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The funds will broaden accountability journalism with new technology, staffing and financial awards.

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (June 29, 2017) — The Poynter Institute, a global leader in journalism, is receiving $1.3 million in new grants from the Omidyar Network and Open Society Foundations to expand its work in accountability journalism through the International Fact-Checking Network in the coming years.

The funds ($1 million from Omidyar Network and $300,000 from OSF) will support new initiatives in three major areas: fact-checking technology, impact tracking, and financial awards through innovation grants and crowdfunding matches. To support the new work, the IFCN will hire two additional staff to work with the project’s director, Alexios Mantzarlis. The grants also allow Poynter IFCN to increase its work as the premier advocate, convener and trainer of fact-checkers worldwide. Through workshops, news coverage and more, the IFCN shares best practices, reports on trends, promotes collaboration and supports more than 100 fact-checking operations around the world.

“The years ahead are going to be fundamental not just for fact-checking, but for all journalists aiming to report on their societies on the basis of verified facts,” said Mantzarlis. “This funding provides essential resources to boost accuracy in our information ecosystem.”

“Access to accurate information and the ability to hold those in positions of power to account are critical for a healthy, participatory democracy,” stated Stephen King, partner and global lead for the Governance & Citizen Engagement initiative at Omidyar Network, “We are proud to continue our support for Poynter IFCN, and other fact-checking organizations around the world, as they seek to tackle misinformation and protect the value of truth.”

“Reliable, fact-based journalism is the cornerstone for open societies,” said Maria Teresa Ronderos, director of the Program on Independent Journalism at OSF. “We are very proud to support Poynter and IFCN in their efforts to further strengthen their fact-checking work, key for building inclusive, accountable democracies.”

The International Fact-Checking Network launched in 2015 as an alliance of more than 60 fact-checking organizations in six continents. IFCN monitors trends, research and best practices, with articles in a dedicated channel of Poynter.org and a weekly newsletter co-edited with the American Press Institute; provides resources for fact-checkers ranging from in-person workshops to online programs; supports collaborative efforts in international fact-checking, including the International Fact-Checking Day on April 2 and the Global Fact-Checking Summit (taking place in Madrid on July 5-6, 2017); and advocates for fact-checking within journalism and beyond.

Twenty-five organizations are currently verified signatories of IFCN’s code of principles, which is a minimum condition for being accepted as a third-party fact-checker by Facebook.

Poynter receives support from foundations, corporations and individuals to support its mission of promoting independent journalism in service to democracy. More than 20 media companies and journalism organizations have partnered with Poynter in the last year. Those partners include Google News Lab, National Endowment for Democracy, USA TODAY Network, Univision, The Associated Press, Charles Koch Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. With all funded initiatives, Poynter retains control of the program and remains independent.

About the International Fact-Checking Network
The International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) is a forum for fact-checkers worldwide hosted by The Poynter Institute for Media Studies. These organizations fact-check statements by public figures, major institutions and other widely circulated claims of interest to society. Its code of principles is being used by Facebook as a minimum condition for being accepted as a third-party fact-checker on the social network. Poynter’s IFCN has received funding from the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, the Duke University Reporters’ Lab, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Google, the National Endowment for Democracy, the Omidyar Network, the Open Society Foundations and the Park Foundation.

About The Poynter Institute
The Poynter Institute for Media Studies is a global leader in journalism education and a strategy center that stands for uncompromising excellence in journalism, media and 21st century public discourse. Poynter faculty teach seminars and workshops at the Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida, and at conferences and organizational sites around the world. Its e-learning division, News University, www.newsu.org, offers the world’s largest online journalism curriculum in 7 languages, with more than 400 interactive courses and registered users in more than 200 countries. The Institute’s website, www.poynter.org, produces 24-hour coverage of news about media, ethics, technology, the business of news and the trends that currently define and redefine journalism news reporting. The world’s top journalists and media innovators come to Poynter to learn and teach new generations of reporters, storytellers, media inventors, designers, visual journalists, documentarians and broadcast producers, and to build public awareness about journalism, media, the First Amendment and protected discourse that serves democracy and the public good.

About Omidyar Network
Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunity for people to improve their lives. Established in 2004 by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife, Pam, the organization invests in and helps scale innovative organizations to catalyze economic and social change. Omidyar Network has committed more than $1 billion to for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations that foster economic advancement and encourage individual participation across multiple initiatives, including Education, Emerging Tech, Financial Inclusion, Governance & Citizen Engagement and Property Rights. To learn more, visit www.omidyar.com, and follow on Twitter @omidyarnetwork #PositiveReturns.

In April 2017 Omidyar Network committed $100 million of funding, to be deployed over the next three years, to strengthen independent media and investigative journalism, tackle misinformation and hate speech, and enable citizens to better engage with government on critical issues.

About the Open Society Foundations
The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant societies whose governments are accountable and open to the participation of all people. OSF seeks to strengthen the rule of law; respect for human rights, minorities, and a diversity of opinions; democratically elected governments; and a civil society that helps keep government power in check. It helps to shape public policies that assure greater fairness in political, legal, and economic systems and safeguard fundamental rights. OSF implements initiatives to advance justice, education, public health, and independent media. It builds alliances across borders and continents on issues such as corruption and freedom of information. Working in every part of the world, the Open Society Foundations place a high priority on protecting and improving the lives of people in marginalized communities.

Contact: Tina Dyakon
Director of Advertising and Marketing
The Poynter Institute


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