Chequeado, the Argentine Fact-checking site

Chequeado, the Argentine Fact-checking site

Organisation: Chequeado (Argentina)

Publication Date: 04/10/2015

Applicant(s)

Description

Chequeado is an independent, fact-checking media organization based in Argentina that screens public statements by politicians, economists, businessmen, union and social leaders, public figures, media outlets and other institutions that shape the public debate. These statements are verified against available data and then ranked from “truth” to “false,” including middle qualifications such as “misleading,” “exaggerated,” “untenable,” among others. Chequeado’s mission is to strengthen democracy through fact-checking and the defense of the right to access information as a means to improve the quality of the public debate. We strive for democratic dialogue to be based on data and facts, and less on biases, opinions and prejudice. To that end, we work to get citizens interested in data, so that they are better equipped to make decisions and hold leaders accountable. Chequeado was the first initiative of this kind in all of Latin America and is among the first 10 fact-checking organizations to have launched worldwide according to the data collected by the Association of Fact-Checking Organizations created in June 2014 by Politifact (US) and Fullfact (UK). What do we do exactly? We want readers to feast on data. Chequeado bases all its ratings on data which is opened to the reader through links. We pursue a model where the legitimacy behind what is said does not derive from the journalist himself but from the data shared. The reader is encouraged to explore the information we open and arrive to his/her own conclusions. To date, Chequeado has over 79K+ followers on Twitter and 21K+ on Facebook. Through alliances with traditional media (namely, radio and newspapers), we reach an even wider audience estimated at one million people. We strive to make fact-checking a collective effort. Building a community and encouraging their participation are two central premises of our work. For instance, every year we fact-check live the annual presidential speech at the opening of Congress with the support of experts, volunteers and our community of followers that participate via Twitter (http://chequeado.com/chequeoenvivo/). This philosophy extends to all our work and we resort to new technologies to encourage our followers’ involvement. So far we have developed the public database and crowd-sourcing tool DatoCHQ (http://datochq.chequeado.com/), the crowd-checking platform El Chequeador (http://chequeado.com/chequeador#/home), the site CHQColectivo to send audios, videos and photos to be fact-checked (http://chequeado.com/colectivo/), the mobile app DatoDuro (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.chequeado&hl=en) and the trivia game Chequeate! (http://chequeado.com/chequeate/; https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=chequeate.com.www&hl=en). We are experimenting through these various apps and platforms to enrich the experience and participation of our community of followers. Our efforts to make participative news coverage have earned us two awards for innovation: the Gabriel García Márquez Journalism Award as finalists, and the FRIDA Award from LACNIC. We want fact-checking to grow in all of Latin America. The need for more and better data is a common issue to Argentina and other fellow Latin American countries. Thus, Chequeado works for fact-checking to expand in the region. In 2014, we organized LatamChequea, the first regional meeting for organizations specialized on Data Journalism that run fact-checking initiatives or were interested in launching one. With our support, 7 organizations from the region have replicated our method and joined the fact-checking boom: La Silla Vacía from Colombia with The Lie Detector: O Globo and Agencia Pública from Brazil with Preto no Branco and Truco; UYCheck and El Observador (only in print) from Uruguay; El Faro from El Salvador with El Politígrafo; and Animal Politico from Mexico with The Hound. We are now working with El Confidencial from Nicaragua and Plaza Pública from Guatemala to help them get started too.

Technologies used for this project:

The Chequeado website uses WordPress (developed with PHP; database: MySQL). Our various civic apps used a variety of technologies: DatoCHQ: C-KAN. Developed with PHYTHON; database in PosgreSQL. DatoDuro: Open source web technologies and the Android app development platform. El Chequeador: web application developed under node.js. CHQ Colectivo: WordPress. Developed with PHP; database: MySQL. Chequeate!: Developed with html5, css3, javascript. Database/cloud: Parse.
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