NewsMobile FACT CHECKER

Organization: NewsMobile
Applicant: Saurabh Shukla
Assessor: Kanchan Kaur
Edits made by the organization after this assessment

IFCN Staff wrote:

From the applicant: 

As Adviced by Ms Kanchan Kaur we have put the timeline of a fact check and complied with her suggestions, We will further upgrade our fact checking methodology once we are a signatory by sharing of best practices by Poynter and fellow Fact Checkers.

NewsMobile Correction Policy

Facts and truth are at the centre of Newsmobile’s Editorial policy, our team of journalists have broken stories on corruption at high places questioned those in power and we are fearless, unbiased and objective. We have an impeccable record as a credible media outlet. However, as a responsible Media outlet, we are open to corrections. We will check the veracity of the claim and correct it within 2 days of the claim being made. So write to us at editor@newsmobile.in with a date and link to the story and we will fact check your claim and correct it.

We have a separate landing page for corrections policy and we even have a corrections Editor who is independent of our newsroom. A form for fact checking and fake news buster has been added there.

We have been consistent with fact checking and busting fake news despite limited resources and it is our constant passion for upholding the truth guides us.

We have added a Form for fact checking on every fact check making it easier for any reader to file a fact check claim the form is called FAKE NEWS BUSTER

Example can be seen here

http://newsmobile.in/articles/2018/10/15/this-whatsapp-forward-about-ayushman-bharat-scheme-is-fake/

The form has also been added to the correction policy

The design of the site can surely improve and we are always working to improve it but you would appreciate that with limited resources we have put emphasis on good quality and credible content and we will consistently improve this as we go along.

Having abided by the recommendations we would request that we should be accepted as a signatory as this would further strengthen our fact checker and help hone the skills of our young team which is committed to transparency and quality fact checking.

Saurabh Shukla

Founder and Editor in Chief


From the assessor: 

The applicant has made the necessary changes, and added a form to invite readers to submit claims for fact checking. Though the presentation of the website still needs work, the application may be accepted.

The correction policy has been changed in the tab that says Correction Policy. However, changes need to be made in About Us page, too. Further, it would help for the applicant to put in a separate corrections page/tab.

The applicant's process of inviting readers to submit claims fact-check is still not clear. It might help to have an indication/form on the landing page of the fact-checking initiative, inviting readers to submit claims. The presentation of the website needs work--the applicant could also have a small form/note at the end of each fact-check, inviting readers to submit their claims. 



Conclusion and recommendations
on 01-Sep-2018 (2 months ago)

Kanchan Kaur wrote:


Newsmobile is legally registered and has a separate division for fact-checking, with more than average fact-checks over the last three months. The treatment of the checks is quite uniform and non-partisan.

It has a clear policy to ensure staff is objective and is not directly involved in any advocacy group. Its sourcing policy is stated on the website. However, the presentation of the sourcing and the website sometimes leads to lack of clarity on the sourcing.

The website has clearly listed all its authors with their biographies, and mentioned its source of funding. Its methodology is also clearly explained.

However, its correction policy needs some work. Though the policy is clearly mentioned, the website neither has a correction section with a list of corrections, nor an explicit time frame within which corrections are made.

on 01-Sep-2018 (2 months ago)

Kanchan Kaur 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.

NewsMobile
14-Aug-2018 (3 months ago) Updated: 1 month ago
Kanchan Kaur Assessor
14-Aug-2018 (3 months ago) Updated: 1 month ago

The applicant is a legally registered media organisation and has a separate fact-checking section.


done_all 1a marked as Fully compliant by Kanchan Kaur.

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.

NewsMobile
14-Aug-2018 (3 months ago) Updated: 1 month ago
Kanchan Kaur Assessor
14-Aug-2018 (3 months ago) Updated: 1 month ago

Over the last three months, the fact-checks are at an average of more than one a week. However, May seems to have been a month of some drought.


done_all 1b marked as Fully compliant by Kanchan Kaur.

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.

NewsMobile
14-Aug-2018 (3 months ago) Updated: 1 month ago

http://newsmobile.in/about-us/

Our journalists are objective and we have a policy to ensure that our journalists are not affiliated to any political party or an advocacy group and we are fair and transparent in our editorial opinion.

Answer : to your query This is signed by our employees when they join as part of the NewsMobile Code of Conduct (Specimen Attached)

Files Attached
description ABOUT US.docx (539 KB) picture_as_pdf The NewsMobile Code... (31 KB) description ABOUT US.docx (539 KB) picture_as_pdf The NewsMobile Code... (31 KB) description ABOUT US.docx (539 KB) picture_as_pdf The NewsMobile Code... (31 KB)
Kanchan Kaur Assessor
14-Aug-2018 (3 months ago) Updated: 1 month ago

The applicant, on its website states that it has a policy to prevent staff from direct involvement in political parties and advocacy groups.

They have also produced a code that employees have to sign to ensure objectivity.


done_all 2b marked as Fully compliant by Kanchan Kaur.

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.

NewsMobile
14-Aug-2018 (3 months ago) Updated: 1 month ago

We debunk fake news by putting verified facts before the readers. When we come across a claim or it is brought to our notice, we check it for factual accuracy. Our platform also features breaking news, exclusive stories and user-generated content selected by our team. In the four years of our existence, we found fake new spreading more than the correct news, harming people and setting off reactions. We started independent fact-checking in January 2017, when fake news started not only confusing but influencing people. If a correction has been brought to our notice we have gone ahead and corrected the stories after verifying the claims.

Through our modest means our NM fact-checker team comprising of young journalists trained by Google news labs and our senior journalists, have followed the following methodology to fact check stories that appear in NM Fact Checker section. Our Fact Checking and efforts to bust fake news have also been featured in a special TV show on fact checking by Facebook on Republic TV.

How We Fact Check

• Importance of the story: How important is the story, and can it create a potentially dangerous situation, the likelihood of a communal riot or can it harm a community, or can it create panic in communities.

• Tracking the source: We track the source of the claim and then cross-check with multiple sources. If a public figure or person of authority has made the claim then we reach out to them directly to confirm the claim. If there is video evidence, publicly available transcript, report or data we take a deep-dive approach to find the exact quote and context. If need be, we contact the organisation that has published the reports to understand the disclaimer.

• Use Tools/technology: We use Google and other tools like google reverse news to knock down and derail fake claims. We sift through reams of data and databases to support a claim or debunk a claim. If there is not enough data to take a clear stand, we say that too

• Panel of Experts: This is often important because as a news organisation we do not claim expertise in every field. However, we have a network of experts who understand our commitment to factual accuracy and help us maintain high standards

• Preparing a fact sheet.

• And then a fact-based story is put out.

• Correction Policy: Facts and truth are at the centre of Newsmobile’s Editorial policy, our team of journalists have broken stories on corruption at high places questioned those in power and we are fearless, unbiased and objective. We have an impeccable record as a credible media outlet. However, as a responsible Media outlet, we are open to corrections. We invite readers to write to us at editor@newsmobile.in with a date and link to the story and we fact-check the claim and correct it.

• Correction Advisory: While we have been very particular about correcting the inadvertent errors right from the word go, irrespective of whether was pointed out by our readers, our network of experts, competition or by our own team members, we have recently started adding an ‘editor’s note’ at the end of stories that have been corrected. This is in the interest of transparency and in tandem with the global best practices.

• Fact Checking Hotline: We have a Fact Check Alert number for Whats app +91-8826800707. Readers are invited to forward a new story or a message on social media that they would like to get fact-checked. They can also e-mail it at editor@newsmobile.in with the title Fact Check and our Fact Checking team will check the story and publish the truth.

Files Attached
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Kanchan Kaur Assessor
14-Aug-2018 (3 months ago) Updated: 1 month ago

The applicant has shared a detailed description of its sourcing policy.

However, it needs to improve on its presentation. Sometimes, the sourcing is not very clear--not because it's not there, but because it hasn't been written clearly.


done 3a marked as Partially compliant by Kanchan Kaur.

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.

NewsMobile
14-Aug-2018 (3 months ago) Updated: 1 month ago

http://newsmobile.in/about-us/

www.newsmobile.in (NewsMobile) is the news and content platform of World Mobile News Network Pvt Ltd, a private limited company registered in India. Our funding was provided by our co founders who are senior journalists and media academics from their personal savings.

Kanchan Kaur Assessor
14-Aug-2018 (3 months ago) Updated: 1 month ago

Source of funding has been listed in the website's About Us column. Newsmobile is a fact-checking section of a media house.


done_all 4a marked as Fully compliant by Kanchan Kaur.

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.

NewsMobile
14-Aug-2018 (3 months ago) Updated: 1 month ago

http://newsmobile.in/about-us/

THE TEAM

Dr SC SHUKLA

Editorial Director and Co-Founder

The Founder Principal of Delhi College and Arts and Commerce founded the biggest ever nursery of journalists in India where he mentored some of the best known young journalists in India. Credibility, integrity and fact checking are the mantras he provided us for NewsMobile and its young team. He is the conscience keeper and disciplinarian to our wayward gang of news hounds and techies.

SAURABH SHUKLA

Editor in Chief and Co-Founder

Saurabh has over twenty years of journalism experience. He has been known for his fearless journalism. He has interviewed many global leaders, during an interview, he asked Donald Trump to apologise for his anti-women remarks. He broke the Dawood tapes, the first exclusive tapes on India’s most wanted fugitive.

He has exposed corruption in high places. His expose on Indian connection on Iraq’s oil for food scandal forced the resignation of India’s then Foreign Minister K.Natwar Singh.

He has been known for his credible journalism. He has served in leadership roles in Top Indian media organisations The India Today Group, Indian Express and Hindustan Times. He is been quoted in the New York Times and The Guardian and has been a commentator for many global channels.

Email: saurabh@newsmobile.in

ABHEET RAGHAV

Senior News Editor

He is passionate about fair and transparent reporting. Whenever a claim is made he leaves no stone unturned in identifying the source. He is working with NewsMobile for last three years. He underwent Google training for identifying and checking fake news and utilizes it to fact-check.

Email: abheet@newsmobile.in

NINA MEHTA

Senior Editor

She has 16 years of experience in content creation and delivery. She has worked with print media and newswires where global best practices of reporting and accuracy were then the norm. The experience with Dow Jones Newswires deeply ingrained in her the principles of ethical journalism and factual reporting. She spent over four years working in Hindustan Times in Delhi covering the major business stories in the first decade of this century.

Email: nina@newsmobile.in

KSHIPRA NARAIN

Editor Special Projects

She joined online media two years ago after spending a decade in the corporate world. She is particular about getting the facts right and ensures that everyone on the team follows the practice of fair and non-partisan reporting.

Email: kshipra@newsmobile.in

PRIYANSHI MATHUR

Associate Feature Editor

Priyanshi Mathur is a journalism graduate from India’s top college Lady Shri Ram (LSR). She has been working with NewsMobile for two years. She underwent Google training for identifying and checking the fake news.

Email: priyanshim12@gmail.com

SAJEELI GUPTA

Associate Editor

Her motto is to “live to eat and enjoy life to the fullest”. She has over six years of experience in food and lifestyle. After completing her masters in Mass Communication, she was a features writer at India Times. Helpful by nature she goes beyond the call of duty to ensure that each fact in any claim is cross-referenced and only then appears on the news platform.

Email: sajeeli@newsmobile.in

NEHA PARASHAR

Correction Editor

She is a Journalism graduate and management graduate from Symbiosis University Pune. She has a keen eye for copy editing and fact-checking. As a consultant, Neha helps NewsMobile fact-check news stories and ensure credible and error-free news stories.

(In order to ensure objectivity and transparency we have a corrections Editor who works independent of our newsroom)

PRADEEP SINGH

Technical Director

PK, as he is fondly called, is a tech war veteran from the Silicon Valley and IIT Delhi. He provides the tech edge for our fact-checking. He keeps the tech fundas up to speed and delivers on our crazy ideas of creating different content with cutting-edge technology.

Kanchan Kaur Assessor
14-Aug-2018 (3 months ago) Updated: 1 month ago

All authors are clearly listed, with their biographies.


done_all 4b marked as Fully compliant by Kanchan Kaur.

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

NewsMobile
14-Aug-2018 (3 months ago) Updated: 1 month ago
Kanchan Kaur Assessor
14-Aug-2018 (3 months ago) Updated: 1 month ago

The Contact section has all details, including a fact-check helpline


done_all 4c marked as Fully compliant by Kanchan Kaur.

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.

NewsMobile
14-Aug-2018 (3 months ago) Updated: 1 month ago

http://newsmobile.in/about-us/

http://newsmobile.in/articles/2018/08/10/dont-fall-for-fake-forward-the-government-is-not-giving-rs-10k-cheque-to-1-18-yo-girls/

http://newsmobile.in/articles/2018/07/31/tn-deputy-cm-o-panneerselvam-did-not-bow-down-to-pm-modi/

http://newsmobile.in/articles/2018/07/30/arvind-kejriwal-didnt-fly-to-islamabad-to-congratulate-imran-khan/

How We Fact Check

Importance of the story: How important is the story, and can it create a potentially dangerous situation, the likelihood of a communal riot or can it harm a community, or can it create panic in communities.

Tracking the source: We track the source of the claim and then cross-check with multiple sources. If a public figure or person of authority has made the claim then we reach out to them directly to confirm the claim. If there is video evidence, publicly available transcript, report or data we take a deep-dive approach to find the exact quote and context. If need be, we contact the organisation that has published the reports to understand the disclaimer.

Use Tools/technology: We use Google and other tools like google reverse news to knock down and derail fake claims. We sift through reams of data and databases to support a claim or debunk a claim. If there is not enough data to take a clear stand, we say that too

Panel of Experts: This is often important because as a news organisation we do not claim expertise in every field. However, we have a network of experts who understand our commitment to factual accuracy and help us maintain high standards

Preparing a fact sheet.

And then a fact-based story is put out.

Kanchan Kaur Assessor
14-Aug-2018 (3 months ago) Updated: 1 month ago

Newsmobile's fact-checking methodology is clearly explained and easily accessible.


done_all 5a marked as Fully compliant by Kanchan Kaur.

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.

Kanchan Kaur Assessor
14-Aug-2018 (3 months ago) Updated: 1 month ago

The About Us section of the website provides information on how they fact-check. It also provides a Fact-check Helpline number for What's App. Readers can reach the website through email and social media.

However, it does not have statistics on frequency of reader-submitted fact checks.


done 5b marked as Partially compliant by Kanchan Kaur.

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.

NewsMobile
14-Aug-2018 (3 months ago) Updated: 1 month ago

http://newsmobile.in/about-us/

Fact Checking Hotline: We have a Fact Check Alert number for Whats app +91-8826800707. Readers are invited to forward a new story or a message on social media that they would like to get fact-checked. They can also e-mail it at editor@newsmobile.in with the title Fact Check and our Fact Checking team will check the story and publish the truth.

Kanchan Kaur Assessor
14-Aug-2018 (3 months ago) Updated: 1 month ago

The website makes a reference to how corrections are conducted. It also says it has now started an editor's note at the end of stories that were corrected.

However, it does not mention any time frame within which corrections are issued.


done 6a marked as Partially compliant by Kanchan Kaur.

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

NewsMobile
14-Aug-2018 (3 months ago) Updated: 1 month ago

We have a external correction editor who does a independent review and advices us on corrections to be made in addition we also have advertised our correction policy on the website so the readers can approach us. Apart from that readers also send us corrections via e-mail or WhatsApp

Files Attached
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Kanchan Kaur Assessor
14-Aug-2018 (3 months ago) Updated: 1 month ago

Corrections are not listed. The website does not have a separate space to list them, either. The one example submitted in the application does not indicate clearly what story was corrected and how


done 6b marked as Partially compliant by Kanchan Kaur.