Demagog.cz

Organization: Demagog.cz
Applicant: Petr Gongala
Assessor: Jan Indra

Background

Demagog was asked to conduct slight changes with respect to its website, particularly the bios of its Board members as they did not previously show whether these individuals have other jobs/professional commitments.

Assessment Conclusion

Demagog has updated its website, now listing other professional commitments of its Board members. Therefore, all requested changes were conducted and I can now confirm Demagog as compliant with respect to all criteria.

on 06-Aug-2020 (2 months ago)

Jan Indra assesses application as Compliant

A short summary in native publishing language

Demagog dle požadavků doplnil svůj web o další profesní závazky členů svojí Rady, vyhověl tak požadovaným změnám a proto jej nyní hodnotím jako splňující všechna kritéria.

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.

Demagog.cz
28-Jun-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Demagog.cz is legally registered as an association with the explicit purpose of fact-checking and related activities. Information about the association and its structure are listed on the website at: https://demagog.cz/stranka/o-nas.

Link to public register: https://or.justice.cz/ias/ui/rejstrik-firma.vysledky?subjektId=938169&typ=PLATNY

Jan Indra Assessor
06-Jul-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

As evidenced by the provided links both on Demagog`s website and the public register of legal persons, Demagog is a legally registered stand-alone entity, founded principally for the purpose of „fact-checking of politicans`s claims in publicly available discussions and debates“ (other purposes include „putting pressure on the advancement of quality of political discussions“, „improving civic democratic society“, „education with respect to media literacy“ or „advancing the principles of personal responsibility“).

Recently, the platform has also partnered with the platform Naši politici („Our politicians“, a website containing profiles of various, mainly high-profile politicians in the country), attaching every politicans` profiles with a scorecard containing the number of their claims being fact-checked by Demagog and categorizing these with respect of their (in)correctness.

In 2017, I had the opportunity to assess Demagog when it first applied to be the signatory of IFCN`s Code of Principles. To quote my previous assessment: „Demagog is one of the few fact-checking initiatives in the Czech Republic, and quite possibly the most notable one. It has a clear and thorough code of ethics and methodology, and its fact-checking is backed by high-quality research that shows the reasoning behind every assessment of a politician’s claim (true/not true/misleading/impossible to verify). Demagog’s work has been recognized and awarded several times, including winning the Journalism Award in the category “Google Award for Innovative Online Journalism“.

In 2019, I had a second opportunity to assess Demagog`s improvements and, as well as the first time, recommended the organization to be accepted with some minor changes to the project`s website transparency about the organizational hierarchy and personal bios. The website has been updated accordingly and the website clearly lists all the necessary information. I then believe this assessment as such will then be an update on how the organization has fared in the last year.

As far as the media context of the Czech Republic, vast majority of the nation`s media is owned by the country`s wealthiest businessmen, and, one dares to say, oligarchs. As such, non-profit small initiatives increasingly gain importance as there, as opposed to large media houses, do not have to necessarily worry about their staff self-censoring themselves for the fear of losing their job position, nor are they influenced in their selection of topics and how these are portrayed by their top superiors. If only for this, I believe small initiatives, Demagog included, have their place on the country`s media landscape.

Concerning the political context, the rise of populism and the accompanying realization that really anything can be said as long as the audience (potential voters) likes it, with our Prime Minister Andrej Babis being the leader of applying this ruthless tactic, it seems more important than ever that politicans` claims are being fact-checked and our representatives are held accountable for what information they spread.

Socio-economically, the country is (as any country now, really) entering a period of high state debt, high budget deficits and potentially an onslaught of ridiculous state spending, defended by the leading political party in the sense that our country is going to „invest itself out of the crisis“. Regardless of whether this can even be true, now more than ever politican`s claims on how resources are going to be used, together with the real spending figures, need to be under the spotlight of both journalists and the public in general. I believe Demagog can have a valuable role to play in this regard as on of very few and the most established fact-checking organization in the Czech Republic,


done_all 1.1 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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?

Demagog.cz
28-Jun-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago
1) Demagog.cz was publicly launched in February 2012 for the purpose of fact-checking public political debates. Back then, there was no media organization explicitly dedicated to fact-checking in the country and we (largely students from Brno, Czech Rep.) felt that there was need to publish independent fact-checks for debates during elections and even for those happening each week on TV.

For the past 8 years, our mission has remained the same: provide the public with unbiased information, point out falsehoods and misleading claims, and educate young people, not least our student interns, on how to find and use sources of data.

2) Who currently works (mostly volunteers) at Demagog.cz:

5 editors
24 analysts, mostly interns, out of whom 3 manage our social media accounts
6 proofreaders
2 IT specialists
2 coordinators

3) Besides fact-checking, we:

a) run workshops on fact-checking and media literacy,
b) promote fact-checking during various public gatherings,
c) maintain political promise trackers,
d) are developing a tool for teaching media literacy in schools,


4) We are currently shifting our focus from claims made solely during weekly TV debates, interviews etc. to also include claims made on social media, and so our principle goal is to manage this shift without compromising our standards and our public image. From an organizational standpoint, we are hoping to achieve personnel and financial stability, although these are continuous challenges.

Jan Indra Assessor
06-Jul-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

As stated, Demagog has already started publishing its assessments in 2012 (as evidenced by the web archive Wayback Machine). However, the legal person Demagog.cz, z.s., ID 05140544, was founded in June 2016, after the project probably displayed a certain measure of viability and potential.

The entire team of Demagog is listed on its website, which is a positive development from my last assessment. All entries are accompanied by a photo and a short bio. With respect to the project leaders, I can imagine these bio could ideally be a little more extensive, especially when including other professional engagements.

I appreciate Demagog`s effort to branch out strictly from fact-checking to organizing workshops and educating in media literacy and see this as positive development and other potential sources of funding for staying afloat, as is the continuous goal of virtually any nonprofit organization in the country.

Files Attached
Snímek obrazovky 20... (1 MB) Snímek obrazovky 20... (223 KB) Snímek obrazovky 20... (111 KB)
done_all 1.2 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Demagog.cz
28-Jun-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

All our fact-checks are listed directly on our website: https://demagog.cz with some publications containing fact-checks of a number of claims made during the same speech, interview or debate.

To find past fact-checks, one can switch pages at the bottom of the list, search through pages of individual politicians covered (such as https://demagog.cz/politici/444), or use our API (https://demagog.cz/stranka/api-pro-vyvojare).

An Excel file with past fact-checked statements is attached.


Files Attached
description statements.xlsx (2 MB)
Jan Indra Assessor
06-Jul-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

I really do appreciate the complete dataset on fact-checks conducted by Demagog, going all the way back to 2012. Very simple and easy for me to transfer to Tableau and look at the aggregates for different time periods, parties or individual speakers.

Looking at the data for the year 2020, Demagog has so fard conducted 468 fact-checks as of June 9, 2020 (the last date data have been provided for by Demagog), with an average of 22 fact-checks per week. Looking at the timeline data, there are 4 weeks in the past 6 months that contain no conducted fact-checks, which can be either attributed to the fact that data uses dates of the fact-checked sources being published/medialized rather than the dates of fact-checks themselves, the staff capacities of Demagog or the unprecedented coronavirus crisis.

Considering the total volume and average amount of fact-checks being done each week, I consider the 4 weeks to be an exception rather than the rule and do not consider it serious enough to deem Demagog non-compliant with respect to this criterion.

Files Attached
picture_as_pdf Number of fact-check... (15 KB) picture_as_pdf Number of fact-check... (15 KB)
done_all 1.3 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Jan Indra Assessor
06-Jul-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

As an organization, Demagog focuses strictly on fact-checking claims of politicians in various discussions or on social media. Inspecting the provided dataset, virtually all statements checked in one way or another are associated with matters of state and its legislature, economy, rule of law and other aspects of the political life in the Czech Republic, which I consider to be potentially impactful on the well-being of society and the public.


done_all 1.4 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Demagog.cz
28-Jun-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

No such relationship currently exists. We accept no funding or donations from political parties or politicians and we are currently not receiving, nor have we received in the previous year, any funding or support from the state, public institutions or political actors, local or foreign.

Jan Indra Assessor
06-Jul-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

As stated by the applicant, no connections to any political bodies, either through financing or personal affiliation, were identified. The Code of Ethics of Demagog further prohibits any public display of personal political preferences of the organization and its team members are prohibited from any political activity, incl. party membership or political movement membership/affiliation.


done_all 1.5 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Demagog.cz
28-Jun-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

We receive no such funding. Our financing is described on our website: https://demagog.cz/stranka/jak-je-projekt-demagogcz-financovan

Jan Indra Assessor
06-Jul-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Demagog has set up a transparent bank account at Raiffeisenbank (https://www.rb.cz/povinne-zverejnovane-informace/transparentni-ucty?mvcPath=transactions&accountNumber=9711283001&path=transactions&dateFrom=2019-01-01&dateTo=2020-07-06), showing all the money flowing in and out of the account. Looking at the data provided by the bank, there indeed is no mention of funding from any political sources (as proclaimed by Demagog).

Looking also at the available annual reports of the organization, I have not found any indication of Demagog lying and receiving political financing, therefore I deem it to be compliant with this criterion.


done_all 1.6 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Demagog.cz
28-Jun-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

The fact-checked claims listed below, most of which are parts of broader discussions (links at the bottom of each fact-check), illustrate that whether we are checking statements made in an interview, in a tweet or a Facebook post, we apply the same basic approach:

1) Identify the various interpretations of the claim and their broader contexts;
2) Present data, ideally based on primary sources, and link to sources whenever they are available online;
3) Determine whether there is a reasonable interpretation of the claim that is supported by available data. If not, the claim is false;
4) If the claim is true, determine whether, when put into context, the claim does not lead the listener/reader to a false conclusion. If it does, the claim is misleading.

https://demagog.cz/vyrok/19381

https://demagog.cz/vyrok/19304

https://demagog.cz/diskuze/dividendy-pro-eu--odtekly-z-ceska-dva-biliony-korun

https://demagog.cz/vyrok/19018

https://demagog.cz/vyrok/18965

https://demagog.cz/vyrok/18935

https://demagog.cz/vyrok/18846

https://demagog.cz/vyrok/18611

https://demagog.cz/vyrok/18367

https://demagog.cz/vyrok/18267

Jan Indra Assessor
06-Jul-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

I have analysed both the assessments and my randomised sample of fact-checks and can confirm that Demagog follows through on its methodology. Each assessment is explained in as much detail as possible with keeping in mind the relevance and availability of primary sources of facts and figures used in statements).

Looking then at the entire dataset, it is clear that Demagog chooses to fact-check all major political parties, with more attention logically dedicated to parties in power and currently holding executive positions and the legislative majority. A table summarising all fact-checks done and categorizing them according to the political party of the statement source can be found in the attachment.

Files Attached
picture_as_pdf Total number of fact... (43 KB)
done_all 2.1 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Demagog.cz
28-Jun-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

While we employ no strict formula to ensure balance, we make sure that politicians from all parliamentary parties are covered in our publications, with an increased focus on those in executive positions. Our primary focus is on interviews and debates or debate segments, from which we simply draw all factual statements and check those regardless of perceived importance.

https://demagog.cz/stranka/jak-hodnotime-metodika

Jan Indra Assessor
06-Jul-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

As stated by Demagog and supported by the underlying data, it does not unduly concentrate its fact-checking on any one side, although it logically directs more attention towards parties who are currently holding executive positions. Inspecting the data for the years 2019 and 2020 for example, Demagog has fact-checked claims by politicans from 11 different parties and other politicans who are not members of any political party.

On the linked website, Demagog sufficiently explains how it selects claims to fact-check, focusing on their relevance for the national audience (the organisation does not fact-check claims of local/municipal politicians) and the potential for verification. As mentioned, Demagog focuses somewhat more on claims made by politicans in executive positions as they have more responsibility for governing the country at a given point in time.


done_all 2.2 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Jan Indra Assessor
06-Jul-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Analysing the assessment of statements provided by the applicant and other statements I picked myself, I can confirm that Demagog always follows the same process with its assessment, which is appropriately put in as much context as possible with respect to a given issue.

With respect to sources used for fact-checking, Demagog mainly uses official government statistics or international organizations and their data sources (e.g. Eurostat). None of the supplied assessments contained any information source that would be a private entity and whose integrity could potentially be questioned, i.e. calling for a statement on how or why the source could be biased.


done_all 2.3 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Jan Indra Assessor
06-Jul-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

As is stated in Demagog`s Code of Ethics, it prohibits both the organization or any of its team members from any political activity or affiliation. As evidenced by the records of its transparent bank account, it also does not receive funding from any political parties or movements.


done_all 2.4 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Demagog.cz
28-Jun-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Our code of ethics includes non-partisanship as one of the primary principles. Both employees and volunteers are required to disclose membership in political parties or political youth organizations and are barred from working in Demagog.cz if they become members or become employed or volunteer for such an entity.

https://demagog.cz/stranka/eticky-kodex-demagogcz

Jan Indra Assessor
06-Jul-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

As evidenced and mentioned above, Demagog prohibits any of its team members from conducting any political activities and requires its staff to leave the team should they want to become politically active. 


done_all 2.5 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Jan Indra Assessor
06-Jul-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Demagog is very thorough with its sourcing, always providing the URL to relevant documents, website, statements etc. Furthermore, it puts the issue at hand in context, commenting on the issue as a whole, even disclosing the internal train-of-thought of the fact-check.


done_all 3.1 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Jan Indra Assessor
06-Jul-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Demagog most frequently uses primary sources such as official government documents or statistics. With respect to secondary sources, these are sometimes used for fact-checking historical events or other facts being misused by politicians in their statements, however, it bears mentioning that with respect to these it would have to be defined what actually could be the primary sources.


done_all 3.2 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Jan Indra Assessor
06-Jul-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Demagog always tries to use numerous sources to support its assessment. Tracing various pieces of any statement to official governmental documents, another statement made by adifferent politician or any historical, sociological or economical piece of information back to the verifiable source is then a standard in Demagog`s assessments.

With respect to certain fact-checks, they could be a little more thorough, however, it is necessary to bear in mind that when using an official source of any factual information, it could possibly be inefficient to spend further time on locating another official source of the same information (in reality, ceratin institutions hold certain data so there might nor really often be one).


done_all 3.3 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Jan Indra Assessor
06-Jul-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

As with criterion 2.3, the analyzed fact-checks of Demagog rely on official national or international data and documents. No private source of evidence, where an identification of its private interest could reasonably be expected, was identified.


done_all 3.4 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Demagog.cz
28-Jun-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Demagog.cz is an independent organization, legally a registered association.

Record in public register: https://or.justice.cz/ias/ui/rejstrik-firma.vysledky?subjektId=938169&typ=PLATNY

 




Jan Indra Assessor
06-Jul-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

As stated above, Demagog is an non-profit organization founded principally for the purposes of fact-checking. As the organization grew larger, it expanded its activities including e.g. workshops on media literacy.

The organization is properly registered in the Commercial Register of the Czech Republic. It also has its own transparent bank account where all transactions can be monitored by the public.


done_all 4.1 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Demagog.cz
28-Jun-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Financial information on our website: https://demagog.cz/stranka/jak-je-projekt-demagogcz-financovan

Our accounts are not audited, the accounting requirements for our association are limited, but all financial transactions made and received by Demagog.cz are listed on our "transparent account" available to the public.

Jan Indra Assessor
06-Jul-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

As stated, Demagog is an independent, non-profit organization. As such, it does not have to publish its full balance sheet according to Czech legislature (only its shortened version) and does not have the obligation to have its books audited.

Since Demagog is a non-profir organization, it does not have a beneficial owner and the only executive body of the organization is its Board, currently having 4 members. All information concerning the legal status of the organization is published on Demagog`s website. I would welcome if the information on organizational structure and current members of the Board were also included in full detail in the annual reports of the orgnization.

The existence of the transparent bank acccount then ensures that all donations received are properly registered and monitored.


done_all 4.2 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Demagog.cz
28-Jun-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Section "Spolek Demagog.cz" at https://demagog.cz/stranka/o-nas

Jan Indra Assessor
06-Jul-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

The linked website clearly describes the organizational structure of Demagog, including the role of the organization`s Board (its only executive body), as well as bios of all team members and their positions in the hierarchy (coordinator/editor/analyst and others).


done_all 4.3 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Demagog.cz
28-Jun-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Section "Kdo připravuje Demagog.cz?" at: https://demagog.cz/stranka/o-nas

Demagog.cz
29-Jul-2020 (2 months ago)

Section "Kdo připravuje Demagog.cz?" at: https://demagog.cz/stranka/o-nas

In response to assessor's feedback, we have somewhat expanded the biographies for Demagog's board members, incl. their current professional commitments and LinkedIn URLs where available. We are considering a revamp of this section of the website to allow for a more structured presentation.

Jan Indra Assessor
06-Jul-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

The linked website lists all od Demagog`s team members and their short biographies. However, I can imagine that the biographies of the members of Demagog`s Board would somewhat longer and more detailed, including a mention of any other organization these individuals are working at. Alternatively, a link to LinkedIn profile could be provided, given of course that these profiles exist.

Example: The lead analyst of Demagog, Ivana Procházková, also claims to be working as a lawyer. Given that IFCN`s principles focus a lot on transparency and disclosure of possible conflicts of interest, I think it would be suitable to list other professional commitments of Demagog`s team members, provided they do not work for Demagog on a full-time basis.


cancel 4.4 marked as Request change by Jan Indra.
Jan Indra Assessor
31-Jul-2020 (2 months ago)

The linked website lists all od Demagog`s team members and their short biographies. However, I can imagine that the biographies of the members of Demagog`s Board would somewhat longer and more detailed, including a mention of any other organization these individuals are working at. Alternatively, a link to LinkedIn profile could be provided, given of course that these profiles exist.

Example: The lead analyst of Demagog, Ivana Procházková, also claims to be working as a lawyer. Given that IFCN`s principles focus a lot on transparency and disclosure of possible conflicts of interest, I think it would be suitable to list other professional commitments of Demagog`s team members, provided they do not work for Demagog on a full-time basis.

UPDATE: I have reviewed the requested changes and can state that Demagog has properly listed professional commitments of its Board members. As stated by the applicant, further visual updates are underway and will further add to a clear and structured presentation of Demagog`s team.


done_all 4.4 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Demagog.cz
28-Jun-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Our contact page lists the email address and phone number of the project coordinator, plus a general team contact for any requests and queries to the organization: https://demagog.cz/stranka/kontakty

Users can also get in touch with us on Facebook via direct messages or comments: https://www.facebook.com/Demagog.CZ/

We encourage users to contact us when they find incorrect information in any of our fact-checks, if they are aware of additional data sources or if they simply have a suggestion on who and what to fact-check: https://demagog.cz/stranka/mam-vyhradu-k-hodnoceni-nebo-navrh-na-overeni-kam-se-mohu-obra

Jan Indra Assessor
06-Jul-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Demagog offers multiple options for the public of how to get in touch, with Facebook likely being the most used one. Users are also actively encouraged to get in touch in case they have any comments on individual assessments or Demagog`s methodology in general.


done_all 4.5 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Demagog.cz
28-Jun-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Our methodology: https://demagog.cz/stranka/jak-hodnotime-metodika.

A specific of Demagog.cz is that we largely focus on debates, speeches or interviews and their segments and fact-check all factual statements made during their course. Over the past 8 years we have checked on average more than 100 claims each month (our current average is around 60) and many more during election campaigns. As a result, we have not found it practicable to contact the speakers in reference to each claim and rather communicate with them and their offices when we are unable to find sufficient sourcing for an assessment of their claim.

Jan Indra Assessor
06-Jul-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

As this is the third time I`ve had the chance to assess Demagog`s methodology, I believe it has, over the years, been expanded and is now very thorough. Both the assessment process and the underlying logic behing the process are sufficiently explained, reminding the public to take the methodology in consideration when looking at individual assessments.


done_all 5.1 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Jan Indra Assessor
06-Jul-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Demagog primarily focuses on claims of politicians from nationally televised debates or their statements on social media. As stated, Demagog primarily checks claims of politicians with national importance and only rarely focuses on regional or municipal politics (e.g. before regional elections). As stated by Demagog in its methodology, relevance is one of the key factors for selecting statements to be fact-checked.


done_all 5.2 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Jan Indra Assessor
06-Jul-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

As stated earlier, I deem Demagog`s sourcing to be thorough and detailed, using as many relevant links to official documents, statistics etc. to fully explain the issue at hand in context. The assessment`s reasoning is fully explained, whether the statement fact-checked is assessed as correct, misleading, incorrect or impossible to verify. Even with respect to claims assessed as incorrect, Demagog tries to explain why an incorrect statements might have been used (either on purpose or because politicians often rely on questionable sources of information that support the narrative or message they try to pass along to their target voter group).


done_all 5.3 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Jan Indra Assessor
06-Jul-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

As with other similar criteria, I believe that Demagog`s sourcing complies with high standards set out by the Code of Principles. Looking at fact-checks on statements made by politicians from different parties in the researched sample, Demagog applies the same logic and procedure with respect to each fact-check. No apparent bias, either in selection of sources or the tone and language used in the assessment, was identified.


done_all 5.4 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Jan Indra Assessor
06-Jul-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

As stated by Demagog, it does not communicate with the sources of statetements to be fact-checked unless they need to in order to gain additional information in order to assess a claim properly.


done_all 5.5 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Demagog.cz
28-Jun-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

We encourage readers to make suggestions on who and what to fact-check on our website: https://demagog.cz/stranka/mam-vyhradu-k-hodnoceni-nebo-navrh-na-overeni-kam-se-mohu-obra.

We used to host a web-based platform called "Ověř to", where fans could suggest claims to check and vote on which ones should be prioritized. The platform was discontinued after a few years due to low public interest and the fact that most of the claims submitted were not factual.

While we receive a number of suggestions over email, few if any contain claims that are current and factual. On the other hand, we are currently increasing our focus on statements made on social media, and have received suggestions via tweet, although this type of audience interaction is still relatively new for us and posts on social media represent a small percentage of our work.


Jan Indra Assessor
06-Jul-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Demagog actively encourages its users to reach out with comments or questions regarding both individual assessments and the methodology of the assessment process in general. Users are also informed on which kinds of claims Demagog assess and which claims cannot be reasonably be expected to be assessed (e.g. trivial facts, opinion-based statements).


done_all 5.6 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Demagog.cz
28-Jun-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago
Jan Indra Assessor
06-Jul-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Demagog has a clear and thorough corrections policy, actively inviting ita users to challenge both the organization`s assessments and methodology. All necessary information is published on the linked website, including a step-by-step description of how correction requests are handled.

I also appreciate the published list off all corrections conducted, which show how many corrections were made and which politicians and their statements these corrections were associated with. There is also a link pointing to the assessment methodology which clearly states which claims Demagog assesses, which it does not and under what conditions.


done_all 6.1 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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

Jan Indra Assessor
06-Jul-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

As described above, the corrections policy of Demagog is fairly thorough and interconnected with the assessment methodology of the organization.


done_all 6.2 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Demagog.cz
28-Jun-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Over the past 12 months we received 3 correction requests which resulted in changes of assessment. Correction requests have lately took the form of Facebook comments, sometimes by the speakers themselves arguing for the veracity of their claims, to which we respond using the same means while applying our standard corrections process.

Examples of recent corrections (short note at the end of each fact-check):
https://demagog.cz/vyrok/19210
https://demagog.cz/vyrok/19265



Jan Indra Assessor
06-Jul-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

The corrections provided clearly specify why a correction was made and how, including a mention of who submitted the correction request. It bears mentioning that the correction is at the bottom of the page and moving it upfront would make it more visible and transparent that the statement was evaluated incorrectly in the beginning. I would also appreciate the information on when exactly the correction was made to have an idea of how long it took Demagog to make the correction.


done_all 6.3 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Demagog.cz
28-Jun-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago
Jan Indra Assessor
06-Jul-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

On the linked website, Demagog clearly demonstrates that it is a signatory of IFCN`s Code of Principles. It also states that it is committed to adhere to the IFCN Code and points users to the complaints page.


done_all 6.4 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Demagog.cz
28-Jun-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

Not Applicable

Jan Indra Assessor
06-Jul-2020 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

As a standalone fact-checking organization, this criteria does not apply to Demagog.


done_all 6.5 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.