UP partners with universities and media orgs for 2019 elections fact-checking

| Written by Jo. Florendo B. Lontoc

Tsek.ph MOA signatories with their copies of the document, with Vice President for Public Affairs Elena Pernia (sixth from left) and UP Department of Journalism’s Prof. Rachel Khan (extreme left), Prof. Yvonne Chua, and Prof. Maria Diosa Labiste (second and third from right). They are (from left): Janvic Mateo representing Teresa Mendoza of Philippine Star, Ellen Tordesillas of Vera Files, Maria Regina Reyes of ABS-CBN Corp., Maria Ressa of Rappler, Danilo Concepcion of the University of the Philippines, Maitel Ladrido representing Jose Ramon Villarin of Ateneo de Manila University, Sonio Soto of Radio World Broadcasting Corp., Anadel Camille Diola of Interaksyon and Philstar.com, Jennifer Aquino of Probe Productions Inc., and Gerardo Mariano representing Raymundo Suplido of De La Salle University. Photo by Bong Arboleda, UP MPRO

 

Spearheaded by three UP units, a collaborative fact-checking project for the May 2019 elections was launched on February 11, 2019 at Quezon Hall, UP Diliman (UPD).

UP, represented by President Danilo Concepcion, entered into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with two universities and several media organizations to establish “Tsek.ph”, a website that will be the repository of their fact-checking of claims made in connection with the May 2019 elections.

“Fact-checking is a very controversial and, often, confrontational activity,” UP Vice President for Public Affairs and Professor of Communication Research Elena Pernia said in welcoming the MOA signatories. “But good journalists and the academe, who are represented, know that it is essential, especially at this time when we are at the cusp of national elections.”

 

UP Vice President for Public Affairs Elena Pernia welcomes the signatories of the MOA for Tsek.ph. Looking on are UP President Danilo Concepcion, Rappler’s Maria Ressa, and Ateneo de Manila University’s Maitel Ladrido. Photo by Bong Arboleda, UP-MPRO

 

According to the MOA, the project arose from “growing threats of disinformation and misinformation in traditional and online media that affect the health of democratic countries and the power of the citizens to make informed choices during elections.”

In the initial batch of fact-checking partners are: UP, the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU), De La Salle University (DLSU); and media organizations, namely, ABS-CBN Corp., Interaksyon, Philstar.com, Probe Productions Inc., the Philippine Star, Radio World Broadcasting Corp., Rappler, and Vera Files.

 

Vice President for Public Affairs Elena Pernia facilitates the signing of the MOA for Tsek.ph as press people take photographs in the UP Board of Regents Room, February 11, 2018. Photo by Bong Arboleda, UP MPRO

 

The project was spearheaded by the UPD College of Mass Communication’s (CMC) Journalism Department, the UPD College of Engineering’s Department of Computer Science, and the UP College of Law. It is supported by the Facebook Journalism Project, the Meedan group of open-source investigators of digital media, and the Macaranas Journalism Grant.

According to the CMC press release for the event, more media partners will be invited to Tsek.ph.

 

UP Department of Journalism’s Prof. Rachel Khan explains the features of Tsek.ph, as Assistant Vice President for Public Affairs Jose Wendell Capili, the master of ceremonies, looks on. Photo by Bong Arboleda, UP MPRO

 

CMC also said that Tsek.ph would be guided by the Code of Principles of the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) in checking “platforms and campaign promises of candidates; statements and remarks made by candidates, personalities, government agencies, and other entities; and election-related posts on social media, blogs, and other platforms.”.

The claims will be given the ratings: “accurate”; “false”; “misleading”; “no basis”; and, “needs context”.

The website also features a form to be filled out by citizens who want to submit claims for fact-checking. The CMC Journalism Department, headed by Prof. Rachel Khan, serves as the Tsek.ph secretariat.

 

UP officials, members of the Tsek.ph secretariat and others from the UP Diliman College of Mass Communication have a photo with Tsek.ph MOA signatories. Photo by Bong Arboleda, UP MPRO

 

UP President Danilo Concepcion greets co-signatories of the MOA Anadel Camille Diola of Interaksyon and Philstar.com, after entering the UP Board of Regents Room. Looking on are UP Professor of Journalism Yvonne Chua and Jennifer Aquino of Probe Productions Inc. Photo by Bong Arboleda, UP MPRO

 

Tsek.ph, headed by UP, is launched with the MOA signing among leaders and their representatives of top universities and media organizations in UP’s Board of Regents Room, February 11, 2018. Photo by Bong Arboleda, UP MPRO

 

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