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

False: Migrants are massively moving from Bosnia and Herzegovina towards Croatia because of UN’s ruling on ‘climate migrants’

“Migrants from Bosnia and Herzegovina are massively moving towards Croatia! UN arbitrated, countries cannot return ‘climate migrants!”, states the title of an article published in the Croatian online news outlet Paraf.hr. The article makes a connection between the UN’s ruling that governments cannot return migrants to domicile countries where their lives are threatened by climate…

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True: French President Emmanuel Macron announced the closure of the borders of the European Union and the Schengen area due to the spread of the coronavirus infection COVID-19

The news that Emmanuel Macron announced the closure of borders in the EU countries was published by the Russian socio-political and business newspaper Izvestia on March 16, 2020. The French President made a television appealto the nation because of the spread of coronavirus infection.

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Mostly true: “For every extra billion euros we export, we create 14.000 new jobs in the EU”

Geert Bourgeois, a representative of Flemish nationalist party N-VA in the European Parliament, claims in Flemish newspaper De Standaard (25.01.2020, paywall) that for every billion euros of exports, we create 14.000 new jobs in Europe. This statement comes in response to the trade agreement concluded with Vietnam in 2019. These figures turn out to be…

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False: “The current law on gender-based violence has not reduced the number of women killed”

Vox and other extreme right-wing parties in Europe have a sexist and anti-feminist discourse. Vox’s leaders, Javier Ortega Smith and Santiago Abascal claim “there is no interest in proving that men die in women’s hands as well” while arguing that “the current law on gender-based violence has not reduced the number of women killed”. Their…

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fact checking

Mostly false: “A third of all refugees returning via Frontex funds are from Belgium”

Belgium frequently uses Frontex funds to send back refugees. But how frequently exactly? According to Belgian Minister of Asylum and Migration Maggie De Block (Open VLD, Flemish liberal party), one in three of all refugees who returned via Frontex last year were from Belgium. But that happens to be not completely correct. Frontex, also known…

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Mostly true: Lithuania will fine people up to 5 000 euros for distributing free plastic bags

The news article saying that Lithuania had introduced fines for free plastic bags distribution was published on a Belarus news website on January 28, 2020. It says that the Sejm of Lithuania has decided to impose large fines on those merchants who give free plastic bags to customers. The only exception applies for the bags…

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fact checking

Mostly false: Average pay and pension increase in Croatia along with an average pay of 1000 euros in the capital city

The Prime Minister of Croatia, Mr Andrej Plenković, who was a member of the European Parliament, proudly states that Croatia and its citizens are progressing and that the situation in the country is not as bleak as it seems. His claim turns out to be mostly false. Croatia has assumed presidency of the Council of…

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Latest blog posts

Discrediting EU and EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia

EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM), a civilian monitoring mission, which operates in Georgia since 2008, became the target of organized disinformation and discrediting campaign from Kremlin actors. The new wave of the disinformation launched after the occupational regime of South Ossetia detained EU monitors on the ground of “violation of the state border” on October 24.…

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

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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