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: Jews are feeling increasingly insecure due to Covid-19

Pincheas Goldschmidt, the president of the Conference of the European Rabbis, claims that “Jews are feeling increasingly insecure. Corona has worsened the whole situation and the inhibitions are getting lower (…).” Is Goldschmidt’s concern reasonable? Partly, yes.  On 14 February 2022, the German news website tagesschau.de published an article on the “New danger of old…

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Mostly False: “German taxpayers have the highest tax and contribution burden in the world”

After the German government decided in April to provide one billion euros in military aid to Ukraine, critical voices were raised, especially from the opposition. On April 16, 2022 the deputy federal spokesperson of the right-wing party “Alternative für Deutschland” (AfD) Georg Pazderski wrote on Twitter: “It is not Scholz who is providing more than…

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Mostly False: “Whoever has been injected with that scary ‘vaccine’ can claim compensation in Denmark“

On the 12th of August 2022 the Dutch far right party leader Thierry Baudet of opposition party Forum Voor Democratie responded to an article of Danish news website DR. The article was about three Danes who received compensation because of the rare side effect the three suffered from after being vaccinated with the AstraZeneca. Baudet…

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Mostly True: “If housing conditions in Ghent don’t change, 40% of all inhabitants will not be able to buy a house on the private market”

In July 2021, housing prices in Europe had increased by 30.9% since 2010, according to data by Eurostat. A situation that has left many Europeans unable to buy their own property. In Belgium, Tine Heyse, a politician for the left-wing party Groen, stated that ‘if the current housing conditions in Ghent don’t change, 40% of…

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False: „Germany will never fulfill its energy requirements with only wind energy and solar power.“

On March 26th 2022, Stephan Brandner, Deputy Federal Spokesperson of the right-wing party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), posted a press release on Instagram in which he claims that Germany will never fulfill its energy demand with only wind energy and solar power. Different studies have proven that this statement is false. In the past the…

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Mostly true: Less educated people are more likely to get depressed

The German TV-Show „Hischhausens Sprechstunde“ explains in a short film during the show (beginning at 28:30 minutes) how and why someone is developing a depression. One reason, among others, being a low education. Causes and concomitant effects are difficult to separate, which is why the general scientific consensus is that social status, and thus education,…

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Mostly true: E-vehicles are more efficient than combustion engines

The effects of climate change are becoming increasingly noticeable. In this context, the e-vehicle is gaining more and more popularity in Germany – many people expect it to have a better climate footprint than conventional combustion engines. This thinking is promoted by statements like this: “E-vehicles are three times more efficient than combustion engines”. This…

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Mostly False: Windmills are, considering their entire life cycle, not sustainable

In the Dutch House of Representatives debate on climate and energy on the 10th of June 2021, engineer and Belang van Nederland party leader Wybren van Haga claimed that wind farms, solar farms and biomass plants are not sustainable over their entire life cycle. In his plea, Van Haga refers to the citizens who live…

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True: “The European Union’s climate tax is as much as 60% of the energy production costs.”

Numerous billboards around Poland appeared around February 2022, reading: “The European Union’s climate tax is as much as 60% of the energy production costs. EU climate politics = expensive energy/high prices.” The billboards turned out to be part of a campaign ran by Polish state-owned utility companies, financed by the Polish Ministry of State Assets.…

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Mostly false: “The danger is real: since 2015 it has been possible by law for third countries to use nuclear weapons on Ukrainian soil”

Russian state media Russia Today claimed in an article on its German website that “the danger is real” and that since 2015 it has been legally possible for third countries to use nuclear weapons on Ukrainian soil. Research shows that part of the claim is true: it is possible by law for third countries to use…

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Latest blog posts

Media Analysis: The OSCE-Observation of the German parliamentary elections and its democracy’s stability through the lens of German and Russian Media

The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the OSCE observes elections within all its member states. The ODIHR recently deployed a mission of four experts to Germany for the federal elections on September 26th. Here’s how different media view the work of the OSCE as well as the integrity of German politics. The…

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Antinatalism: the solution to the end of the climate crisis?

Human reproduction is essential for the continuance of the human species. Antinatalism is the absolute rejection of human birth. A large number of antinatalists embrace antinatalism for climate political motives. Is society ready for such drastic measures to provide a future for the living? Interview with: Verena Brunschweiger Leave your comments, thoughts and suggestions in the…

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Blog: End of the European Union – who pays the price?

Nowadays, 27 countries are members of the European Union, that was founded in 1993. All of them benefit from democracy, security and free movement of products and capital. The aim of this Blogpost is a conceptional experiment, which takes place in Europe – but pictures the countries without the reliable union. All members have left the…

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Blog: Science and society: relationship status (un)known

Ever since COVID-19 changed our daily lives, the news seem overloaded with varying information on the pandemic. Updates on the vaccination rate and the number of infected people as well as videos of demonstrations on the most recent measures by the government and articles on the newest conspiracy theories about the coronavirus make one feel extremely…

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Blog: What does loud noise really do to our body and soul?

On 16 March 2021, BBC Online reported on negative health effects linked to noise pollution. During the fact check, we learned that vibrations and noises not only irritate a person and cause discomfort but can also lead to negative health consequences such as cardiovascular diseases including hypertension, gastrointestinal ulcers, vegetative disorders, mental illnesses, and hearing…

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Blog: The possible accuracy of global Covid vaccination numbers

This blog post reveals why the tweet of an UN representative, claiming that just 0.3% of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered in lower-income countries, was not as easy to fact check as initially believed. Strictly, the statement can be seen as false, but does the complexity of the according figures even allow a definite judgment?…

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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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