Behind the story

AAP FactCheck to ramp up scrutiny of Federal Election campaign promises

Political parties of all persuasions will be subject to a higher degree of scrutiny during the federal election campaign, with Australian Associated Press ramping up its free verification service, AAP FactCheck, from April 10.

After a successful pilot program during the NSW election campaign, AAP FactCheck will expand its operations in an effort to give all Australian voters greater confidence in the claims being made on the hustings.

Australian Opposition Leader Bill Shorten speaks during a town hall meeting at the Everglades Country Club in Woy Woy, Saturday, April 13, 2019. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

The thorough, rigorous and independent methodology employed during the NSW trial resulted in AAP FactCheck being recommended for certification with the Poynter Institute’s International Fact Checking Network (IFCN). The IFCN sets the benchmark for all organisations undertaking verification work, and monitors their ongoing compliance to ensure a reliably high standard of work.

AAP FactCheck scrutinises statements made by public and political figures to determine the accuracy of their claims and quickly combat misinformation. Our mission is to verify content within the same news cycle, making it as relevant as possible to AAP’s media clients and the public.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks at a Liberal National Party campaign rally in Brisbane, Sunday, April 14, 2019. AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

Long-time media executive and journalist Louise Evans heads AAP FactCheck’s team of experienced journalists based in both Sydney and Brisbane. The operation is supported by Google News Initiative but retains full editorial independence.

AAP Editor-in-Chief Tony Gillies said: “The work we have been doing independently testing and verifying public statements has already received significant traction with Australian media.

“We believe this work has never been more important.”

The service was previously known as AAP CrossCheck.

“As we move towards the federal election cycle,  we have decided to adopt a new name for the service which better reflects and serves our endeavour,” Mr Gillies said.

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