What is fact checking and why is it important?

What is fact checking and why is it important?
by FactCheckNI
16 November 2018


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?

No university in Derry-Londonderry?

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?

Were “City Deals” part of DUP’s Confidence and Supply Agreement?

UPDATED 1/11/2018

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?

How much do MLAs earn (or not)?

CLAIM: Progressive Politics NI claimed that MLAs were paid “nearly £2.2 million” in salaries up to 3rd September 2017.

CONCLUSION: Broadly accurate. The annual salary of an MLA is £49,500. For the period covered by the claim (13/3-13/9/2017), MLAs received a combined estimate of £2,333,188. Continue reading How much do MLAs earn (or not)?