FactCheckNI is delighted to be among eight winners receiving a boost from the Open Data Fund which encourages innovation in the reuse of data on the Open Data NI portal.

Our £5,000 grant from the overall £40,000 fund will be used to commission effective and attractive data visualisation to augment our existing work in tackling online disinformation around COVID-19.

Since the start of the pandemic, FactCheckNI has produced nearly 50 fact checks and explainer articles focussed on COVID-19, many utilising open data about testing, deaths and vaccines.

During this global health emergency, the ‘infodemic’ of misinformation and disinformation can mean the difference between life and death. The quality and accuracy of the information and data we consume matters on an immediate and global scale.

FactCheckNI’s executive director Dr Orna Young explains:

“Trusted and accessible data has an important role to play in countering mis/disinformation. As fact checkers, we understand that the publication of fact check articles is of limited value without a strong effort to disseminate this trusted information.

“Last year we collaborated with undergraduate students at Ulster University who demonstrated how talented and imaginative designers could bring the data we write about to life.

“This investment will help us boost our impact and develop our design capacity by working with these experts in data visualisation to ensure we most effectively communicate our existing and newly produced fact checked articles focussed on COVID-19 and data.”

FactCheckNI will extend its existing relationship with data visualisation specialists at Ulster University’s School of Communication and Media to bring the stories behind data to life and convey them in engaging and shareable graphics that will complement new and existing data-rich articles about COVID-19.