MediaWise

Organization: MediaWise
Applicant: Kristyn Wellesley
Assessor: Margot Susca
Edits made by the organization after this assessment

IFCN Staff wrote:

I uploaded the new webpage and saved the application. Here is the new link that addresses the assessors requests

https://www.poynter.org/mediawise-editorial-standards-and-rating-system/


Conclusion and recommendations
on 22-Feb-2020 (5 months ago)

Margot Susca wrote:

Please see my comments on Methodology. The website--and not outside links or documents--must be updated to accurately reflect the selection of fact checks and explain the process by which material goes through review. 

on 22-Feb-2020 (5 months ago)

Margot Susca 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.

MediaWise
08-Nov-2019 (9 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

The MediaWise project, consisting of the Teen Fact-Checking Network and the MediaWise Voter Project, exists under the Poynter Institute, a 501c(3). The Poynter Institute is home to several other fact-checking organizations, including the International Fact-Checking Network and PolitiFact. https://www.poynter.org/mediawise/

Margot Susca Assessor
10-Feb-2020 (6 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

This is clear, but note that when you click on the Media Wise link through the main Poynter website it takes you to an OOPS! page. I've included a screen shot. 

Files Attached
Screen Shot 2020-02-... (518 KB)
done_all 1a marked as Fully compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

MediaWise
08-Nov-2019 (9 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Because the MediaWise project is designed to reach a diverse audience ranging in age from 13-24, we publish our fact checks on multiple platforms, depending on which audience the fact check is suitable for and geared toward. Therefore, our fact checks do not live in a singular archive and can be found across our social media channels and the MediaWise website.

TCFN Archives: https://www.poynter.org/teen-fact-checking-network-archives/

YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2DPyDJLFycNPgPcH0jaeHw

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mediawise/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mediawise

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MediaWise/

Tik Tok: https://www.tiktok.com/@mediawise?language=en&sec_uid=MS4wLjABAAAAxETHzLsyfeomasIzgClSnX6qUCD4gKa6gThdB83jFJg3L_pgMqfiZbH9rJKIQaTM&u_code=d6dagb0bf4f4d4&utm_campaign=client_share&app=musically&utm_medium=ios&user_id=6696790925320881157&tt_from=copy&utm_source=copy&source=h5_m


Margot Susca Assessor
10-Feb-2020 (6 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

I love the multi-platform approach. IFCN should offer a way to duplicate this for its other signatories. 


done_all 1b marked as Fully compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

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.

MediaWise
08-Nov-2019 (9 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

The MediaWise project’s mission to teach media literacy skills seeks to present facts unaffected by agenda or biases. We recognize that unconscious bias can be powerful but with the stakes so high and the country so divided on political issues, the MediaWise team sets its own opinions aside as they work to uphold the principles of fairness and independence, steadfast in its dedication to remaining as impartial as possible and avoiding political conflicts of interest.

As such, the MediaWise project team is not permitted to:

Campaign, rally, march or fundraise for a political party or candidate;

Donate to a candidate or campaign, political action group or political party;

Express political views and commentary on social media, either in support of or opposing any candidate, political party, position or issue.

MediaWise team can (and should!) participate in the political process as voters as part of our responsibilities as United States citizens.

Any potential conflicts of interest should immediately be brought to the attention of MediaWise Editor and Program Manager Katy Byron.

Editorial standards and ethics policies: https://www.poynter.org/mediawise/

Margot Susca Assessor
10-Feb-2020 (6 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Compliant. 


done_all 2b marked as Fully compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

MediaWise
08-Nov-2019 (9 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

The MediaWise project is founded on the mission of teaching media literacy and fact-checking skills to teenagers and young adults so they are able to fact check for themselves. In accordance with that mission, our unique storytelling format documents every step of each fact check, including showing all links and documents we use, and screen recording Google searches, walking the audience through how we come to our rating conclusions. We also explain why we may choose to use one source over another, paying attention to highlight how to identify credible sources. It is designed so the audience can not only replicate that particular fact check themselves but also apply the techniques used to fact check other claims they see.

Our reporting process includes the following:

A thorough lateral reading and keyword search of the topic in Google

Searching online databases;

Reviewing publications, academic studies and other original data and documentation.

In cases where a MediaWise fact check must cite reports from news media that rely on unnamed or unattributed sources (usually due to the extreme newsworthiness of the report), we note that we cannot independently verify their reporting.

More information in the TCFN handbook attached and our editorial standards and ethics policies: https://www.poynter.org/mediawise/

Files Attached
picture_as_pdf MediaWise TFCN Handb... (683 KB)
Margot Susca Assessor
10-Feb-2020 (6 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Compliant. 


done_all 3a marked as Fully compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

MediaWise
08-Nov-2019 (9 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

The MediaWise project is led by The Poynter Institute in partnership with the Stanford University History Education Group (SHEG), the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) and the Local Media Association (LMA) and funded by Google.org as part of the Google News Initiative (2018-2020). The MediaWise Voter Project is funded as part of the Facebook Journalism Project (2020).

https://www.poynter.org/mediawise/

Please note that the MediaWise Voter Project launched on January 23, 2020, and we are in the process of redesigning and updating our website information to include Facebook's information at the bottom as well as the announcement at the top.

Margot Susca Assessor
10-Feb-2020 (6 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Compliant. 


done_all 4a marked as Fully compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

MediaWise
08-Nov-2019 (9 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago
Margot Susca Assessor
10-Feb-2020 (6 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Compliant. 


done_all 4b marked as Fully compliant by Margot Susca.

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

MediaWise
08-Nov-2019 (9 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago
Margot Susca Assessor
10-Feb-2020 (6 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Compliant. I sent an email Feb. 10 @ 2:49 p.m. to the email address listed in as a contact for the public. I received a very timely response. 


done_all 4c marked as Fully compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

MediaWise
08-Nov-2019 (9 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Our editorial standards includes our reporting policies and our rating criteria for each fact-check: https://www.poynter.org/mediawise/


Margot Susca Assessor
10-Feb-2020 (6 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

I have a great deal of respect for this project, but if what it's going to be successful, it has to have a very clearly detailed methodology for how fact checks will be conducted and then verified as legit or debunked. I don't see that methodology explained or articulated on the website https://www.poynter.org/mediawise/ that was included in the application. I do see ways to engage with audiences and generate interest in the project on the site provided, but that's much different than creating a methodology that can be both used and replicated to actually fact check claims. If the end goal is media literacy, then that's wonderful and necessary. But, then how is this army of fact checkers meant to do its work?

If Stanford's Civic Online Reasoning curriculum is the methodology, I still think it should be clear on Media Wise's website, as opposed to have to click through to get to the COR site. Further: Are people in the Media Wise fact check universe going to be trained in that methodology? How will the staff know if its YouTube and TikTok users are abiding by the methodology? Media Wise should be transparent about this on the site.

If the point is for the staff listed on the website to do the fact checks and *just* for a younger generation to be more involved and media literate, then I still think a methodology must be articulated online and not in multiple links. I see there is a doc that is linked from the website titled, MEDIAWISE EDITORIAL STANDARDS and ETHICS POLICIES, that outlines its policies including methodology under !. Factually Accurate, but it needs more detail, and it needs to be on the site itself. 


cancel 5a marked as Non compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

MediaWise
08-Nov-2019 (9 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Main tips: https://www.poynter.org/mediawise/

We do fact-checking geared primarily toward a 13-24-year-old audience, so most of our communication occurs via social media, direct messages and our hashtag #Isthislegit.

Margot Susca Assessor
10-Feb-2020 (6 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Compliant. 


done_all 5b marked as Fully compliant by Margot Susca.

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.

MediaWise
08-Nov-2019 (9 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Our editorial standards includes our corrections policy: https://www.poynter.org/mediawise/

No one is perfect and mistakes will happen. MediaWise issues corrections with the appropriate transparency as quickly as possible if an error has occurred. Depending on the platform on which the fact check was originally published, corrections may be handled differently to address those platform differences:

Instagram Story: We will post a correction on the Instagram story, add it to the corresponding highlight and include text with the correction information in the related feed post (if there is one).

Instagram feed post: We will add text to the feed post caption with details of the correction.

IGTV: We will add text to the feed post caption with details of the correction.

Twitter: We will add a tweet to the thread of the original tweet. If the error was particularly egregious, we’ll also publish a new tweet linking to the tweet with the error.

Facebook: We will post a correction on our page and link to the story with the error, or if possible, edit the original post and note that the post has been updated.

YouTube: We will add a correction to the video description box and text in the video title at the end.

If the correction is debilitating to the story, we will consider removing it and issuing a correction in the relevant format in an attempt to reach the same audience who saw the initial story. These instances will be handled on a case-by-case basis and must be approved by the MediaWise Project Editor and Project Manager Katy Byron.

Margot Susca Assessor
10-Feb-2020 (6 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Compliant. I appreciate that it address its multiple platforms. 


done_all 6a marked as Fully compliant by Margot Susca.

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

MediaWise
08-Nov-2019 (9 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

The MediaWise project has only needed to issue one correction not only in the past year but in the life of the MediaWise project, a testament to our rigorous publishing standards. The correction involved a story produced by one of our teen fact-checkers who did not accurately describe a photo of a baby in an x-ray machine tube. The fact-check was published on our Instagram Story (which only lasts for 24 hours). After an audience member alerted MediaWise to the error, it was re-checked. At that point, the story was updated and MediaWise program manager Katy Byron appeared on the Instagram story with the correction explaining the error and the correction.

We cannot provide a link to this example because Instagram Stories disappear after 24 hours.

Margot Susca Assessor
10-Feb-2020 (6 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Only one correction has been issued. 


done 6b marked as Partially compliant by Margot Susca.