Difficult to check Corona claims for students of journalism

EUfactcheck takes another course during the corona crisis because we want to safeguard the journalistic and methodological quality of the published fact checks.
Times are strange and unpredictable now, with governmental regulations straining the work of journalists, with media dealing with changing truths from one hour to the next, with the undefeatable speed of social media countering false claims and statements, with difficulties for students of journalism to contact experts.
The educational core of our project (we’re not a 24/7 fact-checking site) and the intensive coaching of our students are also influenced by the closure of universities all over Europe and restrictions on information.
That’s why we’ve asked our journalism students not to focus specifically on debunking claims on corona. These will mainly turn out to be uncheckable anyway or have already been checked by other fact checkers. We did ask our students to publish blog posts about the media approaches and to monitor how journalism is handling this changed reality in Europe and beyond. If the circumstances allow it, our students can choose to check news on corona.
We will keep you informed with reliable and fact based information.

Latest fact-checks

False: “Gender violence is a big lie. […] it’s like denying day or night”.

Javier Ortega-Smith, the Secretary-General of the Spanish far-right-wing party, Vox called gender violence a ‘big lie’ after the celebration of the new judicial year in the Community of Madrid, in September 9th of 2019. There was a significant emphasis on gender violence  in that celebration and this made him state that ‘violence is violence and …

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fact checking

Mostly false: French women are using code word “mask-19″at pharmacies to escape domestic violence during lockdown

Domestic violence cases have jumped by 30 per cent during lockdown in France. Being confined at home with abusive partners increases the risk to victims. A TV report on Channel One Russia, covering the situation in France, included the claim that using code word “mask-19” is a common practice among French women to let people…

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Mostly True: “If universities shift online, we risk more poorer students dropping out.”

In a column published by The Guardian, former universities minister Chris Skidmore makes the claim that there’s a higher risk for poorer students dropping out if universities shift online. This article—based on a study from 2017—was posted 4 May, 2020 in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis forcing many universities to close and offer fully…

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Mostly true: Economist claims that the VW-scandal wouldn’t have happened if women were in charge

Monika Schnitzer, a German Professor of Economics  at Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, stated in an interview with the Frankfurter Algemeine Zeitung on May 5th: “My assumption is that the manipulation of the diesel engines and this fraud on the customer wouldn’t have happened if women have had a say in the top-level management.”. She also claims…

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fact-check uncheckable

Uncheckable: Despite seven warnings, the City Hall of Bucharest did nothing about air pollution during the state of emergency

On April 30, 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) published a Decision on Romania’s condemnation for non-compliance with Directive 2008/50/EC of the European Parliament and the Council on air quality and cleaner air for Europe. Romania has been tried for failing to meet its obligations regarding air quality and for systematically…

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fact-check uncheckable

Uncheckable: Religious and political leaders claim that same-sex marriage is the reason for corona

Worldwide many influential religious and political leaders are linking the coronavirus to the legislation of same-sex marriage. They claim that the outbreak of the pandemic is the punishment and reckoning of God. These statements are uncheckable by nature, but to show how widespread this kind of misinformation is, EUfactcheck gives an overview of the different…

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False: Croatia is one of the most tolerant countries in the world

According to an article published in the online version of Croatian daily newspaper ‘Večernji list’, titled “List of the most tolerant countries in the world has been published. Where is Croatia?”, the country is very highly ranked. However, the study quoted in the article uses the world “inclusiveness” and does not mention “tolerance” anywhere. Therefore,…

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fact checking

Mostly false: “Approximately 250,000 Romanian pupils do not have access to technology”

On May 3, 2020, Monica Anisie, the Romanian Minister of Education and Research, claimed in a TV interview at Digi24 that approximately 250,000 pre-university Romanian students do not have access to technology, and as a result, they are not able to attend the online courses during the COVID-19 pandemic quarantine. This statement is mostly false,…

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True: Slovenia calls an end to its coronavirus epidemic, relaxes some border controls

Reuters has published a topic concerning “Slovenian government called an official end to its coronavirus epidemic, becoming the first European country to do so” on 15th of May 2020. Wrote by Marja Novak, The claim turns out to be true. The Slovenian government late on Thursday called an official end to its coronavirus epidemic, becoming…

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Latest blog posts

Blog: Different views on the “biggest consumer of powder cocaine in Europe”.

On 18 May 2020, the influential British music and events magazine Mixmag published an online article on its website explaining that Lawrence Gibbons, president of the NCA’s Drugs Department, had named the United Kingdom and London – the country’s capital – as the biggest consumer of cocaine in all of Europe. Mixmag regularly reports on…

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Blog: The European agricultural subsidies reach the big players, but how does that occur in reality?

No less than 59 billion euros were awarded to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in 2019. That is approximately 36% of the total EU budget. European policy provides for enough food to be harvested in a sustainable way. In addition, consumers should be able to buy agricultural products at a reasonable price and farmers should…

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Blog: Why does the European Commission provide grants for the initiatives in Russia and other countries?

Recently, the Russian media has repeatedly reported that the European Commission intends to allocate funds for the implementation of projects in Russia and other countries. The projects are aimed at developing civil society and democratic transformation, promoting freedom of expression and media literacy, improving understanding of EU policy.

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© Kayla Empey, 2020

Media monitoring: the relationship between the coronavirus and weather in British media

Since the coronavirus outbreak, there has been an ongoing conversation within the media worldwide about weather and its potential impact on the virus. Weather is a complex topic, as there are a lot of aspects to be considered. Elements such as temperature, humidity, latitude, people staying inside more when it is cold, vitamins due to…

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European Journalism Training Association EJTA
Council of Europe
evens foundation
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About Us

EUFACTCHECK is the fact-checking project of the European Journalism Training Association (EJTA) that intends to build a sustainable curriculum unit on fact-checking within a European network of Journalism schools.

Through fact-checking European political claims and trying to tackle misinformation, we want our students and our public to grow a deeper insight and interest in democratic processes, both on national and European level.

EUFACTCHECK wishes to motivate fact-based debate in the EU and to stimulate media and information literacy.

‘The Future Looks Bright!’

After the success of the students’ publications, the participants of EJTA’s fact-checking project EUFACTCHECK decided at the EJTA AGM in Paris (July 2019) to move on with the project and to take new steps in the academic year 2019-2020.

At the EJTA Teachers’ Conference in Dortmund (October 2019)  practical details were discussed and a new publication schedule was created for autumn 2019.

By January-February 2019 a manual with guidelines and tips & tricks will be published and on 13-14 February 2020 a second Bootcamp will be organised in Ljubljana, with financial help from the Evens Foundation. This Train the Trainer will be focussing on Central Eastern European countries, but also on new participants that want to publish on the platform.

All the information about this event: nadia.vissers@ap.be

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Suggest a fact-check

“What is this politician saying??” Did you read or hear a politician or public figure make a questionable claim? Send us an email with the claim and maybe we will fact-check it.

Please include the source (url and date) where you found the claim.

Suggest a fact check
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