Round 2: The Fact-Checking Innovation Initiative wants to support your next big idea

This initiative is open to the global fact-checking community but focused around technology innovation and development. Request up to $100,000 in funding for your project. Up to $450,000 will be awarded.

Applications close August 7th, 2020.


The mission of the Fact-Checking Innovation Initiative, a joint project of the Facebook Journalism Project and the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) at the Poynter Institute, is to support innovation projects, new formats, and technologies that will help benefit the broader global fact-checking ecosystem.

In November 2019, this global initiative awarded grants, ranging from $30,000 to $70,000 each, to support projects focused on strengthening fact-checking and the fight against misinformation. The IFCN is currently seeking applications for the second round of funding.


Round 2 of the Fact-Checking Innovation Initiative is again open to the entire fact-checking community but narrowly focused around technology innovation and development.

We are looking for projects that bring fact-checkers together with developers and/or academics to build and test technology solutions that protect high integrity journalism and help fact-checkers do their work.

Grantees will share funding totaling up to $450,000 and have opportunities to share learnings with each other and the wider fact-checking community. Applicants can apply with one proposal and request up to $100,000 for funding.

In addition to receiving monetary funds, the grantees will receive exposure at Global Fact 8 in 2021. The IFCN, Facebook and the selection committee will also serve as a resource for grant recipients to receive ongoing advice, collaboration and a support network.

Key dates

June 26, 2020
Applications open / Global Fact 7

August 7, 2020
Applications close

Sept. 18, 2020
Winners announced

June 2021
Global Fact 8

Baybars Örsek
International Fact-Checking Network

About Baybars

Baybars Örsek is the director of the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) at the Poynter Institute, the premier global coalition of fact-checking organizations. Prior to joining IFCN, Örsek had served as the founding executive director of the Turkish fact-checking organization Doğruluk Payı between 2014 and 2019.

He is a frequent expert source for major media outlets around the world. Örsek is a member of the board of trustees at TESEV, Turkey’s oldest think tank. Before launching Doğruluk Payı in 2014, he worked at his alma mater Istanbul Bilgi University. Örsek holds a B.A. degree in international relations and an M.A. degree in conflict resolution.

Cris Tardaguila

Cristina Tardáguila
Associate Director
International Fact-Checking Network

About Cris

Cristina Tardáguila is the International Fact-Checking Network’s Associate Director. She was born in May 1980, in Brazil, and has lived in Rio de Janeiro for most of her life. Since 2014, Tardáguila has dedicated her professional life to verification. She is the founder of Agência Lupa, the first fact-checking initiative in her country, and also responsible for LupaEducação, its educational branch.

Tardáguila studied Journalism at Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) and got her master’s degree, also in Journalism, from Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, in Madrid (Spain). In 2017, she added to her resumé an MBA on Digital Marketing, from Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV-Rio de Janeiro), and is now considered one of the strongest media entrepreneurs in her country.

Venu Arora
Founder/Director, Ideosync Media Combine;
Professor of Radio and Voice Equity, the OP Jindal Global University School of Journalism and Communication

About Arora

Venu Arora is the Founder/Director of Ideosync Media Combine, a New Delhi-based not for profit working on social & behavior change communication, community media, freedom of expression, and voice equity. She has extensive experience in Communication strategy development, Communication and Media research, Radio and video with script, direction and production credits on a number of broadcast radio and video series; and wide-ranging training experience for community media. Ms. Arora has worked with UNDP as a communication specialist; and with Equal Access International as their regional communication consultant, establishing their Nepal and Cambodia operations.  She holds an Advances in Health Communications certification from the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; and has received the MacArthur Fellowship for Leadership Development in 2002 for her work on Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health Communication. In 1998, she received a National Award (Rajat Kamal) for her film Nirankush, a multi-award winning fiction feature on female infanticide in Rajasthan. A published poet and lyricist, she is also the author of research papers, book chapters on Community Media, Radio and Gender and Manuals including CR: Learning the Skills (UNICEF, 20014); CR & Migration (with N.Ramakrishnan, UNESCO, 2016); and CR Sustainability (CEMCA/UNESCO, 2016). Her current work and interests are in participatory and community media including radio, Development Practice, Feminism and Evaluations, Gender and Media.  She also teaches Radio and Voice Equity at the Jindal School of Journalism, Jindal Global University, India.

Mehmet Atakan Foça

About Mehmet

 Mehmet Atakan Foça started journalism as a reporter for a local newspaper in 2009. After his internship in Bianet in the summer of 2011, he worked as an editor for the Refugee TV news site, which was launched by Amnesty International Turkey. During the internship in BBC Turkish, London in the summer of 2013, he met with topics such as mobile journalism, digital media and the future of journalism, and headed to this field. He led to the translation of the Verification Handbook to Turkish. Due to works of verification on his Twitter account, Foça was awarded by Transparency International. Foça founded Teyit in 2016 as a non-partisan and independent fact-checking organization. He has been announced as a fellow by Ashoka, the largest social entrepreneurship network in the world.

Carlo Canepa
Pagella Politica

About Carlo

Carlo Canepa is a fact-checker at Pagella Politica, the main Italian fact-checking website. As co-author, he has published the book La scienza dei goal (Hoepli, 2016) – on football and science communication – and he has written the documentary The Choice (Unozerozerouno, 2018) – on the risks of web democracy. He has graduated in philosophy of sciences at Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele, in Milan.

Christoper Guess
Lead Technologist
Duke Reporters’ Lab

About Christopher

Christopher is a journalist and computer scientist focusing on automated fact checking, policy and ethics as Lead Technologist at Duke University’s Reporters’ Lab. Previously he has been a Knight International Journalism Fellow for two years working with the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting project, based in Sarajevo, as well as a Reynolds Journalism Institute Fellow at the University of Missouri. Before returning to journalism in 2014, Christopher was a cofounder of a number of startups in New York City, where he currently resides.

Jay Jennings
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Center for Media Engagement, the University of Texas at Austin

About Jay

Jay Jennings is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Center for Media Engagement at the University of Texas at Austin. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Temple University in 2015. He studies the media’s role in motivating, discouraging, and informing engagement with the political process. His current research is focused on the most effective ways to correct misinformation on social media. Jay’s work draws on the fields of political communication, public opinion, and political psychology to help us understand the ways the media influences political participation. His research has been published in academic journals such as Political Communication, Public Opinion Quarterly, and Journal of Information Technology & Politics and has been highlighted in such outlets as the Washington Post, NPR’s Weekend Edition, Nieman Journalism Lab, and City Lab.

Masato Kajimoto
Associate Professor of Practice
Journalism and Media Studies Centre
The University of Hong Kong

About Masato

Masato Kajimoto, PhD, specialized in misinformation ecosystem research in Asia and news literacy education. In 2019 he founded a student-driven fact-checking initiative called Annie Lab that simulates a working newsroom with an aim to synthesize journalism training and news literacy curricula. Masato is also the chief producer of the online course on Coursera titled “Making Sense of the News: News Literacy Lessons for Digital Citizens” and the YouTube series “Strapline: News Literacy for the Rest of Us”. He served as the leading researcher and co-editor for the paper “Information Disorder in Asia and the Pacific: Overview of Misinformation Ecosystem in Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Vietnam.” His recent publication includes an entry on News Literacy in the Oxford Research Encyclopaedia of Communication. Before beginning a career in teaching and research, he worked as an online reporter and web producer for CNN International.

Eric Mugendi
Managing Editor

About Eric

Eric Mugendi is the managing editor of PesaCheck, East Africa’s first public finance fact-checking initiative that helps citizens and members of the public make sense of statements by politicians, leaders, and other figures.

PesaCheck was established in 2016 to provide accurate and factual information around budgets and public finance but has since grown into broader fact-checking and verification of claims made both online and offline.

In addition to his extensive editorial experience, Eric has written at length about technology in Africa, as well as working with organizations in three countries to track and combat misinformation during elections.

He is a graduate of the Bloomberg Media Initiative for Africa.

Milena Popovic

About Milena

Milena Popovic joined Istinomer in January 2018 when she started working as a journalist. From January 2019 she works as Editor in Chief of Istinomer. Prior to Istinomer, she worked as a journalist for Serbian daily newspapers, and also as a freelance reporter for several Balkan media. Milena has been awarded with several journalism awards such as “Golden Nike 2015” for the best reportage published at the International Reportage and Media Festival INTERFER. Also, as the author of the documentary “Albanians are our sisters”, she received the award of the international festival “Mirdita, good day!”

Alan Soon
Splice Media

About Alan

Alan is co-founder of Singapore-based Splice Media, which aims to drive the transformation of the media industry by supporting media startups across Asia. A career journalist for two decades, Alan has worked in radio, television, news wires, magazine, and online across Asia, giving him unique insight into how various newsrooms get things done—and where they get stuck. He started his career as a reporter and grew into other operational roles at Bloomberg, CNBC, Kyodo News, Star TV and Channel NewsAsia. He eventually led one of the largest digital news teams in the industry as Yahoo’s Managing Editor for India and Southeast Asia.

Fabiola Torres Lopez
Founder and Director

About Fabiola

Fabiola Torres is an investigative journalist from Perú. In 2018, as an ICFJ Knight Fellow for Latin America, she launched Salud con Lupa, a cross-border network for investigating health issues with the support of International Center for Journalists.

She is building collaborative alliances across newsrooms; spearheading cross-border journalism projects; helping media outlets adopt the latest digital and data journalism tools; and introducing new workflows that facilitate collaboration between multiple newsrooms.

Orlando Watson
Integrity Partnerships

About Orlando

Orlando Watson works at Facebook on the Integrity Partnerships team where he is focused on new initiatives to increase trust and reduce misinformation.

Antonia Woodford
Product Manager

About Antonia

Antonia Woodford is a Product Manager at Facebook, focusing on misinformation. Her team works to reduce the spread of false news and give people context to make informed decisions, including by partnering with more than 70 third-party fact-checking organizations around the world to debunk false news on the platform. Before joining Facebook, Antonia was a management consultant at McKinsey & Company.

The selection committee will select projects based on a number of criteria (see dropdown below).

Grant recipients will have up to 6 months from the time they receive their awards to complete their projects and submit written results report to the IFCN.

Applicants’ projects should be focused on a high priority area, such as: 

  1. Increasing the scale, efficiency or workflow of fact-checking
  2. Increasing the distribution of fact-checks by developing apps or tools to reach new audiences
  3. Deploying new solutions and tools to address visual misinformation and manipulated media
  4. Facilitating collaboration among newsrooms on fact-checking through technology

Examples include (but are not limited to): 

  • Fact-checkers with developers and/or academics testing and helping to improve artificial intelligence (AI) solutions for fact-checking
  • Developers launching detection and content auditing tools with fact-checkers
  • Fact-checkers building and/or experimenting with automation tools for disseminating  fact-checks
  • Fact-checkers with developers and/or academics designing and launching a collaboration tool prototype

Selection criteria

The selection committee will review projects against the following criteria:

  • Is the project an original idea, and discrete project, in the fact-checking field?
  • Does the project involve more than one organization and bring together fact-checkers with developers and/or academics?
  • Does the project attempt to implement a solution already proven by another one with its supervision?
  • Does the project have the potential of reducing misinformation, improving the quality of the public debate, and/or reaching a wider/new audience?
  • Does the project have the potential to grow in the future?
  • Does the project have the potential to be replicated by other fact-checkers with minor changes and serving its original purpose?
  • Is the requested budget in accordance with the goals and scope of the project and has the potential to be fully completed and implemented in time and form?

A member of the selection committee and/or a member of the IFCN staff will be available to offer guidance and feedback during the six-month development process. If a proposed project somehow relates to any of the selection committee members or to their past or current work, those selection committee members will not participate in that specific evaluation and his/her score will be calculated based on the average of other selection committee members.

Selection committee members don’t get paid for judging projects and/or for mentoring them.

Eligibility requirements

Fact-checking organizations that are verified signatories of the IFCN’s Code of Principles and/or organizations that have been regularly publishing non-partisan fact checks over the last three months are eligible to apply. 

Applicants that are not fact-checking organizations but partnering with fact-checking organizations can also apply. You will be asked to send a memorandum of understanding during your application process to the partnering fact-checking organization if you are not a fact-checking organization.

Applicants agree that if they are awarded a grant, the IFCN and Facebook may use data and information they provide in the initial application and subsequent reporting form with other fact-checking organizations.

Each applicant may only submit one application and a budget of up to $100,000. Fact-checking organizations that partner with applicants that are not fact-checking organizations, forfeit their rights to apply to this call as standalone applicants. 

The International Fact-Checking Network reserves the right to negotiate the requested budget with the applicants.

Terms and conditions

This grant is subject to terms and conditions

  • The recipients will have 6 months to develop and launch their projects.
  • A representative for each grant recipient must commit to making a presentation about the project at the Global Fact 8 conference, currently scheduled in June 2021 in Melbourne, Australia.
  • 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.
  • The awarded amount will be delivered to the applicable grant recipient in two different payments: 50% at the beginning of the project term and the remaining 50% after the midterm narrative and financial reports are approved. (If your project requires a different distribution, please inform.)
  • 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.