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

fact-check uncheckable

Uncheckable: “Finland has the loosest family reunification policy of all the Nordic countries”

On 21 January, Finnish parliament member Olli Immonen stated in his blog that “Finland currently has the loosest asylum policy in the Nordic countries when it comes to, for example, family reunification.” Our research shows that norms and practices related to asylum policies are so complex that it is not possible to make a reliable…

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fact checking

Mostly false: “Travelling circus of the European Parliament from Brussels to Strasbourg costs 200 million euros annually”

On their website, the Belgian party N-VA (member of the European Conservatives and Reformists) has stated that the monthly move of the European Parliament (EP) between Brussels and Strasbourg costs the European taxpayers 200 million euros per year. A lot of money which according to N-VA is anything but an example of good governance. The…

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True: “Microsoft: Fear of cyber attacks ahead of EU elections”

On 20th February 2019 Athens Voice published an article “Microsoft: Fear of cyber attacks ahead of EU elections”, according to which the American software company Microsoft in Germany, issued a notice, aimed at politicians and civil society organizations, striking the risk of a possible hacker attack, ahead of the European elections next May. Microsoft report…

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Mostly true: “62% of greenhouse gas emissions released during extraction, processing and manufacturing”

The claim is backed by an actual study, but experts suggest the exact percentages are difficult to determine. On 23 January 2019, Mari Pantsar, the Director of carbon-neutral circular economy of Sitra, a Finnish Innovation Fund, claimed on Twitter: “A 1.5 degree world can only be “circular.” That’s why the #circulareconomy has to be placed…

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Mostly true: “Foods within the European Union are traceable all along the supply chain”

At a press conference on July 11, 2018, the European Commission stated: “Foods within the European Union are traceable all along the supply chain.” This assertion is partly true. This was a response to Thilo Bode, founder of the non-governmental organization Foodwatch, which fights for consumer protection; he had questioned the president of the European…

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fact checking

Mostly false: “Catalan public media lacks objectivity and pluralism”

In recent years, public media in Spain have been questioned because they are commonly accused of serving particular political tendencies. In the case of the Catalan public broadcasting, the claim arrived to the Committee on Petitions of the European Parliament in January 2019. Two complainants accused the Catalan public television (TV3) and radio station (Catalunya…

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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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“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.

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