Newtral

Organization: Newtral
Applicant: Joaquín Ortega
Assessor: Ramón Salaverría
Conclusion and recommendations
on 18-Sep-2019 (8 months ago)

Ramón Salaverría wrote:

Despite two minor deficiencies detected in the accomplishment of criteria 6a (Newtral does not indicate in which timeframe commits itself to responding the corrections requests) and 6b (contrary to what it is recommended, the website does not have a public page listing all the corrections made), Newtral fully complies with the rest of criteria. Waiting for these of little details to be fixed, my recommendation to the board of IFCN is to ACCEPT.

on 18-Sep-2019 (8 months ago)

Ramón Salaverría recommended Accept


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.

Newtral
29-Aug-2019 (9 months ago)

Newtral is a media start up of journalism, technology and data verification, created by the same team of pioneers journalists that launched the fact-checking on TV in Spain through El Objetivo de Ana Pastor on the channel LaSexta. Also, the same team expanded his work debunking fakenews in separate segments. While this group of fact checkers and journalists is still doing this sort of content for TV and for El Objetivo de Ana Pastor every Sunday night on prime time TV, as Newtral they also has its own on-line fact-checking and debunking site on the Internet.

Ramón Salaverría Assessor
17-Sep-2019 (8 months ago)

Set up in tof 2017, Newtral Media Audiovisual S.L., owner of Newtral, is a legally-registered organization in Spain, devoted to fact-checking and to providing different news services to other media companies.


done_all 1a marked as Fully compliant by Ramón Salaverría.

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.

Newtral
29-Aug-2019 (9 months ago)

Here is the link to all fact checks on newtral:

https://newtral.es/fact-check/

Ramón Salaverría Assessor
17-Sep-2019 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

Newtral has on its website an easy-to-access archive of its fact-checks, which are published on a regular basis.

When perfoming this assessment (September 17th, 2019), evidences were found of the existence of at least 300 archived fact-checks. Although there have been periods with a slower pace, Newtral usually publishes at least one fact-check daily. In any case, the website fully complies with the rule of publishing at least one fact-check per week.


done_all 1b marked as Fully compliant by Ramón Salaverría.

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.

Newtral
29-Aug-2019 (9 months ago)

The Newtral fact-check team verifies every day the statements of politicians from different parties and public administrations in: newspapers, radio and TV interviews, social networks and any public platform. We choose all the statements that have interest or relevance from a purely journalistic criterion. We value the significance of the statement and the author, if it is repeated as an argument created intentionally to confuse and if it has verifiable content with data. We discard the opinions that are part of the political rhetorical logic.

Examples from this last two months (jul/ag. 2019)

Pablo Iglesias (PODEMOS leader)

https://www.newtral.es/zona-verificacion/fact-check/pablo-iglesias-el-psoe-ha-tenido-que-hacer-gobiernos-de-coalicion-en-todas-las-comunidades-en-las-que-no-tiene-mayoria-absoluta/

Iñigo Errejón (MAS MADRID)

https://www.newtral.es/actualidad/inigo-errejon-en-la-educacion-publica-hoy-hay-4-000-maestros-menos/

Garcia Albiol (PP Catalán)

https://www.newtral.es/zona-verificacion/fact-check/xavier-garcia-albiol-el-unico-deposito-de-aguas-pluviales-que-hay-en-badalona-lo-construi-durante-mi-mandato/

Maria Chivite (PSOE Navarra president) https://www.newtral.es/zona-verificacion/maria-chivite-sobre-los-menas-desde-que-tiene-nuevo-gobierno-andalucia-ha-dejado-de-acoger-inmigrantes/

Ignacio Aguado (CS Madrid leader) https://www.newtral.es/zona-verificacion/ignacio-aguado-el-dato-del-paro-del-pasado-mes-de-julio-es-el-peor-que-hemos-vivido-en-espana-en-los-ultimos-once-anos/

Angel Gabilondo (PSOE Leader) https://www.newtral.es/zona-verificacion/fact-check/angel-gabilondo-en-madrid-197-000-ninos-y-ninas-estan-en-situacion-de-pobreza-extrema/

T. Garcia Egea (PP vice-secretary) https://www.newtral.es/zona-verificacion/teodoro-garcia-egea-porque-pedro-sanchez-no-ha-sido-capaz-de-sacar-unos-presupuestos-por-primera-vez-en-la-historia/

M.J Montero (PSOE Minister) https://www.newtral.es/zona-verificacion/fact-check/maria-jesus-montero-el-psoe-saco-el-doble-de-escanos-mas-del-doble-de-votos-que-la-siguiente-fuerza-politica/

Gabriel Rufián (ERC) https://www.newtral.es/zona-verificacion/fact-check/rufian-en-espana-se-han-producido-800-000-desahucios-en-los-ultimos-diez-anos/

Special Coverage of the presidential investiture Session: https://www.newtral.es/zona-verificacion/las-verdades-y-mentiras-que-nos-dejo-el-debate-de-investidura-de-pedro-sanchez/

Ramón Salaverría Assessor
17-Sep-2019 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

Under high professional standards, Newtral publishes fact-checks about all the Spanish political parties, regardless their ideological alignment. The statements of politicians, no matter the party they belong to, they are analysed equally under the same criteria. Although most of fact-checks are focused on national politics, Newtral also verifies occasionally public statements in a number of topics, such as social issues, economics and environment. In front of all these issues, Newtral does not unduly concentrate on one side of the issue analyzed.


done_all 2a marked as Fully compliant by Ramón Salaverría.

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.

Newtral
29-Aug-2019 (9 months ago)

Our staff is formed by independent journalists with no relation at all with any political party, private interest or advocacy organization. We are extremely careful with the content we share through the social networks of newtral. We don’t support any political or activist movement, we don’t retweet organized or biased campaigns, crowdfundings, or so. Even if these are not supported by political parties directly. We don’t do activism. We don’t defend ideologies. We are nonpartisan journalists. This is a extremely basic requirement for been part of the fact-checking team.

All of our factcheckers are independent professionals. We check their profiles so we can guarantee they are not part of any group of interest or lobby. That’s the way we assure there is no possible collusion of interest or personal issues doing factchecking and, most important of all, selecting the claims.

Our main goal is to serve the audience with an honest and committed journalism, based on the public interest and the criteria of what is NEWS. The Head of the Team is responsible for ensuring that no member of newtral staff violates this non-partisan policy. If that happens, we will take action immediately. These measures includes removing him from the fact-checking team.

Ramón Salaverría Assessor
17-Sep-2019 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

Newtral does not support any candidate or political party, nor advocate or take policy positions on any issues not strictly related to fact-checking. Although the rules preventing staff members' partisanship are not publicly disclosed and, thus, this is an improvement that could be worth implementing, Newtral shows a strong commitment against any activism or advocacy against or in favor of any political cause.


done_all 2b marked as Fully compliant by Ramón Salaverría.

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.

Newtral
29-Aug-2019 (9 months ago)

During the process of factchecking the political claims, our first step is to consult public sources, databases or websites of data collection. We also support this by calling to the public servants, press officers or experts on this data to be sure that the numbers we get are the last ones published. If the collection of this data it is not enough for resolving the fact check, we also consult experts from Universities or similar centers of studies prestigious or well backed by a recognized work of non-partisan investigation.

We include the references of all sources with links on the text of the fact-check. Also, at the end of every piece that we publish on-line, we include a list of all sources and links of the sources we have used.

Also, we invite readers to contact with our team if they detect an error or have any comment about any data related to our work or any doubt of anything whatsoever. To do so, we have a reference to our “contact” section on the site of “Zona de Verificación”. The user can contact us via email, or personally vía WhatsApp or through any of our social networks (we have open DM on Twitter)


https://newtral.es/metodologia-transparencia/

Ramón Salaverría Assessor
17-Sep-2019 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

Newtral provides clear and detailed information about its fact-checking methodology. All fact-checks are consistently backed with links to reliable sources of data, and, when necessary, visual aids are used to present, in an appealing way, information taken from reliable databases.


done_all 3a marked as Fully compliant by Ramón Salaverría.

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.

Newtral
29-Aug-2019 (9 months ago)
Ramón Salaverría Assessor
17-Sep-2019 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

Newtral is a start up launched by Newtral Media Audiovisual S.L., a news company owned at 100% by the journalist Ana Pastor. All this information is openly disclosed in Newtral’s website.


done_all 4a marked as Fully compliant by Ramón Salaverría.

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.

Newtral
29-Aug-2019 (9 months ago)
Ramón Salaverría Assessor
17-Sep-2019 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

At the moment of completing this assessment (Sept. 2019), the staff of Newtral's fact-checking branch was formed by 11 journalists. Newtral provided detailed, easy-to-reach information about all these professionals.


done_all 4b marked as Fully compliant by Ramón Salaverría.

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

Newtral
29-Aug-2019 (9 months ago)

For NEWTRAL fact-checks, here: https://newtral.es/metodologia-transparencia/

For the Fact-Checks published on El Objetivo de Ana Pastor, audience can use Twitter and Facebook to contact us and also an email: elobjetivo@newtral.es Every team member have access to this account, can read it and answer it.

El Objetivo provides multiple means of contact via social media (Twitter, Facebook) and email (elobjetivo@newtral.es).

Ramón Salaverría Assessor
17-Sep-2019 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

Users can easily reach Newtral through different means of contact, such as email, telephone, WhatsApp, different social media platforms, as well as staff members' emails, which are openly disclosed. Newtral also provides clear information about its location.


done_all 4c marked as Fully compliant by Ramón Salaverría.

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.

Newtral
29-Aug-2019 (9 months ago)

Our methodology doing factchecking is available at https://newtral.es/metodologia-transparencia/

Ramón Salaverría Assessor
17-Sep-2019 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

Newtral's fact-checking methodology is clearly disclosed in the website. The methodology is sound and reliable. Newtral shows a strong commitment to transparency.


done_all 5a marked as Fully compliant by Ramón Salaverría.

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.

Newtral
29-Aug-2019 (9 months ago)

Newtral, for the first time in Spain, shared publicly a WhatsApp Verification Service number with audience so they can contact the team of factcheckers, send them political claims, or fake news to debunk.

https://twitter.com/Newtral/status/1018837911264026625

We also explain this service, and give email and contact details, on the website. https://newtral.es/metodologia-transparencia/

Also, our viewers of El Objetivo can submit claims to fact-check through Twitter, Facebook or in the text-box in our website http://www.lasexta.com/programas/el-objetivo/quieres-contactar-ana-pastor-equipo-objetivo-hazlo-traves-este-formulario_2017022858b549da0cf28e3b3aa69aa2.html

Ramón Salaverría Assessor
17-Sep-2019 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

Newtral allows users to send claims and corrections through different means of contact. It was a pioneering organization in Spain using WhatsApp as tool for fact-checking.


done_all 5b marked as Fully compliant by Ramón Salaverría.

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.

Newtral
29-Aug-2019 (9 months ago)

If we make a mistake, we will post a rectification at the same level of exposure as the previously published material. We also explained publicly if we have to modified or change any aspect of a verification. Here we ask our readers publicly and explicitly to send us indication of any mistake they have detected: https://www.newtral.es/metodologia-transparencia/

Ramón Salaverría Assessor
17-Sep-2019 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

Newtral allows users to send claims and corrections through different means of contact. The corrections policy guarantees a right of correction (derecho de rectificación), which granted for all users, including of course the people referred in the news. Just one little weakness has ben found: Newtral does not indicate in which timeframe commits itself to responding the corrections requests, so we recommend to fix this minor shortcoming in the future.


done_all 6a marked as Fully compliant by Ramón Salaverría.

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

Newtral
29-Aug-2019 (9 months ago)

Even though the information did not change our ruling, we included in additional data after a request of an association related with this political claim:

https://www.newtral.es/actualidad/ortega-smith-dos-funcionarios-de-prisiones-atienden-a-una-poblacion-reclusa-de-nivel-alto-de-peligrosidad-de-140/

A publication about a hoax circulating on social media was modified and explained openly, both on twitter and Facebook, here:

https://twitter.com/Newtral/status/1057654036328079360

Ramón Salaverría Assessor
17-Sep-2019 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

Where a correction had to be made, Newtral has provided a clear correction statement in that same fact-check. Examples have been provided of recent corrections. Nevertheless, in order to fully comply with the standards of the IFCN, one little improvement should  be made in this criterion: a public page listing all the corrections made over the last few years should be added. 


done_all 6b marked as Fully compliant by Ramón Salaverría.