ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (March 28, 2018) – To raise awareness of fact-checking around the world, Poynter’s International Fact Checking Network will again coordinate International Fact-Checking Day and launch Factcheckingday.com, a resource for citizens, readers and educators seeking to examine the validity of information, especially online.
"Hoaxes and pranks get their day on April 1, so why not dedicate a day to facts?" asked Alexios Mantzarlis, Director of Poynter’s International Fact Checking Network (IFCN). “International Fact-Checking Day is meant to be lighthearted, but practical. Our hope is that we can all commit one day to paying extra attention to the accuracy of what we read and especially of what we share.”
Factcheckingday.com was born as an answer to concerns about the reach and impact of online misinformation. Mantzarlis believes fact-checkers alone cannot and should not be the only ones verifying content. The IFCN is calling for a broad coalition of journalists, students and everyday media consumers to arm themselves with the tools and methods needed to decipher what’s real and what’s not.
Factcheckingday.com will offer a lesson plan for high school students in several languages that is based on a role-playing card game and an online course for college students. The website also includes a fun fact-checking quiz, several practical tip sheets and a reading list.
In 2017, The Washington Post, CNN, Repubblica, Sky and other news organizations worldwide covered the first International Fact-Checking Day. Thousands of people used the hashtag #FactCheckIt on April 2, 2017, and teachers in more than 50 countries downloaded the lesson plan, available to more than 100,000 students.
The IFCN is a unit of the Poynter Institute dedicated to bringing together fact-checkers worldwide. It launched in 2015 to support a booming crop of fact-checking initiatives by promoting best practices and exchanges in this field.
The IFCN publishes regular articles on Poynter.org and distributes a weekly newsletter. Additionally the network funds annual fellowships, innovation and crowd-funding match grants. Once a year, the IFCN brings fact-checkers from around the world together at the Global Fact Summit, the premier convening of fact-checking practitioners in the world.
Forty-nine organizations are currently verified signatories of International Fact Checking Network’s code of principles. Being a verified signatory with IFCN is a minimum condition for being accepted as a third-party fact-checker by Facebook.
The first and current director of the IFCN is Alexios Mantzarlis. In September 2017 the Poynter-based staff of the IFCN grew to include Program Manager Dulce Ramos and Reporter Daniel Funke. To find out more, read the International Fact Checking Network’s transparency statement.
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