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.
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.
-JTBC publishes audit report in accordance with financial regulations such as Act on External Audit of Stock Companies.
-Financial status of JTBC can be found on the website.
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.
-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.
Conclusion and recommendations
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.