Organization: JTBC
Applicant: Gahyeok Lee
Assessor: Boyoung Lim
Edits made by the organization after this assessment

IFCN Staff wrote:

I just finished the updates and changes suggested by the assessor.

http://news.jtbc.co.kr/factcheck/methodology/

In this page, Number 4. 재원 is Funding.

I put the detailed information about the funding of our team and financial situation. Especially I put the three out-link buttons for viewers in order to easily download financial documents. The documents are verified by the Korean government.

The whole text of Number 4. 재원 in English is below:

-JTBC Factcheck team does not receive any financial support by stakeholders or the interested parties of issues subject to fact-checks.

-Most of the cost for operating JTBC Factcheck team is related to labor and food. There is also expense for business trip but it is occasional. All costs are funded by own resources of JTBC.

-JTBC is a General programming broadcasting company based on Broadcasting Act. Korea Communications Commission annually publishes detailed assets status of JTBC according to Article 98-2 of the Broadcasting Act. This information is open to the public.

Link : https://kcc.go.kr/download.do?fileSeq=48604

-JTBC publishes audit report in accordance with financial regulations such as Act on External Audit of Stock Companies.

Link : http://dart.fss.or.kr/dsaf001/main.do?rcpNo=20191114002459

-Financial status of JTBC can be found on the website.

Link : http://jtbc.joins.com/company/finance

In the same page, Number 5. 내용 정정 is corrections policy.

The whole text of Number 5. 내용 정정 in Englsih is below:

-JTBC Factcheck team recognizes that accuracy is the source of credibility, corrects obvious error quickly and provides the history transparently.

-We welcome corrections requests, reports of defamation or infringement and complaints about our articles.

Link : http://news.jtbc.joins.com/factcheck/contact/

-In principle, it should be handle immediately when complaints or corrections requests are received(within 24 hours on weekday). However, it may take longer to deal with request if additional verification is needed, rather than simple error correction.

-Even if no correction report is received, JTBC Factcheck team can correct the mistake voluntarily.

-Every correction history is displayed at the bottom of the article with timeframe and reason for correction.

Also, we have two more examples of corrections.

According to our correction policy, we put the correction history at the bottom of the article with date, time and reason for correction.

http://news.jtbc.joins.com/html/834/NB11929834.html

http://news.jtbc.joins.com/html/209/NB11931209.html


Conclusion and recommendations
on 27-Dec-2019 (11 months ago)

Boyoung Lim wrote:

The applicant, JTBC Factcheck, is the fact-checking arm of JTBC, a legally registered comprehensive programming broadcaster in South Korea.

The applicant has been producing fact-checking reports on a near-to-daily basis since September 2014, covering a wide range of issues including claims made by politicians exclusively on the basis of their accuracy, rumors on social issues that are of public interest, disinformation on international relations and politics as well as rumors based on fake or fabricated images.

The applicant is fully compliant with most of the criteria required by the Codes of Principles, but partially compliant with criteria 4a (funding sources) and 6a (corrections policy), 6b (examples of corrections).

4a was assessed as partially compliant because the applicant's website does not provide any details on its funding such as overall budget, income sources and expenditure, although it states that it is financed by JTBC. JTBC's financial statements at http://jtbc.joins.com/company/finance, but this page only provides a summary of annual turnover, operating cost and profits. It does not show income sources or all of its shareholders.

6a was assessed as partially compliant because while the applicant’s website and JTBC’s code of ethics, as well as the JTBC ombudsman system, provide a generic reference to how the corrections are conducted, it is not clear how complaints or corrections requests are handled and in what time frame.

6b was assessed as partially compliant because the examples submitted in this application were from past years. If the applicant can submit at least two examples from this year (2019) it should be changed to fully compliant. 

However, the overall quality and quantity, as well as the consistency of the applicant's fact-checking work is in line with IFCN's Code of Principles. Therefore it is recommended that the applicant is accepted with edits, ideally after making changes on 4a, 6a and 6b.

on 27-Dec-2019 (11 months ago)

Boyoung Lim 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.

JTBC
18-Nov-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

JTBC is a South Korean nationwide TV station launched on 2011. Our main news program is 'JTBC Newsroom'. JTBC was the first broadcaster operating factcheck team and featuring a regular factcheck corner in the main TV news program. Please refer to the attached document.(page 15)

Files Attached
picture_as_pdf 2019 JTBC.pdf (10 MB)

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.

JTBC
18-Nov-2019 (1 year ago)

JTBC FACTCHECK is proceeded in the form of either the factchecker having a discourse with the anchor or making a presentation from the NEWSROOM on weekdays (from Monday to Thursday).

The tradition has been kept up to 900th factcheck articles until today, since September 2014.

We check the statements by influential politicians or verifies and covers fake news or false information spread throughout our lives, not confined to political issues.

Recently, we’ve been dealing with the fake news spread throughout SNS such as YouTube or Twitter.

Main Website :

https://news.jtbc.joins.com/factcheck


In addition, there are many ways to get our factcheck contents.(NAVER, DAUM, YouTube, SNU factcheck center)

Facebook :

https://www.facebook.com/FACTCHECK.JTBC/


SNU factcheck center:

http://factcheck.snu.ac.kr/v2/facts?press_code=jtbc

Boyoung Lim Assessor
21-Dec-2019 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

The applicant has published 42 fact-checking reports over the previous three months (September 1st - December 1st, 2019). On average this is 3.5 fact-checking reports per week. Please refer to the attached spreadsheet for details of the applicant's fact-checks during this period.

Files Attached
description JTBC analysis for cr... (22 KB)
done_all 1b marked as Fully compliant by Boyoung Lim.

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.

JTBC
18-Nov-2019 (1 year ago)

01. 민간인이 '군복 차림' 집회…단속 대상?

http://news.jtbc.joins.com/article/article.aspx?news_id=NB11902844

http://factcheck.snu.ac.kr/v2/facts/1897


02. '유튜브 노란 딱지' 보수 유튜버만 죽인다?

http://news.jtbc.joins.com/article/article.aspx?news_id=NB11900878

http://factcheck.snu.ac.kr/v2/facts/1895


03. "문 대통령 홀대"? 또 등장한 '외교결례' 가짜뉴스

http://news.jtbc.joins.com/article/article.aspx?news_id=NB11884849

http://factcheck.snu.ac.kr/v2/facts/1851


04. 후보자 딸 '생기부 유출'…공익이라 괜찮다?

http://news.jtbc.joins.com/article/article.aspx?news_id=NB11876012

http://factcheck.snu.ac.kr/v2/facts/1825


05. 미 이민국 서울사무소 폐쇄…"한·미동맹 균열?"

http://news.jtbc.joins.com/article/article.aspx?news_id=NB11865747

http://factcheck.snu.ac.kr/v2/facts/1807


06. 나경원 국회 연설…'3가지 주장' 검증해보니

http://news.jtbc.joins.com/article/article.aspx?news_id=NB11782139

http://factcheck.snu.ac.kr/v2/facts/1417


07. "현역의 1.5배 이내"…대체복무 국제기준 있다? 없다?

http://news.jtbc.joins.com/article/article.aspx?news_id=NB11728199

http://factcheck.snu.ac.kr/v2/facts/1160


08. 탈원전 때문에 '삼겹살 기름'으로 전기 생산?

http://news.jtbc.joins.com/article/article.aspx?news_id=NB11694774

http://factcheck.snu.ac.kr/v2/facts/1010


09. 남북 2차회담 2시간 동안 '군 통수권' 방치됐다?

http://news.jtbc.joins.com/article/article.aspx?news_id=NB11642064

http://factcheck.snu.ac.kr/v2/facts/766


10. 대통령 사진 속 뒤집힌 태극기?…확인해보니

http://news.jtbc.joins.com/article/article.aspx?news_id=NB11640172

http://factcheck.snu.ac.kr/v2/facts/765

Boyoung Lim Assessor
21-Dec-2019 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

The applicant fact-checks claims made by politicians exclusively on the basis of their accuracy, and debunks rumors on social issues that are of public interest. The applicant also fact-checks disinformation on international relations and politics as well as rumors based on fake or fabricated images.


done_all 2a marked as Fully compliant by Boyoung Lim.

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.

JTBC
18-Nov-2019 (1 year ago)

On our website, we clearly state: "We do not participate in political events. We do not affiliate with a political party."

http://news.jtbc.joins.com/factcheck/methodology


JTBC has our own code of ethics. People can see the full text through the link: http://jtbc.joins.com/company/ethics

Article 28 is about political neutrality.

Boyoung Lim Assessor
21-Dec-2019 (11 months ago)

The applicant clearly explains its policies on preventing staff from direct involvement in political parties and advocacy organizations in Articles 28 and 29 of JTBC code of ethics at http://jtbc.joins.com/company/ethics.

- Article 28: We do not join political parties or political organizations, and we do not work for politics or political organizations. No broadcast is made for any specific interest groups.

- Article 29: We do not engage in social activities or for-profit activities that may conflict with the broadcasting service. In particular, side jobs of staff members or their families should not affect broadcasting service work.

The applicant also clearly states in its own fact-checking section (http://news.jtbc.joins.com/factcheck/methodology) that it prohibits staff members of fact-check team from being affiliated with political parties.


done_all 2b marked as Fully compliant by Boyoung Lim.

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.

JTBC
18-Nov-2019 (1 year ago)

On our website, we clearly state: "We show the sources to the public"

http://news.jtbc.joins.com/factcheck/methodology


We open about our methods and data sources, and try to show them to the readers as much as possible.

Examples on the Website:

http://factcheck.snu.ac.kr/v2/facts/1807

http://factcheck.snu.ac.kr/v2/facts/1851

Even on the TV screen, we try show the sources to our viewers. Please see the video(aired in August 5, 2019) and PDF document attached as an example.

Files Attached
insert_drive_file videoclip_eng.wmv (61 MB) picture_as_pdf datasources.pdf (271 KB)
Boyoung Lim Assessor
21-Dec-2019 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

The applicant’s fact-checks are presented in a video format. The applicant clearly references the source of information they use to fact-check on the screen behind the reporter and the anchor. Their fact-checks presented in SNU FactCheck website also has links to key sources or identifies them when they can’t be linked.


done_all 3a marked as Fully compliant by Boyoung Lim.

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.

JTBC
18-Nov-2019 (1 year ago)

On our website, we clearly state: "We do not have any kinds of funding"

http://news.jtbc.joins.com/factcheck/methodology


JTBC factcheck is part of the newsroom activity of JTBC. As JTBC is a commercial TV station, we do not have any kinds of funding.

JTBC is a subsidiary company of Joongang Group.

You can get more information about the company through the link: https://www.joonganggroup.com/en/html/index.html

Boyoung Lim Assessor
21-Dec-2019 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

The applicant is the fact-checking section of a media house.

Although the applicant listed its owner (JTBC, a subsidiary of the Joongang Group) in the application, details on its funding such as overall budget, income sources and expenditures cannot be found on its fact-checking section website. The fact-checking section website does state that "JTBC FactCheck is financed by JTBC, and it does not accept any form of financial support by stakeholders of issues subject to fact-checks." (Number 4 at http://news.jtbc.joins.com/factcheck/methodology/)

The assessor independently found JTBC's financial statements at http://jtbc.joins.com/company/finance, but this page only provides a summary of annual turnover, operating cost and profits. It does not show income sources or all of its shareholders.


done 4a marked as Partially compliant by Boyoung Lim.

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.

JTBC
18-Nov-2019 (1 year ago)

http://news.jtbc.joins.com/factcheck/staff


At the bottom of each factcheck article, the factchecker's photo and bio are attached. (See the PDF document attached.)

Files Attached
picture_as_pdf profiles.pdf (522 KB)
Boyoung Lim Assessor
21-Dec-2019 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

The applicant has on its website the list of key staff members, their bios and respective roles.


done_all 4b marked as Fully compliant by Boyoung Lim.

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

JTBC
18-Nov-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

http://news.jtbc.joins.com/factcheck/contact                         

The contact page is simple and easy-to-use.

Our viewers and readers can send easily their comments to our team using the email(jebo@jtbc.co.kr), telephone(02-751-6001) and KakaoTalk(Korean Mobile Messenger).

People also can contact through the Facebook( https://www.facebook.com/FACTCHECK.JTBC )

In addition, there is an email address of the leader of the factcheck team at the bottom of each fact check text content.

Boyoung Lim Assessor
21-Dec-2019 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

The applicant’s website lists its phone number, email address, and other social media accounts for people to contact them. On this page, the applicant invites people to reach out with topics that should be fact-checked or comments and complaints. Its methodology page also has a link where people can submit suggestions for issues to be fact-checked.


done_all 4c marked as Fully compliant by Boyoung Lim.

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.

JTBC
18-Nov-2019 (1 year ago)
Boyoung Lim Assessor
21-Dec-2019 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

The link provided by the applicant describes in detail how the applicant carries out fact-checks:

(From the link provided by applicant in application)

3. Fact-checking procedure

- All the members of JTBC Fact Check Team participate in the reporting activities for verification, and the contents of the reporting are cross-verified.

- The basis for judgment is as diverse as possible, and if the data are cited several times, the initial source is checked as much as possible.

- When listening to expert opinion, check the professional affiliation and history to increase the reliability, and listen to the opinions of multiple experts. Do not use the opinion of experts alone as the basis for judgment.

- Judgment conclusions on the subjects of verification are drawn from evidence only.

- Judgment results are classified into six categories, including 'not at all true', 'not usually true', 'half true’, 'mostly true', 'fact' and ‘judgement reserved’.

- Explain the overall context to help viewers and readers understand.

- The source of the evidence used in the verification process should be as specific as possible.


done_all 5a marked as Fully compliant by Boyoung Lim.

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.

JTBC
18-Nov-2019 (1 year ago)

http://news.jtbc.joins.com/factcheck/contact

The contact page is also for claim submissions.

Our viewers and readers can send easily their comments to our team using the email(jebo@jtbc.co.kr), telephone(02-751-6001) and KakaoTalk(Korean Mobile Messenger).

People also can contact through the Facebook( https://www.facebook.com/FACTCHECK.JTBC )

In addition, there is an email address of the leader of the factcheck team at the bottom of each fact check text content.

Boyoung Lim Assessor
21-Dec-2019 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

The link provided provides readers with channels to submit claims and comments, any suggestions for issues to be fact-checked.


done_all 5b marked as Fully compliant by Boyoung Lim.

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.

JTBC
18-Nov-2019 (1 year ago)

On our website, we clearly state: "We welcome your request for correction and if we get it, we will take care of it promptly"

http://news.jtbc.joins.com/factcheck/methodology


Following JTBC's code of ethics article 50 and article 71, we must correct errors quickly and transparently.

( Link: http://jtbc.joins.com/company/ethics )

Through the contact page, people can easily request a correction to us.

Also, people can talk to the ombudsman of JTBC. According to the Korean Law(Broadcasting Act), JTBC has an ombudsman system. For further information click the link: http://tv.jtbc.joins.com/event/pr10010056/pm10011613

JTBC is a member of the Journalists Association of Korea, people may contact the independent council The Press Arbitration Commission.

Boyoung Lim Assessor
21-Dec-2019 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

The applicant’s website and JTBC’s code of ethics, as well as the JTBC ombudsman system, provide a generic reference to how the corrections are conducted. However it is not clear how complaints or corrections requests are handled and in what timeframe.


done 6a marked as Partially compliant by Boyoung Lim.

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

JTBC
18-Nov-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago
Boyoung Lim Assessor
21-Dec-2019 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

The applicant has provided examples from the past: one from 2015 and two from 2018. The second link provided in this application has a correction that is not clear how the applicant accepted what claims from whom, and what was wrong in the original fact-checking report. On the other hand, the other two links, first being voluntarily correcting their errors after self-reviews, and including objections from stakeholders, clearly indicate what their original reporting was and who made claims, what was corrected.


done_all 6b marked as Fully compliant by Boyoung Lim.