Due to a record number of applicants in 2023, the International Fact-Checking Network has paused its acceptance of new applications until Jan. 16, 2024. Read the IFCN's detailed statement on the pause.

AkhbarMeter Media Observatory

Organization: eSquare e.V.
Applicant: Haytham Mones
Assessor: Ahmed Esmat

Background

Akhbar Meter is a well-known organization due to their famous media observatory which I believe still their strength point. They started fact checking department and they are developing gradually. 

Assessment Conclusion

Compliant with the IFCN criteria and will be accepted for this year upon the following recommendation for next year’s renewal:

1- Writing more in-depth paragraphs.

2- Completely separate the observatory topics from the verified topics.

3- Setting priorities for their fact checked pieces by focusing on importance and relevance.

4- They are using primary sources, but they need to depend more on it.

5- Build stronger organizational structure.

on 20-Mar-2023 (8 months ago)

Ahmed Esmat assesses application as Compliant

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.

eSquare e.V.
17-Sep-2022 (1 year ago)

The observatory works legally as a project under the supervision of E.Citizen company for digital services with the registration number: 123546 in the Egyptian Investment Authority.

Link to the info inside “About Us” on our website.http://akhbarmeter.org/about-us

An access to the legal registration documents of the company: https://bit.ly/3oeoDL3

Ahmed Esmat Assessor
01-Mar-2023 (8 months ago)

Confirmed the legal status according to the provided registration record.


done_all 1.1 marked as Compliant by Ahmed Esmat.

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?

eSquare e.V.
17-Sep-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 3 months ago

AkhbarMeter is dedicated mainly to quantitatively evaluate media content from the top ten newspapers and news websites in Egypt since 2014. The aim was to disclose the unprofessional and unethical practices of media institutions, and to hold them responsible for these practices before their audience. In 2020, the team found content evaluation is not enough for enlightening the audience about the unwanted practices, especially with the spread of fake news and rumors through different online mediums. Not only media institutions are responsible for manipulating the audience, but also public figures, fan pages and groups on social networks. Thus, the team found that it is important to extend its scope into fact-checking activities. The team has created a dedicated unit consisting of two fact-checkers who focus on serving the internet to find spiral news and trends that are suspected to be needed investigation. They investigate the information from available online primary and secondary sources. The senior fact-checker is responsible for revising and evaluating the two fact-checkers' news verification work in order to be published on AkhbarMeter social networks and websites. During the coming year, we aim at publishing more debunked news and train volunteers to help us doing so. Find more in “About Us”: http://akhbarmeter.org/about-us (خبر غير حقيقي) The section link: https://akhbarmeter.org/topics/akhbar-kathb The team consists of the editorial board, the founder of the observatory, Haitham Atef and managing editor of the observatory Dina Ibrahim. The observatory consists of: -Media analysts who are responsible for evaluating media content. -Senior media analyst who is responsible for selecting the assessed media content according to the News Meter methodology. -An editor who is responsible for AkhbarMeter Academy, writes educational articles dedicated for media professionals and the audience, producing videos, and organizing training and workshops. -An editor responsible for social media platforms. -Two editors who are responsible for searching for fake news to be debunked. -The team organizational structure can be found in About Us: https://akhbarmeter.org/about-us (فريق العمل)


 

Ahmed Esmat Assessor
01-Mar-2023 (8 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The Organization is well known due to the uniqueness of their scope of work. They started as a media observatory and ranking news agencies according to ethical and processional media standards. Then they moved to fact checking.

Yet, No clear answer regarding the NUMBER of those who work or volunteer in the organization and their roles except for 2!what about the rest?

We understand the safety and security measures but at least we need to know for our internal records.

 Update: According to the official records and the web site, there are 2 main persons working for the observatory alongside several editors, for the fact checking unit 1 senior editor and 2 editors.


done_all 1.2 marked as Compliant by Ahmed Esmat.

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.

eSquare e.V.
17-Sep-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Under the banner of “Not True News” the fact-checking unit publishes an average of three to four items per week on our website and social networks.

This can be tracked through this link: https://akhbarmeter.org/topics/akhbar-kathb and https://www.facebook.com/akhbarmeter

Samples of our work:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-tUiksxNIttvgMClT4giOFwY3Hw78maxDWzFkZaBSrU/edit

Concerning the more of assessing than verifying

It is clear that we focus on two different directions. The media content evaluation and the independent unit for fact checking which has its own team members. We believe this two directions cannot weaken our position as long as we dedicated a whole section with specialised members for this purpose of verifying fake news.

Concerning writing a proper paragraphs, the team works on writing complete paragraphs to deliver clear explanation for the fact checks. However, for content evaluation we use small sentences to clarify the detected unprofessional and unethical practices. 

Ahmed Esmat Assessor
01-Mar-2023 (8 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Yes, confirmed, they are still working and producing but there is a problem with the quality of the selected pieces.


They need to set priorities and a direction to the scope of their work.

https://akhbarmeter.org/article/23501

https://akhbarmeter.org/article/23504


They are more of assessing than verifying. 


Also, they need to write proper paragraphs while working. 

Update: As mentioned before, the assessor stated that they are more of assessing than verifying. Clearly, and according to the new modifications and amendments, It is good that they used the newly added tags and taps to separate both, but still on the same page which might lead readers to mix between what is assessed and what is verified.

Recommendation:

1- Totally separating the observatory topics from the verified topics into 2 different

pages.

2- Verifying interesting topics to the audience doesn’t mean verifying everything, they

still need to set priorities and a direction to the scope of their work. for example:

https://akhbarmeter.org/article/23501 and https://akhbarmeter.org/article/23504 .

It is up to them but this is the Assessor’s recommendation for better quality.

Also, it is good that the team is working on developing their writing skills.




done_all 1.3 marked as Compliant by Ahmed Esmat.

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.

eSquare e.V.
17-Sep-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Concerning the impact of our selected debunked news on the public and society. We believe most of our selection focuses on handling interests of the public and our aforementioned examples can be a proof of that fact.

We firmly believe that our work enlightens the audience about the practices that mislead them and facilitate their way to debunk news themselves even if they were relevant to accidents and celebrities. All our efforts to make the audience suspect the content they consume from media, and sharpen their critical thinking skills, which would definitely impact the welfare or well-being of individuals,and the general public or society.

Below are links that can validate our point: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PzxiQtLmSY_Kv6LGd1FsNDcsYyEl1Tpo1Lh1Am2BGc8/edit

Concerning the need to set a direction rather than focusing on news evaluation. News evaluation is different direction with an independent team. Concerning the wide range of topics we selected. The below criteria we stated in question 2.2 can tell why there are a wide variety of topic that rather strengthen our position. In "How we select news" in the fact-checking methodology part, the team sets its criteria as the following: 1. The impact of the news on the audience's everyday political,social and economic life. 2. The content that goes viral through the internet. 3. The team avoid debunking limited spread news in order not to contribute in its spread among the audience. 4. The team publishes only the debunked news when we found trustworthy sources that can validate or negate our investigation. The team selects the most spiral news on social networks, especially on Facebook; the most popular network in Egypt. We neglect the news that has very limited spread among social network users, in order not to be a contributor in spreading them further. Find more in “About Us”: http://akhbarmeter.org/about-us (منهجية التحقق من الأخبار والمعلومات) Here I have also added debunked news from the past 3 months to prove my point: https://bit.ly/3mDvZKR

Ahmed Esmat Assessor
01-Mar-2023 (8 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

The selected pieces covers a wide range of topics. Yet, they still need to set a direction, I mean by direction an editorial line and style, unless they only want to keep on assessing the organizations.

Update: As stated above, the selected pieces cover a wide range of topics. Yet, they still need to set a direction, by setting a direction you have a firm editorial line and paragraphing style that appeal to readers. This is for the best of the organisation and the reader.


done_all 1.4 marked as Compliant by Ahmed Esmat.

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.

eSquare e.V.
17-Sep-2022 (1 year ago)

The observatory clearly declared in the "editorial and publishing policies" section that the team is fully independent and neutral and that it is prohibited for any members to impose his/her personal affiliation into the evaluation process and/or fact-checking activities. We stand at equal distance from the state and all political players. As well, the observatory is fully-independent in funding from all these players.

This can be displayed clearly in About Us: https://akhbarmeter.org/about-us (سياسات النشر)

Ahmed Esmat Assessor
01-Mar-2023 (8 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

According to what is enclosed, they are independent and neutral. The Company indicates that neither the owner nor the workers have any political affiliation except their loyalty to the readers and journalism professional manner.



done_all 1.5 marked as Compliant by Ahmed Esmat.

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.

eSquare e.V.
17-Sep-2022 (1 year ago)

In "Ownership and funding" section, the team current supporter is the owner of e.Citizen company. The observatory management declares that it refuses to accept donations or support from unknown sources, or any other sources that may lead to a conflict of interest with the work of the professional team and its commitment to impartiality and objectivity.

This can be displayed clearly in About Us: https://akhbarmeter.org/about-us (الملكية والتمويل)

eSquare e.V.
15-Apr-2023 (7 months ago) Updated: 7 months ago

In "Ownership and funding" section, the team current supporter is the owner of e.Citizen company. The observatory management declares that it refuses to accept donations or support from unknown sources, or any other sources that may lead to a conflict of interest with the work of the professional team and its commitment to impartiality and objectivity.

This can be displayed clearly in About Us: https://akhbarmeter.org/about-us (الملكية والتمويل)

Concerning providing our balance sheet. I added the funder of AkhbarMeter who is the founder of the observatory. The team receives an annual fund only from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).


Ahmed Esmat Assessor
01-Mar-2023 (8 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

We need copies of their income statement/ balance sheets for our internal use.

Update: As per the provided waiver letter they have explained 1.6.  Also, they stated that they:

A- Refrain from earning any political money from inside Egypt.

B- Encourage readers to donate and support their work.


done_all 1.6 marked as Compliant by Ahmed Esmat.

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.

eSquare e.V.
17-Sep-2022 (1 year ago)

The fact checking team follows the same steps with each claim we doubt as the following: first; we highlight the claim, then describe the steps we take to reach the final conclusion. Through this process we try as much as possible to refer to primary sources, such as official social networks’ accounts, governmental and non-governmental websites, and televised interviews, etc. As well, we refer to secondary sources articles from news websites. Due to the political situation we sometimes we could not find a primary sources for the information, so we highlight to the audience that the information we provided them with came from a secondary source.

The steps we consider in factchecking is highlighted here: https://akhbarmeter.org/methodology

We have selected the below debunked news as examples of our commitment to the same high standards of evidence and judgment and explained thoroughly how that commitment was accomplished. These examples can be found in the link below:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1X2aT7VRIb-IjFChxPyW2QIKiDp4sLzxynDvGY0CTZdI/edit

 

Ahmed Esmat Assessor
01-Mar-2023 (8 months ago)

Actually, they are having a strong methodology and the presented links and the selected samples done by the assessor reflect their non-partisanship.


done_all 2.1 marked as Compliant by Ahmed Esmat.

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.

eSquare e.V.
17-Sep-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 6 months ago

In "How we select news" in the fact-checking methodology part, the team sets its criteria as the following: 1. The impact of the news on the audience's everyday political,social and economic life.

2. The content that goes viral through the internet.

3. The team avoid debunking limited spread news in order not to contribute in its spread among the audience.

4. The team publishes only the debunked news when we found trustworthy sources that can validate or negate our investigation. The team selects the most spiral news on social networks, especially on Facebook; the most popular network in Egypt. We neglect the news that has very limited spread among social network users, in order not to be a contributor in spreading them further.

Find more in “About Us”: http://akhbarmeter.org/about-us (منهجية التحقق من الأخبار والمعلومات)  

The two pieces you selected were from the news evaluation section not from the "Not True News" section and there are completely different criteria between selecting news for each section. 

Ahmed Esmat Assessor
01-Mar-2023 (8 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

They stated how claims are selected, but for example, they stated that they avoid debunking limited spread news while they worked on the below pieces:

https://akhbarmeter.org/article/23501

https://akhbarmeter.org/article/23392 

Relevancy and importance?


Update: By browsing that link https://akhbarmeter.org/methodology , the assessor found that the applicant has a scale of points indicating how they select the fact checked pieces.

Recommendation: The assessor would like to recommend more focus on the relevance and importance.


done_all 2.2 marked as Compliant by Ahmed Esmat.

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.

eSquare e.V.
17-Sep-2022 (1 year ago)

For each debunked news the team states the source background and adds the relevant sources, so that the audience can replicate the same process and debunk the news themselves. Find it in section from “Methodology"

Find more in “Methodology”: http://akhbarmeter.org/methodology (منهجية التحقق من الأخبار والمعلومات) Some examples in the link below:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/12Dz3zyuz71FmbldI6jbavBsAonRTexcIXCCtI2SY6iQ/edit

Ahmed Esmat Assessor
01-Mar-2023 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

In each piece, they add all the sources that they used or depended on. 


done_all 2.3 marked as Compliant by Ahmed Esmat.

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.

eSquare e.V.
17-Sep-2022 (1 year ago)

In the "ownership and funding" section the team sets it clearly that the team enjoys a high degree of impartiality and objectivity in evaluating media content and in debunkking fake news and rumors without the slightest influence of any political or ideological affiliation. In so doing, the main reference for the team is the scientific methodology developed, in cooperation with a group of media experts and based on local, regional and international media honor codes.

This can be displayed clearly in About Us: https://akhbarmeter.org/about-us (الملكية والتمويل)

Ahmed Esmat Assessor
01-Mar-2023 (8 months ago)

Confirmed


done_all 2.4 marked as Compliant by Ahmed Esmat.

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.

eSquare e.V.
17-Sep-2022 (1 year ago)

The team presents the results of evaluating the news and auditing the information without biasing or deliberately defending, attacking or publicizing certain ideas as part of its work in verifying the validity and accuracy of the information. All employees are also committed to the policies of transparency and impartiality, and none of the employees' attitudes, opinions, or views of specific issues, political orientations and beliefs dominate their work in evaluating news and auditing information. This is because everyone adheres to specific standards of work based on the professional and ethical standards that govern work in the media and the wording of the news.

This can be displayed clearly in About Us: https://akhbarmeter.org/about-us (سياسات النشر)

Ahmed Esmat Assessor
01-Mar-2023 (8 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Confirmed

They set a non-partisan policy that is applied on both the individuals working and the content selected.


done_all 2.5 marked as Compliant by Ahmed Esmat.

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.

eSquare e.V.
17-Sep-2022 (1 year ago)

The AkhbarMeter team provides information sources and links to each source available on the Internet, whether it is an official page on social media, or the websites of institutions and government and party agencies. The team aims to raise public awareness of unprofessional media practices and rumor mongers' methods of misrepresenting facts. In writing the article, the fact-checker explains the steps s/he takes to investigate the information. Below the article, the fact checker provides links for all the information sources.

This can be displayed clearly in About Us: https://akhbarmeter.org/about-us (سياسات النشر) Link for debunked news examples with significant sources: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-tUiksxNIttvgMClT4giOFwY3Hw78maxDWzFkZaBSrU/edit 

Ahmed Esmat Assessor
01-Mar-2023 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

Confirmed, They add the sources they are using during the process.


done_all 3.1 marked as Compliant by Ahmed Esmat.

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.

eSquare e.V.
17-Sep-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 6 months ago

The team seeks to investigate accuracy by verifying information from its primary sources, such as data from official sources, statements of officials, public figures and individuals mentioned in the events, whether on their personal pages or written or televised statements, with the addition of links to them so that the public can verify them. Sometimes when primary sources are not accessible, the team attributes information to its secondary sources and refers to this fact clearly. For example, news websites. Link for debunked news examples with significant sources: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-tUiksxNIttvgMClT4giOFwY3Hw78maxDWzFkZaBSrU/edit

I believe there is a conflict between the news evaluation section and "Not True News" section. We use primary sources and secondary sources as well. You can double check from the news we selected here from over 6 months. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-tUiksxNIttvgMClT4giOFwY3Hw78maxDWzFkZaBSrU/edit As well, you can have a look on our fact checks from here. https://akhbarmeter.org/topics/akhbar-kathb Detailed examples with primary sources and supportive secondary sources from the last 3 months: 

Ahmed Esmat Assessor
01-Mar-2023 (8 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Unfortunately, in most of the cases, they use secondary resources. 

Update: I agree that there is a mix between the observatory and the fact check department, still mainly using secondary data. But the good thing is that with the new piece some primary sources were found.

Recommendations:

A- Depend more on primary data.

B- Separate both the observatory work from the fact checking on the site homepage for the best of the work. and the readers


done_all 3.2 marked as Compliant by Ahmed Esmat.

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.

eSquare e.V.
17-Sep-2022 (1 year ago)

The team resorts to verifying information based on a variety of different sources in order to give the audience the opportunity to see multiple sources, whether primary or secondary. Link for debunked news examples with significant sources: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-tUiksxNIttvgMClT4giOFwY3Hw78maxDWzFkZaBSrU/edit

Ahmed Esmat Assessor
01-Mar-2023 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

They do check claims against different point of views.


done_all 3.3 marked as Compliant by Ahmed Esmat.

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.

eSquare e.V.
17-Sep-2022 (1 year ago)

The AkhbarMeter team tracks sources of information and their interests, wherever this can be applicable.

A link of exampes that serves the point: https://docs.google.com/document/d/12Dz3zyuz71FmbldI6jbavBsAonRTexcIXCCtI2SY6iQ/edit 

Ahmed Esmat Assessor
01-Mar-2023 (8 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Confirmed. They do explain the context of the stories in most of their pieces.


done_all 3.4 marked as Compliant by Ahmed Esmat.

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.

eSquare e.V.
17-Sep-2022 (1 year ago)

AkhbarMeter Media Observatory is one of the projects of the e.Citizen company specialized in digital services, which has a commercial registration number: 123546 at the Egyptian Investment Authority.

This can be displayed clearly in About Us: https://akhbarmeter.org/about-us (الملكية والتمويل)

eSquare e.V.
15-Apr-2023 (7 months ago) Updated: 7 months ago

AkhbarMeter Media Observatory is one of the projects of the e.Citizen company specialized in digital services, which has a commercial registration number: 123546 at the Egyptian Investment Authority.

AkhbarMeter media observatory is a project of e.Citizen company. We apply with the Fact-checking unit that is part from AkhbarMeter observatory.

This can be displayed clearly in About Us: https://akhbarmeter.org/about-us (الملكية والتمويل)


Ahmed Esmat Assessor
01-Mar-2023 (8 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

According to the provided documents, they are  an independent organization. But it is not clear if they are applying as an observatory or applying with fact checking unit.

Update: They state that they are a fully registered company in Egypt, the assessor also confirms this and refers to the waiver letter to explain revenue. 


done_all 4.1 marked as Compliant by Ahmed Esmat.

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.

eSquare e.V.
17-Sep-2022 (1 year ago)

ِAkhbarMeter observatory owns the rights to publish all corrected news published in the "False News" section, which is the product of verification carried out by team members to enlighten the public about the practices of media organizations, individuals and groups in spreading false news and misleading the public.

This can be displayed clearly in About Us: https://akhbarmeter.org/about-us (حقوق الملكية الفكرية)

This can be displayed clearly in About Us: https://akhbarmeter.org/about-us (الملكية والتمويل)

eSquare e.V.
15-Apr-2023 (7 months ago) Updated: 7 months ago

ِAkhbarMeter observatory owns the rights to publish all corrected news published in the "False News" section, which is the product of verification carried out by team members to enlighten the public about the practices of media organizations, individuals and groups in spreading false news and misleading the public.

This can be displayed clearly in About Us: https://akhbarmeter.org/about-us (حقوق الملكية الفكرية)

This can be displayed clearly in About Us: https://akhbarmeter.org/about-us (الملكية والتمويل)

I have added the main funder of AkhbarMeter in About Us. We will provide the balance sheet as an attachment. 

Ahmed Esmat Assessor
01-Mar-2023 (8 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

They state that they don't accept fund from unknown sources, but nothing on the web site state their source of fund. If it is impossible to publish that, they have to provide us by their income statement, balance sheet for our internal use.

Update: They clarified that they are applying as a unit inside the main company and they state the ownership with legal papers.


done_all 4.2 marked as Compliant by Ahmed Esmat.

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.

eSquare e.V.
17-Sep-2022 (1 year ago)

The team consists of the editorial board, the founder of the observatory, Haitham Atef and managing editor of the observatory Dina Ibrahim.

The observatory consists of

-Media analysts who are responsible for evaluating media content.

-Senior media analyst who is responsible for selecting the assessed media content according to the News Meter methodology.

-An editor who is responsible for AkhbarMeter Academy, writes educational articles dedicated for media professionals and the audience, producing videos, and organizing training and workshops.

-An editor responsible for social media platforms.

-Editors who are responsible for searching for fake news to be debunked.

-The team organizational structure can be found in About Us: https://akhbarmeter.org/about-us (فريق العمل)

eSquare e.V.
15-Apr-2023 (7 months ago) Updated: 7 months ago

The team consists of the editorial board, the founder of the observatory, Haitham Atef and managing editor of the observatory Dina Ibrahim.

The observatory consists of

-Media analysts who are responsible for evaluating media content.

-Senior media analyst who is responsible for selecting the assessed media content according to the News Meter methodology.

-An editor who is responsible for AkhbarMeter Academy, writes educational articles dedicated for media professionals and the audience, producing videos, and organizing training and workshops.

-An editor responsible for social media platforms.

-Editors who are responsible for searching for fake news to be debunked.

-The team organizational structure can be found in About Us: https://akhbarmeter.org/about-us (فريق العمل)

Concerning the hierarchy and the structure. I believe they are clear in the below description. I have the names of our team but we don't recommend to add them for the public. 

The team consists of the editorial board, the founder of the observatory, Haitham Atef and managing editor of the observatory Dina Ibrahim.

The observatory consists of:

-Two media analysts who are responsible for evaluating media content.Mr. Ahmed Gamal and Ms. Naglaa Ismael

-A senior media analyst who is responsible for selecting the assessed media content according to the News Meter methodology. M. Fatima Hamed

-An editor who is responsible for AkhbarMeter Academy, writes educational articles dedicated for media professionals and the audience, producing videos, and organizing training and workshops. Ms. Dalia Khalifa

-An editor responsible for social media platforms. Ms Engi Hassan

-Two editors who are responsible for searching for fake news to be debunked. Ms. Engi Ahmed and Ms. Doaa Ibrahim. 

- A video editor. Mr. Ahmed Samy. 

-The team organizational structure can be found in About Us:https://akhbarmeter.org/about-us (فريق العمل)

Ahmed Esmat Assessor
01-Mar-2023 (8 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Yes, they state 2 positions for Mr. Haitham and Ms. Dina, beside several positions with no names, no hierarchy or structure. That should be clarified on the site or at least be provided to us for our internal use.

Update: They stated names of the 2 founders and the number of employees (around 5-6) with a brief job description.

Recommendation:

A- For more transparency and better workflow, that part needs to be developed with a strong organisational structure.



done_all 4.3 marked as Compliant by Ahmed Esmat.

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.

eSquare e.V.
17-Sep-2022 (1 year ago)

This is already written in the website and can be found now in "About Us" section. Haytham Atef:

The founder and CEO of eSquare, a researcher in the field of governance, digital transformation, and media. Currently a PhD candidate at the Hertie School of Governance. He holds a Master of Public Policy from the University of Erfurt in Germany and a Master of Arts in Global Citizenship, Identities and Human Rights from the University of Nottingham, UK. Haytham worked formerly as an advisor for GIZ Egypt in public sector reform and as a researcher in the cabinet of the Egyptian Minister of Planning.

Dina Ibrahim:

The director of AkhbarMeter Observatory. She has an academic and professional background focused on communication and media. She has a bachelor in mass media and a joint master degree in digital communication leadership from the Free University of Brussels and Salzburg University. She has 8 years experience as a journalist and translator. Afterwards, I worked for three years as a programme and communication coordinator at Tahrir Lounge Goethe.

The team full organizational structure can be found in About Us: https://akhbarmeter.org/about-us (فريق العمل)

eSquare e.V.
15-Apr-2023 (7 months ago)

This is already written in the website and can be found now in "About Us" section. Haytham Atef:

The founder and CEO of eSquare, a researcher in the field of governance, digital transformation, and media. Currently a PhD candidate at the Hertie School of Governance. He holds a Master of Public Policy from the University of Erfurt in Germany and a Master of Arts in Global Citizenship, Identities and Human Rights from the University of Nottingham, UK. Haytham worked formerly as an advisor for GIZ Egypt in public sector reform and as a researcher in the cabinet of the Egyptian Minister of Planning.

Dina Ibrahim:

The director of AkhbarMeter Observatory. She has an academic and professional background focused on communication and media. She has a bachelor in mass media and a joint master degree in digital communication leadership from the Free University of Brussels and Salzburg University. She has 8 years experience as a journalist and translator. Afterwards, I worked for three years as a programme and communication coordinator at Tahrir Lounge Goethe.

The team full organizational structure can be found in About Us: https://akhbarmeter.org/about-us (فريق العمل)

Ahmed Esmat Assessor
01-Mar-2023 (8 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Only stated in the Arabic version of the site and not the English one.

Update: They provide on their website a short bio for both Haitham Atef and Dina Ibrahim.


done_all 4.4 marked as Compliant by Ahmed Esmat.

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.

eSquare e.V.
17-Sep-2022 (1 year ago)

We have all our website and social networks accounts visible on our website.

In our homepage there is a space for users to paste links for the news they need us to review. https://akhbarmeter.org/

Contact us: http://akhbarmeter.org/contact

Ahmed Esmat Assessor
01-Mar-2023 (8 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Confirmed. They are having an independent section for contact us on the website, Messages are open on their facebook page.

Recommendation:

A- They need more engagement on their facebook page for better communication.


done_all 4.5 marked as Compliant by Ahmed Esmat.

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.

eSquare e.V.
17-Sep-2022 (1 year ago)

The team follows specific steps written in our methodology to select and investigate fake news and rumors. Along with our own methodology the team adheres to both the Arab Fact Checking Network (AFCN) and the International Fact Checking Network (IFCN) codes of principles.

This can be displayed clearly in Methodology: https://akhbarmeter.org/methodology/ (منهجية التحقق)

Ahmed Esmat Assessor
01-Mar-2023 (8 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Actually, they are having a unique methodology. They have a comprehensive, very curated methodology published on the website.


done_all 5.1 marked as Compliant by Ahmed Esmat.

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.

eSquare e.V.
17-Sep-2022 (1 year ago)

This can be displayed clearly in Methodology: https://akhbarmeter.org/methodology/ (منهجية التحقق من الأخبار والمعلومات)

We have selected the below debunked news as examples of our commitment to the same high standards of evidence and judgment and explained thoroughly how that commitment was accomplished. These examples can be found in the link below:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1X2aT7VRIb-IjFChxPyW2QIKiDp4sLzxynDvGY0CTZdI/edit 

Ahmed Esmat Assessor
01-Mar-2023 (8 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Some are of good quality but for example they selected that piece https://www.facebook.com/groups/867320847090932/permalink/1362395627583449/ with 31 reaction and 4 shares!

They need to focus on the quality rather than the quantity. 

Update: They developed a good selection criteria after the first assessment.


done_all 5.2 marked as Compliant by Ahmed Esmat.

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.

eSquare e.V.
17-Sep-2022 (1 year ago)

The team puts in front of the reader the confirmed and opposing information to the narration of events in order to reach the greatest degree of persuasion to the reader.

This can be displayed clearly in Methodology: https://akhbarmeter.org/methodology/ (منهجية التحقق من الأخبار والمعلومات)

Link for debunked news examples with significant sources: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-tUiksxNIttvgMClT4giOFwY3Hw78maxDWzFkZaBSrU/edit

 

Ahmed Esmat Assessor
01-Mar-2023 (8 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Yes, They add sources beneath the fact checked pieces.


done_all 5.3 marked as Compliant by Ahmed Esmat.

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.

eSquare e.V.
17-Sep-2022 (1 year ago)

This can be displayed clearly in Methodology: https://akhbarmeter.org/methodology/ (منهجية التحقق من الأخبار والمعلومات)

Samples of our work:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-tUiksxNIttvgMClT4giOFwY3Hw78maxDWzFkZaBSrU/edit

Ahmed Esmat Assessor
01-Mar-2023 (8 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Confirmed. According to the assessor’s random check, They apply the methodology to different pieces.


done_all 5.4 marked as Compliant by Ahmed Esmat.

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.

eSquare e.V.
17-Sep-2022 (1 year ago)

The team seeks to find the available online sources in order to reach a valid conclusion about a specific claim. These sources could be official accounts, websites, official statements, official websites, televised interviews. All these sources can give us vivid evidence on the information we seek to validate.

This can be displayed clearly in Methodology: https://akhbarmeter.org/methodology/ (منهجية التحقق من الأخبار والمعلومات)

Ahmed Esmat Assessor
01-Mar-2023 (8 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

They usually depend on secondary sources. 

Update: After the first assessment, they started to depend on primary sources whenever possible but still secondary ones are the main sources that they use. They need to depend more on primary sources.


done_all 5.5 marked as Compliant by Ahmed Esmat.

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.

eSquare e.V.
17-Sep-2022 (1 year ago)

There is an icon for our website users that asks them to paste the link of the news they need to verify. The site welcomes suggestions for printing from the information on the homepage of the site, but does not check for personal opinions. We make sure we response to our audience requests and suggestions and answer them with the actions we take.

This can be displayed clearly in About Us: https://akhbarmeter.org/about-us (اقتراحات الجمهور)

Ahmed Esmat Assessor
01-Mar-2023 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

Yes, they encourage readers to send claims and suggestions. 


done_all 5.6 marked as Compliant by Ahmed Esmat.

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.

eSquare e.V.
17-Sep-2022 (1 year ago)

There is a note below each debunked news and is open to anyone who asks the team for making corrections with evidence.

The same note is written clearly in About Us: https://akhbarmeter.org/about-us (سياسات التصحيح)

Ahmed Esmat Assessor
01-Mar-2023 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

They state that they are open to correction and audience complaints. 


done_all 6.1 marked as Compliant by Ahmed Esmat.

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

eSquare e.V.
17-Sep-2022 (1 year ago)

The team is open to revise any information it discovers needs correction. However, the team made it clearly that we do not investigate opinions.

The same note is written clearly in About Us: https://akhbarmeter.org/about-us (سياسات التصحيح) ضبط 12 شخصا في واقعة تعذيب طفلة الإسماعيلية -1 https://bit.ly/3S4xawT

2- انتحال سعد الصغير صفة شخص يقف أمام محمد صلاح https://bit.ly/3QGuHaZ 3- تصريحات وائل جمعة بشأن مباراة الزمالك والهلال السعودي مفبركة https://bit.ly/3qP70mh


eSquare e.V.
15-Apr-2023 (7 months ago) Updated: 7 months ago

The team is open to revise any information it discovers needs correction. However, the team made it clearly that we do not investigate opinions.

The same note is written clearly in About Us: https://akhbarmeter.org/about-us (سياسات التصحيح) ضبط 12 شخصا في واقعة تعذيب طفلة الإسماعيلية -1 https://bit.ly/3S4xawT

2- انتحال سعد الصغير صفة شخص يقف أمام محمد صلاح https://bit.ly/3QGuHaZ 3- تصريحات وائل جمعة بشأن مباراة الزمالك والهلال السعودي مفبركة https://bit.ly/3qP70mh

We stated that we do the amendments whenever we verify the information is correct, so we believe it is the same meaning. However, there is no problem if we add the work "corrections" from now on.

كما يتكفل الفريق بإجراء التصحيحات اللازمة حال التأكد من صحة المعلومات وقبولها في أسرع وقت ممكن.

Done. I added the word "corrections" in About us and in the statement below each debunked news items from now on. 

Ahmed Esmat Assessor
01-Mar-2023 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

According to the attached links, they corrected several claims, They just need to change the work amend with correction to be clear.تصويب بدلا من تعديل 


done_all 6.2 marked as Compliant by Ahmed Esmat.

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.

eSquare e.V.
17-Sep-2022 (1 year ago)

The team adheres to an open and honest correction policy stated clearly in About Us: https://akhbarmeter.org/about-us and below each debunked news to remind stakeholders and the audience to reach out to us whenever any correction is applicable. Below are two examples of our corrected debunked news. ضبط 12 شخصا في واقعة تعذيب طفلة الإسماعيلية -1 https://bit.ly/3S4xawT

2- انتحال سعد الصغير صفة شخص يقف أمام محمد صلاح https://bit.ly/3QGuHaZ 3- تصريحات وائل جمعة بشأن مباراة الزمالك والهلال السعودي مفبركة

https://bit.ly/3eUBsZt

Ahmed Esmat Assessor
01-Mar-2023 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

Confirmed. They correct claims on the same page, under the original piece claims.


done_all 6.3 marked as Compliant by Ahmed Esmat.

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.

eSquare e.V.
17-Sep-2022 (1 year ago)

When the team succeeds in joining the IFCN, it will declare itself an IFCN signatory on its website. As well, we will inform audience that if they believe that we violate the IFCN code, they may inform the IFCN, with a link to the IFCN website. 

Ahmed Esmat Assessor
01-Mar-2023 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

NON


done_all 6.4 marked as Compliant by Ahmed Esmat.

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.

eSquare e.V.
17-Sep-2022 (1 year ago)

AkhbarMeter Observatory does not belong to any media company or organization. 

eSquare e.V.
15-Apr-2023 (7 months ago) Updated: 7 months ago

AkhbarMeter Observatory does not belong to any media company or organization. 

We are applying with the fact checking unit as a part of AkhbarMeter media Observatory. The observatory is a project of the Egyptian registered company e.Citizen. This part is already stated clearly in About us.

يمتلك مرصد «أخبارميتر» شركة E.Citizen للخدمات الرقمية، وهي شركة مسجلة في هيئة الاستثمار المصرية تحمل سجل تجاري برقم (123546). الشركة مسئولة عن تطوير موقع المرصد. 

Ahmed Esmat Assessor
01-Mar-2023 (8 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

They stated that" The team has created a dedicated unit consisting of two fact-checkers who focus on serving the internet to find spiral news and trends that are suspected to be needed investigation". So technically it is a unit under eSquare e.V.

They need to clarify whether they are applying with the observatory or the verification unit. 

Update: They clarified that they are applying as a unit inside the main company and they state the ownership with legal papers. Their main company is called e.Citizen and is responsible for the development of AkhbarMeter Observatory website. They launched a unit under the company for fact checking. They use the same observatory site to publish fact checked pieces.



done_all 6.5 marked as Compliant by Ahmed Esmat.