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

fact checking

Mostly false: “Contributing to climate policy […] appears to be not that popular with the members of GreenLeft”

Dutch party leader Derk Jan Eppink of Forum for Democracy (FvD) claimed in a televised elections’ debate on 13 May that the Dutch Greens are not very eager to contribute financially to climate change. Eppink based his claim on a recent survey by Ipsos and, as it seems, on an article in national newspaper De Telegraaf.…

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fact-check uncheckable

Uncheckable: “According to studies, the majority of Germans, French, and Brits do not even want to defend their own country”

On April 2, Finnish politician Asseri Kinnunen sent out a claim on Twitter about the willingness to defend one’s country in the three most populous EU countries. Kinnunen is the chairman of The Finns Party Youth and a candidate in the upcoming European Parliament elections. The tweet was part of the discussion around the Finnish…

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fact-check uncheckable

Uncheckable: “Yearly, 825 billion euros in tax payments are being evaded in the European Union”

“Yearly, 825 billion euros in tax payments are being evaded in the European Union. On top of that, the EU loses 160 to 190 billion euros due to tax avoidance.” This is a claim by Belgian politician and MEP Kathleen Van Brempt. Astronomical numbers, but where do they come from? And how reliable can these…

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False: “Small and medium-sized enterprises employ 90 percent of the workforce in the EU area”

Member of the European Parliament Petri Sarvamaa claimed that small and medium-sized enterprises employ 90 percent of the workforce in the EU area. This false claim was made on 12th April 2019 in a press meeting at the Finnish bureau of the European Parliament in Helsinki. Sarvamaa made the claim when asked what differences parties…

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Mostly true: “German CO2 emissions […] are now to be reduced, while developing countries […] may increase their emissions indefinitely.”

During a public hearing of a committee of the German parliament, Marc Bernhard of the right-wing party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) criticized the German strategy for climate protection. To his mind, reducing national CO2 emissions is not effective. In this fact check we show that Bernhard uses correct numbers but interprets them in a misleading…

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Mostly true: “The probability of sleep and learning problems, depression and diabetes amongst pupils would be massively increased by a permanent changeover to summer time”

  In March 2019, the German Teachers‘ Association approved of the decision of the EU Parliament to abolish the time change. However, Heinz-Peter Meidinger, president of the association, thinks there is a health risk for students if a country switches to summer time permanently: The probability of sleeping and learning problems, depression and diabetes has…

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fact checking

Mostly false: Youth unemployment rate in Croatia decreased by more than half due to government policies

As part of his pre-election campaign, a Croatian candidate in European elections Mr Karlo Ressler of the currently ruling party Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), claimed that the youth unemployment halved since the EU accession [since HDZ is in power] and optimistically stated that since then 96,000 new jobs have opened. Both statements are true, however,…

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Latest blog posts

Analysis: “New Democracy will be the first party with an absolute majority of 40% in the European Elections in Greece according to European Parliament poll’

On 31/1/2019 an article published on more than 25 websites (some of those referred to another website as a source) stated that the European Parliament conducted a National Public Opinion that “records interesting trends of the electorate, considering the elections taking place in May”. In the articles is stated that the European Parliament conducted a…

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Blog: Issues occurred during the 1st report of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

The first report for the EU Fact Check focused on a  widely disseminated news item, was extensively disseminated in news websites, referring in a report published by the European Parliament regarding the voting intentions of the Greek citizens. he European Parliament report was misinterpreted without taking account of the report’s findings and the use of…

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Blog: The cost of immigration, a factchecking challenge

From December 11 to 20, our group focused on the issue of immigration. Among the topics we identified, the subject of “the cost of immigration” appeared fairly clearly. Particularly due to the significant number of comments found on social networks, especially Twitter. 1) Our Selection We identified a video released by Damien Rieu on December…

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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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