Though the sun has set, it’s not too late to make note of the important fact that today, April 2, 2017, is International Fact-checking Day. The irony is that the notice I had read bears the headline “Why April 3 is International Fact-checking Day.” Clearly, I did not fact check the date!!!
Briefly, this is the third annual global initiative, a collaboration of a host of fact-checking entities, hosted by the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. (http://www.poynter.org/about-the-international-fact-checking-network/ ) “These organizations fact-check statements by public figures, major institutions and other widely circulated claims of interest to society.”
Leaders of the effort underscore that “International Fact-Checking Day is not a single event but a rallying cry for more facts – and fact-checking – in politics, journalism and everyday life.”
The Code of Principles to which members of the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) are committed to this code, launched on September 15, 2016.
- A commitment to nonpartisanship and fairness;
- A commitment to transparency of sources;
- A commitment to transparency funding & organization;
- A commitment to transparency of methodology;
- A commitment to open and honest corrections.
For much more information about the IFCN, including an extensive listing of verified signatories form around the world, click here: http://www.poynter.org/fact-checkers-code-of-principles/
As we face the dystopic post-truth age of alternative facts and outright fabrications we look to the IFCN to live by these principles – and above all to underscore the reality that facts matter more than ever in “information age” when misinformation and disinformation are the weapon of choice for those who would weaken, or ultimately defeat, democracies that depend not on customers but on an informed citizenry.