Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) – Local Voices Liberia Fact Checking Desk
Local Voices Liberia subscribes to the Five Code Principles of the International Fact Checking Network (IFCN). These basic principles are commitment to non-partisanship and fairness, commitment to standards and transparency of sources, commitment to transparency of funding and organization, and commitment to standards and transparency of methodology, and a commitment to an open and honest correction process.
As provided by these international fact checking principles, LVL hereby develops this Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), which may also be referred to as LVL Standard method of fact checking.
- Step 1: LVL Fact Checkers monitor variety of media including social media, radio, newspapers, online news, and in-persons gatherings to track or identify claims. We also ask readers and listeners of our fact check radio program to send in claims they want us to check, but if it is impossible to fact check a certain claim, we inform the reader about the situation and why the statement or claim is not fact checkable.
- Step 2: We decide which claim should be fact checked based on a rating of the claim. The claim might be rated harmful, trending, or Important. During the writing of our fact check report, we will mention why the claim is being and provide context for readers to understand the significance of our decision.
- Step 3: We only rely on credible and authoritative sources for evidence when verifying a claim. This standard is applied to all claims of the same magnitude regardless of who made the claim. If possible, we contact the person who made the claim to inquire about the source of the claim and ask for supporting evidence, however; if the person does not respond to our inquiry, we then rely on other relevant evidence provided by credible or authoritative sources. We try as much as possible to rely on multiple sources for evidence.
- Step 4: Our fact checker writes the report using sample explanation, hyperlinks, disclosure of all sources (absolutely no anonymous sources) and explains the why the verdict was reached. The fact checker reviews the work and submits to the editor.
- Step 5: The editor cross-checks all the evidence in the report, sources of evidence, and their credibility. If there are complex issues that requires an expert interpretation, the editor will commission interviews with more than one independent and credible expert to provide better context and clarity to help readers understand. Before relying on experts’ view/analysis for publication, the Editor will corroborate the evidence.
- Step 6: Where there is evidence that a fact check report has an error and same is flagged by a reader, the editor will lead a review of the work and if an error is identified, will make the relevant corrections as quickly as possible based on LVL Fact Checking Desk Correction Policy – this includes ensuring that the corrected work reaches all those who read the previous version of the report.
LVL Correction Policy
Hello readers, if you notice or identify errors or omission in any of our fact check reports, we ask that you kindly inform us through any of the following means:
Direct Message to Twitter: @LVLFactCheck
We also request that when you are making your concern(s) known to us via nay of the means stated above, please make your comment very clear. We may also contact you if we need further clarity that will help us do the necessary corrections. Please note that we will respond to every feedback and let you know if your concern or observation will require an action by making corrections or changes to an already published article or not. We will also check for feedbacks posted to our website or social media accounts.
The Correction Process
- Receive feedback/concern from a reader(s) and begin reviewing the merit of the feedback/concern. The editor will then contact the sender of the feedback/concern and notify the person and ask for evidence (if any) relative to the feedback while the determination of the feedback merit is being made by the editorial team.
- Once the merit of the concern/feed back is made, the sender will be immediately informed about the next step.
- If the feedback/concern is valid, evidence will be gathered to make the relevant correction.
- When the correction is made, an editor’s note or statement will be published in the updated version of the report admitting the error and explaining the changes made to the report. LVL will then ensure that the corrected reversion of the report reaches all those who read the previous version of the report.