THE International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) has said it will pause its acceptance of new applications for fact-checking organisations seeking to become verified signatories to the network’s Code of Principles.
IFCN director, Angie Holan, disclosed this in a statement on Friday, September 15, 2023. The IFCN code of principles is a series of commitments to best practices that organisations abide by to promote excellence in fact-checking.
She said the decision was necessary due to influx of new applications from organisations seeking to become verified signatories and in order to ensure that applications already received would be tasked appropriately.
“In 2023, the IFCN received a record number of 61 new applications, 34 of which are still in process. To ensure that the IFCN maintains its standards, the IFCN announced today that it will pause its acceptance of new applications from Oct. 1, 2023, to Jan. 16, 2024. This will allow the IFCN to process in a timely manner the new applications it has already received. The IFCN will continue to process renewal applications from existing signatories during the pause,” she said.
The statement added that the applications are rigorously reviewed by independent assessors and approved by a board of advisors and signatories are to apply for renewal every year while adding that applicants go through a thorough screening process showing that they adhere to the IFCN’s Code of Principles’ five core goals which include:
a commitment to fairness and non-partisanship, a commitment to standards and transparency of sources, a commitment to transparency of funding and organization, a commitment to standards and transparency of methodology, and, a commitment to an open and honest corrections policy.
“The Code of Principles exemplifies what makes fact-checking distinctive. Fact-checkers have a heightened commitment to documenting sources and looking at all sides of issues. The code promotes fact-checking key practices, such as publishing source lists and offering hyperlinks to research and evidence. The mission of fact-checkers is not one of advocacy. The mission is to separate fact from fiction on the internet and in politics,” Holan stated.