FactsMatterNG, 38 others get Google/YouTube grant from IFCN

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FactsMatterNG, a Nigerian digital-driven organisation that supports fact-checking amplification across social media platforms, is among the 39 organisations from 34 countries that receive a total sum of $975,000 from the Google and YouTube‘s Global Fact-Check Fund managed by the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN).

This was made known in a statement by the global fact-checking body on Thursday, June 20, 2024.

FactsMatterNG is an initiative aimed at promoting information integrity and public media literacy in Nigeria.

READ: IFCN awards $2 million to 20 groups to fight misinformation globally

Led by Hannah Ojo-Ajakaiye (ICFJ Knight Fellow), FactsMatterNG is one of the member-organisations of the Nigerian Fact-checkers Coalition (NFC) and also one of the two Nigerian organisations that got the grant award in the BUILD category this year. The second Nigerian awardee is News Verifier Africa (Media Inno Tech).

“We’ll use the grant to support our staffing and technical capacity. This would help sustain our work in the area of reaching critical audiences with media literacy and fact-checking content in easily digestible formats that resonates with the media consumption pattern of our target audience,” Ajakaiye told The FactCheckHub on Friday, June 21.

It will be recalled that the FactCheckHub and Dubawa were among the 35 organisations named in June 2023 as recipient of the Fund run by the IFCN at the non-profit Poynter Institute.

The fund, provided by Google and YouTube, is part of the BUILD phase of the Global Fact-Check Fund, aimed at enhancing the operational capacity of organizations to support fact-checking at local and regional levels across the world.

According to the statement, The Stage Media-Liberia (TSM-Liberia), an IFCN signatory from Liberia, intends to use its $25,000 grant to upgrade its tools and incorporate AI for fact-checking in the Pidgin language.

Similarly, Fast Check of Chile plans to use the $25,000 grant to strengthen its team and create a path to financial sustainability, which is a primary concern for 84% of IFCN signatories.

“As the first fact-checking institution in Liberia, receiving this grant from the IFCN will enhance our current capacity. Liberia, like many other countries, has a media sustainability issue that poses a lot of threat to independent media like TSM-Liberia.

“Our project of focus is how we can use pidgin language to increase the knowledge of fact-checking in a country where less than 50% of its citizens are literate. We hope that citizens understand through the pidgin language our fact-checking content to help Liberia be a safe-space for verifiable information,” said Bettie K. Johnson-Mbayo, TSM-Liberia Co-Founder.

Also speaking with The FactCheckHub on Friday, the Publisher of News Verifier Africa (NV-A), Zainab Sanni, said: “The IFCN grant is a most welcome development for my organization. We transitioned from an informal initiative to a formal organization in January 2024 and this grant will help in sustaining our operations while we expand and ensure that we are positioned to continue delivering on our mission to innovate new approaches for fact-checks to become more inclusive, engaging and accessible to the public.”

Commenting on the grant, IFCN director, Angie Holan, emphasized the urgency of accurate information during this crucial election year.

She noted that the funding will empower fact-checking organizations by enhancing their skills, increasing their capabilities, and broadening their reach.

“In this critical election year, the need for accurate information couldn’t be more urgent.

Angie Holan, IFCN Director.

“This vital funding will energize fact-checking organizations, sharpening their skills, amplifying their capabilities and expanding their reach. As we navigate the complexities of global voting, fact-checking fosters a culture of critical thinking that leads to a more informed electorate,” Holan said.

The grant recipients included 20 IFCN Code of Principles signatories and 19 non-signatories, who were endorsed by active signatories to qualify for the Fund.

A panel of media experts evaluated the proposals and selected the winners, who will have nine to 12 months to complete their projects.

READ: Global Fact-Check Fund: FactCheckHub, Dubawa, 33 others get Google/YouTube grant

Till date, the IFCN has distributed $4,850,000 of the $13.2 million fund provided by Google and YouTube to various fact-checking organisations globally since the first awards in June 2023. There are still five more phases of the Fund to go, the statement noted.

Here’s the full list of the BUILD 2024 grant winners:

Organization awarded and country

  1. ABS-CBN Fact Check, Philippines
  2. AkhbarMeter Media Observation, Egypt
  3. Asociación Ocote, Guatemala
  4. Balobaki Check, DR Congo
  5. Center for Media Research, Nepal
  6. Check Your Fact, United States
  7. Cotejo.info, Venezuela
  8. Cyberity, Indonesia
  9. deCheckers VZW, Belgium
  10. Deraya, West-Bank/Palestine
  11. Digital Forensics, Research and Analytics Center, India
  12. Dogrula.org, Turkey
  13. Fact Check Cyprus, Cyprus
  14. Factico, Spain
  15. Fakt Yoxla, Azerbaijan
  16. Fast Check CL, Chile
  17. FactsMatterNG, Nigeria
  18. Fundación Andina para la Observación y Estudio de Medios, FUNDAMEDIOS, Ecuador
  19. Greece Fact Check, Greece
  20. Gwara Media, Ukraine
  21. INDEX, France
  22. JomCheck Malaysia, Malaysia
  23. KIVU WEZA, DR Congo
  24. Lupa Media, Ecuador
  25. Medical Dialogues (C/o Minerva Medical Treatment Pvt Ltd), India
  26. Namibia Fact Check, Namibia
  27. News Detective, United States
  28. News Verifier Africa (Media Inno Tech), Nigeria
  29. Observador, Portugal
  30. Panos Institute Southern Africa, Zambia
  31. Parti Co-op, South Korea
  32. PressOnePH, Philippines
  33. Provereno Media, Estonia
  34. Snopes, United States
  35. Telugupost, India
  36. The Canadian Press, Canada
  37. The Stage Media-Liberia, Liberia
  38. Tirto.id, Indonesia
  39. VšĮ DigitalHub, Lithuania.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE:

*Comments from officials of The Stage Media-Liberia and News Verifier-Africa have been added to this report.

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