“Amazingly, even the Beeb can get it wrong!” writes Gill Moodie on her blog, Grubstreet, which carried our recent report on sharks.
Africa Check is a non-partisan organisation that exists to fact-check claims made in the public arena, impartially and fairly, and publish the results. We also aim to spread the culture and enable the practice of fact-checking among the wider journalistic community.
In carrying out our work, we seek to abide by the best fact-checking practices, and adhere to three fundamental principles.
- Impartiality: We seek, over time, to check all sides in any debate and we base our reports on fact not opinion.
- Verifiability: We set out the evidence for our reports in such a way that readers may verify it for themselves.
- Openness: Where we make mistakes, we correct as quickly and openly as possible.
How we work
How we select the claims
Each working day the Africa Check editor meets with colleagues to assess claims made in the public domain in South Africa and sift suggestions sent in by visitors to the site. We focus on claims that touch on the three broad areas of interest identified by the site and that may have significant impact if unchecked. And we strive to ensure that, over time, we check all the main sides in any debate.
Writing our reports
In writing our reports, we only use information that the readers can themselves verify. When setting out our conclusions, we link to the evidence we use be that a photo, photos, video, public documents or data analysis.
Ensuring the security of sources
We aim to ensure – in so far as this is possible – the security of the sources who provide us with information and evidence. We are currently working with technology partners to enhance the means for this.
Right of reply
If someone we have written about in a report wishes to retract their claim, or disagrees with our conclusions, we are happy to discuss with them and, where appropriate, provide a right of reply on the site.
Openness where we make mistakes
Like all organisations, we make mistakes. Where we do so, we seek to correct them as quickly and openly as possible, explaining the cause of the error and clarifying.