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

False: Croatian filmmaker Šulina won the “enviable” Venice Film Festival Golden Lion award

News about a Croatian amateur film director Mr Mario Šulina receiving the Golden Lion award for his film “Adam” stirred controversy in Croatia. In December 2020 commercial TV channel RTL published on its webpage RTL.hr an article with the following title: ”’Golden Lion’ went to Đakovo this year: Director Šulina in the interview for RTL.hr…

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True: “We have 42% functional illiterates, a major problem for Romania”

Daniel David, professor of clinical cognitive sciences and the rector of Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, talked to the publisher of Clujul Cultural about the state of education in Romania. “[…] 42% of 15-year-olds are functionally illiterate. It is sad, because in three years those who are now 15 years old shall be the ones who…

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True: “Emissions of bestselling plug-in hybrid cars are higher than advertised”

On the November 23 2020 Focus Association for Sustainable Development tweeted that: “Tests made by the Transport and Environment campaign group show that emissions of the three bestselling plug-in hybrid cars are 28–89% higher than advertised.” We rate it as true. In the tweet from the official account of Focus Association for Sustainable Development, the…

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Uncheckable: “Pancreatitis, not poison, caused Alexei Navalny to fall ill”

In the case of the collapse of Alexei Navalny, Russian officials claim that “pancreatitis, not poison, caused Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny to fall ill.” While the EU assumes poisoning, Russian officials are convinced that pancreatitis was the cause. Since no access to medical records is available, the claim is uncheckable”. First of all, a brief…

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fact checking

Mostly false: “PCR tests do not tell if someone is infected or contagious”

On 20 October 2020 Slovenian TV presenter Marko Potrč claimed in his Facebook post that the tests performed to detect the presence of the virus (PCR) do not tell if someone is actually infected or even contagious. He said that dr. Lejko Zupanc, infectious disease specialist, also had to admit this on national television. This…

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True: “Abortion restriction does not prevent abortion, it just makes them less safe”

Amnesty International Slovenia tweeted via their account on 23 October 2020, claiming that “Abortion restriction does not prevent abortion, it just makes them less safe”. This was found to be true. Amnesty International Slovenia organization posted on their Twitter account an image with text stating that abortion restriction does not prevent abortion, it just makes…

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fact checking

Mostly false: “We have to provide our soldier with basic equipment for work”

At the end of 2020, Slovenian parliament passed 780 million euro bill of investments. Member of the Slovenian Parliament Alenka Jeraj stated that Slovenian soldiers do not have the equipment they deserve; they have to wear shoes and helmets in bad condition. The statement was used to justify the large amount of money provided by…

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Mostly true: “Horror fans are better at coping during the global pandemic”

On 1 Octobre 2020, the Dutch edition of Vice magazine claimed that fans of horror movies show better psychological resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic. It based its claim on a study conducted by the university of Chicago, Pennsylvania State university and Aarhus university. The claim turns out to be mostly true. The study was conducted…

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Mostly true: “Government measures positively affected Slovenian employment rating”

On 4 November 2020, Zdravko Počivalšek, Slovenian Minister of Economic Development and Technology, tweeted: “The assessments of the international financial institutions show that the measures taken so far have made it possible to maintain social stability and jobs.”  We rate this claim as mostly true. In a tweet from the official account of the Slovenian…

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Latest blog posts

Blog: Did a huge crowd of Golden Dawn’s supporters gather for the announcement of the party’s European Parliament ticket?”

The fact-check of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki on 10 April:https://eufactcheck.eu/factcheck/mostly-true-huge-crowd-of-3000-supporters-of-the-golden-dawn-party-gathers-for-the-announcement-its-european-parliament-ticket/ concerns a publication that refers to the event of the Greek far-right party Golden Dawn for the announcement of its prospective MEPs. The publication has been presented and analyzed in a misleading way as excessive titles were used that do not correspond to reality and…

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Several initiatives are analysing the spread and combatting fake news.

Blog: Disinformation before the European elections – how big is the threat?

Since the controversial Facebook scandal, which was uncovered at the beginning of 2018, the topic of disinformation on the internet has become the focus of many discussions in the US election campaign. Even before the German federal election in September 2017, there were warnings to be vigilant against possible disinformation campaigns and propaganda incitement. Recently,…

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Blog: When, finally, did the deadline for submitting applications to participate in the 2019 European parliament elections for Greek citizens who have their residence in other EU countries expire?

On Friday, March 29, 2019 the website of the newspaper “Avgi” published a news item which was titled “The deadline for submitting applications to participate in the European elections for Greek citizens who live in another EU country expires today”. The item was chosen due to its importance for the Greek voters who live in…

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Blog: The curious and complex relationship between European and national legislation

When we started searching for second topic, we realized that statements of Croatian politicians are mostly based on predictions and promises. Fortunately, the political parties started to present their programmes and lists of candidates for the upcoming European elections. The candidates started to appear more in the media and the current Croatian MEP Biljana Borzan’s…

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Blog: Polarisation in democracy: good or bad? Depends on how you look at it

In a tweet from March 7, member of the European Parliament Gerolf Annemans (ECR) claimed that “Polarisation is democratic. Politically correct and dull ‘standardised thinking’ isn’t.” The concept ‘polarisation’ indicates moving towards ‘the extremes’ of a certain ideology and implies that there is no such thing as a political centre. We lined up the views…

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Blog: Why accurate salary comparisons between government officials are nearly impossible

Salaries of government officials are always under scrutiny. The payment of EU officials is no exception. ‘Top EU civil servants to pocket salaries over €20,000 a month for the first time’, reads a Telegraph headline from last December. ‘10,000 European Union officials better paid than David Cameron’, wrote the same paper back in 2014. ‘Over…

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European Journalism Training Association EJTA
Council of Europe
evens foundation
Group photo EUFACTCHECK 240119

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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