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Fact Checking Policy

Fact-Checking Policy 

Llanelli Herald would like to inform you about the care and caution that we take in order to ensure due accuracy in our content, which is addressed by our Fact-Checking Policy. 

Due Accuracy in all Our Content 

The trust of the audience is the most important aspect of any journalistic platform, and this can only be gained and sustained by accurate, fair, and balanced reporting. We are committed to achieving due accuracy in all our content to the best of our ability. Our understanding of due accuracy is that it must meet the requisite standard and be satisfactory in essence, taking into account factors such as the subject and nature of the information being provided and the expectations of the audience. We strive to provide the most accurate account of every news report, corroborated by direct stakeholders. We approach claims with scepticism, question assumptions, and challenge conventional wisdom. While we acknowledge areas of uncertainty, we differ in the stringency required to fact-check information for soft and hard stories. For instance, sources required for a positive story on an NGO’s work would differ from an investigative story.

To ensure accuracy in our content, we follow the guidance below. We ensure that all our broadcasts are derived from reliable sources with concrete and corroborated evidence. In cases where direct sources are lacking, we attribute the stories to the platform from where it is sourced. We verify any claims or allegations attributed to public authorities or those with motives beyond just reporting the truthfulness of the event. We qualify and call out such information, including claims or allegations that we are unable to corroborate. We stand by the information we publish and correct it swiftly if proven otherwise, informing our readers of the changes made. We are committed to not misinforming anyone or presenting made-up information as factual content. In case of serious factual errors, we publicly accept them and rectify them as soon as possible.

We provide a fair opportunity for the public to report any inaccuracies or errors on our website through the “Suggest A Correction” segment provided at the end of all our reportage. Our journalists’ foremost responsibility is to report, write, and fact-check news, information, and stories. Our stories undergo scrutiny at multiple levels, including a robust fact-check internal procedure, followed by review by one or more of our editors. The seniority of editors who undertake a review of the stories depends on various factors such as the complexity and sensitivity of the issue and the pressure of time.

In case of an allegation, we reach out to all concerned parties, independently verify the information in question, and provide the most accurate result. Our audience’s trust is of utmost significance, and we are committed to upholding it through our commitment to due accuracy in all our content.

Sourcing Information for our Content 

To ensure accuracy in our sourcing, we follow the guidelines below:

  • ● Verify all information with at least two sources, or corroborate the credibility of a single source.
  • ● Whenever possible, seek documentary evidence in addition to human sources.
  • ● Provide the methodology and interpretation of survey data, and disclose any inconsistencies that may affect the accuracy of the information.
  • ● Prioritize accuracy over speed in reporting, and aim to obtain accurate information on the first attempt.
  • ● Obtain on-the-record statements from sources whenever possible, and explain the circumstances for using anonymous sources to readers.
  • ● Share information about sources with editors to ensure the appropriateness and proper use of the information.
  • ● Clarify the expectations of sources regarding “off the record” or “on background” information.
  • ● Give subjects of negative reporting the opportunity to respond and disclose our efforts to seek their response.
  • ● Strive to include sources with diverse backgrounds and perspectives.
  • ● Consult a senior resource or the newsroom head when in doubt to avoid misinformation.

User-Generated Content

  • We acknowledge that user-generated content presents unique challenges and do not automatically assume its accuracy. To ensure the veracity of such content, we take reasonable steps to verify it before using it, depending on how it will be utilized. We are aware of the potential biases that may arise from individuals or groups with vested interests in the story, and we exercise caution in utilizing their contributions.
  • Furthermore, we make sure to clearly identify user-generated content as such. To do this, we adhere to the following guidelines:
  • When utilizing information found on the internet, we recognize that not all sources may be reliable. Therefore, we check the website’s ownership and authenticity of any material that is relevant to an individual or organization.
  • We take extra care to differentiate between fact and rumour. In particular, we recognize the need to be vigilant when sourcing material from social media, where distortions can be deliberate or unintended, and errors or rumours can spread rapidly, making corrections difficult.
  • We acknowledge that additional scrutiny may be necessary when using material from social media or other internet sources to corroborate a fact. We make it clear when using material that was not gathered by us, and we call out any qualifications or issues with the source.
  • In summary, we recognize the potential pitfalls of user-generated content and take steps to ensure that our reporting is as accurate and reliable as possible.