Liberia: The Stage Media Gets International Signatory

The Stage Media (TSM), a Liberian owned and operated fact-checking media group, has been approved by the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) as a signatory to the Code of Principles. 

The approval was granted by the global body after TSM underwent a thorough screening process that included a close examination of its website, and evaluations of stories published as well as and fact-checking works done. After the strenuous exercises, IFCN's members voted to have eventually TSM qualified. 

The international fact-checking body, in an email of approval addressed to TSM, said, “In addition to your work that elevates the field of fact-checking, your status as a Verified Signatory to the IFCN’s Code of Principles (CoP) leverages access to certain privileges.

“Your organization is supported in connecting globally, with other Verified Signatories, and can now: leverage the IFCN Signatory Badge placement on your website.”

 According to the IFCN, TSM-Liberia can use the signature to apply for grants and take part in Global Fact conferences as a verified signatory.

 “Verified Signatories can also request access to the IFCN’s Tools Bank, where we provide a number of licenses for Buzzsumo, Infogram, Statista, Domain Tools, and Outline VPN, as available,” the IFCN approval email stated. 

“The fact that Liberia's first fact-checking organization has been verified is a huge boost for the country, but there is still much work to be done, and we must continue to support ethical journalism," said TSM’s Co-Partner Bettie Johnson-Mbayo.

Mrs. Johnson-Mbayo said with the IFCN’s support, TSM-Liberia’s work around tackling misinformation and disinformation is going to take a new level, adding that the institution will provide verified information to the public to enable participation in the upcoming elections from an informed background.

 Who is IFCN?

IFCN at Poynter was launched in September 2015 to bring together the growing community of fact-checkers around the world and advocates of factual information in the global fight against misinformation. 

It is intended to support a booming crop of fact-checking initiatives by promoting best practices and exchanges in this field.

IFCN monitors trends, formats, and policy-making about fact-checking worldwide, publishing regular articles in a weekly newsletter.

The institution enables fact-checkers through networking, capacity building, and collaboration.

About TSM-Liberia

The Stage Media (TSM), founded in August 2020, is a Liberian media institution focused on investigative and fact-checking journalism with human interest. It employs analysis, in-depth news reports, and data to spotlight Liberia's governance, socio-economic and resource gaps, and beyond. TSM Liberia's primary duty is to investigate, conduct analyses, and report human interest issues sensitive, to human-centered stories.

It is founded by award-winning female journalists, Bettie Johnson-Mbayo and Hannah N. Geterminah to respond to ethical and critical journalism in Liberia and Africa.