Inside The World Of Fact-Checking With edInbox

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In this exclusive interview with a senior journalist, Nibedita Sen, of edInbox, Joydeep shares insights into their approach to fact-checking, highlighting the challenges and strategies involved in combating misinformation.

From dissecting misleading social media posts to analyzing the credibility of online sources, award-winning multimedia journalist and managing editor of NewsSense, Joydeep Das Gupta leaves no stone unturned in his quest to arm the youth with the tools they need to navigate the digital world safely. By fostering a culture of skepticism and curiosity, he aims to instill in young minds a healthy skepticism and a commitment to verifying information before sharing it. In the face of rampant misinformation, Joydeep stands as a beacon of hope, reminding us all that the truth is worth fighting for, one workshop at a time.

In this exclusive interview with a senior Journalist, Nibedita Sen, of edInbox, Joydeep shares insights into their approach to fact-checking, highlighting the challenges and strategies involved in combating misinformation. From verifying sources to collaborating with other professionals in the field, he provides invaluable guidance for individuals seeking to navigate the complex landscape of online information.


What criteria do you use to determine whether a claim or piece of information requires fact-checking?

Determining whether a claim or piece of information requires fact-checking involves considering factors such as the credibility of its source, the extraordinariness of the claim, its potential impact on society, virality in media etc.

Claims from reputable sources or aligned with scientific consensus may need less scrutiny, while extraordinary claims, especially those with significant potential impact or wide circulation, are often prioritized for verification to prevent the spread of misinformation and ensure the dissemination of accurate information.

How do you verify the credibility of your sources during the fact-checking process?

Verifying the credibility of sources during the fact-checking process involves several steps. Firstly, we fact-checkers assess the reputation and track record of the source itself, looking at whether it has a history of accuracy, transparency, and adherence to journalistic standards. We also examine the expertise and qualifications of the authors or organizations behind the information.

Can you describe the methodology you follow when conducting a fact check?

When conducting a fact check, one typically follows a structured methodology: first, define the claim clearly, identifying its key elements and context. Next, gather evidence by researching and consulting credible sources, including expert opinions. Based on this analysis, we reach a conclusion about the claim’s accuracy and communicate findings transparently, providing readers with the reasoning behind the conclusion and the methodology used. This systematic approach ensures that fact-checkers can evaluate claims objectively and provide accurate information to the public.

What are the common challenges or obstacles you encounter when verifying information?

Fact-checkers encounter numerous challenges when verifying information, including limited access to reliable sources, time constraints, misleading or incomplete information, confirmation bias, disinformation tactics, language and cultural barriers, and lack of transparency from sources. Overcoming these challenges requires a combination of rigorous methodologies, collaboration among fact-checking organizations, and transparency in communicating findings to the public, ultimately striving to provide accurate and reliable information in the face of misinformation.

How do you handle misinformation or false claims that are widely shared on social media platforms?

To address misinformation on social media, swift and rigorous fact-checking is essential, followed by transparent communication of findings. Collaborative efforts among fact-checking organizations and social media platforms can amplify accurate information and combat false claims effectively.

What strategies do you use to remain objective and unbiased while fact-checking controversial topics?

To uphold objectivity and impartiality while fact-checking controversial topics, fact-checkers rely on established methodologies, cross-referencing multiple sources, and consulting subject matter experts to provide context and expertise. Transparency in the fact-checking process, including disclosing sources, methodology, and potential conflicts of interest, fosters accountability and trust.

How do you ensure transparency and accuracy in your fact-checking reports?

To ensure transparency and accuracy in fact-checking reports, it's crucial to clearly articulate the methodology used in evaluating claims, including sources of information and assessment criteria. Providing sources for evidence and data allows readers to verify information independently and understand the basis for conclusions.

What tools or resources do you rely on to aid in your fact-checking efforts?

In aiding fact-checking efforts, reliance is placed on a variety of tools and resources. These include databases and archives housing reliable sources and historical records, search engines for gathering information and cross-referencing claims, and specialized fact-checking websites and organizations dedicated to debunking misinformation. Digital forensics tools are utilized to scrutinize digital content for manipulation, while data analysis software assists in processing large datasets for patterns and inconsistencies.

Can you share an example of a particularly challenging or noteworthy fact-checking project you’ve worked on?

You can refer to our Fact Checking segment

How do you collaborate with other professionals or organizations in the field of fact-checking?

Fact-checkers collaborate with other professionals and organizations in the field through various channels, including information sharing, cross-publication of fact-checks, networks and partnerships, expert consultation, and advocacy initiatives. By exchanging resources, best practices, and research findings, fact-checking organizations like News Sense enhance collective ability to combat misinformation and promote factual accuracy.

 What advice would you give to individuals who want to improve their skills in verifying information and spotting misinformation?

Checking primary sources whenever possible and utilizing tools like reverse image searches to verify images and videos. They would emphasize the importance of evaluating the credibility of sources, questioning personal biases, and staying informed about common misinformation tactics. Additionally, they would encourage individuals to promote media literacy by sharing their knowledge and skills with others, ultimately contributing to a more informed and resilient society adept at discerning truth from falsehood in an increasingly complex information landscape.

How has the landscape of fact-checking evolved with the rise of digital media and online misinformation?

The landscape of fact-checking has evolved significantly with the rise of digital media and online misinformation. Meanwhile, Fact-checking organizations have adapted by leveraging technology and data analysis tools to monitor and identify misinformation trends, enabling quicker detection and response. Collaborative fact-checking efforts have also emerged, with organizations partnering to pool resources and amplify the impact of their work. Overall, the landscape of fact-checking continues to evolve in response to the changing dynamics of online misinformation, with a focus on leveraging technology, collaboration, and innovation to promote truth and accuracy in public discourse.