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: “Belgium is one of the European countries contributing most to tropical deforestation”

On Wednesday 14 April, an article (pay wall, Dutch) appeared on the website of Flemish newspaper De Morgen on a WWF report (Dutch) on tropical deforestation. It states that Belgium is one of the largest deforesters in Europe, per capita. The claim turns out to be mostly true. Belgium is indeed one of the European…

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Mostly true: Unauthorized refugees in need of protection are receiving rejections in the EU

The refugee policies within EU states are struggling with transparency and consistency. According to a Deutsche Welle article, Catherine Woolard (director of the European Council on Refugees and Exiles) said that asylum decision-making in Europe even resembles a lottery game, meaning that people often end up being rejected even though they need protection. By researching…

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True: “The roar of traffic and aircraft are linked to negative health effects”

On 16 March 2021, BBC Online reported on negative health effects linked to noise pollution. The article claims that living near an airport or motorway has been shown to have a negative impact on our health. This is also confirmed by scientists who point to the effects of noise on humans. This claim is true.…

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Mostly true: “Without immigration, economic growth risks being undermined”

“The corona crisis has reduced migration flows worldwide. That has implications for prosperity. In rich countries, economic growth without immigration risks being undermined.” This claim from the German statistical bureau Destatis, published in Belgian newspaper De Standaard from 10 February 2021, turns out to be mostly true. Immigration is a global phenomenon with Europe as…

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False: The European Economic and Social Committee paid a fee to its members for travel expenses even though the sessions were conducted virtually

In April, a prominent Croatian news outlet called Jutarnji list published an article stating that members of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), including nine Croats, receive a daily allowance of 290 euros per day for online meetings, and these per diems are intended to reimburse travel expenses. The statement that Jutarnji list reports…

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fact checking

Mostly False: “The refugee crisis has made Germany more insecure”

The German right-wing party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) criticizes the refugee policy by Angela Merkel in Germany. In a press release from April 2019, Chairman Alexander Gauland claimed: Migrants drive up the crime rate in Germany. Especially now with the federal election upcoming, the AfD still holds this position – even though the refugee crisis is…

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Mostly true: “Wind is the most important source of energy“

On 5thMarch 2021, Tagesschau.de reported on the energy supply in Germany and stated wind as the most important source of electricity. They claim that in 2020 for the first time more electric power had been generated with wind energy than with coal and that renewable energy achieves a record high. The claim turns out to…

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Mostly true: The US and China have been “leading in investment into AI”

“The US and China have been the ones that have been innovators, and leading in investment into AI”, EU law professor Anu Bradford said. In April, she made the statement in an article discussing the European Union’s approach to artificial intelligence in the newspaper Financial Times. Research shows her claim is mostly true. In April,…

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Latest blog posts

Blog: Different views on the “biggest consumer of powder cocaine in Europe”.

On 18 May 2020, the influential British music and events magazine Mixmag published an online article on its website explaining that Lawrence Gibbons, president of the NCA’s Drugs Department, had named the United Kingdom and London – the country’s capital – as the biggest consumer of cocaine in all of Europe. Mixmag regularly reports on…

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Blog: The European agricultural subsidies reach the big players, but how does that occur in reality?

No less than 59 billion euros were awarded to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in 2019. That is approximately 36% of the total EU budget. European policy provides for enough food to be harvested in a sustainable way. In addition, consumers should be able to buy agricultural products at a reasonable price and farmers should…

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Blog: Why does the European Commission provide grants for the initiatives in Russia and other countries?

Recently, the Russian media has repeatedly reported that the European Commission intends to allocate funds for the implementation of projects in Russia and other countries. The projects are aimed at developing civil society and democratic transformation, promoting freedom of expression and media literacy, improving understanding of EU policy.

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© Kayla Empey, 2020

Media monitoring: the relationship between the coronavirus and weather in British media

Since the coronavirus outbreak, there has been an ongoing conversation within the media worldwide about weather and its potential impact on the virus. Weather is a complex topic, as there are a lot of aspects to be considered. Elements such as temperature, humidity, latitude, people staying inside more when it is cold, vitamins due to…

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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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