Fact Forward: If you had $50,000, how would you change fact-checking?

Fact Forward logo

The International Fact-Checking Network wants to support your next big idea.

We recognize the importance of making innovation a key part of fact-checking in the age of online misinformation and we are also aware that innovation requires investment. For those reasons, we are opening Fact Forward. A call for fact-checking organizations and/or teams of journalists, designers, developers or data scientists to submit projects that can represent a paradigmatic innovation for fact-checkers in any of these areas: 1) formats, 2) business models 3) technology-assisted fact-checking.

With Fact Forward, the IFCN will grant 50,000 USD to the winning project.

For this fund, an innovative project is defined as one that provides a distinct, novel user experience that seamlessly integrates content, design, and business strategy. The innovation should serve both the audience and the organization.

A panel of experts will choose the winner. The members of the panel are: 

  1. Bill Adair: Knight Professor of the Practice of Journalism and Public Policy. Creator of PolitiFact.
  2. Mariano Blejman: Founder of Media Factory news accelerator. Founder of Media Party, the biggest mediathon in Latin America. 
  3. Laura Hazard Owen: Deputy Editor of Nieman Journalism Lab at The Nieman Foundation at Harvard University.
  4. Emily Thorson: Assistant professor of political science at Syracuse University. Focuses on the effects of misinformation and corrections.
  5. Janine Warner: Co-founder of Sembramedia. Knight Fellow for the International Center for Journalists.

One of those experts and/or a member of the IFCN staff will be available to offer advice during the 12-month development and implementation stage.

Who can apply?
Applicants must work for a fact-checking organization that is a signatory of the IFCN code of principles or commit to complying with the code’s application and verification process by the end of the 12-month term.

What kind of projects are you looking for?

Existing fact-checking teams or organizations that seek funding to scale up or launch a new project, as well as experienced journalists with well-developed ideas or prototypes. The fund is open to fact-checking projects run by traditional media companies, as well as digital media entrepreneurs. If there is resulting code of this project, it must be open and it should be public in a GitHub repository.

What kind of projects are NOT eligible for this grant?

To qualify for this fund, the project should be more than just an idea. Applicants must be organizations or teams of at least two people who have tested their concept or at least developed a prototype. Applications from individuals will be accepted if they are paired with a fact-checking organization where the project will be implemented.

How do I apply?

The initial application is through a form that includes, among others: name, organization, brief description of organization and project description of 250 to 500 words. The second phase will require a more detailed application and budget and will only be open to the applications that passed the first round.

What are the deadlines?

First Round Opens: January 8th.

First Round Closes: February 5th.

Applicants informed of selection to the Second Round: March 5th.

Second Round Opening: March 6th.

Second Round Closes: March 26.

Q&A Sessions: April 3nd-6th.

Winner is announced: First week of May.

Launch: Spring 2019.

What is the process for selecting the winner?

The panel of experts will evaluate the applications that the candidates sent for the second round and will choose a winner. Their decision will not be subject to appeal.

Can teams submit more than one project?

Each team can submit up to two projects.

Terms and Conditions

  1. The awarded team will have 12 months to develop and launch its innovation.
     
  2. A representative of the team must present their progress/preview during Global Fact.
     
  3. The team must schedule 3 quarterly assessment sessions with an advisor from the panel and/or a member of the IFCN staff.
     
  4. If there is any code associated with the project, it must be openly shared.
     
  5. The team must present a short narrative report and a financial report at midterm and after implementing the project.
     
  6. There will only be one winner in this call, however, the IFCN reserves the right to split the fund in half if the Advisory Panel considers that two projects both deserve to receive funding.
     

Questions or comments? Reach out to factchecknet@poynter.org

Email IconGroup 3Facebook IconLinkedIn IconsearchGroupTwitter IconGroup 2YouTube Icon