Code of Ethics

As a watchdog news organisation, FactWire News Agency adopts the following code of ethics in our journalism work:

  1. The public is at the heart of everything we do. We serve public interests by exposing malfeasance, wrongdoing, and abuses of power.

  2. We take pride in delivering factual watchdog journalism. As such, integrity, and openness are the lifeblood of our organization. We uphold the journalistic values of honesty, courage, fairness, balance, independence, credibility, and pluralism, never allowing commercial or political considerations to override professional judgement.

  3. We exhaust all possibilities in search of the truth, striving for unequivocal clarity in our newswire dispatches to eliminate any doubt of their validity and accuracy. Our reporting, as appropriate to its subject and nature, will be well sourced, relying on auditory and visual evidence, thoroughly examined and presented in coherent, precise language. In cases where no supporting auditory, visual, or data materials are available, double source confirmation is always used. We do not produce unfounded speculation and are honest about what we do not know.

  4. While conducting objective journalism, we take into full consideration the circumstances of parties involved, including victims of crime, war, persecution, and disaster. We respect the spirit of public decorum and the right to personal privacy.

  5. We welcome fair and honest media competition without allowing it to adversely affect the quality of our work. For instance, obtaining a “scoop” would not become an end in itself.

  6. We are accountable to the public and strive to have a transparent relationship with them. Their continuing trust in FactWire is crucial to our success.

  7. We will not bring private behaviour, information, correspondence, and conversation under the public eye unless there is legitimate public interest that outweighs the expectation of privacy.

  8. We celebrate diversity in human societies with respect to race, culture, beliefs, sexual and gender identities, and intrinsic individualities, endeavouring to be unbiased and faithful in our portrayal of them.

  9. We acknowledge mistakes when they occur, make corrections promptly, and ensure they do not recur.

  10. We are transparent in dealing with the news and its sources, while adhering to internationally established practices concerning the rights of these sources.

  11. We distinguish between news material, opinion, and analysis to avoid the snares of speculation and propaganda.

  12. We keep our work strictly confidential until it is dispatched to the wire.

  13. Our editorial staff remains neutral on social media platforms, refraining from publicizing opinion and materials that may damage public trust in the Agency.

  14. We stand by fellow workers in the news profession and offer them our support when required, particularly in light of acts of aggression and harassment, to which journalists are sometimes subjected.

 

For fact-checking policy:

In FactWire, we believe that fact-checking is not just a passive task constrained to online virtual information or news delivered by others, but an active process of seeking truth in the real world.

OUR POLICY

For daily operation, fact check team reporters spot information for fact-checking independently, then evaluate each item with the editor for newsworthiness, fairness and public interest, regardless of the political background. Editorial overseeing on fact-checking elements will be made during the course of finding, to make sure primary sources or contacts are used to fact check an item. A final evaluation on sources and facts is done before a report is ready to be published, to ensure every single detail of a report meets our rigorous, fact-based standard.

 

Three categories in fact-checking,

Fake news: 

False information created with an intention then distributed in a “genuine news” format. 

Disinformation: 

False information created with an intention and then circulated in the society or on social platforms, need not to be presented in a news format.

Misinformation: 

Information containing errors that could lead to misunderstanding of something, it can be a news story or a piece of information shared by anybody.

 

Steps for fact-checking:

1. Spot suspicious, twisted, or exaggerated claims/information, on social media platforms and news reports, regardless of their political background. Look into the supporting materials (e.g. photos, footages, statistics) being used to make those claims.

2. Find official documents and figures to compare with those claims. For photos or videos, look for other sources of photo or video that captured the same scenario. For claims framing a particular person, ask that person for explanation.

3. Evaluate the facts and potential false elements. If no fault is found, the fact-checking process for the item would end here.

4. Final editorial decision to be made to determine which category should the piece of information go into (fake news/disinformation/misinformation). 

5. Inform the sources publishing the piece of fake news/disinformation/misinformation. Ask them for reactions if possible.

 

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