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Vera Files Fact Checking: A Guide to Debunking Falsehoods and Fake News


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Vera Files Fact Checking: A Guide to Debunking Falsehoods and Fake News by Ellen Tordesillas

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Vera Files Fact Checking: A Guide to Debunking Falsehoods and Fake News

  1. 1. FACT CHECKING: A guide to debunking falsehoods and fake news Universidad de Manila March 9, 2018 Ellen Tordesillas
  2. 2. What is FACT CHECKING?
  3. 3. Simply put, fact checking is the act of determining if statements in a nonfictional text are true and correct.
  4. 4. It may be done before or after the text is published or aired.
  5. 5. Is it new?
  6. 6. Why fact check? a journalistic TRADITION discipline of VERIFICATION ACCOUNTABILITY journalism journalism in the PUBLIC SERVICE `
  7. 7. Who fact-checks?
  8. 8.
  9. 9. “IS THAT SO?” Started with University of the Philippines journalism students
  10. 10. Can you do it?
  11. 11. These high school journalists investigated a new principal’s credentials. Days later, she resigned.
  12. 12. False Claims Fact Sheets Fake News Flip-Flops
  13. 13. FALSE CLAIM
  14. 14. FLIP-FLOP
  15. 15. FLIP-FLOP
  16. 16. BACKSTORY
  17. 17. BACKSTORY
  18. 18. FACT SHEET
  19. 19. FACT SHEET
  20. 20. FACT SHEET
  21. 21. What is FAKE NEWS?
  22. 22. FAKE NEWS? “Kadalasan po, ilang mainstream media katulad po ng GMA News na ako daw po ay nagselfie sa loob ng grand mosque sa Marawi.” Uson said GMA News should have gotten her side.
  23. 23. FAKE NEWS? Social media erupted early Friday morning when ran a Philippine Star report that President Duterte signed on Aug. 29 a new law criminalizing fake news. The article first appeared in The Philippine Star. subsequently carried the article.
  24. 24. FAKE NEWS? The law punishing false news already exists, as stated in the Revised Penal Code. Sen. Franklin Drilon, author of Republic Act No. 10951, said the new law merely amends the code to restore the “proportionality of crime and punishment,” by updating outdated penalties to match their 2017 monetary equivalents.
  25. 25. What is FAKE NEWS?
  26. 26. What is FAKE NEWS?
  27. 27. What is FAKE NEWS?
  28. 28. What is FAKE NEWS?
  29. 29. MONITOR press conferences, speeches, events, interviews, news reports for fact-check- worthy statements.
  30. 30. A statement is verifiable if its truthfulness and accuracy can be checked using official documents and statistics.
  31. 31. When fact-checking a statement, ask: Is it verifiable / feasible? Is it relevant? Is it a statement of fact?
  32. 32. If the person who flip- flopped is a government official, review the transcript or any official documentation.
  33. 33. The statement being fact-checked has to be firsthand. You have to get the video or audio and compare it with government transcripts if available. Sometimes, the official transcript won’t match the video, so make sure to match these. Triangulate if statements can’t be found except in news reports. Use at least three media reports using the same quote. Cross-check them against one another.
  34. 34. Make a screengrab, PRESERVE the evidence. Now, CHECK the claim.
  35. 35. HOW?
  36. 36. Conduct online research on: - existing laws and jurisprudence - studies published in academic journals
  37. 37. Check official documents. - SALN, financial statements, election records, school records, studies by gov’t agencies
  38. 38. Use primary sources to provide evidence. Primary source is direct evidence of an event or topic such as historical and legal documents, video and audio recordings, etc. But remember, even documents lie. So corroborate what the documents say with the interviews. o Speeches, press conferences, interviews o Press releases o Court records o Existing laws and jurisprudence o Legislative documents such as bills, committee reports o Government records, reports and statistics o Academic journals o School records and photographs o Official government websites and social media accounts of public figures
  39. 39. Run a data analysis. Most fact checks involving figures will require you to request the disaggregated data.
  40. 40. Interview experts.
  41. 41. Do’s and don’ts when fact-checking The statement being fact- checked has to be firsthand. Triangulate if statements can’t be found except in news reports. Use primary sources to provide evidence. Be transparent with your sources. Do not editorialize; let the facts speak for itself. Go over your sources again before publishing your fact check.
  42. 42. Find us at: Thank you! /verafiles @verafiles (Filipino) Credits: Presentation slides from Slides Carnival