South Asia Check

Organization: South Asia Check
Applicant: Deepak Adhikari
Assessor: Dharma Adhikari

Background

South Asia Check has been around since the last five years, and it still remains a rarity in institutional efforts at fact-checking in Nepal. It has served to verify and debunk claims made by public officials, and has helped to check important facts concerning public interest topics at a time when disinformation has emerged as a serious problem in the media sphere. 

Assessment Conclusion

The applicant’s activities overall comply with the IFCN code of principles. I have had reservation, in particular, with regard to one criterion (1.3). They appear deficient in the number of “fact checks” published over the past six months. However, quantitative measures sometimes seem inadequate in taking into account the context of a work especially where fact-checking as a practice is still in a formative stage. The applicant has published explainers that touch upon aspects of transparency and accountability in public life and that the frequency of their fact-checks in recent times has noticeably increased. These works may help compensate for the gaps in fact checking for the period assessed.

A few criteria (4.3, 6.2 and 6.4) required minor updates or changes. Following “request change”, the applicant has revised and updated information in compliance with these criteria.

Based on the assessment carried out (please see the accompanying form filled out online), I recommend that South Asia Check’s application for the IFCN code of principles be approved.

The methods of fact-checking and of fact-check assessments continue to evolve and refine. Keeping abreast of these, especially of the frequency/scope of fact-checks, may help in future improvements by the applicant. 

on 16-Jul-2020 (1 year ago)

Dharma Adhikari assesses application as Compliant

A short summary in native publishing language

साउथ एशिया चेक विगत ५ बर्षदेखि संचालनमा रहेको छ र नेपालमा तथ्य जाँचको संस्थागत प्रयासमा यो नवीन प्रयोग रहिआएको छ । यसले सार्वजनिक पदमा रहेका अधिकारीका दाबीलाई प्रमाणित वा गलत साबित गर्न मद्दत पुर्‍याउँदै आएको छ, र मिडिया क्षेत्रमा अफवाह र मिथ्य सूचना एक गम्भीर समस्याको रूपमा देखा परेको अवस्थामा सार्वजनिक महत्वका विषयहरू सम्बन्धी महत्वपूर्ण तथ्यहरू जाँच गर्न सहयोग पुर्‍याएको छ।

आवेदकका कार्य मूल्यांकन गर्दा उसका गतिविधिले समग्रमा आईएफसीएनको आचार संहिता पालन गरेको देखिन्छ। यसै मूल्यांकनको आधारमा साउथ एशिया चेकको आवेदन अनुमोदन होस् भनी सिफारिश गरिएको छ ।

Section 1: Eligibility to be a signatory

To be eligible to be a signatory, applicants must meet these six criteria

  • 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.
  • 1.2 The team, unit or organization is set up exclusively for the purpose of fact-checking.
  • 1.3 The applicant has published an average of at least one fact check a week over the course of the six months prior to the date of application. For applicants from countries with at least 5 or more verified signatories need to have at least a fact check a week over the twelve months of publishing track. Consult to factchecknet@poynter.org for confirmation.
  • 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.
  • 1.5 The applicant’s editorial output is not, in the view of the IFCN, controlled by the state, a political party or politician.
  • 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.

Criteria 1.1
Proof you meet criteria
Please explain where on your website you set out information about your organization’s legal status and how this complies with criteria. Attach a link to the relevant page of your website.

South Asia Check
28-Apr-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The information about our organisation's legal status is included on our "About Us" (http://southasiacheck.org/about/) page. We have also attached the latest renewal letter of our parent organization from the government.

Files Attached
picture_as_pdf Panos Registration.p... (5 MB) picture_as_pdf Ministry of foreign... (684 KB)
Dharma Adhikari Assessor
02-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Both the English- and Nepali-language "About" pages of South Asia Check, at the outset, identify Panos South Asia as the parent organization. No specific reference is made to "legal registration". However, the registration document from the government of Nepal (attached for this assessment) corroborates the published information on its status.


done_all 1.1 marked as Compliant by Dharma Adhikari.

Criteria 1.2
Proof you meet criteria
Please answer the following questions – (see notes in Guidelines for Application on how to answer)

 1. When and why was your fact-checking operation started?
 2. How many people work or volunteer in the organization and what are their roles?
 3. What different activities does your organization carry out?
 4. What are the goals of your fact-checking operation over the coming year?

South Asia Check
28-Apr-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

1. South Asia Check was launched in July 2015 as a completely new concept in Nepal. We felt the need for the initiative because Nepal was in the process of writing a new constitution and there was lots of misinformation going around in the media and especially the politicians were responsible for such misinformation.

2 and 3. The "About Us" (http://southasiacheck.org/about/) page provides the details.

4. Following the outbreak of coronavirus, we too have been inundated with requests for fact check. Over the last couple of months, we have fact-checked or verified several claims related to the Covid-19. As the pandemic is likely to be the issue of concern for several months until a remedy is found, we will continue to combat misinformation on the disease. So over the coming year, we will try to build on this and continue to fact check health related claims and news. Our goal is also to expand the scope of fact check to include social media and digital platforms such as YouTube. One of our goals is to publish more explainers, which we started early this year. We can not debunk every rumor and false claims, but we work proactively to bridge the knowledge gaps. Our explainers on various aspects of coronavirus and other issues help people understand the matter, which in turn helps fight false information. 

Files Attached
description Past 3 month factche... (9 KB)
Dharma Adhikari Assessor
02-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The core task of the applicant is fact-checking and this objective is specified on the "About" page. 


done_all 1.2 marked as Compliant by Dharma Adhikari.

Criteria 1.3
Proof you meet criteria
- The applicant has published an average of at least one fact check a week over the course of the six months prior to the date of application.
- For applicants from countries with at least 5 or more verified signatories need to have at least a fact check a week over the twelve months of publishing track.
- Consult to factchecknet@poynter.org for confirmation.

South Asia Check
28-Apr-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

We've fallen short of required number of fact-checks as we could only publish eight due to various factors. But where we lack fact-checks, we have compensated it by publishing accurate facts early and routinely after talking to experts and authorities. For example, early when Nepal had only one case of Covid-19, we published a report under the headline 10 Things to Know About Coronavirus (in Nepali) https://southasiacheck.org/np/?p=5273 We also published an explainer about testing, tracking and treatment in Nepal after cases grew (also in Nepali) https://southasiacheck.org/np/?p=5412 This helped people make themselves aware of facts and become less vulnerable to hoaxes. We also published an explainer on the race to develop vaccines and drugs to treat Covid-19 https://southasiacheck.org/in-public-interest/scientists-worldwide-in-desperate-search-for-covid-19-drug/

We closely followed social media discourse in Nepal and the trajectory of the disease to deliver our reports, which were widely published in digital outlets of the country. 

Files Attached
description Past 3 month factche... (8 KB) description Past 3 month factche... (9 KB)
Dharma Adhikari Assessor
02-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

During the last three months (18 February to 18 April 2020), prior to the application date, the South Asia Check published 3 fact-check articles:  

25 March 2020: http://southasiacheck.org/fact-check/covid-19-there-is-no-medicine-yet-dont-get-misled-by-misinformation/

20 March 2020: http://southasiacheck.org/fact-check/covid-19-whats-circulating-on-social-media-and-what-are-the-facts/ 

24 February 2020: http://southasiacheck.org/fact-check/binod-chaudhary-falsely-claims-internet-in-nepal-is-south-asias-priciest/ 

Based specifically on the required number of fact-check articles for the specified period, the applicant does not meet this criterion.

However, as this page shows (http://southasiacheck.org/category/fact-check/), South Asia Check has done a total of 7 fact-check articles during the past month, since the application date. The latest piece was published on 23 May 2020. In addition, during the past six months, it has published some explainers that touch upon aspects of transparency and accountability in public life. These works may help compensate for the gaps in the past few months. The IFCN may like to take these additional works into consideration to qualitatively assess compliance with this particular criterion.

 


done_all 1.3 marked as Compliant by Dharma Adhikari.

Criteria 1.4
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will assess compliance through a review of the fact checks published over the previous three months. No additional information required.

Dharma Adhikari Assessor
02-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

All three fact-checks published in the 3 months (prior to the application date) focused clearly on public interest topics.Two of those fact checks concerned misinformation on the precautions/cure for the new coronavirus and one on misleading information on internet service prices.   


done_all 1.4 marked as Compliant by Dharma Adhikari.

Criteria 1.5
Proof you meet criteria
Please explain any commercial, financial and/or institutional relationship your organization has to the state, politicians or political parties in the country or countries you cover. Also explain funding or support received from foreign as well as local state or political actors over the previous financial year.

South Asia Check
28-Apr-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

South Asia Check and its parent organization Panos South Asia do not have any commercial, financial and/or institutional relationship to the state, politicians or political parties. We have not received any funding or support from foreign as well as local state or political actors. 

Dharma Adhikari Assessor
02-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The "About" page identifies the applicant as "an independent, non-partisan, non-profit initiative". The applicant also has a disclosure on its sources of funding-- Open Society Foundation and National Endowment for Democracy, both US-based organizations. 

The applicant's "Code and Conduct for Fact-checking Team" clearly spells out its ethical standards on issues of partisanship and bias.The applicant doesn't offer details on how, in practice, the organization ensures the editorial independence of its works. 

Generally, editorial practices in Nepal's news media sector are far from independent, of politicians, political parties and the government, largely because many of the outlets subsist on the resources from politicians and other interest groups. Those with a good revenue stream of their own (and they are few) as well as non-profit watchdog groups with generous donor support tend to exercise editorial freedom from local constraints. 

Based on the contents published by South Asia Check and available evidence, the applicant appears compliant with this standard. 


done_all 1.5 marked as Compliant by Dharma Adhikari.

Criteria 1.6
Proof you meet criteria
If you confirmed the organization receives funding from local or foreign state or political sources, provide a link to where on your website you set out how you ensure the editorial independence of your work.

South Asia Check
28-Apr-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

While we don't receive funding from local or foreign state or political sources, we have received funding from US based organizations including National Endowment for Democracy and Open Society Foundation. Please go to our About page and click on the tab Funders, where we have presented details on the funding. 

Dharma Adhikari Assessor
02-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The applicant has a disclosure on its funders (See "Our Funders" http://southasiacheck.org/about/)


done_all 1.6 marked as Compliant by Dharma Adhikari.

Section 2: A commitment to Non-partisanship and Fairness

To be compliant on nonpartisanship and fairness, applicants must meet these five criteria

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

Criteria 2.1
Proof you meet criteria
Please share links to 10 fact checks published over the past year that you believe demonstrate your non-partisanship.
Please briefly explain how the fact checks selected show that (I) you use the same high standards of evidence for equivalent claims, (II) follow the same essential process for every fact check and (III) let the evidence dictate your conclusions.

South Asia Check
28-Apr-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

1. http://southasiacheck.org/fact-check/govts-policy-and-program-made-wrong-claim-about-raxaul-amlekhgunj-petroleum-pipeline/

2. http://southasiacheck.org/fact-check/dahal-had-not-helped-madhav-nepal-become-prime-minister/

3. http://southasiacheck.org/fact-check/kathmandu-pm-levels-show-pms-air-quality-claim-baseless/

4. http://southasiacheck.org/fact-check/neither-tilicho-nor-the-new-lake-are-highest-in-nepal-or-world/

5. http://southasiacheck.org/fact-check/finance-minister-makes-unreliable-claims-about-nepali-printing-industry/

6. http://southasiacheck.org/fact-check/pms-foreign-affairs-advisor-repeats-an-already-debunked-claim/

7. http://southasiacheck.org/fact-check/deputy-speaker-tumbahangphe-is-still-a-member-nepal-communist-party/

8. https://southasiacheck.org/fact-check/binod-chaudhary-falsely-claims-internet-in-nepal-is-south-asias-priciest/

9. http://southasiacheck.org/fact-check/pm-advises-misleading-remedies-against-covid-19/

10. https://southasiacheck.org/fact-check/covid-19-there-is-no-medicine-yet-dont-get-misled-by-misinformation/

We rely on primary sources (both publicly available documents and human sources) to verify and fact check claims. It ranges from statements from top government officials, digital outlets and newspapers, lawmaker of opposition party and social media platforms. We apply same standards and rigor to each fact-check. We don't rate our fact-checks, but make sure that we give a verdict such as false, misleading or baseless at the end of our report.

All the reports including the fact-check reports published on our website are prepared by team members, who strictly abide by our code of conduct ( http://southasiacheck.org/about/ ) and follow all the necessary process to demonstrate our non-partisanship.




Dharma Adhikari Assessor
02-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago
All of the 14 fact-checks published in the past 6 months mostly used online references and documents from authentic news publications, official/research documents, and in a few instances, first-hand interview with human sources-- to verify the claims made. These fact checks did not involve counter-claims by another side. Some explainers also relied on direct interviews with relevant human sources.

done_all 2.1 marked as Compliant by Dharma Adhikari.

Criteria 2.2
Proof you meet criteria
Please share a link to a place on your website where you explain how you select claims to check, explaining how you ensure you do not unduly concentrate your fact-checking on any one side, and how you consider the reach and importance of the claims you select to check.

South Asia Check
28-Apr-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Please go to http://southasiacheck.org/about/ and click the tabs "What to fact-check and what not to fact-check" and "Code of conduct for Fact-checking team".

Dharma Adhikari Assessor
02-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The applicant focuses on fact-checking the statements made by people holding public office. Its "About" page (see "What to fact-check and what not to fact-check?" and "Code of Conduct for Fact-checking Team") explains how the process works. The applicant has, over the years, covered claims made by public figures from diverse areas and by politicians from various political parties, without concentrating too much on one side. Incumbent officials and political leaders do figure a bit more frequently in the fact checks.   


done_all 2.2 marked as Compliant by Dharma Adhikari.

Criteria 2.3
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will assess compliance through a review of the fact checks published over the previous year. No additional information required.

Dharma Adhikari Assessor
02-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Overall, the applicant appears transparent in the variety of sources it has used. No instances of disclosures of any commercial or other such relations were found in its fact checks.

One way to evaluate disclosures of interests in individual fact-checks would be to look at the way language is used to identify the sources cited. Assessment shows sources are not always adequately identified. However, this must have more to do with a writing style in the Nepali context than with the lack of disclosure.

The applicant published 19 fact checks during the past year (22 May 2019 – 15 May 2020). These fact checks relied on some 113 different sources for reference, verification or corroboration. Only about a quarter of the attributions in those fact checks offered some form of identification (affiliations, designation, locations, etc.) of the sources cited. The identifications/qualifiers were at times too general (“another online news outlet” reported, “one research says”), making it hard for the readers to judge any potential interests of those sources. Several of the sources used were well-known institutions: internationally, the WHO, CDC, EU, US Department of State, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), etc., and nationally, the Nepal Telecommunications Authority, ICIMOD, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Finance, National Parliament, Federation of Nepal Printers’ Association, Department of Health Services, etc. It may be enough to name them, without further identification. News outlets as sources were named (Kantipur, the Kathmandu Post, Setopati, Republica, Himal Khabar, Post Khabar, Ujyaalo, AP1 HD TV, Prime Times TV, Janata TV, etc.) but hardly came with any specific identification. Locally, these may be familiar brands, but adding a brief identification after the name of these outlets could offer the wider audience, including those in the reach of the internet, a context to gauge or estimate any potential interests. Providing a phrasal description, for instance, on their location, affiliation, ownership (e.g., XX, a private-sector newspaper owned by a business conglomerate, …), and, when possible, acknowledging their slant, could help clarify their relevant interests a bit more. This is also true for hyperlinked sources, including social media accounts, which were often used without identifications.  


done_all 2.3 marked as Compliant by Dharma Adhikari.

Criteria 2.4
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will assess compliance through a review of the fact checks published over the previous year. No additional information required.

Dharma Adhikari Assessor
02-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Based on the assessments of the published fact checks, no evidence of such affiliations could be found. The applicant expressly professes transparency and accuracy on public interest issues.  


done_all 2.4 marked as Compliant by Dharma Adhikari.

Criteria 2.5
Proof you meet criteria
Please share a link to a place on your website where you publish a statement setting out your policy on non-partisanship for staff and how it ensures the organization meets this criteria.

South Asia Check
28-Apr-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Please go to http://southasiacheck.org/about/ and click the tab "Code of conduct for Fact-checking team".

Dharma Adhikari Assessor
02-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Its stated policy on “About” page ("Code of conduct for Fact-checking team") prohibits its staff from involving in partisan politics, or in prejudiced or biased views, or in “carrying an agenda”. No evidence of such involvement could be gleaned from its fact check works.


done_all 2.5 marked as Compliant by Dharma Adhikari.

Section 3: A commitment to Standards and Transparency of Sources

To be compliant on sources, applicants must meet these four criteria

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Criteria 3.1
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the applicant’s use of sources in a randomised sample of its fact checks to assess compliance. No additional evidence is required.

Dharma Adhikari Assessor
02-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

In the fact checks done during the past year (see 2.3 above), news reports, with URL links to specific pages were the most often used sources, more to refer to the claims than to debunk claims, followed by online links to official documents (both governmental and non-governmental) to check the veracity of the statements. Lacking sources online, at least two fact checks relied on first-hand interviews with experts. Social media accounts were sometimes not named; they only appeared as hyperlinks to parts of the texts. In a rare case, an article linked to a document that pointed to its own subdomain: http://southasiacheck.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/global-broadband-pricing-study-2020.xlsx, without identifying the source of the data. The document itself lacked any identification, of its author or its publisher. This spreadsheet is presumably from cable.co.uk, which was mentioned in the earlier part of the fact-check piece.

This assessment found no instances of unnamed or anonymous sources in use by the applicant.  


done_all 3.1 marked as Compliant by Dharma Adhikari.

Criteria 3.2
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the applicant’s use of sources in a randomised sample of its fact checks to assess compliance. No additional evidence is required.

Dharma Adhikari Assessor
02-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

For verification, relevant primary sources were used, most of the time. On a few occasions, to compensate for the lack of credible sources, the applicant conducted first-hand interviews with human sources. 


done_all 3.2 marked as Compliant by Dharma Adhikari.

Criteria 3.3
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the applicant’s use of sources in a randomised sample of its fact checks to assess compliance. No additional evidence is required.

Dharma Adhikari Assessor
02-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The assessment of the fact checks published in the past year shows that this indeed was the general pattern. 


done_all 3.3 marked as Compliant by Dharma Adhikari.

Criteria 3.4
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the applicant’s use of sources in a randomised sample of its fact checks to assess compliance. No additional evidence is required.

Dharma Adhikari Assessor
02-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Again, as mentioned in 2.3 above, overall, the applicant appeared transparent in its sources. More specific identification of individual sources would offer richer context for readers to make their own judgements about potential interests involved. This is also a matter that is relative to how informed or discerning the readers can be in a specific social or cultural setting.


done_all 3.4 marked as Compliant by Dharma Adhikari.

Section 4: A commitment to Transparency of Funding & Organization

To be compliant on funding and organization, applicants must meet these five criteria

  • 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).
  • 4.2 Applicants that are the fact-checking section or unit of a media house or other parent organization make a statement on ownership.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 4.5 The applicant provides easy means on its website and/or via social media for users to communicate with the editorial team.

Criteria 4.1
Proof you meet criteria
Please confirm whether you are an ‘independent organization’
or ‘the fact-checking section or unit of a media house or other parent organization’ and share proof of this organizational status.

South Asia Check
28-Apr-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

South Asia Check is a unit of parent organization Panos South Asia.On the top right corner of our website, we've mentioned that it is an initiative of Panos South Asia https://southasiacheck.org/

Dharma Adhikari Assessor
02-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The “About” identifies the organization as “an independent, non-partisan, non-profit initiative by Panos South Asia”. Under the tab “Our funders”, it gives the details on the sources of funding. 


done_all 4.1 marked as Compliant by Dharma Adhikari.

Criteria 4.2
Proof you meet criteria
If your organization is an “independent organization”, please share a link to the page on your website where you detail your funding and indicate the legal form in which the organization is registered (e.g. as a non-profit, as a company etc).
If your organization is “the fact-checking section or unit of a media house or other parent organization”, please share a link to the statement on your website about your ownership.

South Asia Check
28-Apr-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

South Asia Check is a unit of parent organization Panos South Asia. On the top right corner of our website, we've mentioned that it is an initiative of Panos South Asia https://southasiacheck.org/

Dharma Adhikari Assessor
02-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The applicant has made a statement on its ownership. 


done_all 4.2 marked as Compliant by Dharma Adhikari.

Criteria 4.3
Proof you meet criteria
Please share a link to where on your website you set out your organizational structure, making clear how and by whom editorial control is exercised.

South Asia Check
28-Apr-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago
Please go to http://southasiacheck.org/about/ and click the tab "Our team".
South Asia Check
13-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago
Please go to http://southasiacheck.org/about/ and click the tab "Our team". In addition to this, we have added a paragraph (second) on "What to fact check and what not to fact check" tab, where we make clear the editorial process and who controls it. 
Dharma Adhikari Assessor
02-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

This page does offer general information on the organization structure.

There is, however, no specific statement clarifying how and who exercises editorial control. Please include a brief statement to this effect.  


cancel 4.3 marked as Request change by Dharma Adhikari.
Dharma Adhikari Assessor
16-Jul-2020 (1 year ago)

The applicant has added a statement on the excercise of editorial control. See here http://southasiacheck.org/about/ (second paragraph). 


done_all 4.3 marked as Compliant by Dharma Adhikari.

Criteria 4.4
Proof you meet criteria
Please share a link to where on your website you set out the professional biographies of those who play a significant part in your organization’s editorial output.

South Asia Check
28-Apr-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Please go to http://southasiacheck.org/about/ and click the tab "Our team".

Dharma Adhikari Assessor
02-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The applicant meets this requirement.  


done_all 4.4 marked as Compliant by Dharma Adhikari.

Criteria 4.5
Proof you meet criteria
Please share a link to where on your website you encourage users to communicate with your editorial team.

South Asia Check
28-Apr-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

There is a "Contact us" tab on the horizontal bar just below the South Asia Check logo on the main page www.southasiacheck.org 

Dharma Adhikari Assessor
02-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The applicant has a visible and easily accessible link to a contact form on its “Contact us” page. It also has a “Request a fact check” form, prominently placed on its homepage. Links to its Twitter and Facebook pages are also provided on its top-right corner. 


done_all 4.5 marked as Compliant by Dharma Adhikari.

Section 5: A commitment to Standards and Transparency of Methodology

To be compliant on methodology, applicants must meet these six criteria

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

Criteria 5.1
Proof you meet criteria
Please provide a link to the statement on your website that explains the methodology you use to select, research, write and publish your fact checks.

South Asia Check
28-Apr-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Please go to the "About us" http://southasiacheck.org/about/ on the main page and click the tab "What to fact-check and what not to fact-check"

Dharma Adhikari Assessor
02-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

It has published such a statement (“What to fact-check and what not to fact-check?”, on the “About” page). 


done_all 5.1 marked as Compliant by Dharma Adhikari.

Criteria 5.2
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the methodology used in a randomised sample of your fact checks to assess compliance with these criteria. No additional evidence is required.

Dharma Adhikari Assessor
02-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Many of the claims appear to have originated in social media/news media, selected on the basis of their public interest relevance. Not every fact check article explains the reason for choosing the claim to check. 


done_all 5.2 marked as Compliant by Dharma Adhikari.

Criteria 5.3
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the methodology used in a randomised sample of your fact checks to assess compliance with these criteria. No additional evidence is required.

Dharma Adhikari Assessor
02-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The stated practice by the applicant is to fact check statements that can only be verified on the basis of publicly available documents/statistics/evidences. As the applicant has explained, its focus is on false or misleading claims: “we don’t publish the results of fact-check statements/claims that are correct.” 


done_all 5.3 marked as Compliant by Dharma Adhikari.

Criteria 5.4
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the methodology used in a randomised sample of your fact checks to assess compliance with these criteria. No additional evidence is required.

Dharma Adhikari Assessor
02-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The applicant’s assessments focus on factual statements and statistics and sometimes on matters of popular belief. It appears consistent in the quality of sources used to asses the merits of evidences on claims made. Most individual fact check pieces focused on some specific claims, often made by the same person.  


done_all 5.4 marked as Compliant by Dharma Adhikari.

Criteria 5.5
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the methodology used in a randomised sample of your fact checks to assess compliance with these criteria. No additional evidence is required.

Dharma Adhikari Assessor
02-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

All the fact-checks analyzed for this assessment were based on primary or secondary—mostly online—sources. On a few occasions, to complement online evidences, the applicant did contact expert human sources to seek further evidence. 


done_all 5.5 marked as Compliant by Dharma Adhikari.

Criteria 5.6
Proof you meet criteria
Please describe how you encourage 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. Include links where appropriate. If you do not allow this, explain why.

South Asia Check
28-Apr-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

There is a "Request a Fact Check" section on the main page of www.southasiacheck.org . Users need to click the "Suggest us a fact check" button and submit their requests. Also, the "About us" section http://southasiacheck.org/about/ has a tab "What to fact-check and what not to fact-check?" which details what readers/users should expect of us.

We also occasionally ask users to send us request for fact check. We have recently posted such requests both in Nepali and in English on Twitter. 

Files Attached
Nepali.JPG (22 KB)
Dharma Adhikari Assessor
02-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago
The applicant meets this criterion. It has a request form on its homepage encouraging readers to request fact checks ("Request a Fact Check"). It clearly delineates the scope of its fact checks on its “About” page ("What to fact-check and what not to fact-check?").

done_all 5.6 marked as Compliant by Dharma Adhikari.

Section 6: A commitment to an Open & Honest Corrections Policy

To be compliant on corrections policy, applicants must meet these five criteria

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Criteria 6.1
Proof you meet criteria
Please provide a link to where you publish on your website your corrections or complaints policy. If you are primarily a broadcaster, please provide evidence you frequently reference your corrections policy in broadcasts.

South Asia Check
28-Apr-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Please go to our "About us" section ( http://southasiacheck.org/about/ ) contains a "Corrections policy" tab explaining how we make corrections.

Dharma Adhikari Assessor
02-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

It does have a corrections policy, on “About” page, under the tab “Corrections policy” (“भूलसुधार नीति” in the Nepali section).  


done_all 6.1 marked as Compliant by Dharma Adhikari.

Criteria 6.2
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the corrections policy to verify it meets critera. No additional information needed.

South Asia Check
13-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

We have revised our correction policy, in which we have addressed the issues raised by the assessor. Please click "Correction Policy" under "About Us" tab.

Dharma Adhikari Assessor
02-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

It has a general statement on the corrections policy.

To fully abide by this criterion, as it is stipulated in the updated IFCN Code of Principles, the applicant may like to revise its corrections policy, to better clarify what it does and does not cover in its corrections policy, and more specifically, how it handles major mistakes, especially those that require revised conclusions of a fact check. It should also consider specifying the situations or circumstances when it does not respond to complaints by readers or users.   


cancel 6.2 marked as Request change by Dharma Adhikari.
Dharma Adhikari Assessor
16-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The applicant has revised and updated its corrections policy in compliance with this criterion. 


done_all 6.2 marked as Compliant by Dharma Adhikari.

Criteria 6.3
Proof you meet criteria
Please provide a short statement about how the policy was adhered to over the previous year (or six months if this is the first application) including evidence of two examples of the responses provided by the applicant to a correction request over the previous year. Where no correction request has been made in the previous year, you must state this in your application, which will be publicly available in the assessment if your application is successful.

South Asia Check
28-Apr-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

If we notice any corrections on our reports, we make sure to correct it. Corrections appear at the bottom of the relevant report. We were not required to make any corrections over the previous year. 

Dharma Adhikari Assessor
02-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

It has a clear policy acknowledging errors, correcting them and leaving the record of the correction in a way that can be accessed or retrieved.  


done_all 6.3 marked as Compliant by Dharma Adhikari.

Criteria 6.4
Proof you meet criteria
If you are an existing signatory, please provide a link to show where on your site you inform users that if they believe you are violating the IFCN Code, they may inform the IFCN of this, with a link to the complaints page on the IFCN site.

South Asia Check
28-Apr-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

This is something new for us. Though we have been a signatory of IFCN Code for several years, we're not aware of this requirement. We would address this as soon as possible. 

South Asia Check
13-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

This is something new for us. Though we have been a signatory of IFCN Code for several years, we're not aware of this requirement. We would address this as soon as possible. We have included the IFCN logo and added the description on South Asia Check being an IFCN signatory on the homepage. We have also provided a link to the form where readers can make complaints about us.  

Dharma Adhikari Assessor
02-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

At the moment, the applicant does not have a statement declaring itself an IFCN signatory. To comply with this criterion, please write a note informing readers that they may write to IFCN in case they believe South Asia Check is violating the IFCN Code. Along with this note, place a link to the IFCN site.    


cancel 6.4 marked as Request change by Dharma Adhikari.
Dharma Adhikari Assessor
16-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The applicant has revised and updated relevant information in compliance with this criterion. 


done_all 6.4 marked as Compliant by Dharma Adhikari.

Criteria 6.5
Proof you meet criteria
If you are the fact-checking unit of a media company, please provide a link to the parent media company’s honest and open corrections policy and provide evidence that it adheres to this.

South Asia Check
28-Apr-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

We are not a fact-checking unit of a media company. So, this doesn't apply to us. 

Dharma Adhikari Assessor
02-Jun-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago
This criterion does not apply to the applicant since it is not a fact-checking unit of a media company.

done_all 6.5 marked as Compliant by Dharma Adhikari.