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Publicado Thursday, 18 July 2024
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About Us

ABOUT FACTCHEQUEADO

Factchequeado is a non-partisan and non-profit initiative. We provide quality journalism, accurate information, and tools to Latino and Hispanic communities to empower them against disinformation in their native language in order to promote informed decision-making and increase platform accountability. Through fact-checking, media literacy (training and resources), technology applied to journalism, and collaboration with local media and grassroots organizations, we aim to bridge the information gap and empower Spanish-speaking communities to navigate the media and digital landscape more effectively. Our efforts promote transparency, accountability, open data, and a stronger public debate that strengthens democratic values while addressing the challenge of disinformation in Spanish in the U.S.

Maldita.es, the first Spanish non-profit fact-checking media created to combat disinformation in Spain, and Chequeado, the first fact-checking media organization in Argentina and the Global South, incubated Factchequeado. Both organizations are characterized by innovation in approaching their audiences, creating proactive communities, fostering collaborative work, expanding journalist’s networks and developing civic technology. They united forces in 2021 to draw on their proven experience to fill a gap and find a solution for Spanish-speaking communities especially vulnerable to mis-disinformation. This is a community of 60 million Hispanics and Latinos living in the U.S., which by 2030 will represent more than 20% of the country's population. 

As a result, it has become fundamental to produce fact-checked content in Spanish especially aimed at these underserved communities to limit the impact of mis and disinformation by collaborating alongside fact-checking organizations and local media outlets to facilitating their access to verified information through Spanish speaking media in the U.S. and the different platforms they use for news consumption and sharing.

MISSION 

We strive to empower individuals with verified content in Spanish, actively engage with diverse communities, and build a resilient defense against the impact of mis-disinformation.

VISION

Our goal is to provide citizens with quality journalism, reliable information, technological solutions and educational tools and skills. We envision a future where accurate non-partisan information is accessible to all members of the Hispanic and Latino communities. We aspire to foster a culture of critical thinking, fostering media literacy, aiming not only to empower individuals in making informed decisions based on data and evidence rather than rumors and prejudices, but also to contribute to the strengthening of democracy.

PILLARS

  • Building community and listening

  • Collaboration

  • Experimenting with innovative and diverse formats, tailoring messages to (their) preferences, familiar platforms and channels

  • Developing civic technology to better serve and engage our communities

What we do

Factchequeado is:

  • A digital medium of mis-disinformation verification that creates open-source original Spanish content, available on various platforms and social networks.

  • A collaborative alliance with large and small Latino media and fact-checking organizations aimed at increasing the focus on these underserved communities. 

  • A One-on-One community, providing crowdsourcing tools to educate and learn about the informational needs of the different Hispanic and Latino communities in the US, while respecting their language and culture. 

  • A space for training on fact-checking tools and fighting disinformation for U.S. journalists, with a clear focus on Hispanic journalists.

  • An innovation lab to fight disinformation that will develop new formats through experimentation and exploration of new technologies.

  • A database for academics interested in investigating disinformation in Spanish in the United States.

Factchequeado fact-checks the mis and disinformation circulating on social networks and mass media through quality journalism.

We listen to our audience's needs and focus on platforms such as Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, Twitter, WhatsApp, Telegram, and other news outlets, to help citizens know whether the content they receive is accurate, false, based on little or no evidence, or lacks context.

We use investigative and data journalism tools, images, and video verification techniques, which any citizen can learn, to help our community make decisions based on facts, not gossip, rumors, prejudice, or speculation.

Learn with us: training opportunities

We believe that journalism is a service of public interest, and as such, it must be of quality, transparent, innovative, and collaborative.

We believe collaboration with citizens, with local media that help us hear first-hand the relevant issues of the communities, and with the large press -national and international- that follow the public agenda is essential for our denials and fact-checks to go further.

We can all learn to verify information! At Factchequeado, we offer educational tools so that citizens can check the content they receive and avoid sharing unverified content and thus increasing the problem of disinformation.

If you are interested in Factchequeado's training program and knowing more about our educational tools, please reach out to us at [email protected]

Become our partner 

At Factchequeado, we believe that journalism is a service of public interest, and as such, it must be transparent, innovative, and of high standards of quality, but above all collaborative.

One of our premises is impact: we want more and more people to have access to verified information and the tools to identify and check if what they consume is true or false, lacks evidence, or needs a better context.

To achieve this, we partner with other media in Spanish and English in the United States, large and small, allowing them to publish our verified quality content for free, in innovative formats, and have access to our educational and pedagogical tools.

In that collaborative synergy, our allies help us understand their communities, their priorities and their needs, which allows our team of talented journalists in the United States to identify the stories and the issues to monitor.

If you are interested in being an ally of Factchequeado, please write to [email protected]

Our Team

Laura Zommer. Co-founder and CEO. ([email protected])

She is Maria Moors Cabot Prize Special Citation 2024, Knight Fellow with the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ)Ashoka Fellow, and was for more than a decade the Executive Director of Chequeado, the first fact-checking organization in the Global South. She is also the creator of LatamChequea, the first regional fact-checking network, which brings together more than 40 media organizations across 19 countries to fight disinformation in Latin America. She is chair of the board SembraMedia and member of La Silla Vacía (Colombia). She was also a member of the advisory board for the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) from its creation to 2024. For her work as a journalist, she has received as well several awards, including the Gabriel García Márquez Award in the “Innovation” category from the Fundación Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericana (FNPI) and “in-depth journalism" from the Inter American Press Association.


Clara Jiménez Cruz. Co-founder. ([email protected])

She is CEO and Deputy Editorial Director of Maldita.es, A Spanish foundation and nonprofit news organization created to fight disinformation and lies in public discourse through fact-checking and data journalism. She is also a board member of the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) and chair of the board of the European Fact-checking Standards Network with support of the European Union. In 2018, she was appointed to the High Level Group against Disinformation by the European Commision. She has received several awards, including: a European Press Prize in 2020 for Maldita.es’ WhatsApp fact-checking chatbot, an Ashoka Fellowship, and the Madrid Press Association’s Young Journalist of the Year in 2020. 


Tamoa Calzadilla. Editor in Chief. Miami, USA ([email protected])

She is, also, 2023-24 Reynolds Journalism Institute Fellow. In 2022, Calzadilla was recognized on the Forbes list of the 100 Most Creative People in Business. She was the former director of elDetector, the fact-checking platform for Univision Noticias (the first Spanish-language fact-checking platform created in the U.S.), leading live, digital/TV fact-checking coverage. She also developed partnerships with other media organizations and universities to combat disinformation that primarily affects Latinos. She was part of a Pulitzer Prize Finalist team for her collaborative work in #FinCenfiles (2021) on corrupt Venezuelans and international banking, led by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). She was also part of the investigative team that produced the Panama Papers (ICIJ, 2016). She received a special citation for the Maria Moors Cabot Award, from Columbia University, and was awarded the Gabriel García Márquez Prize and the IPYS Venezuela AWARD for Best Research, together with the team she led in Venezuela in 2014. She was also the winner of the Ipys/Transparency International Award for Best Coverage of a corruption case in Latin America and the Caribbean.


Ana María Carrano. Managing Editor. Miami, USA. ([email protected])

Ana María Carrano is a journalist passionate about innovation and social impact. Former Senior Editor at elDetector, the fact-checking platform at Univision. She worked in the production of content for “Second Chances,” a bilingual multi-platform project featuring personal stories of Latinos re-entering society after incarceration. Founder of Archivo de Voces, a public archive of interviews. She was a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University (2014). Carrano’s awards include the Roche Journalism Award 2020 (Gabo Foundation & Roche LATAM); the Excellence Journalism Award/Honorable Mention, SIP 2019 (Inter American Press Association), the MDC Innovation Prize 2018 (2nd. Place) and the Short Form documentary Telly Award 2023.


Rafael Olavarría. Politics & Migration fact-checker. Atlanta, USA. ([email protected]

Rafael began his career at CNN en Español as a writer, associate producer, and breaking news anchor, among other roles. He then worked as a multimedia journalist at Univision Atlanta,  where he led the fight against misinformation during the Covid-19 pandemic and the 2020 presidential election. Between 2021 and 2022 Rafael won 11 Southwest Emmy Awards, including Daily News Best Reporter both years. Rafael graduated with a degree in International Studies from the Central University of Venezuela in Caracas. He is also a guitarist, singer and songwriter, and although he has been away from the stage for years, he never misses an opportunity to participate in karaoke.


Isabel Rubio Arroyo. Science fact-checker. ([email protected]

A former editor at Maldita.es, a non-profit outlet fighting disinformation. Her main tasks are to clarify concerns and explain contents prone to misunderstandings using scientific literature and with the help of experts who give context and information. She also writes about Science, Technology, and Health in the Spanish newspaper El País.


Jonnathan Pulla. Fact-checker. Nueva York, USA. ([email protected]

Jonnathan graduated in December 2023 with a master's degree in journalism and a concentration in Business and Economics from Craig Newmark College in New York City. Her greatest interests are covering marginalized communities, climate change, and politics in the United States. He likes to learn new skills to complement his work. For example, he obtained a license from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to operate drones for commercial purposes to record videos. He also likes to write and explore new places.


Beatriz Limón. Fact-Checker. Arizona, USA. ([email protected])

Beatriz is an independent journalist with extensive experience in the field of communications. She has served as a correspondent in Arizona and New Mexico for the international news agency EFE, as well as for The Arizona Republic, where she contributed to the Latin publication La Voz. She has a degree in Communication Sciences from the Autonomous University of Baja California and has a master's degree in History. She has been a reporter and editor in various Mexican newspapers. She has received fellowships from the Solutions Journalism Network (SJN) and the Education Writers Association. She is also a professional photographer and columnist for the newspaper El Imparcial. She collaborates in media such as Arizona Luminaria, Palabra and Conecta Arizona.


Paula Bukowinski. Manager of Communications, Community and Partner Engagement. Los Ángeles, California, USA. ([email protected]

Fluent in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, Paula is a dynamic communicator with a diverse background in TV production, event planning, PR, and publicity, creating and leading communication campaigns and content from concept development to partnership selection and multi-country execution With a resilient motto, "Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end," Paula's approach seamlessly aligns with Factchequeado's mission. Her journey includes impactful roles with companies like DIRECTV, AT&T, Pinterest, Telemundo, and USA Networks, spanning entertainment, journalism, CSR, account management, and marketing.


Natalie Van Hoozer. Media Partnerships Manager. Reno, Nevada, USA. ([email protected]

Natalie Van Hoozer is an independent journalist and translator in Reno, Nevada. She works as a contributing bilingual reporter and the community engagement coordinator for KUNR Public Radio, the NPR member station for Northern Nevada. She is also the U.S. representative for SembraMedia, a media nonprofit for which she researches independent, digital, Spanish-language media organizations across the country. Previously, Natalie was an Online News Association MJ Bear Fellow and a Solutions Journalism Network LEDE Fellow. She is an alum of the Fulbright program in Argentina.


Natalia Colombo. Institutional Development Manager. ([email protected])

Natalia holds a Bachelor's degree in International Relations and a Master's degree in International Cooperation for Development. She is a Fulbright and OAS fellow. She has extensive experience in institutional development, strategic alliance building, donor relations management, as well as in the design, monitoring, and evaluation of international cooperation projects in the public sector and nonprofit organizations. Her ability to identify synergies and establish valuable connections among diverse stakeholders internationally has been crucial in supporting the successful implementation of projects in Argentina, Latin America, and the United States, aimed at strengthening democracy and promoting access to information in the region.


Olivia Rivarola. Social Media Manager. ([email protected]

She has a degree in Social Communication from the University of Buenos Aires and specializes in digital marketing and social media. She worked in different agencies and companies managing the entire Social Media circuit, from creating content to measuring metrics for its optimization, growing audiences, and publicizing small, medium, and large projects. In addition to her passion for the digital world, Olivia herself did her thesis on gender misinformation and for years has collaborated with Chequeado, co-founder of Factchequeado. Now, in Factchequeado, she was able to join both passions.


Milagros Martínez. Social Media Specialist. ([email protected])

Bachelor’s Degree in Social Communication. Specialized in Social Media, Multiplatform Journalism and Strategic Communication. With over 10 years of experience in digital platforms, audience development, and brand building. Previously, she served as Social Media Manager at La Voz newspaper. She also worked in the Communication, Culture, and Employer Branding team of Naranja X, a fintech company. Combining her passion for digital journalism and global communication, she develops Factchequeado’s Social Media First strategy in collaboration with her colleagues, enhancing the voice of the organization and its partners.


Matías Severo. Design coordinator at Chequeado. 

Design Coordinator at Chequeado. His work consists of seeking aesthetic and visual guidelines to apply to content, developing better user experiences, applying new trends, new ways of making research shine and generating innovative formats. He has gone through different careers, studying Graphic Design, Advertising, and Advertising Creativity, but at the end of the road, the best results came from being curious, self-taught, and full of motivation to grow.


David Fernández Sancho. CTO at Maldita.es. 

It is responsible for the conceptualization and development of tools and systems to combat disinformation from an innovative approach and for the maintenance of the entire technological infrastructure. Previously he worked in the development of mobile applications for companies in Spain and Panama.


Sebastián Lanaro. Project Leader at Chequeado.

Lanaro is responsible for leading and managing software and web development projects as well as infrastructure management. His main objective is based on obtaining improvements and advances in the area of automation, analysis and data processing. He began his career studying Electronic Engineering and working in the area of design and development of hardware for industrial automation. He dedicated himself fully to IT project management, where he has led infrastructure, networking and software development projects using PMI® standards as well as ISO standards.


Joaquín Saralegui, Product Manager at Chequeado. 

Saralegui is a product manager and software engineer. As a product manager, he works daily with developers, fact-checkers, and other teams in the process of turning simple ideas into shippable products. In his former role as a software engineer, he built several AI-powered tools for fact-checkers and journalists across Latin America. Joaquín participated in the 2019 Google AI Impact Challenge and the 2023 NYU Local News & AI Challenge.


Funding

Quality journalism, like what we create at Factchequeado, is expensive. We need funds to produce information based on the best available evidence and present it in a timely manner and in formats that resonate with the community.

Creating a network of media organizations, training journalists, empowering citizens, and building a community of Hispanics and Latinos to counter mis- and disinformation in the U.S. is possible with funding from donors, in addition to Chequeado and Maldita.es financing their respective contributions to Factchequeado. 

We are committed to operating with a diversified funding model, which guarantees our sustainability and autonomy. We are also committed to being transparent about who finances and supports us.

We want to thank the Google News Initiative, which offered us our first grant to launch Factchequeado. Additional thanks go to the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation, which awarded Factchequeado with a $80,000 prize to combat medical and health misinformation claims, with a focus on those that are trending on WhatsApp. With support from the Knight Foundation ($150,000), we are also working on the project: “Spanish-Language WhatsApp Misinfo Intervention - Staffing: Support fact-checker staffing at Factchequeado to combat Spanish-language misinformation on WhatsApp around the 2022 U.S. midterm elections.”

In collaboration with Mediawise and The Poynter Institute, we have trained Hispanic journalists in the fight against disinformation in Spanish. These organizations financially supported their respective trainings. 

As of April 2022, Factchequeado Cofounder Laura Zommer is also a Knight Fellow with the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), which provides economic support for her work with Factchequeado. As of September 2022, Zommer also receives support from ICFJ’s Disarming Disinformation program.  

In 2023, with the support of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), we provided a virtual training for pediatricians and other key stakeholders to combat health mis- and disinformation affecting Latino and Spanish-speaking communities. Special thanks to AAP for financially supporting this training.

In collaboration with IJNet and Chequeado, we are also developing a toolkit to support journalists working on Spanish-language election coverage

Factchequeado was also selected for the NYC Media Lab’s AI & Local News Challenge, which provides us with support to improve monitoring of Spanish-language disinformation in the U.S. using Chequeado’s “Chequeabot” technology

Between January and August 2023 Factchequeado also receives the support of the National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM) Foundation to pilot a collaborative video-centric project to counter Spanish-language mis- and disinformation on health and science topics.Thanks to an Institucional Fellowship from the Reynolds Journalism Institute, Factchequeado’s Editor in Chief Tamoa Calzadilla is developing a practical guide to support the fight against mis- and disinformation impacting Latino communities in the United States.

We also want to thank the Open Society Foundation (OSF), who’s support will allow us to expand Factchequeado’s work to include collaboration with civil society organizations. Our goal is to have a solid, broad coalition of partners as we cover the 2024 presidential elections. It is key for our community of partners to include organizations with the means to advance our primary objective: promoting informed, highly engaged Latino/Hispanic communities in the United States.

In 2023, we received financial support from the Latin American Center for Investigative Journalism (CLIP, as it’s known in Spanish). This funding allowed us to do an in-depth investigation into the operations of three disinformation networks detected by Meta in the United States, which were linked to Trump's inner circle. We also provided paid training for editors and journalists from Yahoo News; professors from the Tec de Monterrey in Mexico; and journalists from the United States, Venezuela, El Salvador, and Mexico.

In 2024, thanks to a grant from Pen America, we will strengthen fact-checking in Spanish among journalists to serve Latino communities and combat misinformation by producing bilingual content (Spanish and English) to encourage dissemination among radio stations in Florida. We will seek to amplify the impact of Factchequeado by establishing a feedback system to collect information from radio stations and engage a broader audience.

In addition, we will develop a media literacy course on WhatsApp, to familiarize Latin audiences with detecting misinformation and the differentiation between facts and opinions. This 7-day course will be divided into short lessons, with a national emphasis prioritizing the Miami/Florida metropolitan area, the Dallas-Fort Worth/Texas metropolitan area, and the Phoenix/Arizona metropolitan area.

Since 2024, we have also received support from the Logan Foundation to address electoral misinformation in Latino communities ahead of the presidential elections. Our project includes promoting collaborative partnerships with local and national media, developing proactive strategies to identify emerging trends of electoral misinformation targeting Latino communities, producing verified and engaging content about the elections in Spanish, and exploring various formats to improve access to information among Latinos.

Factchequeado’s research and presentations approved in 2023:

  • CLIP (journalistic research project)

  • Yahoo News (training for journalists in the US and Latin America)

  • IPYS Venezuela (training for journalists in Venezuela)

  • APEVEX (training for Venezuelan journalists in the US)

  • Fusades (training in El Salvador)

  • We are + (community listening project in Florida)

  • Universidad de Monterrey (workshop for teachers in México)

If you want to financially support Factchequeado, reach out to our co founders at [email protected] and [email protected]