How can fact checks best be presented to maximise understanding of a topic? How can fact checkers best promote accuracy among public figures and be most effective in holding them accountable for inaccurate claims? How can we promote scepticism and not cynicism among audiences? And what are the best ways of communicating fact checks to different audiences?
These are just a few of the questions we have about how we do our work, and Africa Check, Chequeado and Full Fact are working together on a joint research programme to start to find the answers. We are grateful to Luminate for funding the programme.
In the first part of the programme, we are producing a series of research briefings for practitioners, exploring the available evidence base for our work, and identifying gaps and research needs. We will be exploring research across the countries in which we work, and across different academic disciplines.
To provide the context for these briefings, our first briefings look at what we know about audiences in each of our countries—specifically, about public engagement with politics, information, and news. We think this is important context for exploring how we might apply research to our work.
We are publishing the first of these briefings today. You can read the UK briefing, published by Full Fact, here, and the Argentina briefing, published by Chequeado here. Further briefings will be published over the coming months.
The remainder of the programme will be looking at how we can evaluate the impact of our work on public figures, and how we communicate our fact checks.
To ensure the research is credible and high quality, we have appointed an academic advisory group to oversee the research.
We are grateful to all the people who have volunteered to serve on the advisory group -
Dr Ifeoma Theresa Amobi, University of Lagos
Professor Bobby Duffy, King’s College London
Professor Melina Furman, University of San Andres
Dr Lucas Graves, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism
Dr Andrew Oxman, Norwegian Institute of Public Health
Professor Brendan Nyhan, University of Michigan
Dr Julia Pomares, Center for the Implementation of Public Policies Promoting Equity and Growth (CIPPEC)
Professor Ruth Stewart, University of Johannesburg
Dr Briony Swire-Thompson, Northeastern University
Dr Claire Wardle, First Draft
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