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

fact checking

Mostly False: “The pesticide mancozeb is a relatively harmless substance”

On the 13th of March, the Dutch newspaper Trouw published an article concerning banning the pesticide mancozeb. In the article Jeroen Voorbraak, director of UPL Breda, states that mancozeb is a relatively harmless substance and that it has not been shown to cause Parkinson’s disease or to have hormone-disrupting properties. His claim turns out to…

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False: “Gargles with warm water, salt or vinegar eliminate corona virus”

A supposed corona virus prevention formula was circulating on the internet in previous months. According to the text, shared on the WhatsApp platform by Brazilian users, gargling with water, salt and vinegar is sufficient to eliminate the virus from the person’s throat, where it “stays for four days before going to her lung” (data given…

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fact-check uncheckable

Uncheckable: “Trains are 10 times more environmentally friendly than airplanes”

The Belgian and Austrian railway companies NMBS and ÖBB claim that the new night train between Brussels and Vienna is 10 times more environmentally friendly than airplanes. This claim was published in many Belgian media as ‘Het Laatste Nieuws’, ‘Knack’ and ‘Dewereldmorgen’. The claim turns out to be uncheckable. Both NMBS and ÖBB were unable…

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False: China is acquisitioning EU companies during Corona times

Earlier this month, on April 12th, Margrethe Vestager, the executive vice-president of the European Commission gave an interview to the Financial Times, in which she stated: “European countries should buy stakes in companies to stave off the threat of Chinese takeovers, the EU competition chief has said, as Brussels steps up plans to protect businesses…

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fact checking

Mostly false: “Austria distributes masks to all citizens while the Netherlands don’t have enough for health care staff”

During a debate that questioned a lack of medical supplies the then party leader of 50PLUS, Henk Krol, stated: “How is it possible that Austria distributes masks at supermarkets and in public transport, and the Netherlands do not even have enough for their health care staff?” He asked this question to the Dutch Prime Minister…

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fact-check uncheckable

Uncheckable: Non-medical face masks are more infection-nurturing than virus-repellent if they are consistently put in handbags and reworn.

During an interview with the Austrian daily newspaper Der Standard Austrian health expert Claudia Wild stated the following: “The climate between the authority- or virus-thralled people and the ones who actually looked into the subject of these ridiculous masks making any kind of difference regarding infection, is getting worse. They (non-medical face masks) are more…

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fact checking

Mostly false: Matteo Salvini: “Recovery Fund is a loan, like the ESM”

On the 20th of May, Matteo Salvini, leader of the Italian Far Right party “The league”, rejected the proposal for a post-Covid EU grant-based recovery plan, outlined by the French President Emmanuel Macron and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and unveiled in a surprising press conference on the 18th of May. A statement issued on…

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fact checking

Mostly false: “History seems to be repeating itself, in the Middle Ages the Plague also entered Europe via Italy”

Bob Van Hee, professor emeritus in medical history of the University of Antwerp made a statement in an interview on the website of Flemish public broadcaster VRT that made some people frown: ‘History seems to be repeating itself: in the Middle Ages, the Plague also entered Europe via Italy, just as COVID-19’. The claim turns…

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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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