Aiming to check the accuracy of the politicians’ statements FactCheck monitors Parliamentary sessions as well as the statements of the Prime Minister, the President and representatives of the Government economic team. Additionally, FactCheck offers the innovative service – Check Your Fact giving the public an opportunity to verify the facts that are of interest to them. FactCheck also presents to the audience short TV reportages prepared on basis of the published articles.
FactCheck Georgia is politically independent and nonpartisan project. The working process and the methodology of FactChecking are complex; the research/article goes through several major stages before being published on the website.
At the initial stage, the FactCheck team gets together to note down the important topics discussed in the legislative body. As for the FactCheck’s work outside the Parliament, our team consistently monitors the statements of the Prime Minister, the President, the Government economic team and other politicians on the television as well as internet and printed media. For the monitoring purposes the FactCheck team uses www.mediamonitoring.ge which offers access to numerous Georgian TV channels, newspapers or internet news agencies.
In the course of the monitoring the team members individually mark the statements they deem most interesting and current. It is of special note that FactCheck selects the statements not on the grounds of the prominence of the author but according to the relevance of the information voiced in the statement. It is also important to mention that we do not FactCheck the evaluative statements of the politicians or their personal views on any particular matter. At present FactCheck also does not check the feasibility of fulfilment of the politicians’ promises.
After the preliminary topics of research are identified the team gets together again and every individual member of the team presents the recorded statements to the rest of the team. Subsequently, the most interesting and verifiable statements of the compiled list are selected by the FactCheckers together with the project director and coordinator. The chosen statements are assigned to different team members after which the FactCheckers start the actual work on the articles/researches.
In the course of the research FactCheckers examine multiple open sources as well as interview different public figures and experts of various fields. Another cornerstone of our research is the public information requested from the government agencies. In the case of need FactCheckers address immediately the authors of the statement or their representatives in order to ascertain specific aspects of the claim made in the statement or to inquire about the source used by the politician. In this endeavour FactCheckers are assisted by our Parliament liaison officer who is stationed in Kutaisi and approaches the Parliamentarians in person requesting the necessary information.
After all possible data on the subject is collected a FactChecker writes the article concluding it with the appropriate verdict on the Fact-Meter scale. Each article is perused most scrupulously by the project director and the coordinator after whose corrections the author adds final touches and wraps up the article. The research is considered to be complete when it shows no signs of being biased and leaves no questions to the reader. Finally, the article is published on the website.
FactCheck allows for the possibility that in some cases we might make a mistake. Therefore, in the case if the politicians whose statements were verified by FactCheck (or any other reader) disagree with our research and judgement, FactCheck urges them to send the relevant argumentation in a written form. The received proofs will be closely examined by the FactCheck board and in the event of their validity, we will revise or amend our research as well as the verdict accordingly.
In the case if a significant piece of information is added to the research/article but the addition does not lead to a change of the verdict, we revise our article; however, if the added piece of information alters the issued verdict the article is corrected. This practice serves the purpose of ensuring maximum objectivity and political impartiality in FactCheck’s work.
FactCheck aims to rate the factual accuracy of statements made by the politicians on issues which are most interesting and relevant for the Georgian public. Our team factchecks the statements of MPs, representatives of executive branch and electoral candidates. Every article is concluded with a respective ruling on the Fact-Meter scale.
FactCheck’s ratings for the factual accuracy of the statements are as follows:
- True – The statement is accurate and there is nothing significant missing;
- Mostly True – The statement is accurate but needs clarification or additional information;
- Half True – The statement is partially accurate but leaves out important details or takes things out of context;
- Mostly False – The statement contains some element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a different impression;
- False – The statement is not accurate;
- Lie – The statement is not accurate and makes a ridiculous claim.