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COMMENT: Why we changed our report layout (and feedback’s welcome!)

There’s one thing that fact-checkers across the globe agonise over: how to deliver judgement on the accuracy of the often complex claims they have spent days investigating.

We put a lot of thought into whether a particular claim is “mostly correct” or perhaps “misleading”, so it has been galling not to be able to set out our findings clearly to our readers.

This is why Africa Check is excited to present the first major change to the format of our reports since we launched in 2012 (along with a new podcasts section and the recently launched three-country Promise Tracker).

So, what is the idea for the new reports? Like all (hopefully) good ideas, it’s simple. We want our new format to ensure that you, as busy people with little time to spare, know:

  • What claim we have checked and who said it.

  • How we rated it, why – and in what context.

  • Not just what is wrong, but what is right.

  • Why getting this right matters.


Getting all of this into an at-a-glance format fit for online screens has not been easy. And we would love your feedback on whether you think the new format works, and how we could improve it. Contact us at [email protected] and we will read every email.



Unfortunately, none of this means we are likely to spend less time debating whether a particular claim is wholly or only mostly correct, misleading or understated.

As I know from our friends at Full Fact in the UK and Chequeado in Argentina or Factcheck.org and Politifact in the US, fact-checkers everywhere - whether they adopt a formal rating system or not - spend a long time debating how best to deliver their verdicts.

Hopefully, you will like the change. But if you don’t, let us know and we will have something else to mull over too!

Peter is Africa Check’s executive director.

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