Organization: RMIT ABC Fact Check
Applicant: Russell Skelton
Assessor: Anne Kruger
Edits made by the organization after this assessment
IFCN Staff wrote:
Information about funding was added to the About Us section and the methodology of the unit was explained in greater detail in the same section.
From the assessor:
I highly recommend RMIT ABC Fact Check for inclusion into IFCN.
Conclusion and recommendations
Anne Kruger wrote:
The relaunch and transition of ABC Fact Check to RMIT ABC Fact Check builds and further improves on the solid foundations of the unit’s past. The inclusion of RMIT allows for greater access to rigorous academic research without fear or favour. The policy whereby all team members are banned from belonging to a political party should be acknowledged and acclaimed for the importance the unit places on remaining fair and independent. The workflows of the fact checking unit follow strong foundations of best practice in journalism, combined with a clear understanding and adaptation to modern workflow requirements in a new media, multiplatform ecosystem. The facts being checked are clearly identified and rated with transparent sources. The claims or issues being checked are written as a question to be explored and given a salient rating– thus protecting an audience member with little time from simply reading the claim and allowing that to enter their consciousness as truth. It is clear the Director, Russell Skelton leads and manages the unit with a strong mandate of providing verifiable, independent and accountable fact checks. The fact checks and longer form pieces provide a valuable contribution to public and civic journalism, allowing focus on political facts and policies of candidates rather than media coverage in the style of a ‘two horse race’.