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

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Uncheckable: “One family of asylum seekers retroactively received more than 90.000 euros in child allowance”

The Belgian quality newspaper De Morgen published on 7 January 2020 an article with the title ‘One family of asylum seekers retroactively received more than 90,000 euros in child allowance’. In the article, Flemish Minister of Welfare Wouter Beke (CD&V) gives some numbers on the retroactive receipt of child allowance. Is the number correct and…

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Mostly true: “All the money from the Croatian governmental fund for development of local communities is allocated to the Church”

The Croatian online news outlet Telegram.hr published an article alleging that the Croatian Government allocates millions of HRK each year for the development of local communities and that predominantly it is the Catholic Church that wins the competition. The claim is highlighted in the title of the article, labelled as an ”exclusive“. Investigative journalist Andrej…

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True: “The Dutch pay the most for Euro 95 petrol in Europe”

Dutch daily newspaper De Telegraaf published on 7 January an article in which it stated that Euro 95 petrol in Europe is most expensive in the Netherlands. This news was written using research from consumer collective United Consumers. CLAIMIs Telegraaf correct by claiming that in the Netherlands you pay the highest amount of money for…

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True: “French coast guard intercepted two inflatable boats with illegal migrants”

The information that two inflatable boats with illegal migrants were intercepted by the French coast guard was published by the Russian socio-political, business newspaper Izvestia on October 4, 2019. According to the French Maritime Prefecture of the English Channel and the North Sea, a total of 31 people were brought ashore.

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Mostly true: “Because of climate change half of Europeans will be allergic to pollen”

A Croatian political platform called ‘We can!’ held a round table in December 2019 called “Are we all in the same boat?”. The main topic was climate change and its consequences. One of the guests was Mrs Dunja Mazzocco Drvar, meteorologist at the Croatian commercial TV channel RTL, interviewed by a Croatian online news outlet…

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True: “Annually 119.000 children are maltreated in the Netherlands”

Dutch broadcaster BNNVARA published an Instagram story stating that, in the Netherlands, every year 119.000 children are maltreated. The story was part of a special broadcast on child maltreatment in The Netherlands. Is the number correct and in the right context? The Instagram story and broadcast do not mention the source of the number of…

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Mostly true: “Carbon emission will lower with 85% with SAF”

On Twitter Royal Dutch Shell on November 18th 2019, announced that they will support SkyNRG, a supplier and distributor of sustainable aviation fuel, in assisting them to develop Europe’s first sustainable aviation fuel production plant through the Board Now program. In both the Tweet and the accompanying press release Shell states that concerning the lower…

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True: “Air quality in Flanders has improved over the years”

Zuhal Demir, minister of Environment for the Flemish government and affiliated to the Flemish nationalist party N-VA, states in the newspaper ‘De Morgen’ that the air quality in Flanders has evolved positively over the years. She claims that in response to an open letter in Flemish newspaper ‘De Standaard’ from journalist Nick Meynen, in which…

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True: The Iraqi Defence Minister received Swedish citizenship under a false name

Dagmar Belakowitsch, parliament delegate to the National Council of Austria, published a press release on November 28th, 2019, stating that the Iraqi Minister of Defence had faked his Swedish citizenship and claimed social benefits under a false name. This allegation is correct. In a press release Dagmar Belakowitch, Freedom Party delegate to the Austrian parliament,…

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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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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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Suggest a fact-check

“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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