Research procedures

Restoring confidence in public statements by independently testing and verifying the facts

Newly selected submissions are discussed at the daily AAP FactCheck conference. The team identifies the verifiable elements of each contested claim and workshops the most relevant, trusted sources to draw on. The editor then assigns each submission to a dedicated journalist and sets an internal deadline – usually a progress report within 4 hours.

The AAP FactCheck journalist then begins the work of verifying the facts. This may include contacting experts with varying views on the matter, non-partisan government agencies, academics, think tanks, reputable charities or other well-respected non-government organisations with relevant, specific and recognised expertise in the subject area. The journalist may also turn to reliable secondary source material, such as government reports and court documents, and must always consider contacting the person who made the statement to ask for their supporting evidence, and request comment.

Once the journalist feels there is enough evidence to establish the statement’s truth, or otherwise, a draft is written.