing precise, accurate and evidence-based information to readers; (2) increasing the accountability and responsibility of politicians to their constituencies; (3) promoting the development of fact-based political rhetoric; (4) fighting against fake news and propaganda by providing verified facts to our readers. To this end, FactCheck’s team monitors MPs, the president, government officials and other public figures and highlights the factual accuracies and inaccuracies in their statements. In addition, FactCheck verifies fake news and disinformation narratives being disseminated in social networks/media outlets and provides the public with true and correct information.

At the moment, apart from monitoring the statements of public figures, FactCheck Georgia is focused on exposing COVID-19-related misinformation and implements an information campaign to increase the public awareness and immunity against manipulation. Furthermore, the project plans to actively FactCheck the upcoming parliamentary elections and verify the statements, promises and party programs of different political forces, public figures and election candidates. Other than this, our team will continue to monitor and analyze actual public policy decisions and developments over the coming year. 

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
22-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The team of 15 people constantly working on the factchecking publishing the results of analysis of wide range of topics including the crucially important like COVID-19. They seem to have clear plans pf activities for the next half of a year.


done_all 1.2 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

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.

FactCheck Georgia
30-May-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Since 2013, FactCheck Georgia published over three thousand articles. All articles can be accessed through this link – Georgian: https://factcheck.ge/ka/stories/archive; English: https://factcheck.ge/en/stories/archive. Only selected articles are published in English. Fact checks published during the last three months are as follow:

1. Statement: We are the number-three country in the world in terms of the tax burden. It would be impossible for us to provide incentives to business by further tax cuts or tax preferences. Verdict: MANIPULATION OF FACTS.

Link: https://factcheck.ge/en/story/38363-we-are-the-number-three-country-in-the-world-in-terms-of-the-tax-burden-it-would-be-impossible-for-us-to-provide-incentives-to-business-by-further-tax-cuts-or-tax-preferences

2. Statement: The government spends GEL 525 million more on bureaucracy. Verdict: MOSTLY FALSE

Link: https://factcheck.ge/en/story/38371-the-government-spends-gel-525-million-more-on-bureaucracy

3. Statement: As compared to 2012, the Georgian Dream increased bureaucratic expenses by GEL 1 billion. Verdict: MOSTLY FALSE

Link: https://factcheck.ge/en/story/38380--as-compared-to-2012-the-georgian-dream-increased-bureaucratic-expenses-by-gel-1-billion

4. Statement: If in 2014 the share of remittances from Russia constituted 50% of the total remittances, this figure is halved today and amounts to 25%. Verdict: True

Link: https://factcheck.ge/en/story/38396-koba-gvenetadze-if-in-2014-the-share-of-remittances-from-russia-constituted-50-of-the-total-remittances-this-figure-is-halved-today-and-amounts-to-25

5. Disinformation: How the Kremlin Exploits the Coronavirus to Circulate Disinformation. Verdict: Fake News

Link: https://factcheck.ge/en/story/38391-how-the-kremlin-exploits-the-coronavirus-to-circulate-disinformation

6. Disinformation: Linking 5G to the Coronavirus. Verdict: Fake News

Link: https://factcheck.ge/en/story/38423-disinformation-linking-5g-to-the-coronavirus

7. Analytics on Coronavirus: Plaquenil is not Given for Prophylaxis or to Patients without Symptoms.

Link: https://factcheck.ge/en/story/38432-plaquenil-is-not-given-for-prophylaxis-or-to-patients-without-symptoms

8. Statement: None of the large infrastructure projects have been stopped. Verdict: Without Verdict

Link: https://factcheck.ge/en/story/38461--none-of-the-large-infrastructure-projects-have-been-stopped

9. Analytics: Does Government Assistance Meet the Subsistence Minimum?

Link: https://factcheck.ge/en/story/38470-does-government-assistance-meet-the-subsistence-minimum

10. Statement: Foreign direct investments have dropped by 50%. Verdict: Half True

Link: https://factcheck.ge/en/story/38474--foreign-direct-investments-have-dropped-by-50

11. Statement: Georgian Dream government made our country poorer. We have increased unemployment and increased state debt. Verdict: Mostly False

Link: https://factcheck.ge/ka/story/38455--ქართულმა-ოცნებამ-ქვეყანა-გააღატაკა-უფრო-მეტი-უმუშევარია-უფრო-მეტი-ვალი-დაედო-ჩვენს-ბიუჯეტს

12. Statement: In order for the president to pardon him, it’s not necessary for Gigi Ugulava to plead guilty. Verdict: True

Link: https://factcheck.ge/ka/story/38368-გიგი-უგულავას-მხრიდან-დანაშაულის-აღიარება-არ-არის-აუცილებელი-იმისთვის-რომ-პრეზიდენტმა-მისი-შეწყალების-საკითხი-განიხილოს

13. Statement: The report from the European Commission gives a positive assessment to all issues. Verdict: Lie

Link: https://factcheck.ge/ka/story/38365--ევროკომისიის-ანგარიშში-პრაქტიკულად-არცერთი-საკითხი-არ-აქვს-დატოვებული-დადებითი-შეფასების-გარეშე 

Besides verifying the statements of public politicians and political forces, during the last three months, GRASS has mainly focused on the information campaign on social media to promote better awareness about COVID-19. Specifically, we have been exposing virus-related hoaxes and developed a guideline (see: shorturl.at/ekFO9) for readers on how to avoid misinformation; we have actively promoted recommendations of WHO, the government and other relevant authorities in smart data visuals and video clips; A separate section on Coronavirus see: (https://factcheck.ge/en/covid-19) was added to the project’s web-page to make it easier for the public to access the most significant information and updates on the pandemic in an orderly manner; we joined #CoronaVirusFacts Alliance and translated a number of relevant articles for Georgian audience; FactCheck Georgia is actively contributing to the database that gathers all of the falsehoods that have been detected by the alliance (see: https://www.poynter.org/ifcn-covid-19-misinformation/?covid_countries=0&covid_rating=0&covid_fact_checkers=47413). In total, over fifty pieces was dedicated to coronavirus. 

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
22-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Mostly FactCheck.ge is producing and publishing stories on the daily basis, sometimes several stories per day. I tracked their archive back to the November 2019 and see that the flow and the frequency of the stories production and publication is in a right order.


done_all 1.3 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

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.

FactCheck Georgia
30-May-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago


Oleg Khomenok Assessor
22-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

I looked through the stories back to March 2020 https://factcheck.ge/ka/stories/archive?page=8 and find them well done in compliance to factcheck methodology. The topics of factchecking are socially important and cover a lot of issues providing reliable information to the audience.


done_all 1.4 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

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.

FactCheck Georgia
30-May-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

FactCheck Georgia does not maintain any kind of commercial, financial and/or institutional relationship with the state, politicians or political parties. Nor we have received funding or support from foreign as well as local state or political actors. As the methodology document of the project points out, FactCheck Georgia is politically independent and nonpartisan (see: https://factcheck.ge/en/chven-shesaxeb/მეთოდოლოგია). Its nonpartisanship is proved by the articles published on the project website and the verdicts, which are based on objective analysis of information. Donor organizations, such as USAID, National Endowment for Democracy, German Marshall Fund, European Endowment for Democracy, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Georgia, US Embassy in Georgia will also confirm the impartiality of the project based on the partnership process and reports submitted.

According to the guideline document for FactCheck-analysts (please see attached), project team members are obliged to leave their political preferences behind and maintain absolute nonpartisanship during fact-checking. In addition, biographies of FactCheck team members are transparent and published on the project website (see: shorturl.at/ghlz5), demonstrating that they are not affiliated with political parties.

As for the organization, GRASS is non-partisan and with its activities, it only aims to benefit the public interests. GRASS as a whole and FactCheck Georgia, in particular, do not advocate for any political party or candidate. Nonpartisanship is one of the major requirements applied to job candidates during the selection process. In addition, if any member of the organization will decide to join or advocate for any political organization, it automatically results in termination of the labor agreement and he/she is dismissed from GRASS. In several cases, particular members of FactCheck Georgia left the project in pursuant of a political career. Their membership at FactCheck Georgia was suspended prior to their engagement in political activities.   

Files Attached
description Guideline-for-FactCh... (17 KB)
Oleg Khomenok Assessor
22-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Factcheck.ge looks like fully independent of the any state and political influence, I didn't find online any claims blaming them in being connected to any state body or political party. The project is supported by a range of international donors.


done_all 1.5 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

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.

FactCheck Georgia
30-May-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

N/A 

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
22-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The site has the statement at the bottom stating "The views and opinions expressed on this website belong to Factcheck.ge and are not the views and opinions of project support organisations". (See attached screenshot)

Files Attached
FC.ge bottom.png (119 KB)
done_all 1.6 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

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.

FactCheck Georgia
30-May-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

1. https://factcheck.ge/en/story/38119-the-unemployment-rate-has-been-falling-in-2018-the-unemployment-rate-decreased-by-1-2-percentage-points-and-reached-12-7-which-is-the-lowest-figure-in-the-last-15-years – Mamuka Bakhtadze, Prime Minister of Georgia (former). Verdict – Mostly False

2. https://factcheck.ge/en/story/38126-of-georgia-s-2-5-billion-cubic-metres-of-natural-gas-consumption-95-is-from-azerbaijan  Natia Turnava, Minister of Economy of Georgia. Verdict – True

3. https://factcheck.ge/en/story/38240-money-allocated-in-2019-is-unprecedentedly-high-the-ministry-has-never-had-gel-2-billion-which-is-gel-420-million-more-as-compared-to-the-previous-year-as-of-1-september-2019-we-provided-funds-for-work-with-the-value-of-gel-964-million-which-is-54-more-asMaia - Maia Tskitishvili, Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure. Verdict – Half True

4. https://factcheck.ge/en/story/38297--fewer-people-leave-the-country-under-the-georgian-dream-government – Davit Songhulashvili, Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee of European Integration. Verdict – Manipulation of Facts.

5. https://factcheck.ge/en/story/38125-the-government-failed-to-keep-what-they-inherited-the-economic-growth-rate-the-gel-exchange-rate-and-tariffs-which-they-promised-to-halve - Otar Kakhidze, MP from the opposition party, European Georgia-Movement for Liberty. Verdict – Mostly True

6. https://factcheck.ge/en/story/38282--as-compared-to-2012-the-gdp-per-capita-has-increased-by-40 - Badri Japaridze, founder of the political movement-Lelo. Verdict – Mostly False. Vs – Beka Liluashvili, the economic advisor to the prime minister. Verdict –True

7. https://factcheck.ge/en/story/38139-the-partnership-fund-has-been-making-a-loss-for-four-years-and-this-loss-constitutes-gel-700-million - Levan Koberidze, independent MP, Verdict – Half-True

8. https://factcheck.ge/en/story/38371-the-government-spends-gel-525-million-more-on-bureaucracy - Nika  Melia, MP from the Opposition Party, United National Movement. Verdict – Mostly False

9. https://factcheck.ge/en/story/38273-georgia-has-anti-dumping-legislation - Vladimer Kakabadze, Judge of the Supreme Court of Georgia. Verdict – Lie

10. https://factcheck.ge/en/story/38161-according-to-information-published-by-the-international-edition-of-global-finance-georgia-is-among-the-top-ten-attractive-in-terms-of-being-promising-countries - Koba Gvenetadze, the President of the National Bank of Georgia. Verdict – Mostly True

These examples demonstrate that FactCheck Georgia is committed to nonpartisanship and fairness. No matter fact-check is applied to the representatives of the government or opposition parties, verdicts are issued in compliance with the accuracy of their statements. Archive materials published on the project web-page proves that FactCheck Georgia responds directly to the importance of adhering to the principles of defendable fact-based research, journalistic integrity on the highest of professional levels, unbias and fairness in reporting, and the accountability and transparency of sources.

Fact-checkers work according to an internal FactCheck Guideline document developed in 2013. The document has been subject to several updates and improvements and to a large degree, corresponded to the FactChecker’s Code of Principles before it was established. FactCheck Guideline contributes to maintaining coherent standards by establishing a set of rules for fact-checkers concerning the structure of articles, writing style, duties, terms, timelines, and procedures, etc. (please see attached).

In addition, monitoring, evaluation, and reporting are ongoing throughout the course of the project. The project team regularly meets to discuss project activity and implementation, propose and implement troubleshooting mechanisms as needed and prepare and submit all internal and donor reports according to pre-established timelines.

Naturally, FactCheck recognizes the possibility that mistakes can occur in the process of writing and finalizing the articles. Therefore, should politicians or public figures disagree with our assessment of their statements (or any of our readers as well), FactCheck encourages them to provide us with a relevant argument. Received proofs are closely examined by the FactCheck board and in the event of their validity, we revise or amend our research as well as the verdict accordingly.

Files Attached
description Guideline-for-FactCh... (17 KB)
Oleg Khomenok Assessor
22-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The examples and further analysis of the stories shows that Factcheck.ge is following the standards of non-partisanship and fairness, select the topics and claims in unbiased way.


done_all 2.1 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

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.

FactCheck Georgia
30-May-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

FactCheck Georgia's web-page publishes thorough methodology (https://factcheck.ge/en/chven-shesaxeb/მეთოდოლოგია) detailing FactCheck’s working principles, which complements with the code of principles elaborated by International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN). The methodology explains the whole working routine of the project as regards the following: how do we identify facts for verification; what kind of topics are given priorities for analysis; how do we collect data; how verdicts are issued, etc.

According to this methodology, one of the objective of our work is to keep the balance. Although FactCheck’s analysts select statements for verification based on facts given in the statements, it can happen frequently that we find numerous statements of one party/politician whilst none can be found on other party/politician., Here we are not to blame; however, we still try to equally cover all the parties/politicians and make sure that articles dedicated to their statements are somehow equal as well. This approach is particularly important during the election campaign period.

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
22-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

There is a link to the methodology of the factcheck used by the team at the section About us. It provides clear explanation of the procedures and methods used.


done_all 2.2 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

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.

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
22-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Producing their stories FactCheck.ge team in appropriate cases discloses sources status in the story and specific interest of the source to give the reader deeper understanding of the context. 


done_all 2.3 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

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.

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
22-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Factcheck.ge shows neutrality and equal approach toward all parties, politicians providing no support to anybody. 


done_all 2.4 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

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.

FactCheck Georgia
30-May-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The methodology of FactCheck Georgia (see: https://factcheck.ge/en/chven-shesaxeb/მეთოდოლოგია) outlines three key objectives of our work, which are as follow: (1) Finding the Truth – It is FactCheck’s top objective to show the reader where the truth is. (2) Transparency of Sources – Making references to all sources used in an article. (3) Multiple Verification – Verification of facts and data as many times and as many sources as possible. In addition, it precisely determines the major standards and principles for FactCheckers to conduct their work. Depending these principles leave no space for partisanship and make our work unbiased and objective.

Furthermore, As a verified signatory of IFCN, we also publish its main principles (https://factcheck.ge/en/სარედაქციო-კოდექსი) on our website let readers know to what standards we are adhering as an organization. Finally, FactCheck Georgia works in consideration with the internal guideline for FactCheck analysts (please find attached), which mentions non-partisanship as the main obligation for FactCheck team members. 

Files Attached
description Guideline-for-FactCh... (17 KB)
Oleg Khomenok Assessor
22-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

THe methodology document on the site explains the key criteria of non-partisanship.


done_all 2.5 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

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.

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
22-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

In all stories that I checked, the factcheck summaries were structured as how-to-do guidance based on the open sources (mostly documents) that gives the readers the opportunity to replicate the factcheck on their own. 


done_all 3.1 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

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.

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
22-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

In all reviewed stories, the proofs are based the primary sources, mostly official public data or documents.


done_all 3.2 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

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.

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
22-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

If the facts that are checked can be proven by several different sources6 Factcheck.ge is using more than one source as proofs.


done_all 3.3 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

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.

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
22-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

In most of cases the proofs are based on the official and public data so this is stated in the stories since official data could lie as well. In some cases the interest of the source is stated for the transparency and understanding of the context.


done_all 3.4 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

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.

FactCheck Georgia
30-May-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

FactCheck Georgia is a project of Georgia’s Reforms Associates (GRASS), an independent, non-partisan, non-governmental policy watchdog and think tank (https://grass.org.ge/en). GRASS is legally registered at the National Agency of Public Registry. Please find the registration document attached below.

Files Attached
picture_as_pdf GRASS Certificate of... (135 KB)
Oleg Khomenok Assessor
22-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

FactCheck.ge is the project implemented by Georgia's Reforms Associates, non-profit, non-government independent organisation legally registered in Georgia.


done_all 4.1 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

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.

FactCheck Georgia
30-May-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The About Us section on GRASS's website mentions that GRASS is a non-partisan, non-governmental policy watchdog and multi-profile think tank which provides policy recommendations to the government, conducts research-based analysis and raises public interest and awareness on a wide range of public policy issues (see: shorturl.at/kyBH1). GRASS publicly lists sources of funding for each project, including for FactCheck, on its web-page.

See: http://grass.org.ge/en/projects/

FactCheck Georgia places the badges of the project donor organizations on its website:

See: https://factcheck.ge/en/პროექტის-მხარდამჭერები

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
22-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

On both websites of FactCheck.ge and GRASS there are notifications that GRASS is implementing FactCheck project as well as information about sources of funding.


done_all 4.2 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

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.

FactCheck Georgia
30-May-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

A supreme managing body of GRASS is a board, which is composed of respected individuals from academic and CSO fields (sea the biographies of board members: https://grass.org.ge/en/grass-is-gundi/board. The board is responsible for determining the strategic direction of the organization and ensuring its independence from political or any kind of malign influence. 

The daily decision in GRASS are made by the central staff of the organization, including the director, project manager, project coordinators and financial manager. FactCheck editor is accountable to the director (see the organizational chart attached). However, the director is solely engaged in managerial side of the project and does not interfere in the editorial activities. As noted in the FactCheck Georgia's methodology (see: https://bit.ly/2UTboPv) editorial procedures are as follow: 

When FactCheck’s analyst finishes an article, he/she informs FactCheck’s editor (and chief economist if the article is on economy) and the process of redacting the article begins. In the process of editing the article, the editor provides comments on the content and style as well as remarks of a technical character as required. In this process, the article might return to the author with respective comments/remarks until it is finalised. In addition, the editor and the author of an article make an agreement on the final verdict, based on criteria applied to each verdict. The article cannot get published on FactCheck’s website without a respective consensus being reached. 

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
22-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The board page is on the GRASS web-site with appropriate bios of members. Editorial team info is located on https://factcheck.ge/en/chven-shesaxeb/team This section also provides information about team members. The management and decision making process is described in methodology. https://factcheck.ge/en/chven-shesaxeb/%E1%83%9B%E1%83%94%E1%83%97%E1%83%9D%E1%83%93%E1%83%9D%E1%83%9A%E1%83%9D%E1%83%92%E1%83%98%E1%83%90 


done_all 4.3 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

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.

FactCheck Georgia
30-May-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago
FactCheck Team: https://factcheck.ge/en/chven-shesaxeb/team (please click on the names for biographies)


GRASS Team: https://grass.org.ge/en/grass-is-gundi/our-team 


Oleg Khomenok Assessor
22-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Editorial team info is located on https://factcheck.ge/en/chven-shesaxeb/team This section provides relevant information about team members including bio and position in the newsroom. 


done_all 4.4 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

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.

FactCheck Georgia
30-May-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

In the end of the FactCheck Methodology document (see: https://bit.ly/2UTboPv) readers are invited to interact with FactCheck Georgia should they have any questions. To this end, e-mail address, telephone numbers and Facebook address is indicated. In addition: 

- Readers can send their claims through contact section of the project web-page, which allows them to directly send their message to the project team - https://factcheck.ge/en/contact

- FactCheck offers a service, Check Your Fact, which gives the public an opportunity to verify facts that are of particular interest to them - https://factcheck.ge/en/check-your-fact

Each article has a comment section, where readers can express their claims or opinions about the research - http://factcheck.ge/en/; 

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
22-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

FactCheck.ge gives the readers several options to communicate with editorial team through the web-site, social networks and email.


done_all 4.5 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

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.

FactCheck Georgia
30-May-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

FactCheck Methodology: https://bit.ly/2UTboPv

Please find attached the guideline document below:              

Files Attached
description Guideline-for-FactCh... (17 KB)
Oleg Khomenok Assessor
22-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

THe link to methodology is on the front-page of the site.


done_all 5.1 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

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.

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
22-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Most of claims analysed by me were about COVID-19, the importance is evident, the rest were connected to finances, economy of Georgia and were socially important.


done_all 5.2 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

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.

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
22-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The team members/authors in claims are using both facts that are proving the fact is true and that it is false.


done_all 5.3 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

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.

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
22-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

It looks evidently that FactCheck.ge has equal and neutral approach in their claims.


done_all 5.4 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

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.

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
22-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

In a couple of stories I saw the quotes of the people who's statements had been checked and it gave more credibility ti the stories.


done_all 5.5 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

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.

FactCheck Georgia
30-May-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

FactCheck offers a service, Check Your Fact (shorturl.at/dfxBT), which gives the public an opportunity to verify facts that are of particular interest to them. Readers can also send their claims through contact section of the project web-page (https://factcheck.ge/en/contact) which allows them to directly submit their messages to the project team. In addition, each article has a comment section, where readers can express their claims or opinions about research (http://factcheck.ge/en/). Other than the FactCheck website, readers can submit their claims and opinions through project’s Facebook page (shorturl.at/coDK2). 

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
22-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

There are several ways to submit the claim for checking including Check Your Fact module https://factcheck.ge/ka/check-your-fact and via social networks. There is an explanation of the claims appropriate for factchecking on the Georgian version of CheckYourFact page.


done_all 5.6 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

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.

FactCheck Georgia
30-May-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Correction policy is part of the project’s methodology. Particularly, FactCheck Georgia allows for the possibility that a mistake can occur in its work. Therefore, in the case politicians or citizens disagree with particular research and judgment, FactCheck Georgia urges them to send relevant argumentation in a written form. Received proofs are closely examined by the FactCheck board in due time and in the event of their validity, research, as well as the verdict, is revised or corrected accordingly.

In the case, if a significant piece of information is added to the research/article, but the addition does not lead to a change of the verdict, we revise our article; however, if the added piece of information alters the issued verdict the article is corrected. This practice serves the purpose of ensuring maximum objectivity and political impartiality in FactCheck’s work.

Please see "Rectifying Mistakes in FactCheck’s Article" in the FactCheck Methodology: https://bit.ly/2UTboPv  

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
22-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Mistakes correction policy is a part of methodology that is published on the front-page.


done_all 6.1 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

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

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
22-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The policy sets clearly how mistakes can be found, what and in which way they will be corrected.

Namely:  

Rectifying Mistakes in FactCheck’s Article

FactCheck acknowledges that in certain cases it could be wrong. Therefore, FactCheck offers the authors of the statements that we have verified (or any other stakeholders) to submit their comments and arguments in the case when they disagree with our research and conclusions. Our team will analyse comments and arguments and if they are proven correct, we will amend both our research and the verdict. If importation information which was not previously reflected in the research is added to an article/research study but this does not change the verdict, we will update the article. However, in the case when there is additional information which changes the verdict, we will amend the respective article. It is visibly indicated in the updated or amended article upon whose request or based upon what argument it was updated/amended. In addition, such articles are published anew on FactCheck’s website and Facebook page.


done_all 6.2 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

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.

FactCheck Georgia
30-May-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

1. https://factcheck.ge/en/story/38358-georgia-s-strategic-or-partisan-communications?fbclid=IwAR1Ue1yRVPrRGWuFiZ6Bxe9iUJoC4-y8OtfRiFeeH5eOqiS2xtHxoEB_D7c

Editor’s Note: In the initial version of the article, published on 23 September 2016 was indicated as the date of the establishment of the structural unit of strategic communications of the Ministry of Defence. After a reader’s comment, the article was updated and ascertained that the initial decision for launching StratCom at the Ministry of Defence was made following the Minister’s decree of 13 August 2015. On 23 September 2016, the Strategic Communications Department was abolished and it was incorporated as a division within the Department of Strategic Communications and Public Relations. The updated version of the article also includes comments from the former Minister of Defence, Tinatin Khidasheli, and the former Head of the Strategic Communications Department, Giorgi Molodini, in the footnote.

2. https://factcheck.ge/ka/story/38443-25-ია-მთელი-ქვეყნის-სახნავ-სათესი-მიწების-დამუშავებული?fbclid=IwAR3Iru8VyaAsyq2pZ7vj9pJLnbZD7uSDzBE67G1Y62M0ZPfNHBVyK86LdBA

Editor's note: This article (only Georgian version available) analyzes the statement of the head of the political movement "Lelo", Mamuka Khazaradze, according to whom only 25% of agricultural land is cultivated. Using the most recent data of 2014, describing figures of agricultural lands, initial verdict was Half-True. However, upon communication with the author of the statement, it was clarified that his claim derived from the 2004 data. There is considerable difference between the data of 2004 and 2014, while relevant state institutions failed to provide us with complete information to conclude the analysis. Therefore, initial verdict was changed by "Without Verdict". However, we continue our efforts to obtain additional data to have a complete picture. 

3. https://factcheck.ge/ka/story/38329-2019-წლის-დასაწყისში-ვამბობდით-რომ-ახალი-საინვესტიციო-პორტფელი-იქნებოდა-3-მილიარდი-ლარი-დღეის-მდგომარეობით-ეს-ნიშნული-არის-უკვე-4-მილიარდი-ლარი?fbclid=IwAR1urIR9s84CECNSgYvu7OWvtKJF7t0essFUV0MvaqU-BsUeF1ihMYaZFPw

Editor's Note: Initial verdict of this article (only Georgian version available), which is related to creating new jobs in Adjara region of Georgia, was Half-True. After publishing the article, representatives of minister of finance and economy contacted us and disagree with our analysis. As identified, documents provided by the ministry included incorrect data. In addition, they claimed that the author of the statement did not specifically refer to the number of jobs created through new investments, but he indicated to overall number of new jobs. Although, the context of this statement make us think that this is not the case, we cannot prove otherwise. Therefore, the initial verdict was changed into "without verdict" and we let readers make their own conclusions. 

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
22-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The examples provided are showing responsible approach to th correction of mistakes.


done_all 6.3 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

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.

FactCheck Georgia
30-May-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

FactCheck Georgia publishes the code of principles on its site (see: https://factcheck.ge/en/სარედაქციო-კოდექსი). The same pages allows readers to submit a complaint to IFCN, If they believe that FactCheck Georgia is violating these principles. A link to the complaints page on the IFCN site is also provided.

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
22-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

At the first and last paragraphs of the Editorial Code of principles https://factcheck.ge/ka/სარედაქციო-კოდექსი there are statements required by this criteria.


done_all 6.4 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.

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.

FactCheck Georgia
30-May-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

N/A 

Oleg Khomenok Assessor
22-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Since GRASS is a think-tank but not the media, this criteria is not applicable.


done_all 6.5 marked as Compliant by Oleg Khomenok.