About Ethiopia Check

Ethiopia Check is a fact-checking desk initially set up in June 2020 and later became part of Internews’ Ethiopia projects in August 2020. Ethiopia Check is currently registered in Kenya and is operating as a fully independent trust organization. It operates in Amharic, Afan Oromo and Tigrinya languages with an estimated reach of more than 7 million people through its social media platforms. It is currently part of the Africa Facts Network and has applied to become an International Fact-Checking Network signatory. Ethiopia Check currently focuses on three main activities:

a. Fact-checking and verification.

b. Media literacy education.

c. Training and capacity building.

Ethiopia Check is a fact-checking desk initially set up in June 2020 and later became part of Internews’ Ethiopia projects in August 2020. Ethiopia Check is currently registered in Kenya and is operating as a fully independent trust organization. It operates in Amharic, Afan Oromo and Tigrinya languages with an estimated reach of more than 7 million people through its social media platforms. It is currently part of the Africa Facts Network and has applied to become an International Fact-Checking Network signatory. Ethiopia Check currently focuses on three main activities:

a. Fact-checking and verification.

b. Media literacy education.

c. Training and capacity building.

Organizational Structure

Professional Biographies

Elias Meseret
Founder/Editor

Elias Meseret founded Ethiopia Check in June 2020, which later joined Internews’ Ethiopia projects. He is one of the four Trustees of the fact-checking desk and also serves as a desk Editor. Elias has worked with various international media outlets since 2013. He was awarded the 2019 Tana Award for his journalism and fact-checking efforts. From mid-2020 to end of 2021, Elias was a host to “Liyu Mereja,” radio program on Ethio FM Station that focused on mis/disinformation. He was also President of the Ethiopian Mass Media Professionals Association from 2020 to 2021.

Tsion Molla
Program Manager
Tsion Molla joined Ethiopia Check as a Project Manager in December 2022. She has few years of enthusiastic experience leading media development projects. As a Program Manager; she currently develops projects, monitors their implementation, and handles donor relations.
Alexander Yohannes
Project Coordinator

Alexander Yohannes is a project coordinator with years of experience managing human rights and media development projects. As a project coordinator at Ethiopia Check, he currently handles coordination for the program manager and team members to keep the projects running smoothly. This includes Executing a range of activities, managing deadlines and workflow, and coordinating events, organizing meetings and appointments.

Addisu Frew
Fact-checking Analyst
Addisu joined Ethiopia Check in 2020, and works as a fact-checking analyst. He is one of the four Trustees of the fact-checking desk. He has a background in digital journalism with experience in both industry and academia.
Habtamu Tibebu
Fact-checker
Habtamu Tibebu is a storyteller and fact checker. He joined Ethiopia Check as freelance fact checker in 2021. He has also worked with different media outlets as a journalist and has produced a number of stories both for radio and online. He has experience in fact checking and providing fact checking and verification training.

EC legal status

Ethiopia Check is a legally registered non- profit fact-checking organization. It is registered as a Trust Organization in Kenya with the file number 2252/D7/3174/MMXXII at the Republic of Kenya Registry of Documents, Nairobi.

Policy of non-partisanship

As an independent and professional fact-checking organization, Ethiopia Check is committed to adhere to high standards of non-partisanship. For this to materialize, team members are properly trained on this policy upon joining the desk. The desk it is committed to execute these:
• Team members cannot support and/or campaign for any political party
• Team members cannot use company equipment/resources to support the causes of any political party or group
• Soliciting funds/money to conduct a fact-check for a certain political entity or individual is strictly forbidden
• Employees are not allowed to participate in political rallies or events in support of a certain political party or group.
• Personal opinions/biases cannot be a part of a fact-checking work
Note: Employees that violate these policies will be subjected to a fair scrutiny and then appropriate measures will be taken if found to be in violation.

Funding detail

Ethiopia Check is a Trust Organization registered in Kenya. It has been part of Internews’ Ethiopia projects from August 2020- November 2022, but is now independent as of December 1, 2022. As of December 2022, the desk has received a sub-award grant from Internews that will continue funding its activities (fact-checking, training, workshops etc) until the end of March 2023. There is no other source of funding for Ethiopia Check until the submission of this application.

How we select claims to check

Ethiopia Check mostly selects claims based on the viral, sensitiveness and impact that they could have on the society. This way, important claims are taken in while others with less importance are left out. In addition, the desk makes sure that all sides to a story are included by constantly monitoring information and also reaching out to all stakeholders.

Here are the steps the desk follows:

Research:
Identification: Fact-checkers identify a claim made by a public figure or widely circulated on
social media or mainstream media.
Source Collection: Gathering primary sources related to the claim, including official statements,
documents, data from reliable institutions, and expert opinions.
Verification: The collected information is cross-referenced with independent sources or verified
using online tools.

Writing:
Drafting: Write a clear, concise report outlining the claim, the sources checked, and the
findings.
Review: The draft undergoes internal review to ensure impartiality and accuracy, with fact-
checkers and editors providing feedback.

Publishing:
Final Edits: After incorporating feedback, the report is edited for clarity and readability.
Publication: The final fact-check is published on Ethiopia Check’s website, often with
accompanying graphics and links to original sources.

Distribution:

The fact-check is shared through social media, newsletters, and media
partnerships to reach a wide audience and counter misinformation.

This meticulous process ensures that Ethiopia Check provides a reliable and transparent
information to the public.

Corrections and compliance policy

Please contact us if you think we have made a mistake in our fact-checking work and we will assess it at our earliest convenience. You can send your feedback, complaints or corrections to: [email protected] or send us an SMS using +252974058699. If mistaken were made, Ethiopia Check will issue another separate story with a headline “Correction” and if finds it appropriate to provide further details to clear up issues, it will add an “Update” to the existing story. The desk will make every effort to check correction, complaints and feedbacks on a timely manner.

Do you have information or suggestions that you would like us to review? Send us your message

Ethiopia Check verifies claims made by public figures, viral social media posts, news reports, and policy statements. However, subjective opinions, speculative statements, and personal anecdotes are not fact-checkable, as they lack verifiable data or objective criteria for assessment.