EUfactcheck #7 ‘Behind the Facts’

In light of the war in Ukraine the students from the EJTA journalism schools will focus more on background publications and less on factchecks, this seventh season of EUfactcheck. It is very difficult to fact-check war claims when primary sources are hard to find or impossible to reach. Our ‘Uncheckable claims’ show just how complicated it is to unravel the truth. So we will instead show you the context of fact-checking: in our blogs, interviews and media analyses.
The invasion of Ukraine has made it impossible for EJTA and EUfactcheck to further continue our cooperation with Russian journalism schools.

Latest fact-checks

fact checking

Mostly false: Pentagon team reveals COVID-19-detecting chip that can be implanted in the body

An article, published on April 16th 2021 in South China Morning Post, suggests that the Pentagon team has developed a COVID-19-detecting chip that could be implanted under the skin. The claim turns out to be mostly false. Profusa Implantable BiosensorsThe Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is a research and development agency of the United…

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Uncheckable: “There are fewer bookings [for a holiday in Croatia] but more is expected from the end of May and in June.”

At the end of March, the Croatian Minister of Tourism and Sports, Nikolina Brnjac, when asked about tourism in Croatia, stated that “there are fewer bookings than in previous years, even for Easter, but more is expected from the end of May and in June, for which there is more interest by tourists.” Even though…

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Mostly True: “Croatia is fully ready to start tourist movements“

On March 31st, the Croatian Minister of Tourism and Sports, Nikolina Brnjac, declared that Croatia is fully prepared for the upcoming tourism season: “Croatia is fully ready to start tourist movements and that is the message we are sending to our emitting markets.” When looking at the preparations made by the Croatian Ministry of Tourism…

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Mostly True: “Access to reproductive health services has become more complicated”

Corona had an impact on politics, society and the economy. No sector was spared. Thus, the pandemic also had an impact on the field of sexual and reproductive Health and Rights. Julia Konowrocka addressed this issue in her article “Let’s talk about sexual and reproductive Health and Rights: Not fully implemented before Covid-19 & suspended…

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Mostly true: Based on preliminary research data, the Pfizer-Biontech Covid-19 vaccination has a 100 % shield against Covid cases for 12–15-year-olds

Pfizer-Biontech released a press release on the 31st of March announcing a 100 % efficacy rate on results in a Covid vaccine study on adolescents aged from 12 to 15. Several European news media reported on this. According to the study data, this claim is mostly true. However, Finnish experts say that to analyze the…

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fact-check uncheckable

Uncheckable: “Ursula von der Leyen is forcing EU-members to go carbon-neutral whilst taking a private jet for half of her worldwide missions”

In January, Identity and Democracy Group posted the following via Twitter: “The European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen is pushing for a new ‘Green Deal’, forcing Member states to go carbon-neutral by 2050, but takes a private jet for half her worldwide missions.” Although public tender data suggests an increase in private air travel…

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Mostly True: A Desert Wind Blew $10 Billion of Global Trade Off Course

On March 27th Bloomberg.com states that the blockage of the Suez Canal by the Ever Given ship was due to the wind and that as a result, this has “left $10 billion worth of goods with nowhere to go”. The claim turns out to be mostly true.                                                            While the statements are correct, there are…

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True: “The largest European exporters of weaponry to Middle East get contracts to stop refugees from entering our borders”

Journalist Kasper Goethals wrote an article for Flemish newspaper De Standaard on 6 February about the border agency Frontex. In it, Mark Akkerman of NGO ‘Stop Arms Trade’ claimed that companies like Airbus and Leonardo, who are supplying weapons to the Middle East, work with Frontex to stop refugees at the European borders. Akkerman’s research…

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fact-check uncheckable

Uncheckable: “European Commission famously doesn’t always move or react to democratic representations, even from its own member states”

“European Commission famously doesn’t always move or react to democratic representations, even from its own member states”, said UK’s Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs George Eustice (Conservative Party) on the 25th of March 2021 in an article about EU ban on UK shellfish published by the BBC. The statement is uncheckable.…

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Mostly True: Only 10% of the (European) region’s population have received one vaccine dose and 4% have completed a full course

World Health Organization’s European head Hans Kluge stated in a Reuters article that “Only 10% of the region’s population have received one vaccine dose, and 4% have completed a full course.” The article was published on 1.4.2021. The claim appears to be mostly true. According to Reuters the article is based on WHO’s press release…

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Latest blog posts

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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female heads of state gender equality

Blog: EU: Do female heads of state ensure gender equality?

Writers Julia Harder and Gwen Rochat, Journalism students at Windesheim University Zwolle, The Netherlands, noticed a tweet from the Icelandic Prime Minister, saying Iceland is the frontrunner in gender equality. In making this factcheck, we realized there is no yes/no answer to our question: the situation is far more complex. For example, we expected that…

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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.

Suggest a fact check
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