Independent fact-checking organisation Full Fact has appointed former Buzzfeed editorial director Tom Phillips as its new editor.
Phillips starts in the role on 11 June and will lead a team of five fact-checkers who specialise in subjects ranging from the NHS to immigration.
Full Fact was founded in 2010 but gained wider recognition for its coverage of the 2015 general election, during which it live fact-checked political debates, and the Brexit vote the following year.
Phillips is the first editor of Full Fact in about four years, in which time it has expended considerably. He has also worked for Trinity Mirror’s UsVsTh3m site, MSN and Metro UK.
Full Fact director Will Moy said Phillips will be responsible for what facts the organisation checks and how well it does it, ensuring any content published is fair, accurate and newsworthy.
He said: “Tom has a strong vision for developing the reach and impact of fact-checking and this will prove invaluable as we explore the next generation of fact-checking at internet scale and in real time.”
Speaking to Press Gazette, Moy described Phillips’s appointment as a “hugely exciting move”.
He said: “We have unique content that takes a lot of expertise working together to generate… Partly it’s about the capacity to think more deeply about how we get the right editorial product and make it better.
“And bringing in a journalist like Tom, who really does have a national reputation for doing this at several media outlets, and recognising that Full Fact is doing an important kind of journalism which is hard to resource in typical newsrooms because of the pressure people are under.”
On his appointment Tom said: “Fact-checking has been a part of my career since I set up ‘Is Twitter Wrong?’ as a hobby many, many years ago, and I’m thrilled to get the chance to combine that with my passion for innovative digital journalism.
“The need for reliable, unbiased and engaging fact-checking has rarely been greater than now, and Full Fact has earned their reputation as among the very best in the business.
“I’m excited that I’ll get the chance to help them grow into an all-conquering behemoth of accuracy.”
Moy said Full Fact was funded for the following 12 months, but was actively looking to raise funds for the following year.
It currently receives more than 700 individual donations a month, which Moy said was helping “secure our independence”.
Full Fact is currently recruiting for a new head of communications. Apply here.
Picture: Full Fact