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About The Journal FactCheck unit

The Journal FactCheck unit is located within the newsroom of one of Ireland's most-read online news sources, The Journal. It was established in early 2016 to sift truth from claims in the Irish political arena in the run-up to the General Election of that year. It has since expanded its operations to factcheck misinformation and disinformation across all spheres that inform and influence Irish citizens' decision-making..

In early 2020, we launched our Covid-19 Debunking Project to stem the growing tide of coronavirus-related misinformation and to distribute quality information to the public on this topic. We continue to contribute our factchecks to the global CoronaVirusFacts Alliance effort.

Since 2017, we have been the only verified Irish signatory of the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) and abide by the organisation's Code of Principles.

We are the fact-checker partner for the Ireland EDMO hub (European Digital Media Observatory); you can find more about our collaborative work across media literacy, research and other tools against disinformation here.

The Journal and The Journal FactCheck unit are fully-compliant members of the Press Council of Ireland.

How we are funded

Our work is funded via The Journal newsroom budget, largely from advertising revenue on the site but also increasingly from contributions to the readers' fund by citizens like you who wish to see our factchecking and other quality journalistic work remain accessible to all.

We received funding as a partner in the Ireland hub of the European Digital Media Observatory (EDMO). This is a collaboration between academic researchers and fact-checkers which promotes scientific knowledge of online disinformation, advances the development of EU fact-checking services and supports media literacy programmes, and our portion of the funding helps us to contribute fact-checking expertise to this effort. EDMO receives funding from a European Union programme but is an independent observatory with its own governing board and an independent advisory board. You can read more about EDMO here, and the Ireland EDMO hub here.

We are also a member of the Facebook Third-Party Fact Checking programme, under which we receive some payment for submitting certain factcheck articles to be applied to misinformation on its platform.

The Journal and The Journal FactCheck are part of Journal Media Ltd, which is a registered company in Ireland, number 483623 at the CRO (Companies Registration Office). The Journal was founded in 2010 by online entrepreneurs Eamonn and Brian Fallon, who first came to public prominence by creating the online property listings portal in 1997.

The work of The Journal and The Journal FactCheck is in no way influenced by advertisers, shareholders or any other external party which may contribute funds now or in the future.

How we factcheck

It is very important to us that our readers can follow our factchecks from nose to tail, for two key reasons.

Firstly, so that we can earn your trust in the consistency of our work by being transparent about every step, from how we choose a particular claim to factcheck to how we come to a verdict. We link to raw, public data where it exists and name and define clearly any expert advice and input from sources external to our factcheck team.

Secondly, we hope that by outlining our process clearly, we may equip readers with the tools to better distinguish good quality information from less trustworthy content for themselves, sending our factchecking principles out into the real world of public literacy.

Our readers' guide here is a great starting point for understanding what content can be factchecked, how we evaluate claims, how we weigh evidence and how we rate our verdicts.

Who we are

The Journal FactCheck was launched in 2016 by then-Journal editor Susan Daly, who is now Managing Editor of Journal Media and oversees strategic partnerships and standards at FactCheck. The editorial lead and operations on The Journal FactCheck specifically is Christine Bohan, who is also Deputy Editor of The Journal. When Christine is on leave, Stephen McDermott - Assistant News Editor with The Journal assumes this operational role.

Full biographies and roles of our FactCheck editors and reporters are available here.

How you can contact us with a correction

Each fact check article carries the name and direct link to the author's email where you can get in touch. There is also a 'send a correction' button on every piece.

If we deem a clarification, correction or update is needed to a factcheck, we publish that on the original article and to our corrections page here.

As a signatory of the International Fact-Checking Network, we adhere to their standards of excellence. If you feel there has been a violation by The Journal FactCheck of the IFCN Code of Principles, you may report that here.

Getting involved

One of our key sources in identifying content to fact check is YOU. We rely on the public to tell us what claims they find confusing, unclear or suspicious and to submit them to us for consideration.

You can reach us by:

Non-partisanship policy

The Journal was founded in late 2010 with a stated mission to provide unbiased, independent, contextualised news that informs users without agenda. Our motto, 'read, share and shape the news', has long been a public declaration that we are answerable to users of our service.

This is supported by features such as 'submit tip' and 'make a correction' buttons on our apps which allow users to contact the newsroom and journalists directly, as well as frequent opportunities for our audience to engage with editors and reporters, for example in email Q&As on specific issues, or in Lunchtime Live events with our newsroom on Facebook.

Our hiring policy excludes members of political parties or lobbying groups from working in our newsroom or FactCheck unit. We understand that journalists may have personal opinions on a wide range of topics but we ask them to not get involved in advocacy or state policy positions on issues which we might factcheck in such a way as might lead a reasonable member of the public to see the work of The Journal FactCheck as biased.

We require our factcheckers to verify facts independently and weigh the evidence in a proportionate manner and present their findings in language that is free of opinion or hyperbole. We have a policy of hyperlinking to primary sources such as studies in academic or scientific journals and publicly-available data, where we have verified these as independent and wholly trustworthy, for the purpose of transparency.

Our journalists are excluded from accepting any fees, commissions or other inducements of any kind whatsoever from any third party which could create a conflict of interest or otherwise jeopardise or leave open to question the impartiality of their work.