Who (are you)?

Project Team 

  • Allan LEONARD (Managing Director, Northern Ireland Foundation)
  • Enda YOUNG (Co-founder, Transformative Connections)
  • Orna YOUNG (Co-founder, Transformative Connections)
  • Oliver MURRAY (Writer/Researcher Intern)
  • Kajetan TRZCINSKI (Media Monitor Intern)

Volunteers

Our volunteer Media Monitors provide valued assistance, by providing some free time to discover claims for consideration for fact‐checking. In exchange, we provide on‐site training and support for this work.

If you are interested in helping us this way, email us: volunteer@factcheckni.org

Advisory Panel

  • Rhyannon BLYTHE
  • Jim FITZPATRICK
  • Judith McGIMPSEY
  • Alan MEBAN
  • Quintin OLIVER
  • John PETO
  • Tracy POWER
  • Claire SHORTT

Partners

FactCheckNI receives support and assistance from key partners:

Building Change Trust – Building Change Trust was established in 2008, by the Big Lottery Fund with a National Lottery grant as an investment for community capacity building and promotion of the NI voluntary sector.

What (do you do)?

Fact‐checking

We fact‐check claims for accuracy; we do not question the motivation or intent of the person or organisation making the claim. Our desire is to promote a political debate that is rooted in numbers and facts, rather than stereotypes and prejudice.

We publish all of our fact‐checked claims, regardless if the result validates the claim or not.

Our Media Monitors review online and offline news sources, political party websites, social media, and proceedings from government debates and public meetings.

We also offer a facility for individuals to submit claims for consideration, by email: claim@factcheckni.org

Training

We train members of the public and members of the community and voluntary sector in fact‐checking and anti‐rumour techniques and processes.

Training is provided by Transformative Connections, delivered on‐site throughout Northern Ireland, as well as by webinar.

This service is provided free of charge for the duration of the initial project, ending December 2016.

If you are interested in learning more about this training service, please contact Enda YOUNG at enda@tran‐conn.com

When (did you start)?

FactCheckNI is one of a dozen projects awarded grant funding in 2015, from Building Change Trust and its Civic Activism Programme (2015‐2018), which aims to enable the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector to better facilitate meaningful participation of individuals and communities in decision‐making processes that impact upon their lives.

Where (is your focus)?

Within the scope of the current programme, we aim to be a resource to the 4,836 voluntary and community sector organisations in Northern Ireland (NICVA 2012).

Likewise, our topic selection for claims will be those that are more relevant to these organisations.

Our focus is community leaders, politicians, voters, community workers, grassroot organisation and newspaper editors.

Meanwhile, this public website will benefit inquirers and other fact‐checkers locally and in the rest of the world.

Why (do you do this)?

A survey in 2013 by the Royal Statistical Society and King’s College London showed public opinion is repeatedly off the mark on many issues, including crime, benefit fraud and immigration. For example, on average, respondents of the survey thought that 24% of the population was Muslim, where in fact it’s 5% in England and Wales, and less than 1% in Northern Ireland.

The difference in perceptions and reality in relation to facts can have a negative impact on intercommunity relations.

One significant case in point was in March 2014, with images taken out of context of a burning Union flag spread through multiple social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter. These postings called for protesters to go to Belfast city centre in response to these images. But upon further investigation, the images were not from that day in Belfast, but in fact from Iran and Dublin, taken years previously with the original photos cropped to remove recognisable buildings.

Fact‐checking empowers citizens to participate in their public lives to exercise their most important civil right and responsibility ‐‐ to think critically and make informed decisions.

Our vision is a society that doesn’t allow claims to foster volatile events.

How (do you operate)?

The Northern Ireland Foundation, which is an independent, non‐profit organisation based in Belfast, is the lead organisation. The Foundation works in partnership with Transformative Connections, which is a social enterprise that focuses on the role of technology in promoting peacebuilding and positive social change.

FactCheckNI is guided by an advisory panel, reflecting the functions and audiences of our work, including: official statistics, journalism, law, training, education, community engagement, and public affairs.

The advisory panel is not involved in the day‐to‐day operations of FactCheckNI.

The Northern Ireland Foundation is ultimately responsible for FactCheckNI.