MindaNews, PressOne now part of International Fact Checking Network

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 11 March) —  MindaNews and PressOne are now part of the International Fact Checking Network (IFCN), a network of fact-checkers launched in 2015 at Poynter to assist in the global fight against misinformation. 

Only four Philippine media entities have been accredited by IFCN: Vera Files on December 2, 2021 and Rappler on February 28, 2022.

MindaNews is the lone Mindanao-based news organization to be accredited by the global network.  

IFCN welcomed MindaNews and PressOne as verified signatories of the IFCN’s Code of Principles via email on March 10, 2023.

The verification solidifies the status of MindaNews as one of the most trusted media entities in the Philippines.

The MindaNews Fact Check microsite, which started in August 2021 is an offshoot of the news organization’s participation in the inaugural Philippine Fact-Checker Incubator (PFCI), a project of InterNews. 

The project involved intensive trainings in fact-checking using online and offline tools to supplement the journalism skills of incubator participants, among them Bong Sarmiento, one of the editors at MindaNews, and reporter Yas D. Ocampo. 

The fact-checking unit has since re-echoed the fact-checking tools gathered during the incubator to other reporters of MindaNews. 

According to the Poynter IFCN website, “IFCN promotes the excellence of fact-checking to more than 100 organizations worldwide through advocacy, training and global events. Our team monitors trends in the fact-checking field to offer resources to fact-checkers, contribute to public discourse and provide support for new projects and initiatives that advance accountability in journalism.”

MindaNews’s fact-check project is itself an offshoot of the two-decade old MindaNews, whose primary aims include reporting Mindanao from the lenses of Mindanao.

“We hope to trailblaze fact-check production for news organizations based  in Mindanao,  like what we did 20 years ago when we were the first group of Mindanawon journalists to have ventured into online reporting,” the fact-checking team said in its application to be part of the IFCN.

MindaNews’ fact-checking unit has been able to produce at least 60 fact checks since the start of the PFCI project in 2021. 

MindaNews Fact Check tracks and debunks fake news, false claims and misleading statements of government officials, civil society leaders and netizens being spread on the internet, especially on social media sites. 

The fact check project also welcomes leads from the public, through a fact check lead form that interested readers can fill out. 

MindaNews has been fact-checking political issues, politicians, the May 9 elections, COVID-19 pandemic, human rights, government infrastructure projects, and the Mindanao peace process, among others. 

The fact-checks are posted on the MindaNews website and social media channels such as MindaNews Facebook and Twitter pages. 

MindaNews aims to include fact-checking as among the trainings offered by its training arm. 

MindaNews participated in Tsek.ph, a collaborative fact-checking project for the 2019 and 2022 Philippines elections.

MindaNews was founded in 2001 by independent, professional Mindanawon journalists who left the country’s most widely-circulated Manila-based broadsheet to tell the stories of Mindanao from the lenses of Mindanao.

With secondhand computers and funds pooled from family and friends to start operations, they embarked on the MindaNews journey with a vision to be “the leading provider of accurate, timely and comprehensive news and information on Mindanao and its peoples, serving economically, politically and culturally empowered communities” and a mission to “professionally and responsibly cover Mindanao events, peoples and issues to inform, educate, inspire and influence communities.” (MindaNews)