EUfactcheck #8 ‘Cross-national fact checking’

This winter season students from the EJTA journalism schools will work together in cross-national teams on fact checks and blogs. A variety of European topics will be addressed: polarisation, climate change, migration, defence budgets and more. Follow us here or on our Twitter and Facebook page.

EUfactcheck, an initiative of the European Journalism Training Association (EJTA) fights misinformation about European policies and topics. Journalism students from all over Europe factcheck claims made by politicians and others and rate them. Our focus is not to debunk fake news or disinformation but to give correct information to the reader.

Latest fact-checks

Mostly true: “Catholic Church loses members – Europe-wide”

Meanwhile, the Catholic Church is struggling not only with scandals involving its own personnel. According to Friedel Taube, a journalist at Deutsche Welle, it is also facing a Europe-wide loss of members – especially in the Catholic strongholds. By researching hard and soft factors, this claim can be evaluated as “mostly true”. A Christian baptism…

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False: “More than 98% of people infected with the coronavirus barely experience any symptoms”

Thierry Baudet, a Dutch politician, claims that less than 2% of the people infected with the coronavirus experience symptoms. He made his claim on the 10th of January 2021 in the late-night TV show Op1. We rate the claim as false. Thierry Baudet is the front man of the political party Forum voor Democratie (Forum…

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Uncheckable: “Attacks on police officers are an everyday occurence in Vienna”

On March 25th, 2021, Laura Sachslehner, a member of the Viennese city parliament (ÖVP, Austria’s Peoples Party), Laura Sachslehner, posted a video excerpt of her speech claiming that “attacks on police officers are an everyday occurence in Vienna“. The politician does not cite any source to support her statement. Her claim is uncheckable. Laura Sachslehner’s…

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Uncheckable: “Brot für die Welt” claims that the Covid-19 pandemic has led to an increase in domestic violence against women worldwide

On 24th of November 2020, the German aid organization of the Protestant Church Brot für die Welt made a statement about domestic violence against women. In a press release they stated according to the United Nations (UN) women’s organization UN Women the Covid-19 pandemic has led to a dramatic increase in domestic violence against women…

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fact checking

Mostly false: Sputnik-V vaccine is only available in 5 of the 85 regions in Russia

In a Dutch news article of late February, Russia expert Helga Salemon claims that the Sputnik V corona vaccine is available in just 5 of the 85 regions of Russia. Also, she claims that the vaccine is better available for the so-called elite than for other people. These claims appear to be not completely true.…

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fact checking

Mostly false: “Spanish Government pull effect makes Spain the main European entrance for illegal immigrants”

At the beginning of January, VOX, a Spanish far-right party, issued a statement in which they blamed the current government’s immigration policies for making Spain’s coasts “the principal entrance for illegal immigration in Europe”. The release is chronologically connected to the massive arrival of irregular migrants to the Canary Islands, where the regional authorities were…

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Uncheckable: “The biggest lie from this election is that nuclear energy will help to achieve the climate goals”.

In the first national election debate, broadcasted by RTL4, leaders of political parties in the Netherlands were asked to take a stance on several important issues. One of the statements, about climate change was: “In order to achieve the climate goals the Netherlands must build new nuclear power plants”.  Conservative parties such as the VVD (liberal party), the PVV (nationalist party)…

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The EUFACTCHECK project

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.

Our history

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.

By January-February 2019 a manual with guidelines and tips & tricks was published. In February 2020 a second Bootcamp will be organised in Ljubljana, with financial help from the Evens Foundation. This Train the Trainer focused on Central Eastern European countries, some new schools joined this project.
During corona the EJTA-schools continued to verify claims and publish fact checks. Now we are looking ahead to the 2024 EU elections.

For information about the EUfactcheck project please contact the programme manager: carien.touwen@hu.nl 

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