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 False: “OSCE sent way less observers to german elections in 2021 than in 2017”

Russia Today DE claims that there have been only four OSCE-observers at the German Bundestag elections this year, whereas there have been 59 at the 2017 elections. Though the numbers were not incorrect, RT DE left out crucial information about how they were formed, drastically changing the bottom line and possible interpretations of the claim.…

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False: “The government doesn’t lose money because of tax evasion. She compensates through higher tax assessments on others”

The Pandora Papers have revealed tax evasion from around the world. Peter De Roover, a Belgian politician, tweeted on October 7th: “The government doesn’t lose money because of tax evasion. She simply compensates through higher tax assessments on others. In fraud, the good taxpayer is the victim, not the government.” His claim is false. “RESEARCH…

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Mostly True: “In 2020, Germany contributed almost 20 billion Euros to the EU”

On August 8th 2021, Alice Weidel, member of the German parliament and part of a right-winged populist political party, tweeted about Germany’s contributions to the European Union. She stated that the overall payments added up to almost 20 billion Euros, twice as much as France has paid. The claim turns out to be mostly true. According…

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Mostly True: “Austria spends over one billion euros on development cooperation and humanitarian aid, the value has increased tenfold”

On 6th of September 2021, the former chancellor of Austria Sebastian Kurz made a statement during an interview with the Austrian TV-Channel ORF where he outlined that Austria is spending over one billion euros on development cooperation and humanitarian aid. He also said that since he is in charge the money Austria spends in this…

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Uncheckable: “The use of cannabis will increase if a country chooses to legalize”

On the 29th of September, Belgian politician Bart De Wever (N-VA) tweeted how bad the legalization of cannabis would be. Based on a recent Canadian study (Statistics Canada) , legalization resulted in more cannabis use in the country. Canada being the only country in the world, besides Uruguay, where cannabis is completely legal. Does legalization…

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True: „More than 70 percent of adults in the EU are fully vaccinated”

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission since 2019, stated on the 15th September 2021 in her speech in front of the European Parliament in Strasbourg that more than 70 percent of the European adult population were fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This claim turns out to be true. Every September the President of…

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Mostly true: four in ten young people fear having children due to climate crisis

The British news service The Guardian claimed that “Four in 10 young people fear having children due to climate crisis“. The news service is referring to an international study that surveyed young people in 10 countries. The claim came out to be mostly true. For the article The Guardian used findings from a study that…

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Mostly true: “Asylum seekers massively fleeing from Croatia, just a little bit over 10 percent remain”

An article titled “Asylum seekers massively fleeing from Croatia” published in Croatian news outlet Večernji list made a claim referring to the refugees who come to this country, saying that: ”Just little bit over than 10 percent of them remain in Croatia.” The claim turns out to be mostly true. Croatia has come to be…

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Mostly true: “After about five years, approximately half of refugees are employed”

In an interview with the German newspaper Handelsblatt, that was published on 7 October 2020 on the website of the Düsseldorfer media outlet, Daniel Terzenbach, board member of the Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit), claimed, that after about five years, approximately half of refugees are employed. The claim turns out to be mostly true.…

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fact checking

Mostly false: Bitcoin’s “rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels”

Elon Musk criticises Bitcoin for its enormous energy consumption of fossil fuels. Without further ado, he drops it as a payment option at Tesla, whereupon the Bitcoin price falls rapidly. Musk is mostly right about the greenhouse gas emissions involved in Bitcoin mining, but he is mostly wrong about the trend. Creating and destroying values…

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Latest blog posts

Blog: Keynes’ Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money proves itself during corona crisis

The corona crisis brings the market into an imbalance. It seems as if the economic theory of John Maynard Keynes is proving itself more clearly than ever before! RESEARCH | ARTICLE © Noemi Schäfer, Anneke Blaas, Jade Hochschule, University of Applied Sciences, Wilhelmshaven, Germany Also read the related fact check: ‘Mostly True: German newspaper claims…

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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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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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