Fact Check Methodology

Asianet News Network’s commitment towards churning out Straight, Bold and Relentless news stories forms the core of our existence. Unearthing facts behind stories and presenting the same to all stakeholders is an integral part of our Fact Check process. Our approach to uncover the truth is two-fold:

  • A dedicated team of journalists spread across the network do a thorough scan of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube; news reports published; events across the world and other relevant information. Suspicious videos, images, forwarded messages that spread misinformation, hidden agenda, etc. are vetted thoroughly by the team.
  • Claims received from users for fact checks through email and social media posts.

Asianet News Network follows a rigorous process of analysing any information received. The steps highlighted below are illustrative of the measures implemented in analysing facts.

Selection of News

Asianet News Network follows a principle of careful selection of news for our audiences. Every minute is precious and we put our editorial teams across languages to good use. Every Editor is responsible for hand picking news stories that are creating a lot of buzz in deep pockets of our country. The aim is to select news that matter to their respective audiences and to the nation at large. Apart from our large network on journalists across the country, the Editor also uses tool provided by platforms like Facebook, Crowdtangle, Google Trends, etc. to ascertain the flow of news stories across the internet. The Editor also goes through user requests while selecting news stories. If any story arises doubts over misinformation, the Editor instantly ascertains the repercussions it can lead to like unrest, civil disorders, riots, etc. After due diligence, the Editor prepares a priority list of news to be carried and a list of news that need additional verification. The same is disseminated to the respective editorial teams across languages on a daily basis.

Research and Investigation

Once the list of news to analyze is ascertained, the editorial teams across languages take the mammoth task of unravelling the truth head on. The editorial team, under the guidance of their respective editors, does a primary research on the news story. Members of the editorial team scan through important international and national media, government agencies, press information bureau, official websites, journals, newsletters, research papers, etc. to verify the news story. The team also reaches out to government officials, key spokespersons, law makers and keepers and experts for further confirmation on the news item. Actual studies are referred to confirm estimates and reports. The team also puts to full use the Asianet News Archive, which has more than two decades of information to confirm past events and statistics.

As far as authenticity of images, videos, quotes, reports on social media and other websites are concerned, the team is equipped with handy tools to verify the same. For image verification, the team uses Google Image search and for video verification the team prefers using YouTube Dataviewer. Video authenticity can be tricky at times and hence detailed investigation, which may include separating audio from video, is also undertaken.

If the news report requires further investigation, the team activates its network of reporters and stringers on ground to provide much-needed support to the whole process of busting fake news. Asianet News has a total of 23 bureaus across the country – Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bengaluru. We also have a team in the United States and Dubai. A sample investigation approach used for fact check is detailed below:

For instance, the team wants to verify the authenticity of an image, which goes viral across Facebook – the team initially scans through the details of the photograph and take a stock of initial details like date of the post, comments, engagement, etc. If people have commented any disparity in the information posted, the same is noted for further deliberation. Next, an attempt is made to contact the person, who posted the image initially via Facebook Messenger or through any other contact details available. Thereafter, the team employs an image search uses other digital tools to collate further information. At this moment, the observation and details are looked into and an informed call is taken by the team.

Report Writing and Review

After unearthing the truth of a misleading story, Asianet News Network presents its audience across languages with an in-depth fact-check article that publishes the findings of the fact-finding process. At times, some news stories corroborate with what was published, thereby silencing misinformed opportunists. At every point in the fact-check process, editorial teams across languages ensure they stay clear from political inclinations or mala fide involvement of anyone. Asianet New Network also ensures that fact-check reports are as detailed as possible, with maximum reference links, images, screenshots and videos to verify the source of information as well as the news itself. The hallmark is simple presentation, while following an in-depth analysis. The entire report is reviewed by respective Chief Editors before publishing.

Publishing and Feedback

At no point, Asianet News Network wants its audience to take us for granted. Hence, the entire research process is also explained at length in the respective fact-check report so that the reader can duplicate the process of verification. Apart from the respective language websites, the fact-check reports are also published across social media platforms to ensure maximum number of people learn the truth. The intent is to ensure truth overpowers the fake news and allow our devout readers to comment on our effort of bringing the spread of misinformation to an end. Additionally, users can also reach out to the respective editorial teams via email for any further information required. The key is to ensure fake news and those spreading it are defeated hands down with the power of well-researched, verified and hard-hitting truth.