EFE Verifica - Agencia EFE

Organization: EFE Verifica
Applicant: Desirée García Pruñonosa
Assessor: Ramón Salaverría
Edits made by the organization after this assessment

IFCN Staff wrote:

Please check the changes suggested here: https://www.efe.com/objetos_app/efe_verifica/efeverifica.html (see "Financiación" section).

We added details about our financial information so our readers can know at a glance what is EFE's turnover and its income classified by categories and distributed by percentages. They can also check EFE's 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015 annual accounts. You can check all of them following this link: https://www.agenciaefe.es/cuentas-anuales/ (please note that these four documents are displayed as you scroll, but you can also flick through them by using the arrows in the upper left corner in each of them (I guess Mr. Salaverría didn't noticed that, that's why he said that only 2017 accounts were available).

The Finance section would translate as follows:

"EFE Verifica is part of the activity of EFE News Agency, a state-owned company whose sole shareholder is the State Company of Industrial Participations (SEPI), a public entity dependent on the Ministry of Finance and Public Administration. EFE Verifica team is fully funded from EFE's general budget, since it does not have additional income.

The revenue of EFE News Agency comes mainly from the compensation received by the State for providing a Service of General Economic Interest or SIG (as recognized by the European Commission), and also from the sale of services to customers.

In 2018, EFE's net turnover was 87.3 million euros, 58.4% of which are state funds for offering a public service in the field of communication, while 41.6% are revenues for service sales. This information is detailed in the report of the annual accounts for the year 2018 (note 15.1, page 40)".

Conclusion and recommendations
on 16-Feb-2020 (1 month ago)

Ramón Salaverría wrote:

According to the evidences, I recommend accepting the application of EFE Verifica - Agencia EFE. All the requirements are fully complied, although some improvements could be made with the criterion 4a: we suggest the applicant to provide a more updated and easy-to-use financial information about the organization. Apart from this minor detail, EFE Verifica fully complies with all the requirements of the IFCN Code of Principles.

on 16-Feb-2020 (1 month ago)

Ramón Salaverría recommended Accept

Section 1: Organization

Criterion 1a
Proof of registration
Evidence required: Please provide evidence that the signatory is a legally-registered organization set up exclusively for the purpose of fact-checking or the distinct fact-checking project of a recognized media house or research institution.

EFE Verifica
31-Jan-2020 (2 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago

EFE News Agency has a distinct team and a section for debunking who publishes on EFE Verifica’s website and sometimes on the EFE news wire service too.

EFE is a multimedia company with a worldwide network of 3.000 journalists working 24 hours a day from more than 180 cities in 120 countries. EFE has four main editing desks in Madrid, Bogotá, Cairo (Arabic) and Rio de Janeiro (Portuguese) that offer their products to customers on five continents.

It distributes almost 3 million news items that offer the Latin vision of the world in Spanish, Portuguese, English, Arabic, Catalan and Galician.

EFE is a public company founded in January 1939, and the Sociedad Estatal de Participaciones Industriales (SEPI), part of the Spanish Ministry of Finance, is its sole shareholder. It is currently registered under the name EFE SAU SME in the Registro Nacional de Asociaciones and its tax number (CIF) is A28028744. EFE’s company bylaws are accessible at EFE's website: www.agenciaefe.es/estatutos-de-la-sociedad

Ramón Salaverría Assessor
09-Feb-2020 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

EFE News Agency (Agencia EFE) is the largest news organization of the World in Spanish language, thanks to its over 3,000 staff journalists and stringers. Founded in 1939 in Spain, it is nowadays a publicly owned news agency that distributes news stories, photographs, video and multimedia content in six languages. As part of its news services, since March 2019 it runs a fact-checking section called EFE Verifica. As requested, the applicant has presented evidence of its legal registration.

done_all 1a marked as Fully compliant by Ramón Salaverría.

Criterion 1b
Evidence required: Insert a link to the archive of fact checks published in the previous three months. If you do not collect all fact checks in one place, please explain how the fact-checking is conducted by your organization.

EFE Verifica
31-Jan-2020 (2 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago

You can find all our fact-checks published since March 2019 on EFE Verifica’s website:


Ramón Salaverría Assessor
09-Feb-2020 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

According to the assessment made of the last three months (Nov. 2019-Jan. 2019), EFE Verifica publishes on average 2-3 fact-checks per week. When events of special relevance take place, such as important political debates, more than one fact-check can be published in a day. Over the period assessed, there has been no week with at least one fact-check published.

done_all 1b marked as Fully compliant by Ramón Salaverría.

Section 2: Nonpartisanship and Fairness

Criterion 2a
Body of work sample
Evidence required: Please share links to ten fact checks that better represent the scope and consistency of your fact-checking. Provide a short explanation of how your organization strives to maintain coherent standards across fact checks.

EFE Verifica
31-Jan-2020 (2 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago

Our fact-checking standards are ensured by EFE’s editing practices, its stylebook and Code of editorial standards and values ( https://www.agenciaefe.es/convenio-colectivo/ , 77 ff.) and by EFE Verifica’s public methodology ( https://www.efe.com/objetos_app/efe_verifica/efeverifica.html ).

Our fact-checking unit is set in Madrid, from where our team works closely with local news editors and bureau chiefs around the world. All fact-checks are overseen by EFE Verifica’s editors as well as an EFE’s editor-in-chief and a news director (International news, Spain news, Economy news, etc, depending on the issue being investigated).

All claims are assessed the same way, starting with a question and giving a factual answer, including links to evidence and sources throughout.

EFE Verifica produces mainly two different fact-checking pieces differentiated by tags at our webpage when it comes to verify:

POLITICAL FACT-CHECK (“Verificación política”: https://www.efe.com/efe/espana/efeverifica/verificacion-politica/50001438)

We verify political claims using the same standard for every piece. We do not concentrate our fact-checking on any one side while trying to avoid a false balance: we pick up claims made in the public sphere, mainly by political leaders and irrespective of their ideological orientation. Then we rate its relevance and impact on the public opinion so we can decide if we fact-check it.

1.- PSOE, PP, VOX, BILDU,UPN: Las falsedades del debate de investidura https://www.efe.com/efe/espana/efeverifica/las-falsedades-del-debate-de-investidura/50001435-4143776

2.- PSOE: ERC no apoyó todos los decretos del Gobierno de Sánchez, como afirma Lastra


3.- PP: Bildu no fue fundamental para que Sánchez llegara a Moncloa, como dice Casado


4.- Podemos: No todos tienen prohibido usar balas de goma en Cataluña, como dice Iglesias


5.- Ciudadanos: Cs no es el partido más creció en las urnas el 28-A, como asegura Rivera


6.- Vox: Los colegios de Madrid no dan cursos que hablen de “zoofilia”, como dice Vox


7.- PSOE: La Comisión Europea no ha valorado el plan climático de España, como dice Sánchez


8.- PP: Sánchez no ha sido condenado por la Junta Electoral, como afirma Casado


9.- PSOE, PP, Cs, Podemos, Vox: Las falsedades de los candidatos en el debate electoral del 10N


10.- PSOE: España no es la única economía europea que seguirá creciendo, como dice Calvo


VIRAL HOAXES (“Desinformación viral”: https://www.efe.com/efe/espana/efeverifica/desinformacion-viral/50001440)

We verify viral hoaxes following the same methodology. We pick up the claims according to the social impact, the relevance of the topic and its sharing on social media. Then we rate its relevance and impact on the public opinion so we can decide if we fact-check it.

1.- Monasterio no ha tuiteado que ponga el himno a sus hijas para dormir, es una cuenta falsa


2.- Las mentiras sobre Greta Thunberg vuelven con la COP


3.- ¿Evo Morales con Pablo Escobar y "El Chapo"? Es un fotomontaje



4.- La Casa Real no ha manipulado fotografías para ocultar un lazo amarillo


5.- La cercanía del 10N alienta las intoxicaciones sobre censo y voto por correo


6.- No hay pruebas de que un policía fuera herido en Barcelona por "fuego amigo"


7.- Falsedades y manipulaciones alimentan la crispación en Cataluña


8.- La gota fría inunda las redes de bulos


9.- Un sándwich de chorizo no es la comida de los efectivos de la UME en Cataluña


10.- Imágenes sobre la agresión de un mena en Canet de Mar se grabaron en China



We also produce pieces debunking MYTHS (https://www.efe.com/efe/espana/efeverifica/mitos/50001442) and EXPLAINERS (https://www.efe.com/efe/espana/efeverifica/explicativos/50001441) on contested issues.

Ramón Salaverría Assessor
09-Feb-2020 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

Since EFE Verifica was launched, in March 2019, it has covered mainly national politics, but also verifies public statements, publishes explanatory news stories and debunks hoaxes in a number of topics, such as social issues, economics and environment. In front of all these issues, EFE Verifica does not unduly concentrate on one side of the question analyzed; on the contrary, it strives to provide unbiased and accountable information, in order to allow their users to get a clear and contextualized understanding of the issues.

done_all 2a marked as Fully compliant by Ramón Salaverría.

Criterion 2b
Nonpartisanship policy
Evidence required: Please share evidence of your policy preventing staff from direct involvement in political parties and advocacy organizations. Please also indicate the policy your organization has as a whole regarding advocacy and supporting political candidates.

EFE Verifica
31-Jan-2020 (2 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago

EFE’s Code of editorial standards (https://www.agenciaefe.es/convenio-colectivo/ , 77 ff.) rejects any pressure from political parties over its staff members and states that working for EFE is incompatible with a job at governmental or party press offices:

“EFE rejects any pressure from institutions, political parties, economic, cultural, religious, social, ideological or other groups that attempt to alter or influence information for the benefit of their interests. In the event of these pressures, journalists may notify the Editorial Board or the Board of Directors”.

EFE’s journalists must present “significant points of view, expose the facts in context, without deliberate omissions and with the right words, without affecting their beliefs or ideologies, and act with diligence and decent methods in obtaining and treating the information”.

Furthermore, working as a journalist at EFE is “incompatible with any other job, as with any paid periodic collaboration in another journalistic, advertising, public relations company, governmental press offices and in all those that may involve unfair competition, including companies that are suppliers of products or services of EFE News Agency”.

Likewise, we are not allowed to to “have investments or direct economic interests related” to our work area. Those who participate in the informative workflow of EFE “will not be able to produce news that directly or indirectly affects their private interests or those of their families”.

EFE Verifica doesn’t support any political party or candidate nor advocate or take policy positions on any issues. That is proven by our fact-checking record and our commitment with a due balance among the main Spanish political parties.

This non-partisan way of fact-checking is also based on EFE’s Code of editorial standards and values, that highlights “impartiality, accuracy, lack of bias and honesty” as “unavoidable principles to achieve objective and rigorous information on any of the media”.

Ramón Salaverría Assessor
09-Feb-2020 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

According to its internal regulations, EFE Verifica has a positive and sound policy to avoid partisanship. These rules, which are publicly disclosed, are compulsory for every manager and worker of EFE news agency. The way EFE Verifica picks the topics to be fact-checked is based on their current relevance and public interest, not in an unduly treatment of information. EFE news agency has not ever supported a candidate in any election nor advocate or take partisan positions on any issues. 

done_all 2b marked as Fully compliant by Ramón Salaverría.

Section 3: Transparency of Sources

Criterion 3a
Sources Policy
Please share a brief and public explanation (500 words max) of how sources are provided in enough detail that readers could replicate the fact check. If you have a public policy on how you find and use sources for your fact-checking, it should be shared here.

EFE Verifica
31-Jan-2020 (2 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago

At EFE Verifica, we use public reliable sources and make them available to our readers so they can replicate our investigation. This is a policy reflected in our methodology (https://www.efe.com/objetos_app/efe_verifica/efeverifica.html) and supported by EFE's rigourous sources policy in the Code of editorial standards and values ( https://www.agenciaefe.es/convenio-colectivo/ , 77 ff. )

First, we try to contact the person or the institution behind a claim to ask them about the data used to support it. Then, we check the claim with EFE’s archive and with official and reliable available data (gathered by the Government, NGO, independent institutions…). When facing a complex issue we also get in touch with independent recognised experts on the field.

In the case of viral disinformation, we also name and illustrate the online tools that we use to carry out visual verification, such as Google Reverse Image Search, Tin Eye or Yandex. We locate the author of footage and pictures or witnesses to verify the authenticity of the material.

Finally, we write a report in which we name and link to all the sources of the data used to fact-check political statements or debunk viral disinformation content.

All our sources must be on the record. We can only use off the record information for our personal context but not to support a fact-check. We follow EFE’s sources policy as stated in its Code of editorial standards:

“When the identification cannot be explicit, the attribution of sources must be as accurate as possible. In no case may information be disseminated without attribution of sources or totally inaccurate, unless the journalist witnesses the facts. (...) If the source speaks ‘off the record’ the journalist may not publish the obtained without being confirmed by a different source”.

Ramón Salaverría Assessor
09-Feb-2020 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

EFE Verifica consistently backs its fact-checks with numerous and diverse links to reliable sources of data, so that the readers can check by themselves the truthfulness of the analyses. Following EFE’s sources policy as stated in its Code of editorial standards, off-the-record or non-attributed content is never used to back fact-checks.

done_all 3a marked as Fully compliant by Ramón Salaverría.

Section 4: Transparency of Funding & Organization

Criterion 4a
Funding Sources
Evidence required: Please link to the section where you publicly list your sources of funding (including, if they exist, any rules around which types of funding you do or don't accept), or a statement on ownership if you are the branch of an established media organization or research institution.

EFE Verifica
31-Jan-2020 (2 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago

EFE Verifica is part of the activity of EFE (see Criterion 1a) and has no independent sources of funding. Our production relies on the work of EFE’s staff journalists.

EFE resources are both funds from Spanish government aimed to support public interest journalism in Spain and abroad (EFE has been declared as a Services of General Economic Interest, SGEI, by the European Commission) and commercial (around 40 %). EFE’s annual accounts are accessible here: https://www.agenciaefe.es/cuentas-anuales/  

Ramón Salaverría Assessor
09-Feb-2020 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

EFE Verifica is a branch of EFE News Agency, a publicly-owned corporation bound to the Spanish government through the State Society of Industrial Participations (Sociedad Estatal de Participaciones Industriales, SEPI). Its funds come both from the State's general budget and the commercialisation of news services. On its website information about its annual account funding can be found.

However, when this assessment was performed (Feb. 2020), the last economic information available was referred to the year 2017, long before EFE Verifica was created. In addition, the financial information was hardly accessible, as it was only avaliable in awkward PDF files. We kindly invite the applicant to publish more updated financial information, in a more convenient and easy-to-use format.

done 4a marked as Partially compliant by Ramón Salaverría.

Criterion 4b
Evidence required: Please link to the section detailing all authors and key actors behind your fact-checking project with their biographies. You can also list the name and bios of the members of the editorial board, pool of experts, advisory board, etc. if your organization has those.

EFE Verifica
31-Jan-2020 (2 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago
Ramón Salaverría Assessor
09-Feb-2020 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

EFE Verifica provides detailed, easy-to-reach information about its staff members.

done_all 4b marked as Fully compliant by Ramón Salaverría.

Criterion 4c
Evidence required: Please link to the section where readers can get in touch with the organization.

EFE Verifica
31-Jan-2020 (2 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago
Ramón Salaverría Assessor
09-Feb-2020 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

Internet users can send easily their comments, ideas or corrections to EFE Verifica, using different means of contact, which include email and social media (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram). For social media interaction they use a specific hashtag (#EFEVerifica). These means of contact are clearly accessible both in EFE Verifica's homepage and in its 'contact us' page.

done_all 4c marked as Fully compliant by Ramón Salaverría.

Section 5: Transparency of Methodology

Criterion 5a
Detailed Methodology
Evidence required: Please link to a section or article detailing the steps you follow for your fact-checking work.

EFE Verifica
31-Jan-2020 (2 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago

See ‘¿Cómo verificamos el discurso público?’, ‘¿Y la desinformación viral?’, and ‘¿Por qué no usamos etiquetas?’: https://www.efe.com/objetos_app/efe_verifica/efeverifica.html 

Ramón Salaverría Assessor
09-Feb-2020 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

EFE Verifica explains in detail its fact-checking methodology. This information is clear and easy-to-find.

done_all 5a marked as Fully compliant by Ramón Salaverría.

Criterion 5b
Claim submissions
Evidence required: Please link to the page or process through which readers can submit claims to fact-check. If you do not allow this, please briefly explain why.

EFE Verifica
31-Jan-2020 (2 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago

See ‘Contacta con nosotros’: https://www.efe.com/objetos_app/efe_verifica/efeverifica.html

Our readers can reach out to us on EFE’s official profiles on social media by using the hashtag #EFEVerifica. They can also send us direct e-mails (verifica@efe.com). 

Ramón Salaverría Assessor
09-Feb-2020 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

As indicated in the assessment of criterion 4b, readers can easily reach EFE Verifica by different means of contact. They are encouraged to send claims, in case an error has been detected in any fact-checks.

done_all 5b marked as Fully compliant by Ramón Salaverría.

Section 6: Open & Honest Corrections Policy

Criterion 6a
Corrections policy
Evidence required: Please link to the page with your policy to address corrections. If it is not public, please share your organization's handbook.

EFE Verifica
31-Jan-2020 (2 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago
Ramón Salaverría Assessor
09-Feb-2020 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

EFE Verifica fully discloses its corrections policy. This policy has a strong commitment to transparency and is consistent with the corrections policy of the parent organization.

done_all 6a marked as Fully compliant by Ramón Salaverría.

Criterion 6b
Examples of corrections
Evidence required: Please provide two examples of a correction made, or correction requests handled, in the past year.

EFE Verifica
31-Jan-2020 (2 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago
Ramón Salaverría Assessor
09-Feb-2020 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

Where a correction had to be made to fact-checks, EFE Verifica has provided a clear correction statement in that same page. In addition, the EFE Verifica has a public page listing the corrections made since its creation. By the time this assessment was performed (Feb. 2020), just one correction had to be published.

done_all 6b marked as Fully compliant by Ramón Salaverría.

Section 7: Eligibility to be a signatory

Criterion 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.

Criterion 1.2
The team, unit or organization is set up exclusively for the purpose of fact-checking.

Criterion 1.3
The applicant has published an average of at least one fact check a week over the course of the three months prior to the date of application.

Criterion 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.

Criterion 1.5
The applicant’s editorial output is not, in the view of the IFCN, controlled by the state, a political party or politician.

Criterion 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.

Section 8: A commitment to Non-partisanship and Fairness

Criterion 2.1
The applicant fact-checks using the same high standards of evidence and judgement for equivalent claims regardless of who made the claim.

Criterion 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.

Criterion 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.

Criterion 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.

Criterion 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.

Section 9: A commitment to Standards and Transparency of Sources

Criterion 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.

Criterion 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.

Criterion 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.

Criterion 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.

Section 10: A commitment to Transparency of Funding & Organization

Criterion 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).

Criterion 4.2
Applicants that are the fact-checking section or unit of a media house or other parent organization make a statement on ownership.

Criterion 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.

Criterion 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.

Criterion 4.5
The applicant provides easy means on its website and/or via social media for users to communicate with the editorial team.

Section 11: A commitment to Standards and Transparency of Methodology

Criterion 5.1
The applicant publishes on its website a statement about the methodology it uses to select, research, write and publish its fact checks.

Criterion 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.

Criterion 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.

Criterion 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.

Criterion 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.

Criterion 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.

Section 12: A commitment to an Open & Honest Corrections Policy

Criterion 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.

Criterion 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.

Criterion 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.

Criterion 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.

Criterion 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.