Miniver.org’s Open Letter To Reporterslab.org
Dear Reporters’ Lab,
This week (July 5-7 2017) Madrid, Spain will host Global Fact 4, Fourth Global Fact-Checking Summit. That’s the biggest fact-checkers’ party, where organizations worldwide gather to attend conferences, panels and workshops. Great! But there’s a hitch: the only dedicated fact-checking web in Spain is not on the guest list. Well, I mean on the fact-checkers’ list, maintained by Duke Reporters’ Lab.
Some of our readers have asked: Why Miniver.org is not on the database of global fact-checking sites?
The answer is simple: we don’t know.
The database is pretty impressive: 126 active projects, including 63 inactive, from around the world (6 continents, 61 countries). Besides they say it’s getting bigger each year. So it seems there’s no space limitation.
Reporters’ Lab considers these attributes in determining which organizations to include, such as whether the site:
- examines all parties and sides;
- examines discrete claims and reaches conclusions;
- tracks political promises;
- is transparent about sources and methods;
- discloses funding/affiliations;
- and whether its primary mission is news and information.
Miniver.org meets the criteria above and adheres to the IFCN Code of Principles.
Paying the $200 application fee seems to be a good choice for getting listed directly, but we are a small organization with a limited budget, as we are not affiliated with any media group (like the majority of fact-checkers), government or academic institution. That’s how we can be really independent, and criticize not only politicians, but the increasing sensationalism and fake news in the newspapers.
Analyzing the source code of the database, we can read these tags:
<gsx:seasonal> <gsx:affiliation> <gsx:structureandfunding> <gsx:ifcncode> <gsx:totalstaff> <gsx:yearfounded> <gsx:firstpost> <gsx:lastpost> <gsx:ratingsystem> <gsx:trackcampaignpromises> <gsx:primaryrevenuesource> <gsx:scopeoftargets-polspunditsetc.> <gsx:articlesaboutsite>
So website age and post count and frequency may be some factors.
Maybe there’re some hidden, opaque criteria that we don’t know. Fortunately, Wikipedia is open to external collaboration, and Miniver.org was included without problems.
We hope that in the future Reporters’ Lab will include us in the fact-checkers’ database and end this absurd situation. Meanwhile, we will continue fact-checking Spanish politician’s claims (and Spanish people really need that as this is one of the most corrupt countries in the western world).