About

Full Fact » About

Work

Team

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Funding

Full Fact is an independent factchecking organisation. We provide free tools, information and advice, so that anyone can check the claims we hear from politicians and the media.

Since we launched in 2010, nearly every national newspaper — from the Sun to the Financial Times — and politicians from across the political spectrum have issued corrections at our request.

Full Fact has a cross party board of Trustees with extensive experience in politics, business and the media. Our work has been used by people of all parties, and our research has appeared in a range of media outlets. We link to all our sources so that people can judge issues for themselves.

Work

Factchecking

Our factchecks look at whether it’s reasonable for people to trust the claims of politicians and journalists based on the evidence that’s available to us. Factchecks link to all sources so that people can make their own judgements an issue.

We publish all our findings, whether a claim turns out to be accurate or not.

We monitor newspapers and broadcast programmes, parties’ websites, social media and Parliamentary debates, either live or in transcript form. We also get tip offs from our readers (please email team@fullfact.org).

We link to all our sources so that people can judge issues for themselves. We’ve compiled all the sources we use in Finder, a searchable guide that takes you to accurate sources of information in three clicks.

Free tools and advice

We’ve drawn together all the sources we use in our most recent tool, Finder. It includes information published by the Office for National Statistics, government departments, the Office for Budget Responsibility and the Bank of England, as well as international organisations like Eurostat and the United Nations. There’s also research by polling companies and independent analysts, academics and researchers, and data we and others obtain through FOI requests.

We also get queries from people who want us to answer questions or point them to a source of information to a certain topic. Email team@fullfact.org if you have a query and we’ll see if we can help.

Corrections

Factchecking by itself isn’t enough to stop inaccurate information from doing damage. We work with government departments, individual journalists and editors to ensure that mistakes are corrected and mechanisms are in place to correct errors quickly.

Since we launched in 2010, MPs, Ministers, government departments, pressure groups and nearly every national newspaper from the Sun to the Financial Times have issued corrections as a result of our research.

When we ask people to correct the record, we focus on the claim, never the person. Many people assume that corrections requests are unwelcome, but we find that lots of people in journalism and politics are keen to straighten things out.

We’ve used our specific experiences to promote general improvements. For example, after a series of correction requests, the Daily Mail set up its first ever corrections column.

Statistics

Full Fact’s factchecking work regularly draws the attention of the UK Statistics Authority. At our urging they’ve addressed particular cases and elicited changes in publications and processes from the relevant Ministers and departments.

We have also worked with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the Government Statistical Service (GSS) in a number of cases to help them present statistics in a more user friendly way.

We are often invited to speak at GSS and ONS meetings at all levels. Our Director serves on a panel which provides independent reviews of statistical bulletins and helps the responsible statisticians to improve them.

We participate in the induction course for new official statisticians and have set up a secondment scheme where a junior member of the GSS works with Full Fact for three months, contributing their expertise to our work, and seeing the impact of official statistics across the media and the benefits of alternative forms of presentation.

The GSS is professionally accountable to the National Statistician and independent UK Statistics Authority.

Policy

Collectively, the hundreds of factchecks we research and publish give us unique expertise and specific examples of the way information affects policy decisions.

For this reason, we are sometimes invited to submit evidence to Select Committees and inquiries. Recently we’ve been providing evidence to the House of Commons Public Administration Select Committee on the Statistics Act, communication of official statistics (oralwritten) and open data. Previously we’ve submitted evidence to the House of Lords Communication Select Committee on media convergence, and the triennial review of the Committee on Standards in Public Life.

As a regular user of the Press Complaints Commission, we were asked to submit evidence to the Leveson Inquiry (into the practices and ethics of the press). We gave an opening seminar (video from 39.20, transcript) on the user experience of press regulation. Lord Justice Leveson described our evidence as “comprehensive and extremely helpful” and praised the “extremely important” value of Full Fact’s work.

Team

 


Full Fact has a core staff of eight. As part of a secondment scheme, we also host a junior statistician from the Government Statistical Service (the GSS is professionally accountable to the National Statistician, and independent of politicians). Our board of trustees has wide-ranging experience of politics, business and the media.

A network of experts, including individual volunteers as well as partner organisations, is regularly involved in factchecking that requires deeper and more complex research. We’re in constant contact with people who email and comment with tip-offs and suggestions for improving our content. If you’re interested in joining our network of experts, please email our Communications Officer Phoebe Arnold.

Staff

Will Moy – Director

Will was prompted to start Full Fact after experiencing first-hand how policy can be distorted by inaccurate claims during his time as a researcher for Lord Low of Dalston, a crossbench member of the House of Lords. Full Fact was inspired by the POWER Inquiry, Onora O’Neill’s Reith Lectures and books by Peter Oborne and John Lloyd that all address the issue of restoring trust between politicians and the public. Will has also worked for the Parliamentary Advisory Council on Transport Safety.

Laura O’Brien – Writer/Researcher

Laura joined Full Fact in February after working as a researcher in the logistics industry. She previously worked and interned at The Work Foundation. She graduated from the University of Oxford in 2011. In her spare time Laura enjoys reading novels and writing short stories.

Joseph O’Leary – Writer/Researcher

Joseph joined Full Fact after interning at the Media Standards Trust. While there he helped to administer Journalisted.com and provided support for the Orwell Prize and the Hacked Off campaign for a good public inquiry into phone hacking and press ethics. He also previously interned at Full Fact shortly after graduating from the University of Warwick in 2011.

Amy Sippitt – Writer/Researcher

Amy joined Full Fact in February 2014 from Buttle UK, where she delivered a project seeking to increase the numbers of Care Leavers entering and succeeding in further and higher education. She also previously interned at Full Fact soon after graduating from the University of Manchester in 2011.

Owen Spottiswoode – Senior Writer/Researcher

Owen joined Full Fact from The Guardian, where he was a Research Analyst. Before that he was the Senior Political Researcher at Foresight News. He has also worked in new media for Oxford University Press, after graduating from Oxford University in 2006 with a degree in History and English.

Matthew Cheadle – Development Manager

Matthew joined Full Fact after four years managing advertising sales for Classical Music magazine and working in business development for Rhinegold Publishing. He studied music at King’s College, London, graduating in 1998 and going on to train as an orchestral flautist at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He moved to work at Full Fact because of his interest in media reporting and politics. He is a keen supporter of Crewe Alexandra FC.

Phoebe Arnold – Communications Officer

Phoebe joined Full Fact after working at a trade association group and various internships in the media and publishing. She graduated in 2011 from Oxford University, where she ran a student publishing company and campaigned against sexism in the student community. She likes cooking, mystery novels and TV series with strong female leads.

Mike Hughes – Statistical Adviser

Mike served as a statistician in the Government Statistical Service for over 35 years, holding senior appointments in a number of departments. His last post was as the Director of Policy in the Office for National Statistics.

Emily Barnett – Statistician

Emily joined Full Fact in January 2013, on secondment from the Government Statistical Service.  She joined the Fast Stream for Statisticians in 2010 after graduating from Durham University and has worked at both the Department for Work and Pensions and the Ministry of Justice.

Full Fact also benefits from the generous help of many volunteers in various capacities.

Board


Hon. Michael Samuel (Chairman)

Michael is Chairman of the Anna Freud Centre, a charity dedicated to children’s emotional wellbeing, and trustee of five family charities. He is a director of a number of companies, one quoted and the others private, and was chief executive of Mayborn Group plc.  He is a former Conservative Party donor. We are grateful to Michael for his past and continuing financial support — our donors are listed below.

Simon Briscoe

Simon is a Special Adviser (Statistics) to the House of Commons Public Affairs Select Committee and works with a number of start-up companies. He is deputy chair of the UK Data Service. He spent a decade as Statistics Editor at the Financial Times, after working in the City as an investment banking researcher. Before that, he was a civil servant in the Treasury, Central Statistical Office and the EU in Brussels.

simonbriscoe.com and @simonbriscoe

Lord David Lipsey

David is a Labour Peer who founded Straight Statistics in response to concerns about the abuse of data in public life. He joined the Full Fact board when the two organisations merged. He has been both a journalist at the Economist, where he won the Orwell Prize for his work as Bagehot, and other papers including The Times and the Guardian. He is the President of the British Harness Racing Club.

Baroness Julia Neuberger

Julia entered the House of Lords as a Liberal Democrat Peer, but stepped onto the crossbenches shortly after being appointed senior rabbi at West London Synagogue in 2011. She is a former member of the Committee for Standards in Public Life. She is an adviser to the government on various issues and as a former Chief Executive of the King’s Fund she has extensive health experience.

Professor Jean Seaton

Jean Seaton is the Official Historian of the BBC and Professor of Media History at the University of Westminster. She is the Director of the Orwell Prize for political writing, Events Editor of Political Quarterly and serves on several other editorial boards. She has served on various public inquiries, including on the broadcasting of Parliament.

PAST TRUSTEES

We would also like to acknowledge the vital support of two of our founding trustees who have since stepped down:

Lord Peter Archer of Sandwell QC, a Labour Peer, former Solicitor General, former Ombudsman for the Mirror Group of Newspapers and founder member of Amnesty International.

John Lloyd, founder and Journalism Director of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University; Contributing Editor of the Financial Times; former Editor of the New Statesman.

Feedback

 


We exist to offer the most useful information so that people can make up their minds about claims. We’re grateful to anyone who takes the time to help us improve our content.

If you think we’ve made a mistake or omitted something, please let us know as soon as possible and we’ll respond within two working days. We’re keen to improve existing content as well as to fix mistakes.

Please send feedback or corrections to feedback@fullfact.org. If you’d prefer to contact us another way, we can make alternative arrangements.

How we handle complaints

We are a small organisation and are usually working to deadlines but we aim to respond to all feedback as soon as possible, within two working days and often much sooner.

All feedback will be investigated. We’ll let you know what we plan to do about it and explain the options if you’re still not satisfied.

Complaints are initially investigated and responded to by a member of the research team.

If you are not satisfied with the response you can request an internal review, which will be carried out by our Director.

Ultimately, if concern continues, Full Fact’s trustees can appoint an independent external reviewer to assess the complaint and evaluate how it has been handled.

We log all feedback and complaints internally and review them at our weekly meeting so we can learn from them. We’ll also conduct periodic reviews of how we handle complaints.

We have designed this process to comply with ISO 10002 (£), the international standard for complaints handling.

 

Funding


Full Fact is independent of the government and political parties, and not-for-profit. We rely on individuals and donations from charitable trusts.

We don’t accept statutory funding, but we do earn money from carefully chosen commission work that doesn’t present a conflict of interest.

We are grateful for the donations we’ve received from these charitable trusts:

Nuffield Foundation

Esmee Fairbairn Foundation

Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust

Barrow Cadbury Trust

Peter Samuel Charitable Trust

JRSST-CT (Joseph Rowntree Social Services Trust, endowed by the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust Ltd)

We are grateful to our Chairman, Michael Samuel, for his past and continuing financial support.

Our running costs consist mostly of paying staff and renting office space in London. In 2014 we expect them to reach about £300,000. We have the usual overheads of a small organisation, from computer equipment and internet connection to having our accounts audited. This year we have also spent money on rebranding and launching our new website, which was made possible by a dedicated grant from the Nuffield Foundation.

A non-profit company (no. 6975984) limited by guarantee and registered in England and Wales. © Copyright 2010 - 2014 Full Fact