Lights off

Code of Principles

The International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) brings together global fact checkers organisations. IFCN publishes a Code of Principles, a series of commitments that member organisations abide by to promote excellence in fact checking.

FactCheckNI is a verified signatory of the code and we display our verification badge on our website. We reapply every year, and our compliance on the IFCN Code of Principles is publicly assessed.

Violations of the code by FactCheckNI can be reported to the IFCN.

The Code of Principles are:

  • Commitment to Nonpartisanship and Fairness

No matter the claim, we use the same standard for every fact check. We follow the same process for every fact check and let the evidence dictate our conclusions. We do not concentrate our fact checking on any one side or lobby. We do not advocate or take policy positions on the issues we fact check.

  • Commitment of Transparency of Sources

We want our readers to be able to verify our findings themselves. We provide all sources in enough detail that readers can replicate our work – often with links to the information online – except in cases where a source’s personal security could be compromised. In such cases, we provide as much detail as possible.

  • Commitment to Transparency of Funding and Organisation

We are transparent about our funding sources. If we accept funding from other organisations, we ensure that those funders have no influence over the conclusions we reach in our fact checks. We detail the professional background of all key figures in our organisation and explain our organisational structure and legal status. We clearly indicate how readers can communicate with us.

  • Commitment to Standards and Transparency of Methodology

We explain the methodology we use to select, research, write, edit, publish and correct our fact checks. We look for and test evidence that will support and challenges claims that we investigate. We encourage readers to send us claims to fact check and are transparent on why and how we fact check.

  • Commitment to Open and Honest Corrections Policy

We publish our corrections policy and follow it scrupulously. We correct clearly and transparently in line with our corrections policy, seeking so far as possible to ensure that readers see the corrected version.

Everyone involved at FactCheckNI — volunteers, interns, advisers, writers, staff and the board of directors — work under the fundamental principles of impartiality, transparency and accuracy. These principles are reflected in our organisation’s Code of Conduct.

Not every claim has a political origin, but impartiality means that we do cover claims right across the political spectrum in Northern Ireland, without fear or favour. We check claims by all sides – validating and refuting claims made by individual parties and their representatives – and provide the widest range of sources in our fact checks.

We publish the results of all claims that we fully research. Our final articles involve many participants in their creation, and thus we do not publish author by-lines.

We fact check claims for accuracy; we do not question the motivation or intent of the person or organisation making the claim.

Our goal is to promote debate that is rooted in numbers and facts, rather than stereotypes and prejudices.