Applicant: Allan LEONARD
Assessor: Raymond Joseph
Conclusion and recommendations
Raymond Joseph wrote:
I previously assessed FactCheckNI in 2017 and it is most gratifying to see how the project, which was incubated within the charity Foundation (Northern Ireland), is now a registered standalone non-profit, Community Interest Company (CIC).
It is also important to acknowledge the difficult terrain that FCNI must navigate to be seen as politically neutral in an environment where suspicion and mistrust are often present. Despite limited financial and human resources, they are doing an excellent job under - what at times must be - difficult circumstances.
I have no hesitation in recommending that FCNI's application be accepted, although I do have some minor recommendations to make.
2b) Publish a link to the Code of Conduct Google link (http://bit.ly/38XFhFR) in the "About" tab on the home page.
5b) I suggest repeating the info, below, from the "Claim selection and research methods" explanation on the "Submit Claim" page. The reason is that some people submitting a claim for fact-checking might not have read the "Claim selection and research methods" section and not understand what can, and cannot, be fact-checked. By repeating the information, it will ensure that users are aware of it and will not end up frustrated - or worse - when their suggested fact-check is not taken up.
"Claims that are researched by FactCheckNI are done so only with publicly available sources. In order for FactCheckNI to research a claim, the claim must be:
* a statement made in public, which can be attributed to a specific person (e.g. a politician or campaigner) or organisation (e.g. a report)
* an assertion or allegation that can be validated or refuted (to a degree)
* based on past or present actions (i.e. not speculative about the future)"
6a) Under "Corrections" add:
See b) details of how complaints/corrections requests are handled, and how long the process usually takes;
See c) how corrections are handled on social media platforms where they might also have been previously published. If social media is used to alert people to the corrected article posts/tweets should state whether it is a correction, update, clarification with a link to the article.