From Full Fact’s application: “We have rigorous safeguards in place to ensure our neutrality. These have been carefully constructed based on advice from our board and examples ranging from Amnesty International to the BBC.
We have a cross-party board of trustees, which has no involvement in day-to-day editorial decisions (these are the responsibility of the Director).
We have strict operating guidelines and because of our charity status we operate within a legal framework that obliges us to be non-partisan (see Charity Commission website: http://apps.charitycommission.gov.uk/Showcharity/RegisterOfCharities/CharityFramework.aspx?RegisteredCharityNumber=1158683&SubsidiaryNumber=0
Our staff handbook states that staff may not reveal publicly how they vote or express support for any political party, or express a view for or against any policy which is currently a matter of party political debate, including on social media. Actively campaigning for a party or seeking nomination as a party candidate in local or national election, or as an independent, is incompatible with working at Full Fact. All staff must complete a declaration of personal interests before they start work here.
Full Fact does not express opinions on the topics we check. From time to time we express opinions on matters that directly affect our work (such as statistics policy, our experience of using the press regulator, or freedom of information policy).
Statement on website on impartiality of Full Fact website: https://fullfact.org/about/impartiality/
Attached to email with assessment:
Operating Guidelines (PDF)
Conflicts of Interest Policy (PDF)
This is from their “Operating Guidelines (PDF attached)
Declaration of Personal Interest (PDF)
This is from their “Operating Guidelines
10. Political Balance
Full Fact’s concern is with issues and claims, not with the people making them. A balanced approach requires us to engage a broad and balanced range of contributors to public debate and not just politicians. However, many of our fact-checks engages with politicians and political parties. Where this is the case, our work will inevitably focus on the largest parties. Nonetheless we seek to maintain Political Balance by ensuring that:
1) No party is ignored by Full Fact which, in the context, has a significant role in a particular debate.
2) The coverage and manner of our work must as far as practical avoid being seen as giving support to any particular party or grouping, and should avoid being seen as unduly focusing on one government department.
3) To the extent that our work will naturally focus on government activity, this must only be because of its policy role rather than party political factors.
4) We treat bodies that are associated with parties with the same care as parties themselves.”
2b) Full Fact also has an “Operating Manual for all staff which covers a variety of issues, including conflicts of interest, declaring personal interests and memberships political parties and other organisations. It covers a wide variety of issues, is written in plain language and is a good example/template for any new fact-checking organisation.
See “Staff handbook” (attached as a Word document)
See Review Checklist (attached as a Word document), which are guidelines used to ensure consistency in Full Fact’s fact-checks.