The Conversation Australia

Organization: The Conversation FactCheck
Applicant: Lucinda Beaman
Assessor: Margot Susca
Conclusion and recommendations
on 15-Aug-2018 (1 year ago)

Margot Susca wrote:

The Conversation offers a refreshing combination of journalistic writing with academic expertise in a field (plus peer review of the fact checkers!).

on 15-Aug-2018 (1 year ago)

Margot Susca recommended Accept


Section 1: Organization

Criterion 1a
Proof of registration
Evidence required: Please provide evidence that the signatory is a legally-registered organization set up exclusively for the purpose of fact-checking or the distinct fact-checking project of a recognized media house or research institution.

Margot Susca Assessor
15-Aug-2018 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The Conversation is registered with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission. Further, as a not-for-profit, it is also registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission. 


done_all 1a marked as Fully compliant by Margot Susca.

Criterion 1b
Archive
Evidence required: Insert a link to the archive of fact checks published in the previous three months. If you do not collect all fact checks in one place, please explain how the fact-checking is conducted by your organization.

Margot Susca Assessor
15-Aug-2018 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The Conversation fact checks claims or issues of elected officials as well as subjects of social concern and public life. Its application provided evidence of fact checks published that included those made by the prime minister on increasing storms and climate change and other claims by the education minister on child care costs. Professors who study those subjects were asked to provide a research-based approach to fact-checking the claims. The Conversation’s experts analyze the claims and then provide a “verdict” about whether the statement(s) was false, overstated or correct, noting the gray areas in how those facts may have been misinterpreted or misrepresented, which is an additional layer I found the public could find useful.    


done_all 1b marked as Fully compliant by Margot Susca.

Section 2: Nonpartisanship and Fairness

Criterion 2a
Body of work sample
Evidence required: Please share links to ten fact checks that better represent the scope and consistency of your fact-checking. Provide a short explanation of how your organization strives to maintain coherent standards across fact checks.

Margot Susca Assessor
15-Aug-2018 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

A clear policy that offers analysis from an expert in the field. The person who made the original claim or statement is allowed an opportunity to clarify or provide his or her own evidence. The Conversation has a clear policy on then adding an additional layer of non-partisanship to the process by putting the subject matter expert’s claims under peer review. 


done_all 2a marked as Fully compliant by Margot Susca.

Criterion 2b
Nonpartisanship policy
Evidence required: Please share evidence of your policy preventing staff from direct involvement in political parties and advocacy organizations. Please also indicate the policy your organization has as a whole regarding advocacy and supporting political candidates.

Margot Susca Assessor
15-Aug-2018 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

I think it’s worth noting here that I find their policy on non-partisanship as clear and direct as those at U.S. news organizations that ask reporters and editors to refrain from direct campaign or political involvement (as an example). I do note here—though I would not take away compliance in this area—that I do think it may be hard with the number of academics they use for fact checks to offer complete non-partisanship or know exactly the political views of its writers. But, I think here it is worth noting, that they have a clear policy and ask academics to complete a disclosure agreement. Those who work directly for The Conversation have additional steps the organization asks for to ensure to non-partisanship and fairness. It’s clear they have thought about and worked to demonstrate their efforts to achieve both here. 


done_all 2b marked as Fully compliant by Margot Susca.

Section 3: Transparency of Sources

Criterion 3a
Sources Policy
Please share a brief and public explanation (500 words max) of how sources are provided in enough detail that readers could replicate the fact check. If you have a public policy on how you find and use sources for your fact-checking, it should be shared here.

Margot Susca Assessor
15-Aug-2018 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

This is clearly stated and easy for users of the site to navigate. 


done_all 3a marked as Fully compliant by Margot Susca.

Section 4: Transparency of Funding & Organization

Criterion 4a
Funding Sources
Evidence required: Please link to the section where you publicly list your sources of funding (including, if they exist, any rules around which types of funding you do or don't accept), or a statement on ownership if you are the branch of an established media organization or research institution.

Margot Susca Assessor
15-Aug-2018 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

This is clear, easy to find and use, and explains in detail its funding sources and goes further to explain who those funding sources are. 


done_all 4a marked as Fully compliant by Margot Susca.

Criterion 4b
Staff
Evidence required: Please link to the section detailing all authors and key actors behind your fact-checking project with their biographies. You can also list the name and bios of the members of the editorial board, pool of experts, advisory board, etc. if your organization has those.

Margot Susca Assessor
15-Aug-2018 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The evidence submitted fully complies with IFCN requirements. 


done_all 4b marked as Fully compliant by Margot Susca.

Criterion 4c
Contact
Evidence required: Please link to the section where readers can get in touch with the organization.

Margot Susca Assessor
15-Aug-2018 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The evidence submitted fully complies with IFCN requirements. 


done_all 4c marked as Fully compliant by Margot Susca.

Section 5: Transparency of Methodology

Criterion 5a
Detailed Methodology
Evidence required: Please link to a section or article detailing the steps you follow for your fact-checking work.

Margot Susca Assessor
15-Aug-2018 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Clear. I have to say as a college professor (now) and journalist (then), this combination of fact checking through an expert and peer review is one of the more innovative models I have encountered or read about. It’s insightful and innovative. Methodology and explanation here is transparent and user-friendly. 


done_all 5a marked as Fully compliant by Margot Susca.

Criterion 5b
Claim submissions
Evidence required: Please link to the page or process through which readers can submit claims to fact-check. If you do not allow this, please briefly explain why.

Margot Susca Assessor
15-Aug-2018 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

What I most like about The Conversation ‘s site is that it’s as if they WANT you to know. In 2017, that is, at a minimum, refreshing. 


done_all 5b marked as Fully compliant by Margot Susca.

Section 6: Open & Honest Corrections Policy

Criterion 6a
Corrections policy
Evidence required: Please link to the page with your policy to address corrections. If it is not public, please share your organization's handbook.

Margot Susca Assessor
15-Aug-2018 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

This is clear and easily defined and easily found on The Conversation’s website. 


done_all 6a marked as Fully compliant by Margot Susca.

Criterion 6b
Examples of corrections
Evidence required: Please provide two examples of a correction made, or correction requests handled, in the past year.

Margot Susca Assessor
15-Aug-2018 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The evidence submitted is sufficient. 


done_all 6b marked as Fully compliant by Margot Susca.