AFP Fact Check is a department within Agence France-Presse (AFP), a multi-lingual, multicultural news agency whose mission is to provide accurate, balanced and impartial coverage of news wherever and whenever it happens in the world on a continuous basis.
As guaranteed by its founding statute, AFP speaks with an independent voice free from political, commercial or ideological influence. These commitments are reflected in AFP’s Charter and editorial standards, which are detailed here.
Management and governance
AFP has a unique status under French law, which requires the Agency never to compromise the accuracy and objectivity of the information it provides or fall under the control of any ideological, political or economic grouping. As detailed in AFP’s founding statute, an oversight body known as the Upper Council is tasked with ensuring the continuity of the Agency and monitoring its compliance with these fundamental obligations.
AFP also has a Board of Directors that is responsible for the administration of the Agency and elects its CEO. The Board includes the Chairman and CEO Fabrice Fries, as well as five representatives from the French press, three government representatives from France’s culture, foreign and economy ministries, two members from the French audio-visual sector, three members elected by AFP staff, and five external experts chosen by the Agency’s Upper Council.
AFP’s annual statement of revenue and expenditure forecasts is reviewed by a Financial Commission responsible for checking whether the figures projected can be expected to result in a balanced budget.
The members of the Upper Council, Board of Directors and Financial Commission are listed here.
AFP’s executive committee, which manages the day-to-day operations of the agency, is led by the Chairman and CEO (currently Fabrice Fries), the Global News Director (currently Phil Chetwynd) and the Managing Director (currently Dalila Zein). The full organisational chart of the executive committee can be found here.
AFP’s editorial coverage is led by Global News Director Phil Chetwynd, Global Editor-in-Chief Sophie Huet-Trupheme and Deputy Global Editor-in-Chief Richard Carter.
Fact-checking at AFP is overseen by the chief editors of digital investigation based at the agency's headquarters in Paris, with regional editors in Beirut, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Montevideo and Washington D.C.. They include:
Chief Editor, digital investigation: Gregoire Lemarchand
Deputy Chief Editors: Sophie Nicholson and Julie Charpentrat
Regional heads: Rachel Blundy (Asia Pacific), Leila Macor (Latin America), Nina Lamparski (Africa), Bronwen Roberts (Europe), Khaled Soubeih (Middle East and North Africa) and Arthur MacMillan (USA and Canada).
Find out more about the editors and the whole AFP Fact Check team here.
Partnerships and funding
AFP generates revenue from a mix of sources, such as media clients, online platforms and the French state.
In 2021, AFP reported a turnover of €309.5 million. Find more details here.
Below is a breakdown of AFP’s major funding sources. AFP exercises strict editorial independence when fulfilling the terms of all contracts.
French state funding
AFP has a financial contract with the French state that is divided between a commercial contract to supply AFP services to French government departments and missions abroad, and compensation for the cost of the Agency's mission of public interest. This is detailed in the 1957 statute that guarantees AFP’s independence from state or other influences.
AFP receives revenue from thousands of media clients around the globe which subscribe to AFP’s various text, multimedia, photo, video and graphics news wires.
Examples of clients in Europe include media organisations such as the BBC, Brut, Deutsche Welle, France Télévisions, Funke Mediengruppe, Le Monde, Rai, Tamedia, The Times and Unidad Editorial. In the Americas, AFP's news wire clients include Caracol TV, Infobae, El Comercio, The New York Times and Radio-Canada among others. Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, Al-Nahar and Sky News Arabia are examples of clients in the Middle East region, while Radiodiffusion Télévision Ivoirienne, Nation Media Group and Arise News are some of AFP’s clients in Africa. In Asia-Pacific, AFP media clients include South China Morning Post, SPH Media, Mediacorp, The Times of India, NHK and News Corp, to name a few.
AFP signed a five-year agreement on neighbouring rights with Google at the end of 2021 for the internet giant to pay for the use of content from the news agency.
AFP also signed two other deals with the platform for five years. One funds the development of "mobile stories" – vertical visual formats for smartphones – while the other deal is a contract to train journalists and journalism students around the globe in digital investigation techniques.
For the latter, AFP has created an online course on digital investigations for journalists and has been uploading short tutorial videos to share online investigative tips. As part of this work with Google News Initiative, AFP also produced fact-checks and collaborative media work focused on combating misinformation around the 2022 French elections.
AFP has a commercial agreement with Meta through its Third Party Fact-Checking programme, in which Meta pays to use fact-checks from AFP on its social media platforms. As a partner, AFP’s fact-checking team investigates potentially false or misleading content flagged on Facebook and Instagram.
AFP, along with more than a dozen fact-checking organisations, is paid by TikTok in several countries in Asia and Oceania, Europe, the Middle East and Spanish-speaking Latin America to verify for internal moderation videos that potentially contain false information. The videos are removed by TikTok if the information is shown to be false by AFP teams.
AFP is paid by Twitter in the United States to help evaluate the accuracy of submissions to Community Notes (formerly Birdwatch), the platform’s crowd-sourced tool to add context to potentially misleading tweets. AFP’s assessments are used to track accuracy by reviewers over time and do not impact the immediate rating or status of a note.
Since 2021, AFP has been increasingly involved in collaborative projects between European media, researchers and other experts that are co-financed by the European Commission and other European institutions, to fight disinformation. In particular, AFP receives EU funding for its involvement in several fact-checking and research hubs belonging to the European Digital Media Observatory (EDMO) network: DE FACTO for France, CEDMO for the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia, EDMO BELUX for Belgium and Luxembourg, HDMO-Lakmusz for Hungary, GADMO for Germany and Austria, BROD for Romania and Bulgaria, ADMO for Croatia and Slovenia, and MedMO for Greece, Cyprus and Malta.
AFP also contributes to the following projects that receive funding from the European Union:
- EFCSN, a project to create and implement a code of professional standards for independent European fact-checking organisations
- Vera.ai, a research and development project focusing on disinformation analysis and AI-supported verification tools and services
- A European Perspective, a project bringing together public service media committed to sharing online news that offers a fresh insight into pan-European issues
- MediaNumeric, a training program in data skills and debunking misinformation for European students and young professionals
- The European Newsroom, a project bringing together news agencies from across Europe to cooperate on various topics, including tackling disinformation
- Transmixr, a consortium exploring innovative ways to design media experiences
- The European Data News Hub, a platform providing journalists with data and information on European topics
- European Narrative Observatory, a project bringing journalists and researchers together to analyse how narratives circulating in Europe shape or spread disinformation
AFP has also participated alongside Austria Press Agency (APA) in a project funded by the European Media and Information Fund (EMIF) to provide training in fact-check production to Ukraine’s national news agency Ukrinform. The EMIF was established by the European University Institute and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.
Factstory is a subsidiary of AFP that provides bespoke content for companies and institutions. It operates as a separate entity from its parent company AFP and its production is branded Factstory.
Agence France-Presse is an autonomous civil entity that operates in accordance with commercial rules. It is registered in the Paris Trade and Companies Register under number 775 658 354.