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Global Fact-Checking Mentorship Program

The International Fact-Checking Network at the Poynter Institute in partnership with Meta is pleased to announce the launch of a global mentorship program that will leverage the expertise of member organizations in the peer-to-peer exchange of information. These programs will later be scaled to be offered to the wider IFCN community; deliverables for scaled training can include webinars, online courses, case studies, etc. Up to $450,000 will be awarded, with both mentors and mentees receiving compensation.

Applications close December 3rd, 2021.

The International Fact-Checking Network at the Poynter Institute will partner with Meta to distribute $450,000 in grant support to support IFCN signatories to participate in a mentorship program.

To see the IFCN verified signatories list please click here.

Overview:

The IFCN Mentorship Program will match signatories to the IFCN with demonstrated expertise in specific topics with other IFCN signatory organizations with an interest in enhancing skill sets in those areas.  Applicants must define their area of expertise and intended audience for impact. Mentorship topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Detecting misinformation on social media. How to use monitoring tools and sourcing tips to identify potential misinformation.
  • Communicating fact checks with innovative formats. How to use videos, podcasts, memes and other unique formats to communicate fact-checks to a wider audience.
  • Industry collaboration. How to effectively partner with other fact-checking organizations and publishers, particularly during breaking news events, to better address misinformation.
  • Media literacy. How to start media literacy campaigns and other initiatives to help local communities spot misinformation.
  • Training and operations. How to build effective training programs and operational tactics to help fact-checking organizations better address misinformation.
  • Health and science misinformation. How to approach scientific claims and create a system to increase an organization’s capacity to debunk health misinformation.

Eligibility criteria are detailed below. Evaluation and final selection of applicant organizations will be conducted by an independent panel of judges with experience not just in fact-checking, journalism and media literacy, but also in education and training.

Selected mentors will receive $50,000, distributed in payments outlined in the Terms and Conditions. Selected mentees will receive $5,000 upon completion of the training.

If you have any questions regarding the application process please feel free to reach out to factchecknet@poynter.org.

Eligibility Criteria 

Mentors:

  • The program is open to IFCN signatories, fact-checking organizations as well as ecosystem partners that have demonstrated success or expertise in a given area.
  • Mentors will be required to provide educational materials to support other fact-checkers & journalists
  • Applications that include a partnership between an IFCN signatory and another organization will also be considered but would require an additional MOU which will be provided in the application

Demonstrated expertise is defined as documented success in developing or implementing training and development on a core topic area. Examples might include:

  • Previous completed project in the subject area with success metrics
  • Previously conducted training/teaching
  • Existing training materials or curricula on the subject matter
  • Public recognition or awards around the organizations establish success in a given area

Mentees:

All mentees must be signatories to the IFCN Code of Principles in good standings. They must also commit to completing all required training and assignments. More details on requirements for mentees will be provided when that application process kicks off in early 2022.

Key dates

November 2nd, 2021
Applications for mentors open

December 15th, 2021
Applications for mentors close

January 10th, 2022
Announcement of mentors and applications for mentees opens

February 11th, 2022
Applications for mentees close

March 1st, 2022
Announcement of mentees

Selection Committee

The selection committee will select projects based on a number of criteria. (See Below) 

The mentorship period will run from March 21, 2022 to Aug. 15, 2022. Mentors can be matched with up to five mentee organizations. Selected mentors are also expected to scale their projects to be shared with the wider community in October.

Yvonne Chua
Associate professor of Journalism
University of the Philippines

About Yvonne

Yvonne T. Chua is an associate professor of journalism at the University of the Philippines. A longtime journalist, she has been associated with these fact-checking initiatives: Vera Files Fact Check, which she started in 2016 and led till early 2019; Tsek.ph, a pioneering collaborative fact-checking initiative for the 2019 Philippines elections; and the student-driven FactRakers for her students at the university. She is also an expert consultant and one of the mentors of the ongoing Philippine Fact-Checker Incubator project, which is assisting six Philippine newsrooms. Yvonne has done research on disinformation, hate speech, dangerous speech, and media and democracy.

Alanna Dvorak
International Training Manager
The International Fact-Checking Network at the Poynter Institute

About Alanna

Alanna Dvorak is the International Training Manager with IFCN, where she helps produce interactive learning materials for journalists around the globe. Prior to her current role at Poynter, Dvorak worked as an interactive learning producer at the Institute’s News University team. She began her career working as a local reporter for the Loudoun Times-Mirror, located just outside of Washington, D.C. in Northern Virginia, where she covered public safety, health and sports before earning a master’s degree in international development with a concentration in media development at the George Washington University.

Lucas Graves
Associate professor
University of Wisconsin School of Journalism and Mass Communication

About Lucas
Lucas Graves is an Associate Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at UW–Madison. His has written widely on the emergence of fact-checking organizations around the world. His book ‘Deciding What’s True: The Rise of Political Fact-Checking in American Journalism‘ came out in 2016 from Columbia University Press.

Masato Kajimoto, PhD
Associate professor of practice
University of Hong Kong

About Masato

Masato Kajimoto, PhD, is an associate professor of practice at the Journalism and Media Studies Centre at the University of Hong Kong. He specializes in news literacy education and misinformation ecosystem research in Asia. He also founded a region-focused education NPO called ANNIE (Asian Network of News and Information Educators) and leads a student-driven fact-checking project called Annie Lab.

Milena Rosenzvit
Chief of educational programming
Chequeado

About Milena

Milena Rosenzvit is head of Chequeado’s Education Program, at which she develops fact-checking education projects for journalists as well as Media and Information Literacy projects for young people in formal and nonformal education environments. Milena studied Biological Sciences at the University of Buenos Aires and did a Master of Education at Harvard University.

Mark Stencel
Co-director
Duke Reporters’ Lab

About Mark

Mark Stencel is co-director of the Duke Reporters’ Lab, where he studies the spread and impact of political fact-checking. He is NPR’s former managing editor for digital news and previously held senior positions at the Washington Post, Congressional Quarterly and CQ’s Governing magazine. He also covered science and technology for the News & Observer in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. Stencel began his career at the Post as an assistant to political columnist David S. Broder.

Selection criteria

The selection committee will review projects against the following criteria, which will be weighted equally:

  1. The training is relevant to a global and/or regional audience, even if initial programs or trainings were initially conducted in narrower settings.
  2. The proposed topic area can be scaled into a training deliverable for the greater fact-checking community, across geographic borders, languages, etc.
  3. Does the application reflect a strong actionable plan to achieve the intended goals of the project?
  4. Does the proposal meet a high priority and timely topic for the fact-checking community? See example topic areas in the previous sections.

Terms and conditions

This grant is subject to Terms and Conditions, including the following restrictions and requirements:

  • Applications will be accepted from Nov 2 – Dec. 3, 2021, at 11:59 pm ET
  • Grant recipients will be notified by Jan. 10, 2022 
  • Applicants must meet the eligibility requirements outlined in section A for their corresponding applicant category 
  • All evaluation criteria will be weighted equally. See a list of criteria outlined in the corresponding section.
  • All candidates must provide the application criteria outlined in the corresponding section.
  • Selected mentors may be tasked with mentoring as few as one organization and as many as five.
  • Selected mentors will receive $50,000, distributed in payments of: 
      • $20,000 delivered upon initial acceptance into the program
      • $20,000 delivered upon completion of the mentoring
      • $10,000 upon completion of the scaled training program
  • Selected mentees will receive $5,000 upon completion of the training.
  • Mentorship must be completed by Aug. 15, 2022.
  • Deliverables for larger community must launch no earlier than Oct. 1, 2022 and be completed by Dec. 16, 2022.
  • Scaled training can consist of a variety of educational material, including self-directed coursework, webinars, question and answer/panel discussions, case studies, etc. 
  • Each grant recipient is expected to schedule three quarterly assessment sessions with an adviser from the selection committee and/or a member of the IFCN staff.
  • Each grant recipient must provide IFCN with two short narrative reports and two financial reports: one of each at the midpoint of the project (about three months in) and one of each after the end of the 6-month project term. These documents will be made publicly available.
  • Poynter Institute for Media Studies, Inc. and Facebook (directly and/or through a third party (e.g., Submittable) may collect personally identifiable information to perform certain compliance checks and sanctions screenings.
  • National or legal residents of a jurisdiction where the laws of the United States or local law prohibits participating or receiving benefits in connection with a program such as this one or in which the United States has embargoed goods or services are not eligible to participate (including, without limitation, Crimea, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria and any other area or jurisdiction designated by the United States Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control).
  • Use of any Grant amount must comply with all applicable explicit or implicit terms and conditions or policies applicable for platforms, applications, software, tools, or other resources used by the fund’s recipient if any. Funds recipient must also comply with Facebook’s Privacy Principles available at https://www.facebook.com/about/basics/privacyprinciples, as well as any ethical standards applicable to the proposed project, as determined in Facebook and IFCN’s sole discretion. As such, each Applicant must follow the spirit of such terms and conditions, principles, and policies; and any attempt to subvert or to use a workaround of such terms and conditions or policies may, in Facebook and IFCN’s sole discretion, result in forfeiture of any Grant amounts awarded or disqualification from this Program
  • Grant applicants are obligated to comply with all applicable laws and any additional compliance language requested in writing by Facebook or IFCN (email acceptable). 
  • Grant applicants are obligated to supply Facebook and/or Partner, as applicable, with any information reasonably requested in order to perform necessary due diligence and background checks.
  • The Grant Recipient must agree not to use the funds provided in connection with the Program directly or indirectly, in any manner that would violate applicable laws, including, without limitation, in any manner that would constitute bribery, an illegal kickback, an illegal campaign contribution, or any other violation of applicable anti-corruption, political activity, economic sanctions, or other laws. The funds will not be used by the organization in any event to: (A) carry on propaganda or otherwise attempt to influence specific legislation; (B) influence the outcome of any specific public election or to carry on, directly or indirectly, any voter registration drive; or (C) utilize the Funds in a manner, not in furtherance of the purposes enumerated under 170(c)(2)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code.
  • The grant program is subject to full Terms and Conditions are available here