Applicant: Olav Østrem
Assessor: Ester Appelgren
Edits made by the organization after this assessment
IFCN Staff wrote:
Comments and improvements regarding the pending renewal process for Faktisk.no
In regards of the comments and questions made by our assessor on our latest application, we would like to like to point out some immediate improvements made, and forward some comments and questions regarding the assessment.
Regarding section 4A
The assessor has rated this Partially compliant in her assessment and recommends us to disclose our yearly spendings.
This is a great idea. This has now been implemented by uploading our full financial statement, which displays our accounting in detail: https://www.faktisk.no/om-oss/finansiering
Also, in order to make it even easier to follow our finances, we have redone our financial disclosure page so it is easy to filter by year and see more details.
We hope the assessor and the IFCN board approves of this effort to improve our transparency.
Our full financial statement with detailed annual accounts is now disclosed on our page.
Regarding section 5A
The assessor has rated this as Partially compliant in her assessment, and writes:
"The description of the faktisk.no methodology, provided in the method section is excellent. However, a complaint has reached the IFCN that highlights an area not clearly adressed by Faktisk.no. The complaint adresses the lack of description on what the difference is between "Delvis rett" (partly correct) and "Delvis feil" (partly wrong). One is positive and the other is negative, and the two categories could actually be considered equal. Therefore, Faktisk.no needs to clarify the difference."
On the Methodology page, our methodology and rating scale is explained in detail (https://www.faktisk.no/metode), the five ratings are explained - making them in our opinion easy to distinguish. About Partly True and Partly Wrong, the wording, roughly translated into English, says:
* Partly True: The facts and/or the context supports the claim, however it does not paint the full picture"
* Partly Wrong: The facts and/or context does not support the claim or is used in a wrong or clearly misleading way
Also, we would like to point out that every fact-check has a written conclusion and a written description of often more than 1000 words explaining exactly how and why we conclude as we do. So it is hard for us understand that this is a soft spot to our assessment.
However, in order to address this critique, we have now made the scale hyperlinked in every fact-check, so readers will be directed to the Methodology page if they click on the rating.
A last note on this: The complainant quoted in the assessment caims that all Norwegian media is a "social construction". He has never forwarded any complaints to us as we are aware of. (Twitter profile: https://twitter.com/superkongen)
We have hyperlinked our rating in every fact-check to the explanation of the rating scale on our Methodology page.
Regarding section 5B
The assessor has rated this as Fully compliant in her assessment. However she points out that all though contact details for credit, critique or claims to check are easy to find, it is not well described how to forward claims to fact-check.
All though the assessor finds us fully compliant, we want to improve the way readers can forward claims to fact-check. For some time, we have been working with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in order to build an intelligent tip portal. We hope to present a first version of this before years end.
We will implement a new and intelligent tip-portal within the year.
Regarding section 6A:
The assessor has rated this as Non compliant in her assessment, and writes:
"There is a general corrections log, and all articles are accompanied by specific corrections log for that article. However a "correction policy" is not provided, rather a short description on that corrections can occur and how the reader can find them. I did not find any specific descriptions on how the audience can request a correction.
Furthermore, a complaint has reached the IFCN concerning corrections. This complaint is about the content in a story about the history of skis. This particular claim highlights the need to clarify how a reader can contact Faktisk.no and what routines the applicant then has regarding audience feedback.
For this reason I have chosen "Non compliant" here, and I would recommend that Faktisk.no creates a policy that also describes audience feedback and what can be expected if the audience finds that facts in a story are doubtful to them."
We find this assessment too strict and partly unfounded.
When it comes to policies: our About us section (https://www.faktisk.no/om-oss) has a translated version of the IFCN Code of Principles, and outlined the policy of article 5: A commitment to an Open & Honest Corrections Policy.
In our translation, we state: "We have a transparent corrections policy and follow it always. Our corrections are clearly marked and openly published in compliant with our corrections policy, to make sure our readers sees the correct version."
Also we outline our "House ethics rules", which comes in addition to the Norwegian Press Association's Code of Ethics, which applies to us (https://presse.no/pfu/etiske-regler/vaer-varsom-plakaten/vvpl-engelsk/). These bind us to fair treatment of all sources.
When it comes to the assessors point of not finding a description on how to request a correction, this is clearly stated on the footer on all our pages, including our front page and on every fact-check and article we publish. This is policy for media outlets in Norway. This includes the name and email address to the editor-in-chief, as well as our general contact address. It also hyperlinks to the Norwegian Press Association's Code of Ethics, the Norwegian Editor's Association’s Code of Ethics, and to the IFCN Code Of Principles. The text says:
"Vi arbeider etter Vær varsom-plakatens regler for god presseskikk, Redaktørplakaten og faktasjekkplakaten. Den som mener seg rammet av urettmessig publisering, oppfordres til å ta kontakt med redaksjonen."
Which translates to: "We follow the Norwegian Press Code of Ethics (link), the Norwegian Editors code of principles (link) and the Fact-Checkers code of principles (link). Anyone who feels afflicted by unfair publication (hard to translate literally) should contact us (link to email).
Also, as the assessor also has verified, we publish full bios and contact details for all our staff in the About us section. Every fact-check has a byline with the name and email link to the fact-checkers who wrote the article.
We also have a very active dialogue with our readers by email, Twitter and Facebook page - were the discussion is live almost 24/7.
The assessor refers to a complaint that has reached IFCN from a Norwegian ski-maker on a historic fact story (not check) we have published in cooperation with the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo. The complainant has also complained to us by e-mail, published an opinion piece in a publication that covers the Norwegian media, and complained to the Norwegian Press Complaints Commission - based on the guidelines stated on our front page.
After this, some corrections were made, clearly displayed and published in our change log - and stated on Facebook. Also, we have been open and transparent about this, facing the complainant's very loud and outspoken complaints in the press:
In our opinion, the facts of how this complaint was received and handled directly contradicts the thesis that it has been unclear how to reach us, file complaints or have corrections made. All was done in accordance with our guidelines, which also pointed the complainant to the IFCN.
As a side note, the secretary of the Norwegian Press Complaints Commission has dismissed the complaint as groundless on the basis that the error was minor, corrections were made and no ethical guidelines were broken.
To make it clearer how to complain, we have added statement about our corrections policy and how to complain in our methodology-page, with links to our change log and the ethical guidelines we follow. This statement is hyperlinked from the above explained footer-text on every page on the site.
We hope the assessor and IFCN board welcomes our answers and improvements, and takes them into consideration both in the assessment and the in the vote for renewal.
Kind regards, Kristoffer Egeberg
From the assessor:
I want to thank Faktisk.no for the adjustments, and I now find them fully compliant.
Conclusion and recommendations
Ester Appelgren wrote:
Faktisk.no is an excellent initiative!
This is an application for renewal, and I find it fully compliant with just two exceptions. I would recommend that spendings are specified and that it is a bit more clear to the audience how they can send in claims and how they can request corrections to claims.