It’s with great honor and humility that the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), at the Poynter Institute, learned today that it has been nominated for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. The announcement was made by Norwegian lawmaker from the Venstre party and former Minister of Culture and Education, Trine Skei Grande.
While we recognize that this nomination is a long way from being shortlisted for this unparalleled award, we see it as an important validation of the work of fact-checkers worldwide. Simply put: facts matter and fact-checking can save lives.
Fact checkers are working worldwide, often under threat or attack, to provide quality information and combat misinformation, often made deliberately, that pollutes society or inhibits freedom.
Since its founding, in 2015, the IFCN has been working to promote higher standards in fact-checking and to advocate for reliable and accurate information across all mediums.
The IFCN created a Code of Principles for fact-checkers and, based on these five principles, we audit the quality of the work being done by our members every year. Today, we have 79 verified signatories in 51 countries. They all celebrate April 2nd as the International Fact-Checking Day.
Over the course of the years, we’ve organized international conferences for fact-checkers in Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Madrid, Rome, and London. During these meetings, fact-checkers have learned from each other and developed best practices for reporting and transparency to enhance the impact of our work.
The IFCN has prioritized collaboration among fact-checkers across countries, languages and cultures. The CoronavirusFactsAlliance, recently recognized by the Paris Peace Forum, brought together 99 fact-checking organizations in more than 70 countries to build a repository of over 10,000 fact checks. This unique database provides people with accurate information on the issues related to COVID-19 pandemic.
The IFCN has also administered a range of grants to encourage fact-checking, verification, media literacy and research to help combat misinformation.
Ms. Skei Grande said in an interview with NRK that she had chosen the IFCN for the work it does against online mis/disinformation and because she believes fact-checking is more important than ever. In a tweet, Skei Grande wrote:
“In war, truth is the first victim. And we live in a time where fighting lies is so important that @JoeBiden mentioned it in his speech yesterday. This year I have nominated fact checkers for the Nobel Peace Prize. They need our support.”
We agree, and humbly share this news in order to further stoke the work of fact-checkers globally as they endeavor to give citizens reliable information to improve their communities and their lives.
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