T. V. Today Network Ltd.

Organization: T. V. Today Network Ltd.
Applicant: Bal Krishna
Assessor: Surekha Deepak

Background

The applicant is a fact checking unit of a legally established news  organisation.  India Today Fact Check has as a dedicated staff and publishes in English as well as in two other languages Hindi and Bangla.

The claims that are debunked cover a variety of topics and all sides of the topic are covered. 

Assessment Conclusion

The signatory has compiled most of the criteria and can be accepted.

They have published more than the required number of fact checks required for compliance. Most of the stories they debunk have a recognisable impact. They have a clear non partisanship policy.

There is no evidence of any political influence on the stories selected or the way in which they are written.

Sources are linked and referenced. The fact checks are replicable.

Stories from all sides of the spectrum are covered. While many of the fact checks come from social media posts, they also fact check stories covered in the mainstream media. There is no evidence of any  bias.

India Today Fact Check is fully funded by the parent company which is listed on the National Stock Exchange and Bombay Stock Exchange. The applicant does not claim any financial dependence on the state or political actors, nor is there evidence of an affiliation to any political party.

The fact checks cover a variety of subjects, and most aspects of the topic. The process followed is well explained and carried out depending on the need of the story. All claims are checked using similar standards. 

The applicant mentions the sources used in the fact checking process clearly. They use digital tools, in addition they make use of their extensive network of journalists to speak to sources. There is no evidence that the sources that could influence  their findings. All sources are linked and referenced. The fact checks are replicable.

The website clearly shows the ownership. The organizational structure is clearly mentioned on the website. They use the same standards across all fact checks they publish.

The corrections policy is clearly listed on the website, with links to the IFCN complaints page.

on 04-Jan-2021 (8 months ago)

Surekha Deepak assesses application as Compliant

A short summary in native publishing language

Language used is English 

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.

T. V. Today Network Ltd.
04-Nov-2020 (10 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

India Today Fact Check is a part of the India Today Group.We publish fact-check stories in three languages - English, Hindi and Bangla. The Fact Check section is a part of India Today and Aaj Tak websites. However, the Fact Check department is managed separately and independently from the editorial operations of India Today.


We are fully funded by our parent company, TV Today Network Ltd., which is listed on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) and Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). India Today Fact Check is also part of Facebook's third-party fact-checking partnership.


Fact Check strictly adheres to the non-partisanship policy of India Today Group. These details and the Non Partisanship Policy of the Group are clearly mentioned right on top in the "About Us" section of the Fact Check page. The URLs can be seen below.



https://www.indiatoday.in/about-us-fact-check
Surekha Deepak Assessor
16-Dec-2020 (9 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

The applicant is a legally registered organization, with an independent fact-checking unit.


done_all 1.1 marked as Compliant by Surekha Deepak.

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?

T. V. Today Network Ltd.
04-Nov-2020 (10 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

1. India Today Fact Check started operations in May 2018 by publishing fact-check stories on the India Today website. Within a couple of months, it was carved out as a separate and independent department, broadly insulated from the day-to-day editorial operations of the Group. The same year, we became a signatory to the IFCN Code of Principles and also joined Facebook's 3 PFC partnership.


The purpose of creating a separate Fact Check department was two-fold. First, to create an awareness among the entire editorial staff of the Group about the serious problem of misinformation and fake news being dished out through social media. In some media verticals such as TV channels, journalists have to work under tremendous pressure of cut-throat competition, deadlines and breaking news. The idea was to sensitise them about the menace of fake news so that the number of mistakes could be reduced. 


The second motive was to exploit the huge reach of our brands, India Today and Aaj Tak, to fight misinformation that keeps circulating on social media. We wanted to meet up to the expectations of our readers and viewers who not only want credible information from us, but also expect us to warn them about hoaxes and fake news.


2. A total of 14 people work as part of the Fact Check team. Eight of them work full-time for fact-checking, scanning social media for potential misinformation and debunking them with credible information and evidence that can be replicated by readers. The remaining six people work as copy editors, video editors and graphic designers. Copy editors and graphic designers also contribute for other teams such as one which works on data stories.


3. We publish our fact-check stories in three languages - English, Hindi and Bangla. To ensure that our stories reach every section of society, we also turn them into postcards, video stories and podcasts. We also run a dedicated WhatsApp fact-check helpline (73 7000 7000) where people can send their queries and get answers about any misinformation that may be going viral.


India Today Fact Check was part of a 13-member team of fact-check organisations from across the globe who worked over an year with Facebook and SFO-based tech firm Meedan to develop a fact-checking tool for WhatsApp. The tool called ‘Check’ is now being used by all fact-checking partners of Facebook for fact-checking content circulating on WhatsApp, which is the most popular messaging app in India and many other countries.


We have conducted fact-checking training sessions for journalists as part of Google News Initiative programme and also conducted fake news literacy campaigns during elections to educate voters.


4. Over the next year, we plan to cover more regional languages. 


Also, it is difficult to respond to each and every reader who approaches us with a fact-check query. At times, we get the same queries over and over again from multiple people even when we have already debunked it and published an article about it. To overcome this challenge, we plan to deploy more automation in our work so that we could respond to each query effectively. 


We also plan to produce more fact-check videos in multiple languages as many people now prefer to watch rather than read. 


Our fact check podcast for Aaj Tak radio, which we started earlier this year, is becoming quite popular. We plan to start a podcast about basic tools and techniques of fact-checking so that people could become aware about verifying the content on their own rather than believing blindly anything that is forwarded to them.




Surekha Deepak Assessor
16-Dec-2020 (9 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

1.India Today Fact Check was set up as a separate department for the purpose of fact-checking. 

 2.They say they have 14 people working in the Fact Check team. Eight of them work full-time and six more as copy editors, video editors, and graphic designers. 

 3. They publish fact-checks in three languages - English, Hindi and Bangla. ( Have not assessed the other languages) India Today Fact check was part of a team that developed ‘check’ a fact-checking tool for WhatsApp. They also conduct training sessions. 

 4. They plan to publish in more regional languages. They also plan to use more automation for efficiency.

And increase the number of videos and audio stories in multiple languages.

In addition, they say they plan to start a podcast about basic tools and techniques of fact-checking.



done_all 1.2 marked as Compliant by Surekha Deepak.

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.

T. V. Today Network Ltd.
04-Nov-2020 (10 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

On an average, we have been publishing at least six to eight stories per week in each of the three languages consistently for over two years. During the Covid-19 peak, when the misinformation about the pandemic was rampant, we published much more number of stories. We were also a part of the IFCN's  #CoronaVirusFactsAlliance in both English and Hindi. 


Links for English, Hindi and Bangla websites are given below.


1. https://www.indiatoday.in/fact-check

2. https://www.aajtak.in/fact-check

3. https://www.dailyo.in/bangla/

Surekha Deepak Assessor
16-Dec-2020 (9 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

The applicant has published more than the required number of fact checks required for compliance.


done_all 1.3 marked as Compliant by Surekha Deepak.

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.

T. V. Today Network Ltd.
04-Nov-2020 (10 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago


Surekha Deepak Assessor
16-Dec-2020 (9 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

The applicant complies with this requirement. Most of the stories they debunk have a strong impact. They cover a range of issues, especially those which are the big stories in the news at that point of time. 


done_all 1.4 marked as Compliant by Surekha Deepak.

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.

T. V. Today Network Ltd.
04-Nov-2020 (10 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

India Today Fact Check is fully funded by the parent company TV Today Network Ltd. The parent company TV Today Network Ltd. is listed on the National Stock Exchange and Bombay Stock Exchange. It does not have any affiliation to either the government or any political party or leader. Being a listed company, all financial details of the company are already public and can be seen on the stock exchange websites. The latest shareholding pattern of TV Today Network Ltd. can be seen on the Bombay Stock Exchange through the following link.


https://www.bseindia.com/stock-share-price/tv-today-network-ltd/tvtoday/532515/shareholding-pattern/ 


Surekha Deepak Assessor
16-Dec-2020 (9 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

There does not seem to be any political influence on the stories selected or the way in which they are written. Stories from all sides of the spectrum are covered. While many of the fact checks come from social media posts, the fact checks do not carry a bias.


done_all 1.5 marked as Compliant by Surekha Deepak.

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.

T. V. Today Network Ltd.
04-Nov-2020 (10 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

Not applicable - as we do not receive funding from any polical source or foreign funding.

Surekha Deepak Assessor
16-Dec-2020 (9 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

India Today Fact Check does not have any financial dependence on the state or political actors. India Today Fact Check is fully funded by the parent company which is listed on the National Stock Exchange and Bombay Stock Exchange.


done_all 1.6 marked as Compliant by Surekha Deepak.

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.

T. V. Today Network Ltd.
04-Nov-2020 (10 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

At any given point of time, there are many fake news and misinformation circulating around. It is difficult for any fact-check organisation to debunk all of them. So choosing the right (misleading) content to debunk becomes vital. For picking up any story on any given day, we primarily look into three factors: 

a) How viral is the content? If only a handful of people are sharing it, there is always a danger that publishing a fact-check story about it may actually amplify the misinformation as it will get a much bigger platform. 

b) What impact the misleading content could make if the misinformation goes unchecked. A misleading content which could cause unrest or conflict, affect voting or polarise people or cause them real harm would certainly get priority over a fake but relatively harmless lie. 

c) Can we produce reliable evidence from a primary source to prove what we are saying? We don't want people to believe just because we are saying something. We want to put forward evidence which they could go ahead and replicate.

We pick up stories on the basis of above criteria without any fear or favour or without bothering too much whom it is going to expose. We do try to maintain a balance in picking up the stories from different political ideologies. However, we do not forcibly try to match the numbers according to parties as we have no control over who is pushing how many fakes.

1. https://www.indiatoday.in/fact-check/story/fact-check-is-the-russian-covid-19-vaccine-a-syringe-full-of-hot-air-1710538-2020-08-12

2. https://www.indiatoday.in/fact-check/story/fact-check-rumours-of-organ-trade-under-the-garb-of-covid-19-go-viral-1703651-2020-07-23

3. https://www.indiatoday.in/fact-check/story/fact-check-did-pakistan-mps-chant-modi-modi-inside-parliament-1736393-2020-10-29

4. https://www.indiatoday.in/fact-check/story/viral-image-of-indira-gandhi-addressing-soldiers-not-from-galwan-valley-1691538-2020-06-22

5. https://www.indiatoday.in/fact-check/story/fact-check-were-indian-flags-waved-at-a-political-rally-in-pakistan-1733808-2020-10-21

6. https://www.indiatoday.in/fact-check/story/fact-check-no-this-man-standing-next-to-bjp-leaders-is-not-the-father-of-hathras-rape-accused-1727773-2020-10-02

7. https://www.indiatoday.in/fact-check/story/wrong-girl-goes-viral-on-social-media-as-hathras-victim-1726722-2020-09-29

8. https://www.indiatoday.in/fact-check/story/face-check-pictures-show-bodies-of-coronavirus-patients-being-thrown-in-ganges-river-ganga-patna-viral-1698903-2020-07-10

9. https://www.indiatoday.in/fact-check/story/fact-check-conspiracy-theory-claims-sushant-was-killed-for-a-corona-testing-patent-1714587-2020-08-24

10. https://www.indiatoday.in/fact-check/story/fact-check-pakistan-flags-were-not-waved-at-ashok-gehlot-s-rally-1705400-2020-07-28


Here are our 10 such stories in Hindi published on https://www.aajtak.in/fact-check  (Aajtak Fact Check)


1. https://www.aajtak.in/fact-check/story/fact-check-car-caught-fire-due-to-sanitizer-bottle-viral-post-on-social-media-1075373-2020-05-28


2. https://www.aajtak.in/fact-check/story/does-muslim-experts-stop-advertising-of-coronil-medicine-here-is-fact-check-1089837-2020-06-26

3. https://www.aajtak.in/india/story/fact-check-lions-roaming-the-streets-of-delhi-viral-video-1066174-2020-05-11

4. https://www.aajtak.in/fact-check/story/fact-check-mp-congress-share-shivraj-singh-chauhan-fake-video-1133099-2020-09-21


5. https://www.aajtak.in/fact-check/story/fact-check-priyanka-gandhi-marriage-congress-viral-post-social-media-1103973-2020-07-26 

6. https://www.aajtak.in/fact-check/story/fact-check-sushant-singh-rajput-cbi-viral-post-social-media-1106524-2020-07-31


7. https://www.aajtak.in/fact-check/story/fact-check-hindu-woman-who-organised-sehri-for-kashmiri-girl-was-not-attacked-by-rss-1060486-2020-04-30

8. https://www.aajtak.in/fact-check/story/fact-check-video-of-woman-uproar-shares-with-false-claim-of-love-jihad-1147218-2020-10-17



Surekha Deepak Assessor
16-Dec-2020 (9 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

The fact checks cover a variety of subjects. The process they follow is clearly explained; in addition to the digital verification, they use the team of reporters available to them to contact sources for verification. All claims are checked using similar standards. 


done_all 2.1 marked as Compliant by Surekha Deepak.

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.

T. V. Today Network Ltd.
04-Nov-2020 (10 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago
Surekha Deepak Assessor
16-Dec-2020 (9 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

They clearly explain how claims are selected. They say they do not fact check opinions nor do they debunk claims made in the form of opinion. The selection is based on tracking mainstream and social media, as well as digital tools to identify claims that need to be fact-checked


done_all 2.2 marked as Compliant by Surekha Deepak.

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.

T. V. Today Network Ltd.
04-Nov-2020 (10 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago


Surekha Deepak Assessor
16-Dec-2020 (9 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

The applicant mentions the sources used in the fact-checking process clearly. They use digital tools, in addition, they make use of their extensive network of journalists to speak to sources. There is no evidence that sources that could influence their findings.


done_all 2.3 marked as Compliant by Surekha Deepak.

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.

T. V. Today Network Ltd.
04-Nov-2020 (10 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

Surekha Deepak Assessor
16-Dec-2020 (9 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

There is no evidence of the organization’s affiliation to any political party.


done_all 2.4 marked as Compliant by Surekha Deepak.

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.

T. V. Today Network Ltd.
04-Nov-2020 (10 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

The India Today Group has a clearly defined Non-Partisanship Policy. It is displayed in the "About Us'' section of the Fact Check page. However, the policy is not just limited to members of the Fact Check team. Each and every employee of India Today Group is made to understand about this policy at the time of joining and is a signatory to the company’s Non-Partisanship Policy. Following is the link that leads to the policy.

https://www.indiatoday.in/about-us-fact-check#non-partisanship-policy



Files Attached
picture_as_pdf Non-Partisan Policy... (57 KB)
Surekha Deepak Assessor
16-Dec-2020 (9 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

India Today Group does not allow partisanship or affiliation with political parties, advocacy groups, or any other external party. It requires all employees to certify that they have read, understood and agree to abide by the Group's Code of Conduct and Social Media policies. This is a mandatory part of their employment.


done_all 2.5 marked as Compliant by Surekha Deepak.

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.

T. V. Today Network Ltd.
04-Nov-2020 (10 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago



Surekha Deepak Assessor
16-Dec-2020 (9 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

The applicant does identify the source of evidence in detail, and hyper links other sources. Sources are linked and referenced. The fact checks are replicable.


done_all 3.1 marked as Compliant by Surekha Deepak.

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.

T. V. Today Network Ltd.
04-Nov-2020 (10 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago


Surekha Deepak Assessor
16-Dec-2020 (9 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

They provide links to the relevant sources. They use both digitals as well as primary sources in the process of fact-checking. They also use media reports, when needed, these reports are hyperlinked.


done_all 3.2 marked as Compliant by Surekha Deepak.

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.

T. V. Today Network Ltd.
04-Nov-2020 (10 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

Surekha Deepak Assessor
16-Dec-2020 (9 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

The applicant’s fact checks are compliant with this requirement.


done_all 3.3 marked as Compliant by Surekha Deepak.

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.

Surekha Deepak Assessor
16-Dec-2020 (9 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

The sources are clearly identified so the reader can conclude if there is any influence of a source on the story.


done_all 3.4 marked as Compliant by Surekha Deepak.

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.

T. V. Today Network Ltd.
04-Nov-2020 (10 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

India Today Fact Check is a part of  the India Today Group.

The Fact Check is a segment within the India Today website which is managed independently from the editorial operations of India Today.

With the approval from the Board of Directors of the TV Today Network Limited, a Fact Check Team within the company (letter attached) was formed in 2018.

This team is independent of other editorial operations of the company and is engaged in fact-checking and busting misinformation in mainstream and social media.

The team reports directly to the Vice-Chairperson & Managing Director of the company. 

The main source of revenue for the company is advertising. Less than one per cent of the revenue goes towards the Fact Check Team.

Attachments: 

1). Certificate of Incorporation of the TV Today Network Ltd.

2). Setting up of the Fact Check Team within TV Today Network Ltd. 

Files Attached
picture_as_pdf Certificate of incor... (482 KB) picture_as_pdf Setting up Fact Chec... (200 KB)
Surekha Deepak Assessor
16-Dec-2020 (9 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

India Today Fact Check is a part of the parent company. They have a dedicated team that works on fact-checking. The main source of income is advertising and the fact-checking unit receives a small part of this. 


done_all 4.1 marked as Compliant by Surekha Deepak.

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.

T. V. Today Network Ltd.
04-Nov-2020 (10 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

India Today Fact Check is a part of  the India Today Group.

The Fact Check is a segment within the India Today website which is managed independently from the editorial operations of India Today.


Surekha Deepak Assessor
16-Dec-2020 (9 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

They are compliant with this requirement. The website clearly shows the ownership 


done_all 4.2 marked as Compliant by Surekha Deepak.

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.

T. V. Today Network Ltd.
04-Nov-2020 (10 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

The details of the editorial structure of the India Today Group can be seen through the below link. Fact Check can be seen at the last of the page.

https://www.indiatodaygroup.com/contact.php


Surekha Deepak Assessor
16-Dec-2020 (9 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

The organisational structure is clearly mentioned on the website.


done_all 4.3 marked as Compliant by Surekha Deepak.

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.

T. V. Today Network Ltd.
04-Nov-2020 (10 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago
 

As the Editor of the Fact Check Department, I am responsible for all the editorial decisions. I report to the vice president of India Today Group, Ms. Kalli Purie.The structure of the Fact Check Team can be seen through the link present on the top of the Fact Check section.

https://www.indiatoday.in/about-us-fact-check

The complete structure of India Today Group is also available publicly and can be seen here. The details of the Fact Check Team can be seen at the end of the following page.

https://www.indiatodaygroup.com/contact.php



Surekha Deepak Assessor
16-Dec-2020 (9 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

The biographies of the fact-checking team are available on the website. 


done_all 4.4 marked as Compliant by Surekha Deepak.

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.

T. V. Today Network Ltd.
04-Nov-2020 (10 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago


Our readers can reach us through email, phone or a dedicated WhatsApp helpline (73 7000 7000). These details are given on the top of the Fact Check Section under "Contact Us". Additionally, at the end of every story the email and WhatsApp No. is also provided.


Surekha Deepak Assessor
16-Dec-2020 (9 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

Contact details are clearly provided on the website.


done_all 4.5 marked as Compliant by Surekha Deepak.

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.

T. V. Today Network Ltd.
04-Nov-2020 (10 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago
Surekha Deepak Assessor
16-Dec-2020 (9 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

The methodology is clearly explained on the website. 


done_all 5.1 marked as Compliant by Surekha Deepak.

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.

Surekha Deepak Assessor
16-Dec-2020 (9 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

The applicant selects from mainstream and social media dubious information, propaganda, viral posts, and contentious/controversial quotes attributed to public figures. They say the reach of these posts is a criterion in the selection of a claim. This is reflected in the fact checks published.       


done_all 5.2 marked as Compliant by Surekha Deepak.

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.

Surekha Deepak Assessor
16-Dec-2020 (9 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

Yes the applicant explains the claims and the sources for the claim. The fact checks provide explanations for the evidence­ they use to counter the claim.


done_all 5.3 marked as Compliant by Surekha Deepak.

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.

Surekha Deepak Assessor
16-Dec-2020 (9 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

They have a process where claims are fact-checked and all evidence is considered and are of the same standard.  


done_all 5.4 marked as Compliant by Surekha Deepak.

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.

Surekha Deepak Assessor
16-Dec-2020 (9 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

Since many of the stories are online claims the focus is on debunking it. Where possible they have contacted people who have made the claim.  


done_all 5.5 marked as Compliant by Surekha Deepak.

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.

T. V. Today Network Ltd.
04-Nov-2020 (10 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago


We encourage our readers to send fact-check requests on the dedicated helpline 73 7000 7000. These requests are attended to by a dedicated team. If the request is fact-checkable, we publish a report on it and send them links of the story. Considering the large number of spam messages that we get, we do not respond to requests which are not fact-checkable.

We also also ask our readers to send us fact-check requests through email factcheck@intoday.com which is given at the end of every story.

India Today Fact Check was among the 13 fact-check organisations globally who partnered with San Francisco-based tech company Meedan to develop a module for fact checking on WhatsApp. The module called "Check" is now being used by all the fact-checking partners of Facebook.

Surekha Deepak Assessor
16-Dec-2020 (9 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

The website gives details for readers to send in claims to check. They have a helpline number as well as an email for this. 


done_all 5.6 marked as Compliant by Surekha Deepak.

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.

T. V. Today Network Ltd.
04-Nov-2020 (10 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago
Surekha Deepak Assessor
16-Dec-2020 (9 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

The corrections policy is clearly listed on the website. 


done_all 6.1 marked as Compliant by Surekha Deepak.

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

Surekha Deepak Assessor
16-Dec-2020 (9 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

The policy clearly states the process to be taken up if there are any mistakes. They also explain the steps to be followed and the way they will go about it. 


done_all 6.2 marked as Compliant by Surekha Deepak.

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.

T. V. Today Network Ltd.
04-Nov-2020 (10 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

Mistakes do happen, however careful you are. We do acknowledge that despite cross checking the facts multiple times and using all the resources at our hand, we can sometimes get it wrong. Or, more often, things do change over a period of time and there is an update in the story after we’ve already published it. It also happens that we try to reach people through social media accounts while working on the story and they may respond long after the story is up. 


Adhering to our Correction Policy, we mark a “Correction” (if there is a change that alters the core of the story) or “Update” ( if there is a minor change or an additional information that came up after the story was published).


Following are some of the examples, where we marked “Correction’’ or “Update” in our stories after or when there was a new development after the stories were published. As can be seen here (in the last two examples), we try to adhere to the IFCN’s same Correction Policy across the different platforms beyond the Fact Check vertical. 


However, we admit that there may be some instances outside our the Fact Check section - especially in case of TV reports which have to deal with breaking news 24/7  in an intensely competitive environment - that this Correction Policy may not have been followed in letter and spirit. 




1. https://www.indiatoday.in/fact-check/story/muslims-offering-namaaz-viral-not-india-1666842-2020-04-14

2. https://www.aajtak.in/fact-check/story/fact-check-amid-jee-neet-row-false-claims-of-clat-postponement-flood-internet-1120556-2020-08-28

3. https://www.aajtak.in/fact-check/story/fact-check-had-pubg-also-banned-with-59-other-chinese-apps-know-the-truth-of-this-viral-post-1091907-2020-07-01

4. https://www.aajtak.in/fact-check/story/fact-check-wrong-picture-of-hathras-rape-victim-viral-on-social-media-uttar-pradesh-1137561-2020-09-29


Surekha Deepak Assessor
16-Dec-2020 (9 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

The applicant is compliant and has provided examples of the corrections in accordance to the stated policy. 


done_all 6.3 marked as Compliant by Surekha Deepak.

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.

T. V. Today Network Ltd.
04-Nov-2020 (10 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

We provide the information and the direct link to send a complaint to IFCN upfront on the main home page of the Fact Check at the top. This is placed under the header "Complaints'' along with "About Us", "Correction policy" and "Contact Us". We clearly convey the readers that they can either reach out to us or directly approach the IFCN if they think we are violating the IFCN's Code of Principles. 

1. https://www.indiatoday.in/fact-check-complaints

2. https://www.aajtak.in/fact-check/complaints



Surekha Deepak Assessor
16-Dec-2020 (9 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

The applicant is compliant with this requirement. They have a link leading to the IFCN complaints page. 


done_all 6.4 marked as Compliant by Surekha Deepak.

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.

T. V. Today Network Ltd.
04-Nov-2020 (10 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

India Today and Aaj Tak websites operate in the highly competitive space of breaking news and continuously process very high volumes of input that keep pouring in through different channels. Obviously, it is extremely difficult to apply the same degree of rigorous scrutiny to each and every news that comes in - as we do in case of a fact check story. Naturally, once in a while, mistakes do happen. But we are quick to rectify them and follow the same correction policy of IFCN as applicable to the fact check stories. 

Apart from the Fact Check section, the Correction Policy is also given on the main home page of both India Today and Aaj Tak websites, which could be seen through the following links. 

Correction Policy of India Today website:

https://www.indiatoday.in/correction-policy

Correction Policy of Aajtak website:

https://www.aajtak.in/fact-check/correction-policy

Examples of corrections made outside the Fact Check section.

https://www.indiatoday.in/news-analysis/story/migrant-workers-deaths-govt-says-it-has-no-data-but-didn-t-people-die-here-is-a-list-1722087-2020-09-16?utm_source=rhs&utm_medium=It&utm_campaign=readthis&t_source=rhs&t_medium=It&t_campaign=readthis

https://www.indiatoday.in/elections/story/bihar-polls-jdu-115-candidate-list-nitish-kumar-chandrika-rai-manju-verma-muzaffarpur-shelter-case-gupteshwar-pandey-1729384-2020-10-07





Surekha Deepak Assessor
16-Dec-2020 (9 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

The parent company also has a clearly stated corrections policy and examples are provided to show it is followed.


done_all 6.5 marked as Compliant by Surekha Deepak.