By Felipe Estefan

Why We Invested: Chequeado

Ensuring citizens are well-informed is essential to a healthy democracy, and yet, while there has never been more information available, it has never been more difficult to get to the facts.

In a public sphere of information that gets more crowded every day, being able to distinguish between fact and fiction can prove incredibly challenging. This is especially true when powerful, vested interests use their reach and influence to purposefully distort or misrepresent critical pieces of information.

This context calls for efforts to ensure citizens have access to factual information, so they are empowered to hold their governments to account and to be agents of positive change in their communities.

Chequeado – the first Latin American fact-checking organization, based in Argentina – is tackling this very issue by holding public figures to account for what they say and improving the quality of public discourse.

Omidyar Network is proud to support Chequeado through a core grant of $237,000 over two years that will enable them to continue pushing the frontiers of fact-checking, while contributing to the growth of the fact-checking movement in Latin America.

Since its creation in 2010, Chequeado has formed an editorial team that produces daily fact-checking articles and in-depth analyses, an innovation lab that develops apps, and an education team that builds the capacity of fact-checkers, be they journalists or concerned citizens. It has also advanced a common fact-checking agenda in a region that has shown both great potential and great demand for these types of efforts.

Through its daily fact-checking articles and in-depth analyses, Chequeado provides citizens with factual information so they can gauge whether statements made by politicians, business and labor leaders, and journalists and media outlets are accurate.

The innovation lab strives to make fact-checks quicker, richer, and more engaging. Citizens can now request and share fact-checks through apps, and they can even test their knowledge with a trivia game app called “Chequeate”. From live-checks, such as fact-checking a major presidential speech as it happens, to crowd-checking, involving audiences in the process of connecting statements to fact-checks, Chequeado is making the practice of fact-checking more accesible and ubiquitous.

Finally, through courses and training materials, Chequeado enables those who want to be involved with fact-checking in Latin America to join the movement. They are also shaping this movement into an organized, collaborative community of fact-checkers. To that end LatamChequea, a regional event, convenes all of Latin America’s fact-checkers to assess the state of the fact-checking space, identify challenges and solutions, and share best practices.

Well-informed citizens are essential to transparent and participatory governance. Omidyar Network looks forward to working with Chequeado across all their areas of work, to enhance the quality of public discourse and democracy in Latin America.