APA - Austria Presse Agentur

Organization: APA - Austria Presse Agentur
Applicant: Florian Schmidt
Assessor: Stephan Mündges

Background

The Austria Presse Agentur (APA) is Austria's biggest national news agency. It is well established and an integral part of Austria's media ecosystem. The APA is owned by the public service broadcaster ORF and several publishers. The fact-checking department which aims to address disinformation and provide costumers and readers with verified information, was first approved as a signatory of the IFCN's Code of Principles on March 8, 2021. Since then the fact-checking department has continued its work in a diligent and professional manner. 

Assessment Conclusion

In its application and published fact checks APA proves that by and large it adheres to the IFCN's Code of Principles. On its website APA discloses all relevant information. 

The fact-checks published over the last 12 months concern relevant issues (mostly in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic), follow a clear structure, use an established journalistic methodology, apply the IFCN's standards regarding the transparency of sources, and show no sign of partisanship.

on 28-Mar-2022 (4 months ago)

Stephan Mündges assesses application as Compliant

A short summary in native publishing language

Die Bewerbung als Signatory des Code of Principles entspricht in weiten Teilen den Anforderungen des IFCN. Die veröffentlichen Faktenchecks überzeugen in Themenauswahl, Darstellung, Quellenlage und journalistische Sorgfalt. Lediglich in einigen Fällen wurden die Urheber der überprüften Behauptungen - zumindest so weit ersichtlich aus dem Text - nicht kontaktiert und um Stellungnahme gebeten. Bei online kursierenden Gerüchten und Behauptungen ist das häufig nicht möglich, in anderen Fällen aber schon. In Zukunft sollte darauf vermehrt geachtet werden (zu Details s. Assessment zu Kriterium 5.5).

Auch die Anforderungen zu Transparenz- und Offenlegungspflichten werden erfüllt. 

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
17-Feb-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 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 

Stephan Mündges Assessor
22-Feb-2022 (5 months ago)

Information is accessible, comprehensive and meets the criteria.


done_all 1.1 marked as Compliant by Stephan Mündges.

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
17-Feb-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 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 eight 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. In cooperation with dpa (German news agency) APA does fact checking for Facebook and offers verification training funded by Google for Austrian journalists.

4. The goal in the coming year is to further expand the APA fact check department and to take part in more fact-checking projects. We aim to establish fact checks in Austrian media. 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, the development of technical support and solution for the fact-checking process will be a focus. 

Stephan Mündges Assessor
22-Feb-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

The answer to question four is rather broad and offers very little detail. But overall, answers are sufficient and all claims are accurate. 


done_all 1.2 marked as Compliant by Stephan Mündges.

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
17-Feb-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

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.

Stephan Mündges Assessor
22-Feb-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Most fact-checks focus on false claims regarding the corona virus pandemic. The issues covered can have an impact on the welfare or well-being of individuals, the general public or society.


done_all 1.4 marked as Compliant by Stephan Mündges.

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
17-Feb-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 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. The research project "Defalsif-ai" is publicly funded and running until October 2022. 

Stephan Mündges Assessor
22-Feb-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Independence has been explained sufficiently. Publicly funded projects are of minor relevance to the fact checking work.


done_all 1.5 marked as Compliant by Stephan Mündges.

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.

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
17-Feb-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 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) Due to the corona crisis, there have been almost exclusively non-political fact checks in the last months. 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 and to examine claims from more than one party or political side. Our effort is to make sure of a balanced proportion of fact checks on politicians from all parties. 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 original 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 information about a circulating claim and it's reach is given, 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.


https://apa.at/faktencheck/hospitalisierte-in-israel-meistens-nicht-immunisiert/  

https://apa.at/faktencheck/herzerkrankungen-nach-impfung-selten-und-oft-mild/

https://apa.at/faktencheck/amg-gtg-sicherheitsnormen-von-aenderung-unbeeinflusst/

https://apa.at/faktencheck/aussage-von-der-leyens-zu-impfpflicht-wurde-verdreht/

https://apa.at/faktencheck/eintraege-in-der-who-impf-datenbank-nicht-alarmierend/

https://apa.at/faktencheck/impf-vergleiche-ergeben-keine-sicherheitsbedenken/

https://apa.at/faktencheck/lokal-rauswurf-von-minister-mueckstein-ist-erfunden/

https://apa.at/faktencheck/lockdown-studie-wird-verkuerzt-wiedergegeben/

https://apa.at/faktencheck/irrefuehrender-vergleich-zwischen-nowotny-und-bhakdi/

https://apa.at/faktencheck/impfpflicht-sieht-keine-regelmaessigen-impfungen-vor/

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
17-Feb-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago
Stephan Mündges Assessor
22-Feb-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Text behind link is comprehensive and meets criteria.


done_all 2.2 marked as Compliant by Stephan Mündges.

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.

Stephan Mündges Assessor
22-Feb-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

For most fact checks of the applicant this criteria is not applicable, as there is no reason to assume that sources' interests could influence the accuracy of the evidence provided. However, in the rare cases where this criteria is applicable, interests of sources are disclosed.


done_all 2.3 marked as Compliant by Stephan Mündges.

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.

Stephan Mündges Assessor
22-Feb-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

In my review of 20 randomly selected fact checks there was no partisan agenda apparent. Political parties are only occasionally mentioned in fact checks. The FPÖ is mentioned and fact checked more often in the articles reviewed. However, this is probably due to the FPÖ's use of false or misleading claims as part of their communication strategy.

With regard to policies, there is also no partisan agenda apparent. Though many fact checks are focussed on false claims surrounding the Covid-19 vaccines and the coronavirus pandemic, the prevalence of these issues is reasonable as these issues dominated the news over the course of the last year.


done_all 2.4 marked as Compliant by Stephan Mündges.

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
17-Feb-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

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.

Stephan Mündges Assessor
22-Feb-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Sources of significant evidence are are identified and linked to. Only in one case of the reviewed fact checks a link or picture of a 1957 BILD article, which is at the centre of the fact check, is missing. (Fact check in question can be found here: https://apa.at/faktencheck/in-europa-wurden-noch-nie-ueber-50-grad-gemessen/ ). 


done_all 3.1 marked as Compliant by Stephan Mündges.

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.

Stephan Mündges Assessor
22-Feb-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Where possible the applicant uses very good primary sources.


done_all 3.2 marked as Compliant by Stephan Mündges.

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.

Stephan Mündges Assessor
22-Feb-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

The applicant checks all key elements of claims against more than one named source of evidence thoroughly. 


done_all 3.3 marked as Compliant by Stephan Mündges.

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.

Stephan Mündges Assessor
22-Feb-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

This criteria was not applicable in many fact checks as there was no reason to assume that interests of sources could influence the accuracy of the evidence provided. However, in those instances that it did apply, interests of sources were disclosed. 


done_all 3.4 marked as Compliant by Stephan Mündges.

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
17-Feb-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

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

https://apa.at/faktencheck/aufbau-redaktionelle-grundsaetze/

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

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
17-Feb-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

https://apa.at/faktencheck/aufbau-redaktionelle-grundsaetze/                         

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
17-Feb-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago
APA - Austria Presse Agentur
28-Mar-2022 (4 months ago)

organization structure: https://apa.at/faktencheck/aufbau-redaktionelle-grundsaetze/

team: https://apa.at/faktencheck/team/ 


We specified on our website that APA-Faktencheck does work completely autonomously: https://apa.at/faktencheck/team/ . Neither public nor non-public institutions (including APA's shareholders) can exercise control over APA's editorial output: https://apa.at/about/die-redaktion/ This is also valid for the work of the fact-checking team.

 

The work in the fact-checking team is independent und unaffected by other parts of the editorial office. The team has access to all basic functions of the editorial system and can publish fact checks without the involvement of other persons such as the editor-in-chief. In some cases, for example when it comes to sensitive topics with a lot of media attention, the fact-checking team can consult the editor-in-chief and inform the editorial departments.

Stephan Mündges Assessor
22-Feb-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

From the links provided, it is unclear how and by whom editorial control is exercised. Can shareholders exercise control? Is there an editor-in-chief who wields final editorial control? What is the exact organizational structure? Is there any editorial oversight over the work of the fact checking team? Or does it work completely autonomously? Please, specify!


cancel 4.3 marked as Request change by Stephan Mündges.
Stephan Mündges Assessor
28-Mar-2022 (4 months ago)

From the links provided, it is unclear how and by whom editorial control is exercised. Can shareholders exercise control? Is there an editor-in-chief who wields final editorial control? What is the exact organizational structure? Is there any editorial oversight over the work of the fact checking team? Or does it work completely autonomously? Please, specify!

Update March 28: A paragraph specifying the independence of the fact checking unit has been added. Thus,the criteria is fulfilled.


done_all 4.3 marked as Compliant by Stephan Mündges.

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
17-Feb-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

https://apa.at/faktencheck/team/                     

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
17-Feb-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

https://apa.at/faktencheck/kontakt/                   

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
17-Feb-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

https://apa.at/faktencheck/regeln/                

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.

Stephan Mündges Assessor
22-Feb-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Overall, claims are based primarily on their reach and importance and the reasons for choosing the claim to check are explained. However, in some cases more details could be provided. In this https://apa.at/faktencheck/patent-entwickelt-strategien-zur-impf-priorisierung/ and this https://apa.at/faktencheck/afghanen-in-kriminalstatistik-ueberrepraesentiert/ the reach of the false claims is not discussed. This could be improved in the future.


done_all 5.2 marked as Compliant by Stephan Mündges.

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.

Stephan Mündges Assessor
22-Feb-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

This criteria is met in every fact check reviewed.


done_all 5.3 marked as Compliant by Stephan Mündges.

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.

Stephan Mündges Assessor
22-Feb-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

This criteria is met in every fact check reviewed.


done_all 5.4 marked as Compliant by Stephan Mündges.

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.

Stephan Mündges Assessor
22-Feb-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

In most cases this criteria is not relevant as in most instances online claims are checked and the original author of the claim is unclear. However, in three instances of twenty reviewed fact checks those who made the claim were not contacted (at least, as far as I can tell from the written fact checks) to seek supporting evidence even though this would have been easily possible.

In this fact check (https://apa.at/faktencheck/apa-faktencheck-fpoe-video-zu-covid-impfung-enthaelt-desinformation/) there is no mention, that the applicant reached out to the politician Kickl whose false claims are being checked, even though that would have been easily possible.

This fact check (https://apa.at/faktencheck/massnahmen-der-kepler-uni-offenbaren-impfstatus-nicht/) states that FPÖ has made a false claim, but the party was not contacted for comment.

This fact check (https://apa.at/faktencheck/desinformationen-im-urteil-des-verwaltungsgerichts/) analyses a decision by an Austrian court. There is no mention in the fact check stating that the court was contacted after the publication of the decision.

In three of twenty instances the criteria was not met which, in my opinion, does not warrant a "non-compliant". But in the future the applicant should be more thorough with regard to this criteria.


done_all 5.5 marked as Compliant by Stephan Mündges.

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
17-Feb-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

APA-Faktencheck calls on readers to send in topic suggestions for the fact checks: https://apa.at/faktencheck/kontakt/ A mail address is made available on every fact check story. In addition, the APA-Faktencheck can be reached via its Twitter account: https://twitter.com/APA_Faktencheck

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

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. 

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
17-Feb-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

https://apa.at/faktencheck/korrekturregeln/                    

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

Stephan Mündges Assessor
22-Feb-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Overall, the corrections policy is comprehensive and meets the criteria. It does not address specifically how major mistakes requiring revised conclusions of a fact-check are handled. However, the policy states that grave research mistakes and false information will be corrected and users will be notified via Twitter which seems sufficient.


done_all 6.2 marked as Compliant by Stephan Mündges.

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
17-Feb-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 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. Mistakes in the published factchecks can be easily corrected on our homepage, so that even the already-shared links to the older stories will lead to the corrected versions.

In April 2021 we claimed that a video on YouTube can't be found anymore. After we got a hint that the video ist still available, we changed the relevant part in the fact check and wrote a notice at the end of the text.


https://apa.at/faktencheck/desinformationen-im-urteil-des-verwaltungsgerichts/  

In July 2021 we made a mistake when we wrote about 8.000 corona deaths per day in Great Britain instead of 8.000 corona deaths per week. The fact check was corrected immediately after the error was noticed.

https://apa.at/faktencheck/warum-sind-in-gb-viele-geimpfte-unter-corona-toten/ 


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
17-Feb-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

We inform users on the main page of our APA-Faktencheck site next to the IFCN signatory logo https://apa.at/service/faktencheck-2/ and in the correction rules section https://apa.at/faktencheck/korrekturregeln/ 

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
17-Feb-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

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

The attachments (screenshot from APA's wire network application) show how corrected content items are emphasized as well as the amount of details/additional information we include in our correction marks.


Files Attached
Korrekturbeispiel AO... (257 KB) picture_as_pdf apa_correction2.pdf (65 KB) picture_as_pdf apa_correction1.pdf (119 KB)
APA - Austria Presse Agentur
28-Mar-2022 (4 months ago)

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

The attachments (screenshot from APA's wire network application) show how corrected content items are emphasized as well as the amount of details/additional information we include in our correction marks.


We've added information about the corrections policy on APA's website: https://apa.at/about/die-redaktion/
There are internal documents which serve as guidelines for corrections in APA’s editorial office. All editors are bound by this correction policy and have to make corrections promptly, transparently and meticulously. We have added a document including some excerpts of the regulations from internal documents.


Files Attached
picture_as_pdf APAKorrekturen.pdf (93 KB)
Stephan Mündges Assessor
22-Feb-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Even though the attachments prove that the applicant's parent company does correct mistakes transparently, the link provided does not lead to a corrections policy. Please, provide a link to the corrections policy.


cancel 6.5 marked as Request change by Stephan Mündges.
Stephan Mündges Assessor
28-Mar-2022 (4 months ago)

Even though the attachments prove that the applicant's parent company does correct mistakes transparently, the link provided does not lead to a corrections policy. Please, provide a link to the corrections policy.


Update March 28: A brief corrections policy has been added.


done_all 6.5 marked as Compliant by Stephan Mündges.