What is fact checking and why is it important?
16 November 2018
WHAT IS FACT CHECKING?
The Oxford Dictionary describes fact checking as a process seeking to “investigate (an issue) in order to verify the facts”. However, while instructive, this necessarily concise definition is limited in its understanding of the practical outworkings of what constitutes fact checking, the variation and scope of its practices, as well as the factors and social, political and cultural contexts in which fact checking has become an established practice. Continue reading What is fact checking and why is it important?
CLAIM: Northern Ireland eats more meat than in the rest of the UK.
CONCLUSION: Accurate according to recent survey reports. For adults aged 19 to 64 years, the mean consumption in Northern Ireland was 82 grams per day, compared to 71 grams for all of the UK; yet for Ireland the figure is 108 grams (adults aged 18 to 64 years). Continue reading Does Northern Ireland eat the most meat?
Labour politician Lord Adonis recently tweeted that he finds it “scandalous that Ulster’s second city is still denied its own university”. He later acknowledged that Derry-Londonderry had its own campus as part of Ulster University, however its headquarters are in Coleraine. The university used to be called the New University of Ulster (NUU), which opened 50 years ago, and could have been based in Derry-Londonderry. Continue reading No university in Derry-Londonderry?
CLAIM: Within the LGBT community, 25% have attempted suicide.
CONCLUSION: Accurate result in line with other surveys with LGBT respondents in the UK and Ireland. The Rainbow Project survey figure of 4% of LGBT people attempting suicide in the prior year is also consistent with surveys by other organisations. Continue reading Have 1 in 4 LGBT persons attempted suicide?
CLAIM: “City Deals” by the UK Government are part of the Democratic Unionist Party’s Confidence and Supply Agreement with the Conservative Party.
CONCLUSION: Unclear. (“False” in an earlier version of this fact check.) The DUP claim that “City Deals are part of our Confidence and Supply Agreement” is not explicitly referenced in the text of the Confidence and Supply Agreement they made with the Conservative Party, nor referenced by the Chancellor Philip Hammond in delivering his “Financial Statement” (29/10/2018). But as part of discussions between the Conservative Party and the DUP, the UK Government committed itself to working with the Northern Ireland Executive and other stakeholders towards city deals in Northern Ireland. The Belfast Regional City Deal was negotiated and agreed among Belfast City Council, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, and the UK Government.
Continue reading Were “City Deals” part of DUP’s Confidence and Supply Agreement?
CLAIM: The first time the Irish language was spoken in the House of Commons was 24 October 2018.
CONCLUSION: False. There is an official record (Hansard) of Irish spoken in the House of Commons, by Thomas O’Donnell MP, on 19 February 1901. Also, Mark Durkan MP spoke Irish in the House as recently as 17 January 2017.
Continue reading Was Irish spoken for the first time in the House of Commons?