ABC/RMIT Fact Check WORK FLOW 8.45 am, ABC news conference. Monitor for issues, upcoming engagements, when and where prominent newsmakers will be interviewed or appearing. 10am conference. Attended by ME, AE, design editor, researchers, the online editor, chief fact checker and interns. Purpose:
1. Discuss and review checkable statements from all sources. Deciding what can be checked and what cannot. Identify fact files and SM info slates. Potential claims put into “slack” before conference.
2. Online editor updates team on SM response to published fact checks and outline what requests for fact checks have been received via twitter, emails or Facebook.
3. Review progress of commissioned fact checks. Individual researchers to update the team progress, advise on best ways to visualise FCs so the design editor can begin work in advance.
4. Long term planning. Reviewing major events (Elections, debates in parliament, ANZAC Day, Melbourne Cup etc.,)
5. Assign interns to where they are best needed on the day.
6. ME in consultation decides priorities for the day.
7. Where necessary book studio time. Trawling for claims All members of the team look out for claims. Researchers with particular expertise are responsible for spotting potential claims in their respective areas. Interns constantly monitor major current affairs programs and SM platforms for claims: Question time/AM/PM/Sky/ABC 24/News Breakfast, Fran Kelly and talkback radio, twitter, Facebook, web pages etc. Interns also briefed to look for non-political claims in science/health/the environment/cities/history etc. Online editor monitors breaking issues on SM and feeds into the mix email requests from the public. All calms funnelled into ‘Slack’. Proceeding with a claim once it is identified.
1. Decide on a claim. Download audio/text/ and carefully examine. Must be checkable and clearly defined. Identify exactly what statement or part of it is being checked?
2. Researcher contacts the person making the claim, identifies who they are and what they are examining and requests the information/data relied on to make it.
3. Researcher then reads into the issue, identifies and consults experts and searches the data.
4. Researcher prepares a brief that is circulated and discussed. ME reads the first draft to ensure balance and methodology are balanced.
5. Online editor and design editor become involved and start exploring ways to best illustrate it.
6. Fact check is then formally written up by the researcher in appropriate ABC style with the links and supporting material.
7. Read again by ME for approval.
8. Goes to the sub for word and style correction.
9. Goes to the Chief Fact checker for intense scrutiny ultimate approval.
10. A verdict discussion follows. If doubts are raised the FC will be referred to an expert panel for advice. Panel can advise on methodology, conclusions drawn and relevance of data. Their opinions are not published.
11. Once approved, the online editor, design editor, the researcher and ME meet to decide how best to publish: Online, TV, radio, social media. (This can be decided in advance)
12. ME alerts ABC EPs and program managers.
13. If TV, a script is commissioned.
14. Goes to the Online editor.
15. Chief fact checker double checks material to ensure no mistakes have crept in during the editing process.
16. ME reads again and press the button on publication.