The Whistle

Organization: The Whistle
Applicant: ‪Boaz Rakocz‬‏
Assessor: tehilla shwartz altshuler
Conclusion and recommendations
on 12-Feb-2019 (1 year ago)

tehilla shwartz altshuler wrote:

the whistle is in compliance with the demands. they do a fine job, make their work accessible and transparent - front end and back end,  they are non partisan, honest and professional. 

on 12-Feb-2019 (1 year ago)

tehilla shwartz altshuler 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.

The Whistle
23-Jan-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The Whistle - Independent & Accurate Media for Israel - was registered as a non-profit (see attached photo) in August 2016. During its first year of operation, prior to its public launch, the team focused entirely on establishing a methodology, developing a web-platform and articulating an ethical code. Ever since its launch in July 2017 The Whistle published more than 300 different fact-checks. From now on, as of the end of January 2019, The Whistle will become an integral, yet independent, fact-checking outfit within Globes daily newspaper, with print as well as digital presence. 

Files Attached
תעודת רישום - נאמן ל... (2 MB)
tehilla shwartz altshuler Assessor
12-Feb-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

the cooperation with the newspaper Globes is an excellent step which will provide both financial stability and public coverage. the logo was changed so that to indicate the new affiliation. it is called now "the whistle of globes"


done_all 1a marked as Fully compliant by tehilla shwartz altshuler.

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.

The Whistle
23-Jan-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago
tehilla shwartz altshuler Assessor
12-Feb-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

over 30 pieces during the past 3 months. 


done_all 1b marked as Fully compliant by tehilla shwartz altshuler.

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.

The Whistle
23-Jan-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

https://www.thewhistle.co.il/feed/2GWMpPa0nv

https://www.thewhistle.co.il/feed/wzy5KVL0Q6

https://www.thewhistle.co.il/feed/DKWRRa7Wbj

https://www.thewhistle.co.il/feed/rVxwgd2xmA

https://www.thewhistle.co.il/feed/36xj8oNWRd

https://www.thewhistle.co.il/feed/O10Y96n0wq

https://www.thewhistle.co.il/feed/QXx46Z2W78

https://www.thewhistle.co.il/feed/qX0nzqB0N9

https://www.thewhistle.co.il/feed/rVxwgqOxmA

https://www.thewhistle.co.il/feed/Jm0AKvayaM

The Whistle has a comprehensive fact-checking method which reduces biases to the minimum. Our desk examines public statements made by key figures in the public and political spheres; elected officials, leaders and senior civil servants; from all parts of the Israeli political spectrum. The scale of the Israeli media allows us to scan most of it every single day. Through a comprehensive, rapid and balanced examination of public statements, The Whistle seeks to lead a more credible, accurate and factual public discourse in Israel, regardless of speakers' political affiliation and/or previous statements made by political rivals and/ or allies. 

tehilla shwartz altshuler Assessor
12-Feb-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

the examples reflect fact checking all across Israeli political map - right, center, left. I have checked other examples as well and they also reflect non partisanship in coverage. 


done_all 2a marked as Fully compliant by tehilla shwartz altshuler.

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.

The Whistle
23-Jan-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The Whistle staffers can be registered party-members but they cannot have direct professional involvement in political campaigns or advocacy organizations. We try to maintain diversity among staffers for two main reasons; (1) we believe every workplace should promote diversity as a key value, and (2) we believe it is essential for a fact-checking organization, especially within a polarized political environment, to have a diverse working environment in order to detect and curtail inherent political biases.

tehilla shwartz altshuler Assessor
12-Feb-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

the policy reflects clear rules preventing the staff from active political involvement. it doe's not appear, however,  on the website. 


done 2b marked as Partially compliant by tehilla shwartz altshuler.

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.

The Whistle
23-Jan-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

We, at The Whistle, believe that our role is to provide our readers with accessible facts. As much as our reader-community trusts us and uses our fact-checks as reliable sources, we also believe we need to allow them with direct access to the actual facts we use in the process. That is why the 'Sources' section in each item on our web-platform is transparent and easily accessible as well. Each source is linked either to a web source or to a digital document so the readers can easily access them. In case a source is a very long document we mark the exact section as the reference, providing specific page numbers. When using an interview with an expert, we always use accurate quotes and mention the date of the interview. We save and document every interview (audio/transcript version) so we can provide them on demand. Our research is based on reliable and open sources, and we will never publish a fact-check without having credible and accessible sources.

This information can be found in the “about us” section on our website: https://www.thewhistle.co.il/aboutUs

tehilla shwartz altshuler Assessor
12-Feb-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

both the attached text and my search over the website reveal full disclusre about sources and transparency and explainablity regarding the fact checking process 


done_all 3a marked as Fully compliant by tehilla shwartz altshuler.

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.

The Whistle
23-Jan-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The Whistle will become an integral, yet independent, fact-checking outfit within Globes daily newspaper. The newspaper is privately owned by Alona Bar-On and Anat Agmon. During its non-profit era, The Whistle published all of its donations as well as the identity of its donors online; private and foundations alike.

tehilla shwartz altshuler Assessor
12-Feb-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

for now on the website there is no detailed explanation as to the media house budget etc. except for the paper's owners' names. this needs to be added.


done 4a marked as Partially compliant by tehilla shwartz altshuler.

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.

The Whistle
23-Jan-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago
tehilla shwartz altshuler Assessor
12-Feb-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

everything is listed including biographies here: https://www.thewhistle.co.il/team


done_all 4b marked as Fully compliant by tehilla shwartz altshuler.

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

The Whistle
23-Jan-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago
tehilla shwartz altshuler Assessor
12-Feb-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

a very friendly "how to contact us" page with all the details 


done_all 4c marked as Fully compliant by tehilla shwartz altshuler.

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.

The Whistle
23-Jan-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

https://www.thewhistle.co.il/aboutUs as well as the section "how we grade". 

tehilla shwartz altshuler Assessor
12-Feb-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

in easy to understand Hebrew, well detailed description of the methodology, easy to access


done_all 5a marked as Fully compliant by tehilla shwartz altshuler.

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.

The Whistle
23-Jan-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

https://www.thewhistle.co.il/contactUs

This section allows users to send audio/video clips as well as documents for The Whistle staffers to examine on-demand. 

tehilla shwartz altshuler Assessor
12-Feb-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

no explanation as to legitimate expectations. the invitation is simple and easy to understand. 


done 5b marked as Partially compliant by tehilla shwartz altshuler.

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.

The Whistle
23-Jan-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

https://www.thewhistle.co.il/aboutUs


Under the 'About Us' section there is a separate text called 'In case a mistake has been made'. It writes as follows: 

In case a mistake was made and found in the facts, The Whistle will correct it as soon as possible, emphasizing the amendment on the website as well as highlighting the text of the corrected component of the fact-check. If the detected error affects the score as well, it will also be corrected accordingly.

The Whistle staffers are aware that different people may come to different conclusions about the same given statement. If our readers disagree with the score a statement received, they are welcome to contact us via the contact form and submit their comments. If the comments are accepted by the staff the rating of the statement will be changed accordingly, and the amendment will be published online.

It is important to mention that our social media responsiveness is very rapid (within a few hours). 

tehilla shwartz altshuler Assessor
12-Feb-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

the whistle's correction policy appears on their website and the media houses' on the media house's website

the media house policy for corrections was not attached but since I looked for it and it can be found generally and easily here: http://www.globes.co.il/news/article.aspx?did=1001252535

I have decided to mark it as fully compliant


done_all 6a marked as Fully compliant by tehilla shwartz altshuler.

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

The Whistle
23-Jan-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

https://www.thewhistle.co.il/feed/GPxPqB50a6

An earlier version of this fact-check did not refer to a legal aspect of an alleged criminal act and the speakers was given the "True" score. After readers referred us to some missing information that out item lacked, the score was demoted to "Half True". After the closing paragraph of the fact-check it was noted that - 
"The Whistle staff thank the readers who drew its attention". 

https://www.thewhistle.co.il/feed/3wW6K3YyD2

Much like the first example, this item was originally given the "False" score, and after readers referred the team to more information about electricity prices during the speaker's term as Minister of Finance the score was altered to "Mostly False".  

tehilla shwartz altshuler Assessor
12-Feb-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

good examples of honest and humble corrections 


done_all 6b marked as Fully compliant by tehilla shwartz altshuler.