APA - Austria Presse Agentur

Organization: APA - Austria Presse Agentur
Applicant: Florian Schmidt
Assessor: Laurens Lauer

Background

The APA (Austrian Press Agency) is a registered cooperative company owned by several private media and the country’s public broadcaster ORF, which has an institutionalized corporatized governance model including political parties and other societal stakeholders. These shareholders are not involved in the daily business, and the agency is committed to independent and fact-based news procurement (https://apa.at/about/about-apa-gruppe/). The new fact-checking department serves as an extension of the current activities to address disinformation and provide costumers and readers with verified information.

Assessment Conclusion

The APA Faktencheck project rests on a solid approach that meets by and large the standards of the IFCN. The project website clearly states the project’s idea, organizational structure, and team members. It outlines the applied methodology, the pursued quality standards, and the measurements to safeguard their compliance, including the correction policy. The produced fact-checks concern public interest topics, follow a clear structure, and do not indicate considerable flaws or any sign of political partisanship.
on 25-Jan-2021 (2 months ago)

Laurens Lauer assesses application as Compliant

A short summary in native publishing language

APA Faktencheck verfolgt einen umfassenden fact-checking Ansatz und produziert fundierte Faktenchecks, die von einer intensiven Auseinandersetzung mit dem Thema und den Anforderungen des IFCN zeugen. Das Projekt ist sehr transparent über sein Ziele, seine Mitglieder und sein Vorgehen und stellt hohe Qualitätsansprüche, welche den Qualitätsansprüchen des International Fact-Checking Networks voll entsprechen.

Section 1: Eligibility to be a signatory

To be eligible to be a signatory, applicants must meet these six criteria

  • 1.1 The applicant is a legally registered organization, or a distinct team or unit within a legally registered organization, and details of this are easily found on its website.
  • 1.2 The team, unit or organization is set up exclusively for the purpose of fact-checking.
  • 1.3 The applicant has published an average of at least one fact check a week over the course of the six months prior to the date of application. For applicants from countries with at least 5 or more verified signatories need to have at least a fact check a week over the twelve months of publishing track. Consult to factchecknet@poynter.org for confirmation.
  • 1.4 On average, at least 75% of the applicant’s fact checks focus on claims related to issues that, in the view of the IFCN, relate to or could have an impact on the welfare or well-being of individuals, the general public or society.
  • 1.5 The applicant’s editorial output is not, in the view of the IFCN, controlled by the state, a political party or politician.
  • 1.6 If the organization receives funding from local or foreign state or political sources, it provides a statement on its site setting out to the satisfaction of the IFCN, how it ensures its funders do not influence the findings of its reports.

Criteria 1.1
Proof you meet criteria
Please explain where on your website you set out information about your organization’s legal status and how this complies with criteria. Attach a link to the relevant page of your website.

APA - Austria Presse Agentur
07-May-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

Information about our organization's legal status can be found directly in the website section of the APA-Faktencheck (APA fact check): http://go.apa.at/kAzVcaee.

APA-Faktencheck is a section of APA – Austria Press Agency. The APA – Austria Press Agency is the national news agency and the leading Austrian information service provider. It is owned by 12 Austrian daily newspapers and the Austrian national television broadcasting network ORF. APA fulfils its duties independently of the state, government and parties, according to the principles of reliability, speed and balance, as well as avoiding one-sidedness or partisanship. 

General information about APA: http://go.apa.at/1LpjmLeU


Laurens Lauer Assessor
07-Nov-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

The APA (Austrian Press Agency) is a registered cooperative company owned by several private media and the country’s public broadcaster ORF, which has an institutionalized corporatized governance model including political parties and other societal stakeholders. These shareholders are not involved in the daily business, and the agency is committed to independent and fact-based news procurement (https://apa.at/about/about-apa-gruppe/).


done_all 1.1 marked as Compliant by Laurens Lauer.

Criteria 1.2
Proof you meet criteria
Please answer the following questions – (see notes in Guidelines for Application on how to answer)

 1. When and why was your fact-checking operation started?
 2. How many people work or volunteer in the organization and what are their roles?
 3. What different activities does your organization carry out?
 4. What are the goals of your fact-checking operation over the coming year?

APA - Austria Presse Agentur
07-May-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

1. The APA fact check, which was created in February 2020, is aimed at creating a better response to the increasing danger of targeted disinformation, which is especially wide-spread via the digital networks. As the leading information provider in Austria, systematic fact-checking and careful research have been an elementary part of the APA journalists’ daily work for decades. In the APA fact check department, this knowledge is used to be prepared for tough cases, and in order to carry out complex verification processes. With the initiation of the APA fact check, the Austria Press Agency aims to do its part in the global fight against fake news and use the available expertise to give the citizens a better chance of objectively catagorising information.

2. The APA fact check team consists of seven people. The team is led and coordinated by verification officer Florian Schmidt, who also plays an important role in producing the fact check itself. In addition, a number of journalists from other APA news departments make up the fact check team, in order to use the expert knowledge provided by specialists, and to create new synergy. These team members work as necessary on finding topics, research or production.

3. The main job of the APA fact check is the examination of claims that are relevant for the general populace. This predominantly covers current and viral information, but readers are also invited to send in suggestions. The examination of claims is then published in the fact check, transparently and in a way that is accessible to readers. In addition, the verification officer regularly trains both colleagues within the APA, as well as external people interested in research and information possibilities or in verification tools.

4. The goal in the coming year is to expand the APA fact check department and establish the products as high-demand and appreciated by readers. The department should not only constantly increase the available competences, but also intensify the knowledge transfer and the transmission of important research techniques and relevant experiences to interested people. In addition, more technical aid development is planned for the fact-checking process. 

Laurens Lauer Assessor
07-Nov-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

The APA Faktencheck team has a designated team comprising six experts and a verification officer, Florian Schmidt, who leads and coordinates the group. The dedicated fact-checking department has been founded in February 2020 (first fact-check published on 28th of February 2020) as “a response to the increasing danger of targeted disinformation”.


done_all 1.2 marked as Compliant by Laurens Lauer.

Criteria 1.3
Proof you meet criteria
- The applicant has published an average of at least one fact check a week over the course of the six months prior to the date of application.
- For applicants from countries with at least 5 or more verified signatories need to have at least a fact check a week over the twelve months of publishing track.
- Consult to factchecknet@poynter.org for confirmation.

APA - Austria Presse Agentur
07-May-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

Please refer to the second file with 28 fact checks. Due to technical issues we couldn't remove the older version.

Files Attached
description Liste APAFaktencheck... (12 KB) description Liste APAFaktencheck... (15 KB)
Laurens Lauer Assessor
07-Nov-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

The provided data contain 28 fact-checks within a timeframe of about 12 weeks resulting in a bit more than two fact-checks per week. Considering the last six months (from May 2020 to October 2020), APA Faktencheck produced 41 fact-checks, equaling approx. 1,5 fact-checks per week (https://multimedia.apa.at/Site/APA-Faktencheck/Aktuelle_APA-Faktenchecks.html).


done_all 1.3 marked as Compliant by Laurens Lauer.

Criteria 1.4
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will assess compliance through a review of the fact checks published over the previous three months. No additional information required.

Laurens Lauer Assessor
07-Nov-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

The provided fact-checks cover topics of public interest. Besides a strong focus on CoVid-related issues, they deal with claims concerning the economy, migration/refugees, and other relevant political affairs (military, crime, etc.). This criterion holds true for all provided fact-checks with the arguable exception of one case (about the songs chanted by Italians during lockdown). A review of the 37 pieces produced since then exhibited only one similar case, and the ratio of fact-checks of public interest topics is undoubtedly above the 75% mark.


done_all 1.4 marked as Compliant by Laurens Lauer.

Criteria 1.5
Proof you meet criteria
Please explain any commercial, financial and/or institutional relationship your organization has to the state, politicians or political parties in the country or countries you cover. Also explain funding or support received from foreign as well as local state or political actors over the previous financial year.

APA - Austria Presse Agentur
07-May-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

The Austria Press Agency does not receive any general state funding (such as press subsidies). As a privately-organised, independent company, APA is owned by 12 Austrian daily newspapers and the public broadcaster ORF. Together, these guarantee the independence and non-partisanship of the APA. Public institutions as well as parties are customers of the APA group, and obtain their products from IT, communication services, and the news department.

The business relations are handled by the sales department; the news department is not involved.

Two news department projects have public funding: The ministry for social affairs funds the production of news in simple language (APA-TopEasy) so that this service can be made available to NGOs in the disabled care sector. The communication platform APA-Science is financed by the leading players in the Austrian science landscape, including responsible institutions and funding bodies, research institutions, innovative companies, universities, and education networks. 

Laurens Lauer Assessor
07-Nov-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

The applicant explains the company’s basic structure and business model and states to receive no general state funding, except for two projects that do not directly touch the fact-checking department. Detailed finance reports are publicly available (https://apa.at/about/facts-figures/), and the company, as well as the fact-checking project, declare their journalistic independence and outline general rules and safeguards to do so (https://multimedia.apa.at/Site/APA-Faktencheck/Aufbau_und_redaktionelle_Grundsaetze.html). Given these conditions and APA’s history, the editorial work can be assumed with high probability.


done_all 1.5 marked as Compliant by Laurens Lauer.

Criteria 1.6
Proof you meet criteria
If you confirmed the organization receives funding from local or foreign state or political sources, provide a link to where on your website you set out how you ensure the editorial independence of your work.

Laurens Lauer Assessor
07-Nov-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Besides the links stated above (1.5), the last two links provide detailed insights into the cooperations linked to state funding, the company’s independence, and the designation of its own content and partner content.


done_all 1.6 marked as Compliant by Laurens Lauer.

Section 2: A commitment to Non-partisanship and Fairness

To be compliant on nonpartisanship and fairness, applicants must meet these five criteria

  • 2.1 The applicant fact-checks using the same high standards of evidence and judgement for equivalent claims regardless of who made the claim.
  • 2.2 The applicant does not unduly concentrate its fact-checking on any one side, considers the reach and importance of claims it selects to check and publishes a short statement on its website to set out how it selects claims to check.
  • 2.3 The applicant discloses in its fact checks relevant interests of the sources it quotes where the reader might reasonably conclude those interests could influence the accuracy of the evidence provided. It also discloses in its fact checks any commercial or other such relationships it has that a member of the public might reasonably conclude could influence the findings of the fact check.
  • 2.4 The applicant is not as an organization affiliated with nor declares or shows support for any party, any politician or political candidate, nor does it advocate for or against any policy positions on any issues save for transparency and accuracy in public debate.
  • 2.5 The applicant sets out its policy on non-partisanship for staff on its site. Save for the issues of accuracy and transparency, the applicant’s staff do not get involved in advocacy or publicise their views on policy issues the organization might fact check in such a way as might lead a reasonable member of the public to see the organization’s work as biased.

Criteria 2.1
Proof you meet criteria
Please share links to 10 fact checks published over the past year that you believe demonstrate your non-partisanship.
Please briefly explain how the fact checks selected show that (I) you use the same high standards of evidence for equivalent claims, (II) follow the same essential process for every fact check and (III) let the evidence dictate your conclusions.

APA - Austria Presse Agentur
07-May-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

In addition to the strict obligation of impartiality in the entire APA, the APA fact check team also makes certain not to take sides in the selection or the production of the fact checks.

I) The selected fact checks underline the efforts to examine claims from more than one party or political side, and to make sure of a balanced proportion of fact checks on politicians from all parties. Due to the corona crisis, there have been almost exclusively non-political fact checks in the months so far. In political fact checks, which will make up an undetermined number of stories in future, the team will continue to be careful to examine the claims by different parties using the same set of criteria. In all fact checks, the same high standards are applied, such as careful research, the uncovering of primary sources or reliable secondary sources, the (often not possible or not fruitful) contact with the people making the claims, the work with verification tools, the transparent documentation of all research steps or the presentation of contradictory statements or contradictory stances. 

II) The development and structure of every fact check follows the same pattern: First a claim is reproduced, and then immediately followed by an assessment, so that readers are made aware right away if the claim is false. This is followed by a comprehensive and transparent examination of what is true or false about the claim, with the help of publicly-available sources.

III) Assessments will only be made following researched facts. The selected fact checks show the compliance with strict criteria for the examination of claims, as well how exactly the conclusions were reached. It is the goal of the APA fact check team that readers can reconstruct every step of the fact check for themselves.


1. http://go.apa.at/lTTrye25 

2. http://go.apa.at/LtJO1LfS 

3. http://go.apa.at/Me33FB1z 

4. http://go.apa.at/2gbt1ccM 

5. http://go.apa.at/1EDz1mYl 

6. http://go.apa.at/gYBCKeN2 

7. http://go.apa.at/wj0QJ4E0 

8. http://go.apa.at/5w6JvEai 

9. http://go.apa.at/Q1FyNdha 

10. http://go.apa.at/xTUqFs4C 


Laurens Lauer Assessor
07-Nov-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

As the applicant declares, most fact-checks concern CoVid 19-related topics and therefore do not explicitly address statements made by politicians. The provided examples comprise a few fact-checks involving claims made by politicians or issues notably related to single politicians, and the review of additional fact-checks involves a few more. These examples do not show any sign of partisanship, and they follow a consistent structure that focuses on the claim and its verification with little regard to the author, except for useful information or if he or she is relevant for the validation itself.


done_all 2.1 marked as Compliant by Laurens Lauer.

Criteria 2.2
Proof you meet criteria
Please share a link to a place on your website where you explain how you select claims to check, explaining how you ensure you do not unduly concentrate your fact-checking on any one side, and how you consider the reach and importance of the claims you select to check.

APA - Austria Presse Agentur
07-May-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago
Laurens Lauer Assessor
07-Nov-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Again, the fact-checks cover almost exclusively health-related fact-checks due to the corona pandemic. However, the fact-checks covering politicians do not show any sign of unduly concentration on any onde political side, and the pieces concerning CoVid 19 cover a wide range of aspects as well. The applicant further provides detailed information about the selection process, and the reviewed articles meet these criteria.


done_all 2.2 marked as Compliant by Laurens Lauer.

Criteria 2.3
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will assess compliance through a review of the fact checks published over the previous year. No additional information required.

Laurens Lauer Assessor
07-Nov-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

The review of the sources used by APA Faktencheck shows a focus on primary data and explanations by relevant individuals (like experts or press officers), whose statements are almost always contextualized by information about the individuals’ positions, his/her expertise and knowledge base, and if applicable: interests (very rare since hardly present).


done_all 2.3 marked as Compliant by Laurens Lauer.

Criteria 2.4
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will assess compliance through a review of the fact checks published over the previous year. No additional information required.

APA - Austria Presse Agentur
07-May-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago


Laurens Lauer Assessor
07-Nov-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

There are no signs of political support and partisanship by the APA, its public statements, or the project’s fact-checks.


done_all 2.4 marked as Compliant by Laurens Lauer.

Criteria 2.5
Proof you meet criteria
Please share a link to a place on your website where you publish a statement setting out your policy on non-partisanship for staff and how it ensures the organization meets this criteria.

APA - Austria Presse Agentur
07-May-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago
APA - Austria Presse Agentur
21-Jan-2021 (2 months ago)

https://multimedia.apa.at/Site/APA-Faktencheck/Aufbau_und_redaktionelle_Grundsaetze.html

Update 21. 1. 2021: We clarified on our homepage that all non-partizanship standards and journalistic principles are mandatory for APA journalists. They have to comply with in-house guidelines.

Laurens Lauer Assessor
07-Nov-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

APA Faktencheck does not explicitly state a policy on how staff demonstrates non-partisanship. Still, a review of their social media accounts and the organization’s one did not reveal any clear personal support for politicians or parties.


cancel 2.5 marked as Request change by Laurens Lauer.
Laurens Lauer Assessor
25-Jan-2021 (2 months ago)

APA Faktencheck does explicitly state a policy that its members have to comply with non-partisanship and journalistic principles, whcih further safeguarded by internal guidelines.


done_all 2.5 marked as Compliant by Laurens Lauer.

Section 3: A commitment to Standards and Transparency of Sources

To be compliant on sources, applicants must meet these four criteria

  • 3.1 The applicant identifies the source of all significant evidence used in their fact checks, providing relevant links where the source is available online, in such a way that users can replicate their work if they wish. In cases where identifying the source would compromise the source’s personal security, the applicant provides as much detail as compatible with the source’s safety.
  • 3.2 The applicant uses the best available primary, not secondary, sources of evidence wherever suitable primary sources are available. Where suitable primary sources are not available, the applicant explains the use of a secondary source.
  • 3.3 The applicant checks all key elements of claims against more than one named source of evidence save where the one source is the only source relevant on the topic.
  • 3.4 The applicant identifies in its fact checks the relevant interests of the sources it uses where the reader might reasonably conclude those interests could influence the accuracy of the evidence provided.

Criteria 3.1
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the applicant’s use of sources in a randomised sample of its fact checks to assess compliance. No additional evidence is required.

Laurens Lauer Assessor
07-Nov-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

APA Faktencheck discloses all sources used and provides links or files them in archives to ensure readers access.


done_all 3.1 marked as Compliant by Laurens Lauer.

Criteria 3.2
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the applicant’s use of sources in a randomised sample of its fact checks to assess compliance. No additional evidence is required.

Laurens Lauer Assessor
07-Nov-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

APA Faktencheck uses primary data where possible and relies on high-quality sources to verify claims and provide useful information. It draws on secondary sources if necessary and flags these situations by providing additional information about the source (see also 2.3).


done_all 3.2 marked as Compliant by Laurens Lauer.

Criteria 3.3
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the applicant’s use of sources in a randomised sample of its fact checks to assess compliance. No additional evidence is required.

Laurens Lauer Assessor
07-Nov-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

APA Faktencheck relies in most cases on appropriate high-quality sources or accurate proof that justify the use of single sources, and it draws in multiple evidence in situations that are more complicated or when the point in question is extraordinarily essential.


done_all 3.3 marked as Compliant by Laurens Lauer.

Criteria 3.4
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the applicant’s use of sources in a randomised sample of its fact checks to assess compliance. No additional evidence is required.

Laurens Lauer Assessor
07-Nov-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

The situation hardly occurs, but if so the project does disclose the sources' interests (see also 2.3).


done_all 3.4 marked as Compliant by Laurens Lauer.

Section 4: A commitment to Transparency of Funding & Organization

To be compliant on funding and organization, applicants must meet these five criteria

  • 4.1 Applicants that are independent organizations have a page on their website detailing each source of funding accounting for 5% or more of total revenue for its previous financial year. This page also sets out the legal form in which the organization is registered (e.g. as a non-profit, as a company etc).
  • 4.2 Applicants that are the fact-checking section or unit of a media house or other parent organization make a statement on ownership.
  • 4.3 A statement on the applicant’s website sets out the applicant’s organizational structure and makes clear how and by whom editorial control is exercised.
  • 4.4 A page on the applicant’s website details the professional biography of all those who, according to the organizational structure and play a significant part in its editorial output.
  • 4.5 The applicant provides easy means on its website and/or via social media for users to communicate with the editorial team.

Criteria 4.1
Proof you meet criteria
Please confirm whether you are an ‘independent organization’
or ‘the fact-checking section or unit of a media house or other parent organization’ and share proof of this organizational status.

APA - Austria Presse Agentur
07-May-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

APA-Faktencheck is the fact-checking section of APA - Austria Presse Agentur. 

https://multimedia.apa.at/Site/APA-Faktencheck/Aufbau_und_redaktionelle_Grundsaetze.html

Press release: http://go.apa.at/aZkSq05m 

Laurens Lauer Assessor
07-Nov-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

APA Faktencheck is evidently a new fact-checking unit of the Austrian Press Agency.


done_all 4.1 marked as Compliant by Laurens Lauer.

Criteria 4.2
Proof you meet criteria
If your organization is an “independent organization”, please share a link to the page on your website where you detail your funding and indicate the legal form in which the organization is registered (e.g. as a non-profit, as a company etc).
If your organization is “the fact-checking section or unit of a media house or other parent organization”, please share a link to the statement on your website about your ownership.

APA - Austria Presse Agentur
07-May-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago
Laurens Lauer Assessor
07-Nov-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

APA Faktencheck states the general structure and business model of its parent company on its project website and provides links to the company’s most recent annual reports.


done_all 4.2 marked as Compliant by Laurens Lauer.

Criteria 4.3
Proof you meet criteria
Please share a link to where on your website you set out your organizational structure, making clear how and by whom editorial control is exercised.

APA - Austria Presse Agentur
07-May-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago
Laurens Lauer Assessor
07-Nov-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

APA Faktencheck explains on its project website the organizational structure of the parent company, how the unit is embedded in it, and who has editorial responsibilities. Further, readers can easily find detailed information about this issue on APA’s homepage if they are interested in the parent company’s organizational structure in more general.


done_all 4.3 marked as Compliant by Laurens Lauer.

Criteria 4.4
Proof you meet criteria
Please share a link to where on your website you set out the professional biographies of those who play a significant part in your organization’s editorial output.

APA - Austria Presse Agentur
07-May-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago
Laurens Lauer Assessor
07-Nov-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

APA Faktencheck provides detailed information about the members of the core team and its coordinator.


done_all 4.4 marked as Compliant by Laurens Lauer.

Criteria 4.5
Proof you meet criteria
Please share a link to where on your website you encourage users to communicate with your editorial team.

APA - Austria Presse Agentur
07-May-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago
Laurens Lauer Assessor
07-Nov-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

APA Faktencheck has a dedicated webpage that provides readers an email address and Twitter handle to get in touch or to submit claims, explaining what kind of claims they can expect to be verified.


done_all 4.5 marked as Compliant by Laurens Lauer.

Section 5: A commitment to Standards and Transparency of Methodology

To be compliant on methodology, applicants must meet these six criteria

  • 5.1 The applicant publishes on its website a statement about the methodology it uses to select, research, write and publish its fact checks.
  • 5.2 The applicant selects claims to check based primarily on the reach and importance of the claims, and where possible explains the reason for choosing the claim to check.
  • 5.3 The applicant sets out in its fact checks relevant evidence that appears to support the claim as well as relevant evidence that appears to undermine it.
  • 5.4 The applicant in its fact checks assesses the merits of the evidence found using the same high standards applied to evidence on equivalent claims, regardless of who made the claim.
  • 5.5 The applicant seeks where possible to contact those who made the claim to seek supporting evidence, noting that (I) this is often not possible with online claims, (II) if the person who makes the claim fails to reply in a timely way this should not impede the fact check, (III) if a speaker adds caveats to the claim, the fact-checker should be free to continue with checking the original claim, (IV) fact-checkers may not wish to contact the person who made the claim for safety or other legitimate reasons.
  • 5.6 The applicant encourages users to send in claims to check, while making it clear what readers can legitimately expect will be fact-checked and what isn’t fact-checkable.

Criteria 5.1
Proof you meet criteria
Please provide a link to the statement on your website that explains the methodology you use to select, research, write and publish your fact checks.

APA - Austria Presse Agentur
07-May-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago
APA - Austria Presse Agentur
21-Jan-2021 (2 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago

https://multimedia.apa.at/Site/APA-Faktencheck/Regeln_fuer_den_Faktencheck.html 

Update 21. 1. 2021: We added information on our homepage on how we deal with the statement's authors, especially with politicians.

Laurens Lauer Assessor
07-Nov-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

APA Faktencheck provides a detailed section on its website explaining the proceeding and the applied criteria for claim selection and verification, the quality standards used, and the standard structure of its published fact-checks. The applicant’s fact-checks consistently follow a unified structure and meet the criteria outlined in the methodology. This includes an introduction into the issue with one or more examples of the claim’s occurrence, the explicit pointing out of the facts to be checked, the presentation of the results in a short paragraph, and the detailed verification of the issue in question.

The methodology should address more clearly how the project deals with the statements' authors. As noted under 5.5, this aspect is not so relevant right now since the project verifies primarily claims emerging on social media, but it would be essential when it comes to explicit statements made by politicians.


cancel 5.1 marked as Request change by Laurens Lauer.
Laurens Lauer Assessor
25-Jan-2021 (2 months ago)

APA Faktencheck provides a detailed section on its website explaining the proceeding and the applied criteria for claim selection and verification, the quality standards used, and the standard structure of its published fact-checks. The applicant’s fact-checks consistently follow a unified structure and meet the criteria outlined in the methodology. This includes an introduction into the issue with one or more examples of the claim’s occurrence, the explicit pointing out of the facts to be checked, the presentation of the results in a short paragraph, and the detailed verification of the issue in question.


done_all 5.1 marked as Compliant by Laurens Lauer.

Criteria 5.2
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the methodology used in a randomised sample of your fact checks to assess compliance with these criteria. No additional evidence is required.

Laurens Lauer Assessor
07-Nov-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

The review of a sample of the applicant’s fact-checks evidences a strong focus on issues/claims of public relevance. That is the presumed public benefit of verifying the claim and its public reach regarding media attention or social media sharing and likes.


done_all 5.2 marked as Compliant by Laurens Lauer.

Criteria 5.3
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the methodology used in a randomised sample of your fact checks to assess compliance with these criteria. No additional evidence is required.

Laurens Lauer Assessor
07-Nov-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

The review of a sample of the applicant’s fact-checks shows a weighing of relevant evidence supporting and undermining the claim, and the indication of missing evidence, if applicable.


done_all 5.3 marked as Compliant by Laurens Lauer.

Criteria 5.4
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the methodology used in a randomised sample of your fact checks to assess compliance with these criteria. No additional evidence is required.

Laurens Lauer Assessor
07-Nov-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

The review of a sample of the applicant’s fact-checks does not indicate unequal handling of claims and evidence depending on their authors (again: a very small number of fact-checks deals with explicit statements of politicians).


done_all 5.4 marked as Compliant by Laurens Lauer.

Criteria 5.5
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the methodology used in a randomised sample of your fact checks to assess compliance with these criteria. No additional evidence is required.

Laurens Lauer Assessor
07-Nov-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Since APA Faktencheck has focused primarily on CoVid 19 related claims on social media, contacting the source is usually not feasible and does not happen. The applicant states to seek a comment of the claim’s author where possible (see 2.1), but this aspiration is not part of the public methodology and should be addressed in the future, especially if the project turns more towards verifying politicians’ statements.


done_all 5.5 marked as Compliant by Laurens Lauer.

Criteria 5.6
Proof you meet criteria
Please describe how you encourage users to send in claims to check, while making it clear what readers can legitimately expect will be fact-checked and what isn’t fact-checkable. Include links where appropriate. If you do not allow this, explain why.

APA - Austria Presse Agentur
07-May-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

The APA-Faktencheck calls on readers to send in topic suggestions for the fact checks: https://multimedia.apa.at/Site/APA-Faktencheck/Kontakt.html  A mail address is made available on every fact check story, and is also on a pinned post in the Liveblog tool used for fact checks. In addition, the APA-Faktencheck can be reached via its Twitter account: https://twitter.com/APA_Faktencheck  

The APA-Faktencheck also points out to readers that we can only examine claims which follow our rules for the APA-Faktenchecks. The rules are listed here: https://multimedia.apa.at/Site/APA-Faktencheck/Regeln_fuer_den_Faktencheck.html 

We make clear, that topics relevant for fact checking include questionable information or claims that “go viral” and garner social interest, or if they have an effect on decision-making for a large number of people. These can be news topics with a lot of media attention, or even social media posts with a lot of “shares”. A certain reach is a necessary criteria. Questionable postings in closed forums or postings without much interaction are not relevant as a rule.

The selection of fact checks can be on all topics and in all socially-relevant areas of life. The APA fulfils its responsibilities independently of state, government and parties according to the standards of reliability, speed, balance and avoidance of any partisanship or one-sidedness. The fact check team selects its topics for examination, bearing these guidelines in mind. 


Laurens Lauer Assessor
07-Nov-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

See 4.5: APA Faktencheck has a dedicated website that provides readers an email address and Twitter handle to get in touch or to submit claims, explaining what kind of claims they can expect to be verified.


done_all 5.6 marked as Compliant by Laurens Lauer.

Section 6: A commitment to an Open & Honest Corrections Policy

To be compliant on corrections policy, applicants must meet these five criteria

  • 6.1 The applicant has a corrections or complaints policy that is easily visible and accessible on the organization’s website or frequently referenced in broadcasts.
  • 6.2 The policy sets out clear definitions of what it does and does not cover, how major mistakes, especially those requiring revised conclusions of a fact check, are handled, and the fact that some complaints may justify no response. This policy is adhered to scrupulously.
  • 6.3 Where credible evidence is provided that the applicant has made a mistake worthy of correction, the applicant makes a correction openly and transparently, seeking as far as possible to ensure that users of the original see the correction and the corrected version.
  • 6.4 The applicant, if an existing signatory, should either on its corrections/complaints page or on the page where it declares itself an IFCN signatory inform users that if they believe the signatory is violating the IFCN Code, they may inform the IFCN, with a link to the IFCN site.
  • 6.5 If the applicant is the fact-checking unit of a media company, it is a requirement of signatory status that the parent media company has and adheres to an open and honest corrections policy.

Criteria 6.1
Proof you meet criteria
Please provide a link to where you publish on your website your corrections or complaints policy. If you are primarily a broadcaster, please provide evidence you frequently reference your corrections policy in broadcasts.

APA - Austria Presse Agentur
07-May-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago
Laurens Lauer Assessor
07-Nov-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

The applicant dedicates a visible and easy to access webpage to the issue of corrections and invites readers to submit feedback on its "contact us" webpage.


done_all 6.1 marked as Compliant by Laurens Lauer.

Criteria 6.2
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the corrections policy to verify it meets critera. No additional information needed.

Laurens Lauer Assessor
07-Nov-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

The applicant provides a detailed correction and complaints policy that explains how it deals with mistakes and how it marks corrections to enable the consumer to trace changes.


done_all 6.2 marked as Compliant by Laurens Lauer.

Criteria 6.3
Proof you meet criteria
Please provide a short statement about how the policy was adhered to over the previous year (or six months if this is the first application) including evidence of two examples of the responses provided by the applicant to a correction request over the previous year. Where no correction request has been made in the previous year, you must state this in your application, which will be publicly available in the assessment if your application is successful.

APA - Austria Presse Agentur
07-May-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

If we notice major errors in our fact checks, or if we are confronted with legitimate interjections, then it is of utmost concern to us to quickly and transparently correct the fact checks in question. This is aimed at avoiding further readers from seeing the uncorrected version. Due to the live blog format, mistakes can be easily corrected, so that even the already-shared links to the older stories will lead to the corrected versions.

In mid-May, we examined the rumour that Ibuprofen was contributing to a more serious disease progression in people with the Covid-19 virus. Part of our fact check was a current warning by the WHO, which advised people not to take Ibuprofen without consulting a doctor first. However, a few days after the fact check, the WHO warning was withdrawn, which the fact check team and readers both noticed. The fact check was subsequently corrected.

http://go.apa.at/8rQboU7e  

On May 20, we looked at how many Covid-19 tests were being held in Vienna. For this, we examined an Excel file from the office of city councillor Peter Hacker and found that the figures had a calculation error, but that was not relevant for the figures in the original fact check. Following this, a member of office contacted us to explain his view of the data. We could then follow the calculation course, and corrected the fact check by removing the section in question. 

http://go.apa.at/2gbt1ccM 

Laurens Lauer Assessor
07-Nov-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

The examples provided by the applicant demonstrate the adherence to the outlined correction policy and visibly highlight and explain changes made.


done_all 6.3 marked as Compliant by Laurens Lauer.

Criteria 6.4
Proof you meet criteria
If you are an existing signatory, please provide a link to show where on your site you inform users that if they believe you are violating the IFCN Code, they may inform the IFCN of this, with a link to the complaints page on the IFCN site.

APA - Austria Presse Agentur
07-May-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

no existing signatory at the moment

Laurens Lauer Assessor
07-Nov-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Not applicable.


done_all 6.4 marked as Compliant by Laurens Lauer.

Criteria 6.5
Proof you meet criteria
If you are the fact-checking unit of a media company, please provide a link to the parent media company’s honest and open corrections policy and provide evidence that it adheres to this.

APA - Austria Presse Agentur
07-May-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

https://www.apa.at/Site/Nachrichtenagentur/Die_Redaktion.de.html


Please refer to file "APA_KORREKTUREN". Due to technical issues we couldn't remove the older version.

Files Attached
picture_as_pdf Artikel-4.pdf (50 KB) picture_as_pdf APA_korrekturen.pdf (241 KB)
Laurens Lauer Assessor
07-Nov-2020 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

The applicant’s parent company has a clear correction policy and follows professional quality standards. Examples of corrections demonstrate the adherence to these standards.


done_all 6.5 marked as Compliant by Laurens Lauer.