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Meet our team

Our team comprises of highly committed journalists who are dedicated to busting fake news stories. The team is well versed with all state-of-the-art verification tools. The team works round the clock to make sure that no fake news corrupts the thoughts of innocent readers. Our goal is to create a clean and safe social and political environment to help people make unbiased decisions.

VishvasNews team members have not, over the past year, spoken out on major political issues or other matters. Nor have they advocated for any political party, candidate or cause, save for the cause of transparency and accuracy in public debate.

We fully comply with Newsroom Diversity. We are diverse in gender, ages, skills and even religious beliefs.

Rajesh Upadhyay

Position: Editor-in-Chief and Senior Vice President

About: A senior journalist with over 20 years of rich experience in mainstream journalism. He has in-depth knowledge of the concept and working of print as well as digital media. He has demonstrated experience in strategizing content, deploying digital teams, and tailoring news stations and workflows to achieve measurable results. He has also been the driving force behind the next generation of fact-checking and news verification portal Vishvas News.

Qualification: He is a Post Graduate in Journalism and Mass Communication and an alumnus of the Editorial Development Program of IIM, Indore.

Certification:

  • He is a certified Google News Initiative fact-checking and news verification trainer.
  • Investigative reporting in Platforms Investigative reporting in Platforms (Knight Center for Journalism)
  • Master Public Policy Analysis: Advanced Master Public Policy Analysis: Advanced (Udemy)
  • Mastering Aglie Scrum Project Management Mastering Aglie Scrum Project Management (Udemy)
  • He has attended several other workshops on the subject organized by IFCN, GNI, Facebook, Crowdtangle, and ICFJ. He also participated in Hands-on Fact-Checking: A Short Course – Poynter University’s e-learning course.

Pratyush Ranjan

Position: Executive Editor

About: Pratyush Ranjan has more than 19 years of experience in the digital media industry. His key expertise areas are Fact Checking, Digital Content Management (Hindi & English), Newsroom and Editorial Process Management, Cross-functional Team Leadership, Writing, Editing, Search Engine and Social Media Optimisation, Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in newsrooms etc. He has previously worked with top media houses/agency like UNi, ETV News, Instablogs, India Today Digital, Dainik Bhaskar Digital, Hindustan Times Online, News Nation Digital and IndiaTV Digital.

Qualification: Pratyush is a Post Graduate and Graduate in Political Science and International Relations from Hindu College (Delhi University) and has a 2-Year Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism Degree from Delhi University.

Certification:

  • Pratyush is a certified Fact Check Trainer at Google News Initiative’s India Training Network.
  • Pratyush was the part of prestigious 6-month-long ‘JournalismAI’ global project (2020) for a comprehensive study of the role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the future of Journalism. It is a project of POLIS – the journalism think-tank of London School of Economics and Political Science.
  • Pratyush recently won Silver Award at South Asian Digital Media Awards under Best Covid-19 Project category for his talk show Jagran Dialogues, which is an exclusive series of interviews with India’s Top Medical Experts on Pandemic and Covid Misinfodemic.
  • Pratyush has the Data Journalism certificate from the East-West Center, and a certificate on Countering State-based Covid-19 disinformation by CRDF-Global.
  • Pratyush is part of Peace Journalism, an initiative by the East-West Centre.

Ashish Maharishi

Position: Fact Checker and Associate Editor

About: A total of 15 years of experience in Print and Digital Media. He has worked with TV18 Group in Mumbai and Dainik Bhaskar Group in Bhopal. In digital journalism, he has previously worked with Dainikbhaskar.com and India Today Group’s website, Lallantop.

Qualification: He is a Post Graduate in Journalism and Mass Communication from Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism and Communication, Bhopal. Graduate from Rajasthan University, Jaipur.

Certification:

  • He has attended a 5-day Fact-Check and News Verification training conducted by a Google certified trainer.
  • Crowdtangle training and Hands-on Fact-Checking: A Short Course – Poynter University’s eLearning course.
  • Introduction to Digital Journalism By Reuters
  • Crowdtangle For Instagram: How To Use City To Make Your IG Pop and First Draft Training- Vaccine Insight Flexible Learning Course
  • Attended several other workshops on the subject organized by IFCN, GNI, Facebook, Crowdtangle, and ICFJ.

Correction

1: July 29, 2018

Vishvas News noticed a strike on Vishvas News Facebook Page on 29th July at 8.30 PM. It happened because Vishvas News Team member (Emp ID: PN0043) mistakenly rated our own story in Facebook dashboard. He had submitted Vishvas News’ fact-checked reference article in related content category. As a result, Vishvas News’s Facebook page received a strike. Later, the rating was corrected by him.

This was the story which was by mistake rated as false – https://www.vishvasnews.com/health/fact-check-post-claiming-caripill-cures-dengue-in-48-hours-is-misleading-2/

2: May 7, 2020
Another Team member (Employee ID PN0058) had done a story on a viral video which claimed that it was Rishi Kapoor’s last video in which he was listening and praising a young man in the hospital where the actor was admitted. Once the story was done, the first team member (Employee ID PN0043), while rating the video in Facebook dashboard, had rated it with the option – ‘Video only’. Later, the rating was changed to the option – ‘Video with Text Together’.
https://www.vishvasnews.com/urdu/viral/fact-check-no-this-not-the-last-video-of-rishi-kapoor-viral-claim-is-fake/

3: May 31, 2020
The story done by team member (Employee ID PN0043) was updated on May 31 to remove an unnecessary paragraph which was not required in the story.
https://www.vishvasnews.com/politics/fact-check-nepals-old-photo-goes-viral-in-the-name-of-india-this-photo-has-no-relation-with-lockdown/

4: June 4, 2020
Team Vishvas News Member (Employee ID PN0043) had done an article in which it was wrongly mentioned that Congress MLA has been suspended by the party. The story was corrected with the correct information and a disclaimer on that was also put in the story.
https://www.vishvasnews.com/politics/fact-check-aditi-singh-a-suspeneded-mla-from-congress-did-not-join-bjp-with-5-mlas-viral-post-is-fake/

5: December 18, 2020

The story done by team member (Employee ID PN0043) was updated on 18th Dec 2020 to remove an unnecessary paragraph which was not required in the story.

https://www.vishvasnews.com/politics/fake-order-of-tourism-ministry-viral/

https://www.vishvasnews.com/society/fact-check-no-corona-virus-in-fish-in-madhya-pradesh/

Pallavi Mishra

Position: Quality Check Manager

About: Pallavi Mishra is the Quality Check Manager at Jagran New Media and works for Vishvas News as a fact-checker and proofreader. Her expertise is news verification, re-verification and value addition. She has nearly 12 years of experience in digital media. Prior to joining Jagran News Media, Pallavi has worked with media organizations like NDTV, India Today and IANS.

Qualification: Pallavi is a graduate in Mass Communication. She also has a Diploma in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Certification:

  • Certificate of Achievement and Appreciation by CRDF-Global in combating state-based COVID-19 propaganda
  • Hands-on Fact-Checking: A Short Course – Poynter University’s eLearning Course
  • Reuters Digital Journalism Certificate
  • She has also attended a 5-day Fact-Check and News Verification training conducted by a Google certified trainer.

Correction

1: July 03, 2019

Vishvas News Team member (Employee ID- PN0065) did a fact-check story on a viral post on Facebook in which an image of an ice cream vendor was used with the claim — ‘गंगा घाट कोतवाली क्षेत्र के अंतर्गत कोतवाली के सामने आइसक्रीम बेचने वाले #राकेश (#दलित) को #जयश्रीराम ना कहने पर #मुसलमान समझकर #भगवागुंडों ने मारा पीटा।”.

He debunked the false claim made in the Facebook post and published a story on the facts. Later, another team member (Employee ID- PN0046) rated the same users’ post on Facebook.

Below was the link of the story team created to debunk the false claim made by the user in his Facebook post – https://www.vishvasnews.com/society/fact-check-ice-cream-vendors-image-viral-with-fake-claim/

Later, Team member with Emp ID – PN0046 found that the same images were being used with similar false claims by few other users as well on Facebook. The post was mistakenly rated as false which had the same image but correct description, “गंगा घाट कोतवाली क्षेत्र के अंतर्गत कोतवाली के सामने आइसक्रीम बेचने वाले को मारा पीटा पैसे छीनने का आरोप”. The Facebook page owner raised the issue with us and the required correction in the rating of the post was made following the guidelines and our correction policy.

2: May 31, 2020
The story done by a team member (Employee ID PN0046) was updated on May 31 to remove an unnecessary paragraph which was not required in the story.
https://www.vishvasnews.com/politics/fact-check-no-labour-ministry-is-not-giving-rs-1-2-lakh-to-labourers-who-worked-between-1990-2020/

Abhishek Parashar

Position: Fact Checker and Chief Sub Editor

About: Abhishek Parashar is working as Chief Sub Editor at Jagran New Media and associated with Vishvas News as a fact-checker. He has around 8 years of experience in digital media. His total experience in journalism is more than 10 years. He has previously worked with Press Trust of India (PTI-Bhasha), Business Standard (Hindi), The Economic Times, Catch News (Rajsthan Patrika), and News Nation Digital. Abhishek is a trained Fact-Check Trainer and he has been working as a trainer at ‘Sack ke Sathi’ which is the media literacy campaign against fake news/misinformation.

Qualification: He is a Post Graduate in Journalism and Mass Communication from Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi. Graduate in Journalism and Mass Communication from Delhi University.

Certification:

  • Crowdtangle training and Hands-on Fact-Checking: A Short Course – Poynter University’s eLearning course.
  • Introduction to Digital Journalism By Reuters
  • Crowdtangle For Instagram: How To Use City To Make Your IG Pop and First Draft Training- Vaccine Insight Flexible Learning Course
  • Attended several other workshops on the subject organized by IFCN, GNI, Facebook, Crowdtangle, and ICFJ.
  • He has attended a 5-day Fact-Check and News Verification training conducted by a Google certified trainer.
  • He has completed the Data Journalism, Verification, Election, and Introduction to machine learning courses in the Google News Training Centre.

Correction

1: Sept 16, 2019

Vishvas News received a claim on a story which was done on Sept 14 by Vishvas News Team member (Emp ID: PN0041)). Below is the story URL

https://www.vishvasnews.com/politics/fact-check-fake-tweet-of-congress-claiming-about-unemployment-in-auto-sector-being-viral-on-social-media/

Vishvas News received a mail from the admin of ‘Fir Ek Bar Modi Sarkar’ Facebook page claiming the rating given on its post by Vishvas News was incorrect. The author of the story didn’t get a required quote from Youth Congress. As per the IFCN guidelines and the SOP, Vishvas News made necessary correction in the story and changed the rating of the Facebook post from False to True.

2: December 18, 2020

The story done by team member (Employee ID PN0043) was updated on 18th Dec 2020 to remove an unnecessary paragraph which was not required in the story.

https://www.vishvasnews.com/politics/fact-check-post-claiming-about-change-in-name-of-mughal-garden-is-fake-2/

https://www.vishvasnews.com/english/politics/fact-check-govt-did-not-impose-tax-on-school-books-viral-claim-is-fake/

https://www.vishvasnews.com/english/politics/https-www-vishvasnews-com-english-politics-fact-check-post-claiming-about-renaming-mughal-garden-is-fake/

Sharad Prakash Asthana

Position: Chief Sub Editor

About: He has experience of more than 15 years in Print and Digital Media. He has worked with Dainik Bhaskar, Hindustan, Dainik Janwani, Amar Ujala and Rajasthan Patrika (Digital Section).

Qualification: He is Post Graduate in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Certification: He did workshop of certified trainer of Google.

Urvashi Kapoor

Position: Associate Editor

About: Urvashi Kapoor is working as an Associate Editor with Jagran New Media and is associated with Vishvas News as a fact checker. Urvashi is a seasoned digital media professional with over a decade of experience. Urvashi believes in the power of digital media, honest journalism and wishes to live in a world free of fake news.

Qualification: Urvashi is a postgraduate in Journalism and Mass Communication, post graduate in Commerce, and is now pursuing LLB. Urvashi has also done a professional study in ‘strategies for increasing reach & engagement of journalism’ from The Knight Center for Journalism from the University of Texas.

Certifications:

  • Certified Google News Initiative fact-checking and news verification trainer
  • Fact Checking from Poynter University, Google Analytics and Digital Marketing from Google
  • Data Journalism from East-West Center
  • Countering State-based Covid-19 disinformation by CRDF-Global, Digital Journalism from Reuters
  • GDPR from Udemy
  • Content discovery from Crowdtangle
  • storytelling and consumer engagement from Facebook Blueprint

Correction

1: May 31, 2020
The story done by a team member (Employee ID PN0059) was updated on May 31 to remove an unnecessary paragraph which was not required in the story.
https://www.vishvasnews.com/english/health/fact-check-no-who-didnt-warn-against-consuming-cabbage-to-prevent-covid-19/
https://www.vishvasnews.com/english/health/fact-check-no-mustard-oil-cannot-cure-coronavirus-however-it-has-certain-health-benefits/
https://www.vishvasnews.com/english/health/fact-check-who-didnt-issue-proposal-for-extending-lockdowns-to-control-covid-19-fake-post-getting-viral-2/

Umam Noor

Position: Senior Sub Editor

About: She has expertise in Fact-Checking in the Urdu Language. She has around four years of experience in Journalism. She has worked previously with Network18. And her specialization is in Editing and Proof Reading.

Qualification: She is a graduate in English from Jamia Millia Islamia and also holds a certificate in ‘Translation Proficiency in English’.

Certification: Umam is a trained Fact-Check Trainer and has been working as a trainer at ‘Sack ke Sathi’ which is the media literacy campaign against fake news/misinformation.

Correction

1. Jan 16, 2020

On January 6, Vishvas News Team’s Fact Checker (Employee ID PN0058) had done a fact check story on the viral 3D image of Australian map showing the intensity of bushfire. The image was also going viral with a fake claim saying it was taken from a NASA satellite. The Fact chcker who was working on the story (Employee ID PN0058) had done the investigation properly following all the guidelines and got a quote from the creator of the 3D image who confirmed that the image was produced using the bushfire data provided by NASA. Below is the URL of the Vishvas News story-
https://www.vishvasnews.com/world/fact-check-australia-bush-fire-viral-image-does-not-shared-by-nasa-but-is-graphic-image-which-is-being-circulated-with-fake-claim/

Vishvas News works as the Third-Party Fact Check Partner with Facebook. If the viral posts are takem from Facebook, Vishvas News (after the completion of fact checking process) rates the post as – False, True, Misleading on the basis of the fact-check outcome in the story. There is a separate guideline to follow to rate the posts for Facebook, as some images are correct but the claims with the images are either fake or misleading, and sometimes both images and the claims are incorrect. In these scenarios Vishvas News goes with the options – either ‘On single post’ or ‘identical content’ optons. In the above story, the image was absolutely fine in the Facebook post, but the description used with the image was incorrect, and the same was mentioned properly in the story done by the fact checker author. But, during the story rating process, the author marked the story as ‘identical content’. As a result, some Facebook users received message of ‘fake image fact-checked by an Independent fact-checker’ even if they used the correct description with the image. Vishvas News was not able to correct the rating due to a technical issue which we faced because the user mentioned in Vishvas News story had deleted his Facebook post. It took a week day time to resolve the technical issue, and it was fixed on Jan 15.

Vishvas News received 13 appeal mails by different Facebook users due the ‘identical content’ issue. All of them had used the image with the correct description with the image but received ‘fake image’ message due to the technical glitch. Vishvas News contacted all of them in separate mails and explained the issue on January 9. And, once the issue was resolved, Vishvas News again sent a confirmation mail to all of them.

The Vishvas News fact checker (Employee ID PN0058), who rated the post with incorrect option, was asked to explain (why it happened) in an official mail and the required action was taken against her as per the guidelines and policy after her response.

2. June 4, 2020, Vishvas News Team’s Fact Checker (Employee ID PN0058) did a story on a video in which it was claimed that there are ongoing protests in Amritsar on the demand of Khalistan. In our investigation, we found that the video is from 2016 and nowadays there is no such Protest happening there. Following our SOP, we published the news, but on the same day we found that the second part of the video is not from 2016 but from the 2012 Protest. However, the video is both old and fake. The news was updated the same day with the new Information.

Story links: https://www.vishvasnews.com/urdu/viral/fact-check-old-video-of-sikh-rally-viral-as-khalistan-support-protest-in-amritsar/

Story link: https://www.vishvasnews.com/urdu/viral/fact-check-old-video-of-sikh-rally-viral-as-khalistan-support-protest-in-amritsar/

Pragya Shukla

Position: Senior Sub Editor and fact-checker

About: Pragya Shukla is a Senior Sub Editor and fact-checker with Vishvas News. Her specialization is fact checking political and social misinformation. She has experience of around 5 years in digital media. Before joining Vishvas News, Pragya has worked with NewsChecker, Patrika, Hindustan Samachar and Deshbandhu.

Qualification: She is Post Graduate in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Jyoti Kumari

Position: Sub Editor

About: Jyoti Kumari is a Sub Editor and fact-checker with Vishvas News. Her specialization is fact checking political and social misinformation. She has experience of around 5 years in digital media. Before joining Vishvas News, Jyoti has worked with News Flash Online, Josh Talks and Likee APP.

Qualification: She is Post Graduate in Journalism and Mass Communication.

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