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Telling stories with data

Telling stories with data: FactCheckNI session at Global Fact 7
by Allan LEONARD
29 June 2020

As part of the annual summit of the International Fact-Checking Network, FactCheckNI hosted “Telling Stories with Data” at Global Fact 7, an online session that explored the use of data in news and information presented to the public. I moderated the conversation between John Campbell (Business and Economics Editor at BBC Northern Ireland) and Niall O’Neill (statistician at the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA)). The session aimed to impart an appreciation of the importance of the integrity of trustworthy official data sources and the benefits that this has for fact-checking organisations, through good working relationships with statistics agencies.

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@FactCheckNI @SluggerOToole Private

It’s all about the test: Counting COVID-19 deaths

It’s all about the test: Counting COVID-19 deaths
by Allan LEONARD for FactCheckNI
14 April 2020

“The figures on deaths relate in almost all cases to patients who have died in hospital and who have tested positive for COVID-19. Slight differences in reporting in devolved administrations may mean that they include a small number of deaths outside hospital.” — Department of Health and Social Care (UK)

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Asking the right questions for a better-informed public

Asking the right questions for a better-informed public
by Allan LEONARD
28 January 2020

Representing FactCheckNI and as part of a four-person panel, I was invited to give evidence to the UK House of Lords Select Committee on Democracy and Digital Technologies. Fellow witnesses were Ed Humpherson (Director General for Regulation, Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR)), Will Moy (Chief Executive, Full Fact), and Jenni Sargent (Managing Director, First Draft).

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Lies and democracy: Who are the truth tellers?

Lies and democracy: Who are the truth tellers?
by Allan LEONARD for FactCheckNI
6 December 2019

As part of the annual general meeting of NICVA, the umbrella body of the voluntary and community sector in Northern Ireland, there was a panel discussion on the topics of truth, trust, and how everyone engages with a bombardment of information. Entitled, “Lies and Democracy: The Fight for the Truth”, BBC Radio Ulster presenter, Seamus McKee, moderated the discussion with panellists Amanda Ferguson, John Barry, and Orna Young.

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@SharedFuture @SluggerOToole

The role and responsibilities of media in divided societies. Discuss.

The role and responsibilities of media in divided societies. Discuss.
by Allan LEONARD for Shared Future News
8 November 2019

A two-day international conference examined the role that media plays in divided societies and in creating more peaceful and stable communities. Organised by the Social Change Initiative in partnership with Conciliation Resources and the University of Edinburgh’s Political Settlements Research Programme, the event was attended by journalists from South Africa, Colombia, Myanmar, Rwanda, Turkey, the Middle East, the Balkans, Kashmir, Somalia, Syria, Nepal, and Northern Ireland.

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@NorthernSlant

Book review: Anna Lo: The Place I Call Home

Book review: Anna Lo: The Place I Call Home
by Allan LEONARD
15 August 2019

Anna Lo writes with a crisp and concise manner, demonstrating her fine skills in English that she makes reference to in her memoir. The Place I Call Home is a chronological story, from her childhood to current retirement. It gives a valuable, firsthand insight of the experiences of an immigrant to Northern Ireland.

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@SharedFuture @SluggerOToole

The role of media in conflict: A Féile discussion

The role of media in conflict: A Féile discussion
by Allan LEONARD for Shared Future News
8 August 2019

Hosted by Féile an Phobail, the campaign group Time for Truth organised an event to examine the role of the media in conflict and to listen to the account of those journalists in the front line who helped shape and influence the narrative. The panellists were Amanda Ferguson (journalist), Sean Murray (film director), Trevor Birney (film producer), and Barry McCaffery (journalist).

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Reporting the Troubles: A swirl of emotions

Reporting the Troubles: A swirl of emotions
by Allan LEONARD
6 August 2019

As part of the EastSide Arts Festival, the editors read from Reporting the Troubles, their book compilation of stories of the Northern Ireland conflict. Deric Henderson (former Ireland Editor of the Press) and Ivan Little (UTV, ITN, Belfast Telegraph) were joined by guest Eamonn Mallie (RTE, BBC, Downtown Radio). Several dozen attended in a warm, upper floor room at the EastSide Visitor Centre.

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Photography Projects

Post-Agreement identity narratives: A photographic essay

The 1998 Belfast/Good Friday Agreement gives legal recognition to the coexisting and overlapping national citizenships in Northern Ireland, entitling those born in the jurisdiction to be British, Irish, or both. The devolved administration codifies the traditional political identities of “Unionist” and “Nationalist”, as well as an opportunity for “Others”. The accord has also pledged greater protections for human rights and a development of equality for all.

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@NorthernSlant Essays Photography

“In my imagination, it was true”: Margins of Excess exhibition talk by Max PINCKERS

“In my imagination, it was true”: Margins of Excess exhibition artist talk by Max PINCKERS
by Allan LEONARD
14 June 2019

As part of the Belfast Photo Festival, Belfast Exposed is hosting an exhibition of Margins of Excess, by Max Pinckers. The artist gave a talk about this project in the gallery, describing how he approached the topic of intersecting news story truths from investigative facts and subjective realities.

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Is ethical journalism possible in a contested place?

Is ethical journalism possible in a contested place?
by Allan LEONARD for Shared Future News
27 May 2019

At a public lecture event hosted by the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice, at Queen’s University, Professor Steven Youngblood (Director, Center for Global Peace Journalism, Park University, Missouri) discussed the ethics of journalism in a contested place like Northern Ireland. Youngblood also spoke at Ulster University and held separate workshop sessions, all supported by the US Embassy.

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Beyond fake news: Working collaboratively to address misinformation #NICSLive

Beyond fake news: Working collaboratively to address misinformation #NICSLive
by Allan LEONARD for FactCheckNI
15 May 2019

FactCheckNI is becoming a regular feature of the annual NICS Live event, which brings together figures from across the Northern Ireland Civil Service as well as the wider public, private and voluntary sectors. This year was our third consecutive appearance, and I gave a presentation on “Beyond fake news: Working collaboratively to address misinformation”, discussing some key features of fact checking and the role that facts play in the political sphere of opinions and persuasion.