IFCN temporarily halts new membership application

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In response to a surge in applications, the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) has temporarily suspended the acceptance of new signatories from October 1, 2023, until January 16, 2024. 

The decision, which would assist the IFCN in maintaining its commitment towards promoting excellence in factchecking, was made public by Angie Drobnic Holan, its Director.

Poynter introduced IFCN in 2015 as a central organisation uniting fact-checkers globally. It gives a signatory badge to its members who have passed through “rigorous” scrutiny. After successful application, this authentication is to be renewed annually.

According to the statement released, the body received 61 applications in 2023, of which 34 are still under review. The pause in new applications aims to ensure the thorough processing of those already in the pipeline. However, while that is ongoing, the IFCN will continue to process renewal applications from existing signatories.

“IFCN applicants go through a rigorous vetting process showing that they adhere to the International Fact-Checking Network’s Code of Principles’ five core goals,” the statement explained. These principles encompass a dedication to fairness, nonpartisanship, transparency regarding sources and funding, and the implementation of an honest corrections policy.

The IFCN’s Code of Principles promotes rigorous fact-checking through detailed source documentation, comprehensive issue analysis, and a steadfast commitment to impartiality. It champions transparency through the publication of source lists and the provision of research links, all geared towards distinguishing truth from falsehood without any bias.

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