Fact improve their skills to the benefit of their

Fact checking is an important part of
writing an accurate article. Meticulous authors do research prior to committing
their thoughts to paper. Not all authors are so careful. Editors and readers
serve society and themselves well when they read with a judicious eye. Just
because a piece is written and printed does not necessarily make it true, so the
ability to check facts, coupled with openness to a possible bias on the part of
an author, will enable the discernment of truth or distortion. However, due to
the enormous amount of fake news information that are being circulated, the
International Fact –checking Network has been established to help journalist
and countries to have the tools needed to provide accurate information to the
public and have good journalist skills. Moreover how the organization functions
and what are the challenges it faces will be looked at.

 

1.5 International Fact checking Network /Poynter Institute           International
Fact-Checking Network which is a nonpartisan organization run by The Poynter
Institute that advocates across the globe for accuracy in online articles.  The Poynter Institute is a global leader in
journalism. It is the world’s largest leading instructor, innovator, convener
and resource for anyone and its mission is to aspire to engage and inform
citizens in the 21st Century democracies. The institute teach management,
ethical decision-making and the power of diversity to journalist and student by
enhancing their teaching, editing, writing, reporting and new media skills.
Furthermore, the institution was founded by Nelson poynter who produced
newspapers for forty years in St. Petersburg Florida that reflected his belief
that excellent journalism, published independently, could help a community prosper
and a democracy flourish, So he founded Modern Media Institute in 1975 and
upon his death his dream to have a school that would help working journalists
improve their skills to the benefit of their communities has been
realised.  Thousands of journalists,
teachers and members of the public have now come to Poynter to learn what makes
the best journalism work. They come to learn from Poynter’s faculty of
journalism professionals and academics.  In
addition, the poynter structure is based on poynter Board, Founder, Past’s
Presidents and chairmen. The institute has an Administrative Department, the
Faculty and staff. Neil Brown, former journalist at the Times, is the president
of the poynter institute while Alexios Mantzarlis
former managing editor at Fact Check EU is the first and current director of
the International Fact Checking Network.

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1.6 The
IFCN five Principles and Signatory countries

The
International Fact checking Network, was launched on September 15th 2016, it is
code of principles that has been developed because poynter believe that nonpartisan
and transparent fact-checking can be a powerful instrument of accountability
journalism; especially in an era where  unsourced or biased fact-checking can increase
distrust in the media and polluting public understanding. Moreover, the
International Fact checking Network has come up with a code of five
principles by which it operates and have been adopted by many countries who are
signatory to them, namely France, United kingdom, Africa, Netherland,
Australia, Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Turkey, India, Norway, Croatia, USA,
Serbia, Philippines, Nepal, Turkey, Ireland, Sweden, Italy, Columbia, Bosni
& Herzegovina. The code of principles, offer conscientious practitioners
principles to aspire journalist in their work and help countries and
organizations to combat fake news.  The
five codes are: Firstly A commitment to
non partisanship and fairness –which sets a standard for every fact
checking, that is following the same process for every check and let evidence
dictate conclusions. Secondly, a
commitment to transparency of sources –Much detail is provided about the sources
that readers can verify the findings themselves and replicate the work.
Thirdly, a commitment to transparency of
funding and organization – poynter remains transparent about all of its
funding sources and organizational structure. Funders at any cost do not
influence conclusions that are reached in reports. Fourthly, a commitment of transparency of methodology – methodology used in fact check are
explained and is transparent on why and how to fact check. And fifth, a commitment to open and honest corrections
– poynter makes sure that all corrections done with any articles are  clearly and transparently in line with the
corrections policy, and ensure that readers see the corrected version.

 

1.7 IFCN Projects, Events and Activities

Moreover, the IFCN also indulges and organise various activities,
projects and events that targets journalism student, journalist and anyone in
the media field.  It offers training in
person and online. Courses such as “spotting the red flags: how to identify
information” provides an insight and skills needed for how to recognize the red
flags in writing that require a closer look, Where to find the best
verification resources, both online and in print, how to determine whether a
resource is reliable and What are best practices for using accuracy checks. Another
course provided is that of “Sharing the Facts: How a Hidden Code Can Boost Your
Fact-Checks” it is designed for journalists and developers at news
organizations who currently fact-check claims by politicians or other public
figures. Its objective is to how to use fact checking application and best
practises to ensure fact checks are being displayed in the best possible way in
search results. In addition, The IFCN, advocates for more fact –checking,
through an annual International Fact –Checking Day on every 2nd of April,
promoted by the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter in partnership
with fact-checking organizations around the world. The event is mediatised,
promoted and videos uploaded on you tube. Another important event is that of
the Global Fact 4, the annual summit of fact-checkers around the world that
took place July 5-7 2017 in Madrid, Spain, where fact-checkers from all
continents meet to share experiences about evaluating public discourse and
getting closer to the truth. The summit also seek to serve journalists by
bringing them information about the latest trends and formats, technology and
other tools in order to raise their
standards, help them reach wider audiences and consolidate themselves as
trusted sources of information. That way, they can contribute to the
transparency and quality of public discourse in their countries.

 

1.8 Facebook
and Google

Alexios Mantzarlis, the director of Poynter’s International
Fact-Checking Network, criticizes facebook for a general lack of transparency that
hinder the fact-checking operation. He noted, 1″We’re
sort of in the dark. We don’t know what is actually happening,” he said. “The
level of information that is being handed out is entirely insufficient . .This
is potentially the largest real-life experiment in countering misinformation in
history. We could have been having an enormous amount of information and data.”
2In
May 2016, the Pew Research Center released the results of a survey indicating
that 62 percent of U.S. adults get news from social media, and 44 percent of
those surveyed indicated that they specifically used Facebook to get news. As a
result, critics have argued that Facebook is becoming a key news information
source for much of the American public and urged the social media site to take
greater responsibility in its role as a distributor. Stuck between too many
controversies, Facebook has finally made it a requirement to be a signatory on
the code of principles developed by the IFCN to become a Facebook fact-checker.
On the other hand, Google is also taking its battle against misleading
information to the real world. The company has partnered with the International
Fact-Checking Network and Google plans to work with the IFCN in three main
ways: increasing the number of verified fact checkers in the world, expanding
the code of principles into new regions, and offering free fact-checking tools.
For that first goal, Google plans to hold workshops, and provide coaching and
financial assistance to new fact-checking organizations. The company also plans on translating the
IFCN’s code of principles into 10 languages. On top of the free tools it’ll give
to IFCN members, Google will host training sessions and provide access to an
engineering time bank. Volunteer engineers will have a chance to attend the
IFCN’s annual Global Fact-Checking Summit, on a mission to help organizations
develop new lie-spotting software.

1.9 Can
IFCN be an independent and realistic fact checker?

The IFCN has received funding
from the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, the Duke Reporters’ Lab, the Bill
& Melinda Gates Foundation, Google, the National Endowment for Democracy,
the Omidyar Network, the Open Society Foundations and the Park Foundation.”
However questions arise with regards to the donors who are an integral part of
the New World Order.  For example, Google
drives the transhumanist agenda, Bill Gates support vaccines and Gmo’s, George
Soros (master
manipulator behind the Ukraine coup of 2014, Black Lives Matter and other
movements to disrupt the law and socially engineer society) and Pierre Omidyar
(current owner of PayPal connected to the Military Intelligence complex via
Booz Allen Hamilton). George Soros owns and funds a slew of treacherous
NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) such as the National Endowment for
Democracy and Open
Society Foundations.
So it becomes doubtful as to whether Fact-Checking
Network can be independent.  Moreover, many
would argue they can be independent if are granted with “editorial
independence” by their funders. But would they have the desire and ability to
become arbiters of truth on massive and complex subjects like GMOs, the New
World Order, geo engineering, Tranhumanist? How are they going to “fact-check”
statements like “GMOs are not dangerous to human health”, “vaccines are safe
and effective”, “black military operations oversee mind control programs on the
public” Since many current topics lead back to fundamental issues like these, it
becomes doubtful to how they possibly going to shed any light on these vast
topics. In addition, when going to be confronted with those kinds of issues
mentioned above, IFCN will have no choice than be the parrot of the standard
narrative on these topics and escape the scope, breadth and depth of vision and
perception that comes from studying these topics in depth.

 

 

1.10
Summary

So far the International Fact checking Network remains one of
the most influential and challenging fact checking network over the world. Its
determination and hardwork for fighting fake news has gone a long way. Nowadays
Social media users have the opportunity to flag articles they think are
intentionally false, and these articles will be screened using third-party fact
checkers. Warning signs on articles such as disputed and fake tags would
negatively impact its rating score on social media making it visible to fewer
people in their news feeds. Several applications detecting fake news sites are
also available to detect and recognize fake sites. These are now possible
because of the long fight of fact checkers that continuously monitor and put
into place policies that help to combat fake news. In addition, the IFCN can be
seen to be very active in all its activities and events that it organises.  The staffs are former experienced and skill
journalist that are dedicated in training students and journalist to become
effective and ethical writers. Moreover, the five code of principles is an
important policy that have been adopted and adhered by many countries in their
lute against fake news. Critics have nonetheless raise awareness about the
credibility of IFCN With regards to its funders who have some controversies issues,
but on the other hand, IFCN remains faithful in the fight against Fake
News.  In addition, IFCN has been able to
convinced facebook and google to join the combat against fake news. Despite
Critics argue that fact-checkers are either left, liberal or progressive in
their political leanings that’s why they have all sorts of biases in their
viewpoints,  some biases are nonetheless
relevant as it helps the truth to arise to the surface as not every reader
would become a fact –checker. Hence the best way to fight fake news is
education.  The only way people can know
the truth is to read widely, inform themselves about the issues, discuss it
over and over, get new perspectives, test things out in their own experience
and make up their own mind. Hoax stories are annoying and clickbait headlines
are irritating, but at some point, readers will begin to see consciously choose
which sites to read and which to shun. If a site keeps putting out lies and
clickbait, at a certain point it will gain a negative reputation and get
ostracized. Furthermore, the government must also focus on education policy in order
to develop a literate society which will help people decipher between real and
fake news. Government can also introduce stricter regulations on media and
individuals sourcing fake news articles. Though it may cross toes with freedom
of speech, it is imperative to have government backing for individuals to fight
against defamation and control the spread of fake news. Government can impose
fines on social media companies and websites those spread fake news, as this
will force sourcing websites to impose verification checks and control the
spread of fake news.

 

1.11 Conclusion

To combat Fake News, collectively, we have to grow up and not expect or
call for governments and other organizations like the International
Fact-Checking Network to do our fact-checking for us. We have to do it
ourselves. It is part of our spiritual journey to be able to mature to the
point where we can discern truth from lies. When enough of us can do that, the
world will know peace, for as Julian Assange says, “if lies are used to start
war, then truth can be used to start peace.’

1 https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/nov/13/way-too-little-way-too-late-facebooks-fact-checkers-say-effort-is-failing

2  https://conservancy.umn.edu/bitstream/handle/11299/184712/2016%20Fall%20final%20to%20printer%20pdf.pdf?sequence=1=y

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