Alt News

Organization: Pravda Media Foundation
Applicant: Pratik Sinha
Assessor: Kanchan Kaur
Conclusion and recommendations
on 02-Mar-2019 (1 year ago)

Kanchan Kaur wrote:

AltNews is an established fact-checking organization and has provided necessary registration details.

The applicant evaluates claims on the basis of their accuracy. It publishes fact checks on a regular basis, more than one a week. The fact checks cover a variety of subjects and do not concentrate on one side of the topic they cover. They are quite non-partisan. It has a clearly-stated non-partisanship editorial policy.

The applicant always lists key sources in a manner that the audience can replicate most fact-checks. It has a clear description of its sourcing policy.

The applicant has clearly indicated where its funding comes from. The names of the organisations key personnel--editorial staff and directors--are clearly listed and their bios are available on the website.

The applicant actively invites readers to send claims. It also has a clear contact page. The applicant's website clearly explains its methodology, in detail, step by step. However, It would help for the applicant to invite readers more proactively to send claims to fact check.

The applicant's website makes reference to how corrections are conducted and it has provided two examples corrections handled by them.

The application may be accepted. 

on 02-Mar-2019 (1 year ago)

Kanchan Kaur 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.

Pravda Media Foundation
11-Feb-2019 (1 year ago)

Alt News works under the aegis of Pravda Media Foundation. Pravda Media Foundation is a Section 8 (Not For Profit) company registered with Ministry of Corporate Affairs in India. The company details and the details of the directors can be accessed on the website of Ministry of Corporate Affairs. To view information about Pravda Media Foundation, please visit the following link (http://www.mca.gov.in/mcafoportal/viewCompanyMasterData.do) and search using the Company Identification Number U93030GJ2017NPL099435.

Kanchan Kaur Assessor
13-Feb-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The applicant has provided necessary registration details. 


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.

Pravda Media Foundation
11-Feb-2019 (1 year ago)

Monthly Archive November 2018: https://www.altnews.in/2018/11/

Monthly Archive December 2018: https://www.altnews.in/2018/02/

Monthly Archive January 2019: https://www.altnews.in/2019/01/

Kanchan Kaur Assessor
13-Feb-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The applicant evaluates claims on the basis of their accuracy. It publishes fact checks on a regular basis, more than one a week over the previous three months. 


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.

Pravda Media Foundation
11-Feb-2019 (1 year ago)

Fact checking at Alt News encompasses scrutinising statements made by persons in positions of authority, misinformation/disinformation that circulates on social media and inaccurate or misleading information disseminated by mainstream media. The Alt News team keeps a close eye on social media trends round the clock, apart from constantly monitoring news emanating from mainstream media outlets. Alt News is frequently tagged by social media users on various platforms in order to verify authenticity of information which is then promptly followed up. A large proportion of misinformation/disinformation that floods the social media space in India is politically motivated, and Alt News strongly believes in fact-checking all ends of the existing political spectrum in India and reports without fear or favour. Alt News adheres to strict non-partisanship in coverage in order to maintain credibility in the public sphere.

Fact-checking different political parties and leaders:

https://www.altnews.in/rjd-leader-tejashwi-yadav-posts-fake-letter-attributed-ec-official-alleging-evm-tampering/

https://www.altnews.in/is-pm-modis-app-sharing-personal-data-with-a-third-party-without-your-consent-yes/

https://www.altnews.in/fact-check-rahul-gandhis-claim-wealth-inequality-india/

https://www.altnews.in/mistaken-identity-ankit-bhardwaj-not-bjp-member-aap-social-media-volunteers-alleged/

Fact-checking main stream media organisations

https://www.altnews.in/top-fake-news-stories-circulated-indian-media-2017/

https://www.altnews.in/one-time-police-nothing-detention-donkeys/

Fact-checking social media

https://www.altnews.in/top-fake-news-circulated-social-media-2017/

https://www.altnews.in/misleading-video-pm-modis-educational-qualification-circulates-social-media/

https://www.altnews.in/rahul-gandhi-sign-somnath-temple-register-non-hindu/

https://www.altnews.in/vicious-cycle-fake-images-basirhat-riots/

Kanchan Kaur Assessor
13-Feb-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The fact checks made by the applicant cover a variety of subjects and do not concentrate on one side of the topic they cover. They are quite non-partisan. 


done_all 2a marked as Fully compliant by Kanchan Kaur.

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.

Pravda Media Foundation
11-Feb-2019 (1 year ago)

Alt News does not endorse any political parties or candidates, and does not participate in any events of electoral campaigns for political parties. Employees at Alt News are required to strictly adhere to the tenets of neutrality while reporting on political stories. Articles which are politically sensitive are vetted by multiple editors before publishing. Since its inception, Alt News has fact checked all hues of the political spectrum and does not allow personal preferences and/or biases to influence editorial content.

Kanchan Kaur Assessor
13-Feb-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

It would help for the applicant to produce a copy of letters of contract/employment issued to employees that may include clauses on non-partisanship. Also, if the applicant has a more comprehensive editorial policy, it would help to take a look at it. 


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.

Pravda Media Foundation
11-Feb-2019 (1 year ago)

Sourcing of information depends on the kind of stories Alt News tackles as part of its fact checking exercise. With regard to claims involving statistics and data, we provide links for various sources from Government publications to research conducted by think tanks and reputed organisations which are referred to in the article. For fact-checking which quotes individuals, we always clearly specify the name and designation of the concerned individual and we do not quote anonymous sources. As for fact-checks which depend on verification using Internet tools such as Reverse Image Search, we always explain how we used various Internet tools to arrive at a conclusion so that the user can follow the same procedure to verify the result.

https://www.altnews.in/sourcing-of-information/

Kanchan Kaur Assessor
13-Feb-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The applicant always lists key sources in a manner that the audience can replicate most fact-checks. It has a clear description of its sourcing policy. 


done_all 3a marked as Fully 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.

Pravda Media Foundation
11-Feb-2019 (1 year ago)

All the expenses including salaries of the employees are paid either from the grants received by the company or from the corpus collected via donations from the Alt News website. Every article has a donation pledge with a link to our donation page (https://www.altnews.in/donate/). We accept donations from individuals with an Indian bank account via a payment portal called Instamojo. Instamojo lets individuals donate either via their card or via net banking. We also accept cheques in the name of the organisation (Pravda Media Foundation) mailed to the official address. We do not accept funds in Non-Indian currency. We also do not accept cash deposits or donations.The complete details of grants/funds received can be seen in the link below.



https://www.altnews.in/transparency-of-funding/

Kanchan Kaur Assessor
13-Feb-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The applicant has clearly indicated where its funding comes from.


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.

Pravda Media Foundation
11-Feb-2019 (1 year ago)
Kanchan Kaur Assessor
13-Feb-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The names of the organisations key personnel--editorial staff and directors--are clearly listed and their bios are available on the website. 


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.

Pravda Media Foundation
11-Feb-2019 (1 year ago)
Kanchan Kaur Assessor
13-Feb-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The applicant actively invites readers to send claims. It also has a clear contact page. 


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.

Pravda Media Foundation
11-Feb-2019 (1 year ago)
Kanchan Kaur Assessor
13-Feb-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The applicant's website clearly explains its methodology, in detail, step by step. 


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.

Pravda Media Foundation
11-Feb-2019 (1 year ago)

Users can submit their claims that they need fact-checked via the Contact page on the website or email them to our contact email address - contact@altnews.in. Individual emails of authors are also provided if they need to be contacted. We also encourage users to tag us on Facebook and Twitter and we keep a constant lookout for the same.

Kanchan Kaur Assessor
13-Feb-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

It would help for the applicant to invite readers more proactively to send claims to fact check. At the moment, it only has a contact page from which readers can write to the website. The applicant might want to consider a panel or an invitation at the end of each article or fact-checked claim. 


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.

Pravda Media Foundation
11-Feb-2019 (1 year ago)
Kanchan Kaur Assessor
13-Feb-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The applicant's website makes a generic reference to how corrections are conducted. 


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.

Kanchan Kaur Assessor
13-Feb-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The organisation has provided two examples of a correction handled by them. 


done_all 6b marked as Fully compliant by Kanchan Kaur.

Section 7: Eligibility to be a signatory

Criterion 1.1
The applicant is a legally registered organization, or a distinct team or unit within a legally registered organization, and details of this are easily found on its website.

Criterion 1.2
The team, unit or organization is set up exclusively for the purpose of fact-checking.

Criterion 1.3
The applicant has published an average of at least one fact check a week over the course of the three months prior to the date of application.

Criterion 1.4
On average, at least 75% of the applicant’s fact checks focus on claims related to issues that, in the view of the IFCN, relate to or could have an impact on the welfare or well-being of individuals, the general public or society.

Criterion 1.5
The applicant’s editorial output is not, in the view of the IFCN, controlled by the state, a political party or politician.

Criterion 1.6
If the organization receives funding from local or foreign state or political sources, it provides a statement on its site setting out to the satisfaction of the IFCN, how it ensures its funders do not influence the findings of its reports.

Section 8: A commitment to Non-partisanship and Fairness

Criterion 2.1
The applicant fact-checks using the same high standards of evidence and judgement for equivalent claims regardless of who made the claim.

Criterion 2.2
The applicant does not unduly concentrate its fact-checking on any one side, considers the reach and importance of claims it selects to check and publishes a short statement on its website to set out how it selects claims to check.

Criterion 2.3
The applicant discloses in its fact checks relevant interests of the sources it quotes where the reader might reasonably conclude those interests could influence the accuracy of the evidence provided. It also discloses in its fact checks any commercial or other such relationships it has that a member of the public might reasonably conclude could influence the findings of the fact check.

Criterion 2.4
The applicant is not as an organization affiliated with nor declares or shows support for any party, any politician or political candidate, nor does it advocate for or against any policy positions on any issues save for transparency and accuracy in public debate.

Criterion 2.5
The applicant sets out its policy on non-partisanship for staff on its site. Save for the issues of accuracy and transparency, the applicant’s staff do not get involved in advocacy or publicise their views on policy issues the organization might fact check in such a way as might lead a reasonable member of the public to see the organization’s work as biased.

Section 9: A commitment to Standards and Transparency of Sources

Criterion 3.1
The applicant identifies the source of all significant evidence used in their fact checks, providing relevant links where the source is available online, in such a way that users can replicate their work if they wish. In cases where identifying the source would compromise the source’s personal security, the applicant provides as much detail as compatible with the source’s safety.

Criterion 3.2
The applicant uses the best available primary, not secondary, sources of evidence wherever suitable primary sources are available. Where suitable primary sources are not available, the applicant explains the use of a secondary source.

Criterion 3.3
The applicant checks all key elements of claims against more than one named source of evidence save where the one source is the only source relevant on the topic.

Criterion 3.4
The applicant identifies in its fact checks the relevant interests of the sources it uses where the reader might reasonably conclude those interests could influence the accuracy of the evidence provided.

Section 10: A commitment to Transparency of Funding & Organization

Criterion 4.1
Applicants that are independent organizations have a page on their website detailing each source of funding accounting for 5% or more of total revenue for its previous financial year. This page also sets out the legal form in which the organization is registered (e.g. as a non-profit, as a company etc).

Criterion 4.2
Applicants that are the fact-checking section or unit of a media house or other parent organization make a statement on ownership.

Criterion 4.3
A statement on the applicant’s website sets out the applicant’s organizational structure and makes clear how and by whom editorial control is exercised.

Criterion 4.4
A page on the applicant’s website details the professional biography of all those who, according to the organizational structure and play a significant part in its editorial output.

Criterion 4.5
The applicant provides easy means on its website and/or via social media for users to communicate with the editorial team.

Section 11: A commitment to Standards and Transparency of Methodology

Criterion 5.1
The applicant publishes on its website a statement about the methodology it uses to select, research, write and publish its fact checks.

Criterion 5.2
The applicant selects claims to check based primarily on the reach and importance of the claims, and where possible explains the reason for choosing the claim to check.

Criterion 5.3
The applicant sets out in its fact checks relevant evidence that appears to support the claim as well as relevant evidence that appears to undermine it.

Criterion 5.4
The applicant in its fact checks assesses the merits of the evidence found using the same high standards applied to evidence on equivalent claims, regardless of who made the claim.

Criterion 5.5
The applicant seeks where possible to contact those who made the claim to seek supporting evidence, noting that (i) this is often not possible with online claims, (ii) if the person who makes the claim fails to reply in a timely way this should not impede the fact check, (iii) if a speaker adds caveats to the claim, the fact-checker should be free to continue with checking the original claim, (iv) fact-checkers may not wish to contact the person who made the claim for safety or other legitimate reasons.

Criterion 5.6
The applicant encourages users to send in claims to check, while making it clear what readers can legitimately expect will be fact-checked and what isn’t fact-checkable.

Section 12: A commitment to an Open & Honest Corrections Policy

Criterion 6.1
The applicant has a corrections or complaints policy that is easily visible and accessible on the organization’s website or frequently referenced in broadcasts.

Criterion 6.2
The policy sets out clear definitions of what it does and does not cover, how major mistakes, especially those requiring revised conclusions of a fact check, are handled, and the fact that some complaints may justify no response. This policy is adhered to scrupulously.

Criterion 6.3
Where credible evidence is provided that the applicant has made a mistake worthy of correction, the applicant makes a correction openly and transparently, seeking as far as possible to ensure that users of the original see the correction and the corrected version.

Criterion 6.4
The applicant, if an existing signatory, should either on its corrections/complaints page or on the page where it declares itself an IFCN signatory inform users that if they believe the signatory is violating the IFCN Code, they may inform the IFCN, with a link to the IFCN site.

Criterion 6.5
If the applicant is the fact-checking unit of a media company, it is a requirement of signatory status that the parent media company has and adheres to an open and honest corrections policy.