FACTLY MEDIA & RESEARCH

Organization: FACTLY MEDIA & RESEARCH
Applicant: Rakesh Dubbudu
Assessor: Surekha Deepak
Edits made by the organization after this assessment

IFCN Staff wrote:

For Criteria 1b

We have been doing fact checking on & off. But starting September (following the IFCN Flash grant), we have been regular. In October, we did 20 fact checks and in November, we have already published 6. Hence the regularity will be maintained.

For Criteria 2a

The current focus is on fact checking the claims made by the central government on their 48-month portal since this is a part of a time-bound IFCN grant and also in the light of ensuing elections in 2019. At the same time, we are putting efforts to fact check claims made by the opposition as well. More such fact checks on the claims made by the opposition will be published in the coming weeks & months.

For Criteria 4a

Each source of funding though not specific is listed. There are no other sources of funding other than the ones mentioned. The founding partners of the registered entity are ‘Rakesh Dubbudu’ & ‘Sahitya Reddi’. Audited financial statements will be provided if needed.

For Criterion 4c

An email has now been listed in this page (https://factly.in/contact/)

For Criterion 5b

An email has now been listed in this page for submission of claims (https://factly.in/contact/)

For Criterion 6a & 6b

Corrections policy is already available on this page (https://factly.in/contact/). It has been explained more clearly now. There have been no corrections made apart from two updates. Hence examples could not be provided.


From the assessor: 

Factly has clarified some of the issues raised during the earlier assessment. The signatory has compiled with all criteria quite clearly and can be accepted.

1.B. Fully Compliant

As they have received a grant for fact checking in Sept. post this they have been meeting the required number of stories.

2A. Fully compliant

They have a grant that allows them to focus on the working of the govt. and have agreed to widen the scope of claims they will verify.

4.A. Fully Compliant

They say that most of the finding is from the founders in addition to the grant from IFCN

4 C. Fully Compliant

An email contact is listed.

5 B. Fully Compliant

Contact email has been listed.

6 A & B. Fully Compliant

They have clarified this policy. 


Conclusion and recommendations
on 04-Nov-2018 (1 month ago)

Surekha Deepak wrote:

The signatory has compiled with all criteria quite clearly and can be accepted subject to edits.

The website is a private digital network and has started fact checking regularly over the last month or so. The earlier months are more sketchy.

The fact checks are mostly limited to government claims. Could include other sources or explain why they chose to check just the government. 

All key sources are linked and identified.

Details of funding are not clearly defined. Team members are clearly listed and there is a form for readers to contact the organisation. This process can be made easier.

The website explains its fact checking methodology. It has no clear corrections policy. This could be rectified. 

on 04-Nov-2018 (1 month ago)

Surekha Deepak recommended Accept with edits


Section 1: Organization

Criterion 1a
Proof of registration
Evidence required: Please provide evidence that the signatory is a legally-registered organization set up exclusively for the purpose of fact-checking or the distinct fact-checking project of a recognized media house or research institution.

FACTLY MEDIA & RESEARCH
17-Oct-2018 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

Factly, registered as Factly Media & Research is a partnership firm and has been in existence since 2016. Factly has a dedicated Fact Checking project that can be accessed from the main menu on the website. 

Files Attached
Firm Registration ce... (687 KB)
Surekha Deepak Assessor
04-Nov-2018 (1 month ago)

The company is registered under the partnership act. The site says it is set they use govt data to verify claims.


done_all 1a marked as Fully compliant by Surekha Deepak.

Criterion 1b
Archive
Evidence required: Insert a link to the archive of fact checks published in the previous three months. If you do not collect all fact checks in one place, please explain how the fact-checking is conducted by your organization.

FACTLY MEDIA & RESEARCH
17-Oct-2018 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

Factly regularly does fact-checks, but limit ourselves to claims made by politicians or any claims made on government rules or policies. All our fact-check articles are available on a dedicated link that can be accessed from the main menu of the organization’s website. The articles are listed by date of publishing. 

Fact Check category URL: https://factly.in/category/fact-check/

Factly is also the recipient of the APAC Flash grant of the International Fact Checking Network (IFCN) (https://www.poynter.org/international-fact-checking-network-flash-grant-apac) for a dedicated fact checking project for verifying claims made by the current government in India.

Dedicated project URL: https://factly.in/category/fact-check/48-months-of-modi-government/

Surekha Deepak Assessor
04-Nov-2018 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

Oct has around 20, Sept has 6 and  Aug has 1.

The stories have become more regular only from October. Too soon to say it is compliant over 3 months. 


done 1b marked as Partially compliant by Surekha Deepak.

Section 2: Nonpartisanship and Fairness

Criterion 2a
Body of work sample
Evidence required: Please share links to ten fact checks that better represent the scope and consistency of your fact-checking. Provide a short explanation of how your organization strives to maintain coherent standards across fact checks.

FACTLY MEDIA & RESEARCH
17-Oct-2018 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

We consistently make efforts to fact-check claims which are made by the government or the major politicians and also claims made in general on government rules or policies.

We have also committed to do 100 such fact-checks on claims and counter claims made by the current government in India and the opposition parties respectively in the next few months, which is funded by IFCN as part of the APAC Flash grant.

We have a detailed methodology that is followed meticulously followed for every fact check. The sources for fact check are limited only to official government sources and each of the source/evidence is hyperlinked and attached in the fact check. The rating methodology is also more or less standardized.

To fact-check claims and represent data is easily understandable formats, we use charts, comparison and graphs etc. The methodology & sources are consistent across all our articles on diverse claims.

Few examples are here

Fact Check: How much did the Modi Government pay for the UPA era oil bonds?: https://factly.in/fact-check-how-much-did-the-modi-government-pay-for-the-upa-era-oil-bonds/

Fact Checking Government claims on Scholarship to Persons with Disability: https://factly.in/fact-checking-government-claims-on-scholarship-to-persons-with-disability/

Fact Check: Are more people travelling in Airplanes than in AC trains?: https://factly.in/fact-check-are-more-people-travelling-in-airplanes-than-in-ac-trains/

Fact Check: How the media misinterpreted & misreported the PM’s statements on Passports: https://factly.in/media-misinterpreted-misreported-pms-statements-passports/

Fact Check: Delhi Class XII results & how Manish Sisodia got it wrong: https://factly.in/fact-check-delhi-class-xii-results-manish-sisodia-got-wrong/

Fact Check: Rahul Gandhi’s Claims in Telangana public meeting: https://factly.in/fact-check-rahul-gandhis-claims-telangana-public-meeting/

Fact Check: In whose tenure did MSP increase at a greater rate?: https://factly.in/fact-check-in-whose-tenure-did-msp-increase-by-a-greater-percentage/

Fact Check: Have deposits by Indians in Swiss Banks decreased?: https://factly.in/fact-check-have-deposits-by-indians-in-swiss-banks-decreased/

Fact Check: Is there a 3-minute waiting rule at Toll Plazas on National Highways?: https://factly.in/fact-check-3-minute-waiting-rule-toll-plazas-national-highways/

Fact Check: Will you be penalised for ‘giving lift’ to unknown persons?: https://factly.in/fact-check-will-you-be-penalised-for-giving-lift-to-unknown-persons/

Surekha Deepak Assessor
04-Nov-2018 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

As most of the fact checking  comes from a single surce. Factly could explain why they have chosen to concentrate on the government's website. And also how this will be done in an impartial manner.                 


done 2a marked as Partially compliant by Surekha Deepak.

Criterion 2b
Nonpartisanship policy
Evidence required: Please share evidence of your policy preventing staff from direct involvement in political parties and advocacy organizations. Please also indicate the policy your organization has as a whole regarding advocacy and supporting political candidates.

FACTLY MEDIA & RESEARCH
17-Oct-2018 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

Every employee of Factly is briefed at the time of joining about our nonpartisanship policy. The following paragraph is part of the offer letter of employees.

‘Factly Media & Research is a non-partisan organization that is not affiliated to any political party and is not involved in any political or advocacy related work. As an employee of this organization, you are expected to follow this policy and not involve yourself in the activities of any political party or any advocacy organization. In case of any clarification, you are requested to contact your reporting Manager’

As an organization, we remain committed to objectivity and nonpartisanship. Our Fact Checks do not contain opinions of any sort, but simply state facts. We also ensure that anyone being recruited into fact-check team does not have any affiliation with political parties and advocacy organizations.  

Surekha Deepak Assessor
04-Nov-2018 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

Potential employees are asked to remain objective and not have any affiliations. The offer letter includes a paragraph stating they are non-partisan. 


done_all 2b marked as Fully compliant by Surekha Deepak.

Section 3: Transparency of Sources

Criterion 3a
Sources Policy
Please share a brief and public explanation (500 words max) of how sources are provided in enough detail that readers could replicate the fact check. If you have a public policy on how you find and use sources for your fact-checking, it should be shared here.

FACTLY MEDIA & RESEARCH
17-Oct-2018 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

Each & every Fact Check story contain hyperlinks to public (government) data sources or links to documents obtained under the Right to Information (RTI) Legislation. As a policy, Factly uses only public (government) data/information for the purpose of fact checking. We do not use data/information from any private source (except for global & respected multilateral organizations).

The claim source is also hyperlinked (like a press release, relevant government website, relevant social media message, news story, video etc). We also reach out to relevant government officials, public representatives etc. if there is a need. These sources are adequate for any reader to fact check the claim themselves.

Surekha Deepak Assessor
04-Nov-2018 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

Most key sources are linked, Often the links are to the official reports, and the responses by ministers in the houses of parliament.


done_all 3a marked as Fully compliant by Surekha Deepak.

Section 4: Transparency of Funding & Organization

Criterion 4a
Funding Sources
Evidence required: Please link to the section where you publicly list your sources of funding (including, if they exist, any rules around which types of funding you do or don't accept), or a statement on ownership if you are the branch of an established media organization or research institution.

FACTLY MEDIA & RESEARCH
17-Oct-2018 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

Factly is a registered for-profit organization & the Fact Checking project is part of this for-profit entity. Our current sources of funding include the following.

Initial investment from the founders

Consulting & small research project assignments on Open Data

Grants for specific projects

Subscriptions from readers

The details are also in the public domain here (https://factly.in/support-us/)

Surekha Deepak Assessor
04-Nov-2018 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

Each source of funding is not listed, but the website does tell us it is a ‘for proft’ organisation. With funding from it’s founders. No names are mentioned.

Additional funding from consulting and grants, and reader subscription, with no details.

Stories do have a disclosure that they are part of the project funded by a flash grant by the IFCN.

There are no details of spending. 


done 4a marked as Partially compliant by Surekha Deepak.

Criterion 4b
Staff
Evidence required: Please link to the section detailing all authors and key actors behind your fact-checking project with their biographies. You can also list the name and bios of the members of the editorial board, pool of experts, advisory board, etc. if your organization has those.

FACTLY MEDIA & RESEARCH
17-Oct-2018 (1 month ago)

Details of the authors and the team behind the Fact Check project are listed here

https://factly.in/factchecking-methodology/

Surekha Deepak Assessor
04-Nov-2018 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

Listed and profiled. 


done_all 4b marked as Fully compliant by Surekha Deepak.

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

FACTLY MEDIA & RESEARCH
17-Oct-2018 (1 month ago)
Surekha Deepak Assessor
04-Nov-2018 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

Contact address is listed. The only way to contact them for complaints or comments is through a form on the site. No email or other ways of contacting them. 


done 4c marked as Partially compliant by Surekha Deepak.

Section 5: Transparency of Methodology

Criterion 5a
Detailed Methodology
Evidence required: Please link to a section or article detailing the steps you follow for your fact-checking work.

FACTLY MEDIA & RESEARCH
17-Oct-2018 (1 month ago)

The methodology can be accessed from the About Us section on the main menu

https://factly.in/factchecking-methodology/

Surekha Deepak Assessor
04-Nov-2018 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

The methodology is explained. 


done_all 5a marked as Fully compliant by Surekha Deepak.

Criterion 5b
Claim submissions
Evidence required: Please link to the page or process through which readers can submit claims to fact-check. If you do not allow this, please briefly explain why.

FACTLY MEDIA & RESEARCH
17-Oct-2018 (1 month ago)
Surekha Deepak Assessor
04-Nov-2018 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

Ask readers to fill the form if they would like any information fact checked. But not much else.


done 5b marked as Partially compliant by Surekha Deepak.

Section 6: Open & Honest Corrections Policy

Criterion 6a
Corrections policy
Evidence required: Please link to the page with your policy to address corrections. If it is not public, please share your organization's handbook.

FACTLY MEDIA & RESEARCH
17-Oct-2018 (1 month ago)
Surekha Deepak Assessor
04-Nov-2018 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

They say they have not had to correct any stories only updates. There is no corrections policy. 


done 6a marked as Partially compliant by Surekha Deepak.

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

FACTLY MEDIA & RESEARCH
17-Oct-2018 (1 month ago)

Our Fact Check articles have never received any corrections to be specific. However, there have been occasions where readers have sent us updates (not corrections) and the same has been updated in the stories after verification. Examples are below

https://factly.in/fact-check-3-minute-waiting-rule-toll-plazas-national-highways/

https://factly.in/a-detailed-review-of-newly-launched-rti-online-portal-of-election-commission-of-india/

Surekha Deepak Assessor
04-Nov-2018 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

They say they have not had to correct any stories only updates. There is no corrections policy. Only two updates.


done 6b marked as Partially compliant by Surekha Deepak.