The 2016 recipients of the Poynter international fact-checking fellowship are Cristina Tardáguila, director of Brazilian fact-checking agency Lupa and Pablo Martín Fernández, director of editorial innovation of the Argentinian fact-checking website Chequeado.
The fellowships were organized by Poynter’s International Fact-Checking Network and launched this year with support from the Shuttleworth Foundation. They cover the fellows’ costs as they spend time embedded with another fact-checking organization anywhere else in the world for a couple of weeks.
More and more fact-checking initiatives are launching globally, but they often remain relatively small and prone to premature termination. The aim of the program is to turbocharge the impact of fact-checkers in the organizations involved through a hands-on exchange of best practices.
Tardáguila’s fellowship will take her to Madrid, where she will spend three weeks embedded with El Objetivo, a Spanish TV show with a highly produced fact-checking segment.
“This fellowship is an amazing opportunity to overcome a few obstacles we have found as a team consisting entirely of print journalists,” Tardáguila says. “In a country like Brazil, where literacy rates are still relatively low, fact-checking must get to TV in order to be effective.” She hopes the fellowship will help Lupa assert fact-checking as an engaging format in the Brazilian television context.
Chequeado’s Fernández will spend a week in London, embedded with U.K. fact-checking website Full Fact. There he will work closely with Full Fact’s team on the two organizations’ plans to automate parts of their fact-checking process.
“Both teams are currently working on this, and we are really happy of being able to work together with the goal of enhancing not only our workflows but those of a lot of fact-checkers worldwide.”
Fernández says that the Chequeado/Full Fact collaboration will lead at least to the creation of an automated tool that will help fact-checkers find and select claims to fact-check in English and Spanish, building off discussions held at the Tech & Check conference in March. The two also have plans to automate more parts of the process.
Once built, these tools would also be available to other fact-checking organizations worldwide.