France 24 - Les Observateurs

Organization: France 24 - Les Observateurs
Applicant: Derek Thomson
Assessor: Laurent Bigot

Background

"Les Observateurs" is a distinct fact-checking section of France 24, a legally registered French media outlet.

"Les Observateurs" was set up in 2006, exclusively for the purpose of fact-checking : it works as a UGC and image verification unit for videos coming from all over the world : it is true that the work of "Les Observateurs" must be distinguished from that of other fact-checking sites, because of the particularity of its work on video debunking (Intox part of the website: https://observers.france24.com/fr/tag/intox).

France, where this medium is based, is a democratic country which allows "Les Obesrveteurs" to work independently, even when a media is part of a media group owned by the French state (France Media Monde). 

Assessment Conclusion

According to my second assessment, I think "Les Observateurs" continues to be a reliable fact-checking partner. This media is compliant with most of the new principles enacted by the IFCN..

Changes have been made on criteria 1.6, 2.5, 6.1, 6.2, 6.4 and 6.5...

We still encourage "Observers" to take a good look at the evaluation of the other criteria, as they contain recommendations to bring the site more in line with the IFCN code of principles.

We must precise that it is not possible for us to verify what is in the Arabic and Persian versions.


on 22-Jul-2020 (9 months ago)

Laurent Bigot assesses application as Compliant

A short summary in native publishing language

Le site "Les Observateurs" de France 24 respecte depuis plusieurs années le code de principes de l'IFCN. Toutefois, il doit encore procéder à quelques ajustements afin de respecter l'intégralité des 31 critères issus de la nouvelle version de ce code. Ainsi, il doit notamment mettre en conformité toutes les versions de son site avec ces critères et pas seulement celles qui sont éditées en anglais et en français (arabe, persan). Il en va du respect du principe de transparence, central dans le code de principes. Il doit aussi corriger quelques points liés à la communication sur son travail auprès des lecteurs. Le site reste un partenaire fiable de l'IFCN en matière de vérification des faits (fact-checking et debunking), notamment à travers sa section Intox (https://observers.france24.com/fr/tag/intox).

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.

France 24 - Les Observateurs
16-Apr-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 11 months ago

The France 24 Observers (Les Observateurs de France 24)  is a distinct verification/fact-checking section of France 24, a legally registered French media outlet. All the evidence of its legal registration are presented in the “Mentions légales” through its RCS number, here: https://www.francemediasmonde.com/fr/legal-notice

And here : https://www.francemediasmonde.com/en/legal-notice

Laurent Bigot Assessor
09-Jun-2020 (11 months ago)

"Les Observateurs" is a distinct fact-checking section of France 24, a legally registered French media outlet. All the evidence of its legal registration are presented in the “Mentions légales” through its RCS number, here: https://www.francemediasmonde.com/fr/legal-notice

And here : https://www.francemediasmonde.com/en/legal-notice


done_all 1.1 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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?

France 24 - Les Observateurs
16-Apr-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 11 months ago

1. The Observers was created in 2006 as a UGC and image verification unit. The idea was to create a global community of amateur contributors who would help our team of journalists find and verify amateur images online. 

2. 6+

- 1 senior editor
- 1 line editor
- 4 staff journalists
- other free-lancers when resources permit

3. verification of amateur images + amateur accounts of news-related events and phenomena

4. to extend our media literacy activities - notably via anti-fake news programme in collaboration with France's education authorities






Laurent Bigot Assessor
09-Jun-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

"Les Observateurs" was set up in 2006, exclusively for the purpose of fact-checking : it works as a UGC and image verification unit for videos coming from all over the world  : 

https://observers.france24.com/fr/

https://observers.france24.com/en/

The answers provided by the leaders of "Les Observateurs" about the team, the roles and the goals are satisfactory.

France, where this medium is based, is a democratic country which allows "Les Obesrveteurs" to work independently.



done_all 1.2 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

France 24 - Les Observateurs
16-Apr-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 11 months ago
Laurent Bigot Assessor
09-Jun-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

The spreadsheet provided by the "Les Observateurs" team effectively lists fact checks published during the previous three months and identifies, for each, the main subject. 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.

But as an applicant from a country (France) with at least 5 or more verified signatories, "Les Observateurs" need to have at least a fact check a week over the twelve months of publishing track. In view of what we have observed, it's ok.


done_all 1.3 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Laurent Bigot Assessor
09-Jun-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

According to our assessment, the fact-checking articles presented by "les Observateurs" are in line with IFCN's expectations.

We find that these fact checks deal in majority (more than 75%) with “public interest” issues that “relate to or could have an impact on the well-being of individuals, the general public or society”.



done_all 1.4 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

France 24 - Les Observateurs
16-Apr-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 11 months ago

The France 24 Observers is a unit of public broadcaster France 24, which is part of France Medias Monde, a media group owned by the French state. FMM, France 24 and the France 24 Observers have no relationship or financial link to any political party in France or anywhere else.   

Laurent Bigot Assessor
09-Jun-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago
"Les Observateurs" is a unit of public broadcaster France 24, which is part of France Medias Monde, a media group owned by the French state. 


The team explains : "FMM, France 24 and the France 24 Observers have no relationship or financial link to any political party in France or anywhere else".


To explain its policies to preserve its non-partisan way of fact-checking claims, we found a statement in the France Médias Monde code of ethics. This code specifies the independence of the journalists and their staff :

France Médias Monde is a National Company of programs, of public service which respects the principle of editorial independence which guarantees freedom of information, freedom necessary and essential to the foundation and functioning of a democracy. »



done_all 1.5 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

France 24 - Les Observateurs
16-Apr-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 11 months ago
France 24 - Les Observateurs
19-Jul-2020 (9 months ago)

https://observers.france24.com/en/static/about

***UPDATE JULY 19 2020***

Following changes recommended by the assessor we have added the appropriate language to the French-language version of our About page.

https://observers.france24.com/fr/static/a-propos

La rédaction des Observateurs de France 24 ne soutient aucun parti politique, aucun candidat, ni aucun programme où que ce soit. Nos journalistes ne prennent part à aucune activité de militantisme politique.

...

La rédaction des Observateurs, en tant que service de France 24, est intégrée dans le groupe France Médias Monde, détenu à 100% par l’État français. Ce groupe demeure indépendant d’un point de vue éditorial. La rédaction des Observateurs adhère par ailleurs à la charte de déontologie de France Médias Monde .

...

Les financements extérieurs n’influencent en rien notre travail journalistique et la participation au programme de Facebook n’a pas d’influence sur la sélection des photos et vidéos que nous vérifions.

Laurent Bigot Assessor
09-Jun-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

"Les Observateurs receives funding from the French state which is its owner. 

In the English version of its website, it provides statements how it ensures its funders do not influence the findings of its reports, here : 
https://observers.france24.com/en/static/about

"The France 24 Observers, as a department of France 24, is part of the France Medias Monde group, which is funded by the French state but editorially independent."
And : "The France 24 Observers does not endorse political parties or candidates or programs, and our journalists do not actively engage in political or other forms of advocacy.


But But, although it is a French media, it does not provide a statement on its site how it ensures its funders do not influence the findings of its reports in its French version.

All the mentions relating to the independence of "Les Obesrvateurs do not exist in the French version of the site.
It
is not possible for us today to verify what is in the Arabic and Persian versions...


cancel 1.6 marked as Request change by Laurent Bigot.
Laurent Bigot Assessor
22-Jul-2020 (9 months ago)

"Les Observateurs receives funding from the French state which is its owner. 

Its website provides statements how it ensures its funders do not influence the findings of its reports, here : 
https://observers.france24.com/en/static/about

https://observers.france24.com/fr/static/a-propos

"The France 24 Observers, as a department of France 24, is part of the France Medias Monde group, which is funded by the French state but editorially independent."
And : "The France 24 Observers does not endorse political parties or candidates or programs, and our journalists do not actively engage in political or other forms of advocacy."

"La rédaction des Observateurs, en tant que service de France 24, est intégrée dans le groupe France Médias Monde, détenu à 100% par l’État français. Ce groupe demeure indépendant d’un point de vue éditorial. La rédaction des Observateurs adhère par ailleurs à la charte de déontologie de France Médias Monde. La rédaction des Observateurs de France 24 ne soutient aucun parti politique, aucun candidat, ni aucun programme où que ce soit. Nos journalistes ne prennent part à aucune activité de militantisme politique."

It is not possible for us today to verify what is in the Arabic and Persian versions...


done_all 1.6 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

France 24 - Les Observateurs
16-Apr-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 11 months ago

It is hard for us to show examples of traditional non-partisanship (equal scrutiny of political parties for instance) because our focus at the France 24 Observers is on social issues on an international level, rather than politics at a national level.

The best way to illustrate our non-partisanship is to compare our debunking articles (in bold below) with articles on the main Observers site. While we regularly publish articles critical of, for instance, Iran, Turkey and the extreme right in the US and Europe, we don’t hesitate to debunk false items targeting those countries or movements.

While we published an investigative piece documenting abuses by pro-Turkish militia in northern Syria, we also debunked a false about a video showing an extrajudicial killing during the Turkish offensive:

Non, cette vidéo ne montre pas une exécution extrajudiciaire conduite par la Turquie en Syrie

https://observers.france24.com/fr/20191119-intox-syrie-turquie-video-execution-armee-syrienne-libre

While we have done dozens of fact-checks debunking misinformation by the extreme right in France, we didn’t hesitate to correct the record when the target was the extreme right politician Marine Le Pen:

Les dirigeants africains interdits d'hôpitaux français ? Une fausse citation de Marine Le Pen

https://observers.france24.com/fr/20200326-intox-dirigeants-africains-interdits-hopitaux-francais-marine-pen

During the Covid-19 crisis, we covered the very real phenomenon of anti-African prejudice in China, but also debunked claims about videos falsely linked to the phenomenon:

Discriminations contre les Africains en Chine dues au Covid-19 : attention aux intox !

https://observers.france24.com/fr/20200417-discriminations-africains-chine-covid-19-intox

Covid-19 : florilège de nouvelles intox sur des représailles d’Africains contre des Chinois

https://observers.france24.com/fr/20200424-covid-19-florilege-nouvelles-intox-africains-co ntre-chinois

While we regularly publish articles critical of Donald Trump and his supporters, we also debunked these items:

Cette vidéo de Trump effrayé par un cri "Allahou Akbar" est à nouveau virale... et toujours fausse

https://observers.france24.com/fr/20200109-video-trump-cri-allahou-akbar-intox-faux-fake

Une photo montrant le "niveau intellectuel" des fans de Trump ? Pas si vite...

https://observers.france24.com/fr/20190930-trump-tmurp-photo-niveau-intellectuel-fans-intox

While our coverage of Iran is often critical of the government, we also debunk fake claims about Iran’s authorities:

Mort du général Soleimani : fausses explosions, fausses représailles, les intox se multiplient

https://observers.france24.com/fr/20200107-soleimani-iran-fausses-images-intox-video-drone-represailles

Vidéo : la police iranienne détruit des milliers de bouteilles d’alcool ? Pas cette fois

https://observers.france24.com/fr/20190524-intox-video-police-iranienne-detruit-milliers-bouteilles-alcool

As regards India, while we published articles about the anti-Muslim riots, we also published this debunk of a claim falsely saying a video showed Muslims being killed:

Attention, cette vidéo ne montre pas des assassinats de musulmans en Inde

https://observers.france24.com/fr/20200312-attention-cette-video-montre-pas-assassinat-musulmans-inde

And this about fake news targeting Muslims :

"CoronaJihad" : accusés de répandre volontairement le Covid-19, les musulmans indiens victimes des fausses informations

https://observers.france24.com/fr/20200512-coronajihad-inde-musulmans-cible-fausses-informations-covid-19-coronavirus

Laurent Bigot Assessor
09-Jun-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

Even if 'Les Obesrvateurs" works on social issues at an international level, its fact-checks use the same high standards of evidence and judgement for equivalent claims regardless of who made the claim. We didn't find any example of obvious unfair treatment...

It is true that the work of "Les Observateurs" must be distinguished from that of other fact-checking sites, because of the particularity of its work of video debunking.


done_all 2.1 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

France 24 - Les Observateurs
16-Apr-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 11 months ago
Laurent Bigot Assessor
09-Jun-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

"Les Obesrvateurs" does not seem to unduly concentrate its fact-checking on any one side; it seems to consider the reach and importance of claims it selects to check.

"Les Observateurs" fact-checking work is specific, cause they verify photos and videos of reports sent from all over the world. There's only a part of their work that consist to debunk false informations, in the "Intox" section. It's explained here :

"Les Obesrvateurs" publishes an explaination on its website to set out how it selects claims to check, here :
https://observers.france24.com/en/static/about
https://observers.france24.com/fr/static/a-propos

We can read :

"HOW WE WORK

The Observers site is a collaboration between our Observers and our team of journalists in Paris. We work in two different ways:

1. Our team of journalists finds amateur images on social networks and tries to contact the author or a person with firsthand knowledge of the events depicted. If we are able to verify their account and they agree to join our network, they become an Observer.

2. Our Observers send us information about events they have witnessed and documented via photo/video.

When we are sure of the authenticity of the information and any supporting documentation, we publish them in an online article. The article takes the form of an introduction written by one of our journalists, giving context and explaining who our Observers are and why their account is pertinent. That is followed by a first-person account from our Observer, taken from a telephone interview or an exchange via social media."


And also :

"DEBUNKED

Our work with amateur contributors has made us experts at verifying images from nontraditional sources. Since 2014 our team of journalists put that expertise to use in a special section called “Debunked.” Our journalists analyze and verify photographs and videos that have been widely shared online, but that may have been faked, manipulated or taken out of context. We focus on issues of importance to the public interest, including claims by and against all interested parties. By “widely shared” we mean claims that have been shared sufficiently in a given community to have influence on the perception of that issue in the community. We explain our fact-checking methodology in each Debunked article, and we further share our expertise with the public, for instance in our detailed online photo/video verification guide."



done_all 2.2 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Laurent Bigot Assessor
09-Jun-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

In view of what we have observed, "Les Observateurs" discloses in its fact checks relevant interests of the sources it quotes and any commercial or other such relationships it has.


done_all 2.3 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Laurent Bigot Assessor
09-Jun-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

In view of what we have observed, "Les Observateurs" doesn't show support for any party, any politician or political candidate.


done_all 2.4 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

France 24 - Les Observateurs
16-Apr-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 11 months ago
France 24 - Les Observateurs
19-Jul-2020 (9 months ago)

https://observers.france24.com/en/static/about


***UPDATE JULY 19 2020***

***Following changes recommended by the assessor we have added the appropriate language to the French-language version of our About page.

https://observers.france24.com/fr/static/a-propos

La rédaction des Observateurs de France 24 ne soutient aucun parti politique, aucun candidat, ni aucun programme où que ce soit. Nos journalistes ne prennent part à aucune activité de militantisme politique.

...

Les financements extérieurs n’influencent en rien notre travail journalistique et la participation au programme de Facebook n’a pas d’influence sur la sélection des photos et vidéos que nous vérifions.

...

La rédaction des Observateurs, en tant que service de France 24, est intégrée dans le groupe France Médias Monde, détenu à 100% par l’État français. Ce groupe demeure indépendant d’un point de vue éditorial. La rédaction des Observateurs adhère par ailleurs à la charte de déontologie de France Médias Monde.  https://www.francemediasmonde.com/pdf/charte_deontologie_journalistes.pdf

Laurent Bigot Assessor
09-Jun-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

"Les Observateurs" explains its policies to preserve its non-partisan way of fact-checking claims in different statements, on the English part of its website, here:
https://observers.france24.com/en/static/about

It evokes :

"The France 24 Observers does not endorse political parties or candidates or programs, and our journalists do not actively engage in political or other forms of advocacy."

"Participation in the Facebook program does not influence our selection of items to verify."

"The France 24 Observers, as a department of France 24, is part of the France Medias Monde group, which is funded by the French state but editorially independent."


But "Les Observateurs" doesn't explain its policies to preserve its non-partisan way of fact-checking claims on the French part of its website.

It is not possible for us today to verify what is in the Arabic and Persian versions...


NB : Les Observateurs doesn't mention anymore the France Médias Monde code of ethics, like it used to do it in the past years.


cancel 2.5 marked as Request change by Laurent Bigot.
Laurent Bigot Assessor
22-Jul-2020 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

"Les Observateurs" explains its policies to preserve its non-partisan way of fact-checking claims in different statements, both on the French and English part of its website, here:
https://observers.france24.com/en/static/about
https://observers.france24.com/fr/static/a-propos


It is not possible for us today to verify what is in the Arabic and Persian versions...



done_all 2.5 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Laurent Bigot Assessor
09-Jun-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

In view of what we have observed, "Les Observateurs" identifies the source of significant evidence used in its fact checks.

NB : "Les Observateurs" fact-checking work is specific, cause they verify photos and videos of reports sent from all over the world. There's only a part of their work that consist to debunk false informations, in the "Intox" section. 



done_all 3.1 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Laurent Bigot Assessor
09-Jun-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

In view of what we have observed, "Les Observateurs" uses (most of the time) the best available primary sources of evidence. But the specificity of our work on photos or videos means that it is not always possible to use these primary sources.


done_all 3.2 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Laurent Bigot Assessor
09-Jun-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

In view of what we have observed, "Les Obesrvateurs" checks all key elements of claims with more than one source of evidence.


done_all 3.3 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Laurent Bigot Assessor
09-Jun-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

In view of what we have observed, "Les Observateurs" 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.


done_all 3.4 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

France 24 - Les Observateurs
16-Apr-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 11 months ago

We are the fact-checking section or unit of public broadcaster France 24. 

France 24 is part of the state-owned France Médias Monde media group.

https://www.francemediasmonde.com/en/legal-notice

Laurent Bigot Assessor
09-Jun-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

"Les Observateurs" is the fact-checking section of France 24, part of the state-owned France Médias Monde media group.

It's written on "Les Observateurs" website ("About" page).

All the evidence of its legal registration are presented in the “Mentions légales”, here: 

https://www.francemediasmonde.com/fr/legal-notice

https://www.francemediasmonde.com/en/legal-notice


done_all 4.1 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

France 24 - Les Observateurs
16-Apr-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 11 months ago
Laurent Bigot Assessor
09-Jun-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

As a fact-checking section of France 24, "Les Observateurs" share a link to the statement on its website about its ownership :

https://observers.france24.com/en/static/about

This page in English explains : "The France 24 Observers, as a department of France 24, is part of the France Medias Monde group, which is funded by the French state but editorially independent. The France 24 Observers also receives occasional funding for editorial projects from private organisations."


https://observers.france24.com/fr/static/a-propos



done_all 4.2 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

France 24 - Les Observateurs
16-Apr-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 11 months ago
Laurent Bigot Assessor
09-Jun-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

"Les Observateurs"  presents its organizational structure and makes clear how and by whom editorial control is exercised (Chief editor, deputy-chief editor, etc.) here:

https://observers.france24.com/fr/static/a-propos

https://observers.france24.com/en/static/about



done_all 4.3 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

France 24 - Les Observateurs
16-Apr-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 11 months ago
Laurent Bigot Assessor
09-Jun-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

"Les Observateurs" presents a page detailing the professional biography of all those who play a significant part in its articles here:

https://observers.france24.com/fr/static/a-propos

https://observers.france24.com/en/static/about


done_all 4.4 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

France 24 - Les Observateurs
16-Apr-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 11 months ago
Laurent Bigot Assessor
09-Jun-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

It’s easy for  readers to contact "Les Observateurs" team. 

They can use social media or the page called “Contact us" or "Contactez-nous". The link is at the bottom of each page :

http://observers.france24.com/fr/static/contactez-nous 

https://observers.france24.com/en/static/contact-us

It provides a generic e-mail to contact the journalists and a phone number to use Whatsapp.


NB : the link at the bottom of this French page doesn't work : https://observers.france24.com/fr/static/a-propos



done_all 4.5 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

France 24 - Les Observateurs
16-Apr-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 11 months ago
Laurent Bigot Assessor
09-Jun-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

"Les Observateurs" gives precisions about its fact-checking methodology in English :

https://observers.france24.com/en/static/about

"We explain our fact-checking methodology in each Debunked article, and we further share our expertise with the public, for instance in our detailed online photo/video verification guide." (https://observers.france24.com/en/20151110-observers-guide-verifying-photos-videos-social-media-networks)


And in French :

https://observers.france24.com/fr/static/a-propos

"We share our knowledge with the public, for example in our detailed guide to image verification." (https://observers.france24.com/fr/tag/guide-verification)


These details seem clear in both websites.


done_all 5.1 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Laurent Bigot Assessor
09-Jun-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

In view of what we have observed (20 fact checks selection), "Les Observateurs" selects claims to check based primarily on the reach and importance of the claims, and sometimes explains the reason for choosing the claim to check.


done_all 5.2 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Laurent Bigot Assessor
09-Jun-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

In view of what we have observed (20 fact checks selection), "Les Observateurs" sets out in its fact checks relevant evidence that appears to support the claim as well as relevant evidence that appears to undermine it. 


done_all 5.3 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Laurent Bigot Assessor
09-Jun-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

In view of what we have observed (20 fact checks selection), "Les Observateurs" assesses the merits of the evidence found using the same high standards applied to evidence on equivalent claims, regardless of who made the claim. 


done_all 5.4 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Laurent Bigot Assessor
09-Jun-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

In view of what we have observed (20 fact checks selection), "Les Observateurs" seeks where possible to contact those who made the claim. 


done_all 5.5 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

France 24 - Les Observateurs
16-Apr-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 11 months ago

We verbally solicit story tips at the end of each weekly Observers show. We encourage tips on our French-language Twitter account @infointoxF24 (visual attached for Covid tips). 

Files Attached
Twitter_covid_gfx.pn... (49 KB)
Laurent Bigot Assessor
09-Jun-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

There’s no dedicated page to invite readers to submit claims to fact-check on "Les Observateurs" website. 

We can find only find  a specific paragraph, here:
https://observers.france24.com/en/static/about

"We welcome ideas for topics we should look into - including fake news and fraudulent images. We are unable to fact-check every claim that is sent to us; we focus on claims that have been widely circulated in a community and could have an impact on public well-being, and that are connected to current events and social topics that we cover regularly. We are interested in topics relating to human rights, governance, civil society, innovative social experiments, and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals - especially those that involve amateur images. You can find our contact information here."

And here:
https://observers.france24.com/fr/static/a-propos

"We welcome subject ideas that we may address, including false information and manipulated images circulating on social networks.We are interested in subjects dealing with human rights, governance, civil society, whether they denounce a problematic situation or put forward a positive initiative. The subjects around innovative social experiments and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, especially those that include amateur images, also correspond to our editorial line.When people contact us and request it, we guarantee their anonymity and offer them the most secure means of communication available to us."


So we can say that, in a way, "Les Observateurs" encourages users to send claims to check, while making it clear what readers can legitimately expect will be fact-checked and what isn’t fact-checkable.


done_all 5.6 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

France 24 - Les Observateurs
16-Apr-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 11 months ago
France 24 - Les Observateurs
19-Jul-2020 (9 months ago)

https://observers.france24.com/en/static/about

***UPDATE JULY 19 2020***

***Following changes recommended by the assessor we have added the appropriate language to the French-language version of our About page.

https://observers.france24.com/fr/static/a-propos

“Si nous recevons des informations pertinentes après la publication initiale, nous les ajoutons à l’article original en tant que mise à jour ou, si cette information vient contredire une information de l’article original, en tant que correction. Nous sommes transparents sur nos sources et notre méthodologie et publions des informations seulement quand nous sommes convaincus qu’elles sont exactes sur la base des informations déjà récoltées. Si nous recevons de nouvelles informations qui modifient nos conclusions, c’est de notre responsabilité d’alerter nos utilisateurs en publiant rapidement une mise à jour et une correction, clairement et ouvertement.

Nos lecteurs et téléspectateurs qui ont des informations permettant de préciser nos contenus sont invités à nous les transmettre. Pour nous contacter, c'est ici . Nous corrigeons les informations essentielles qui pourraient s'avérer inexactes, en mesure de modifier le propos de l'article, au début de l'article, avec un paragraphe "CORRECTION" mentionnant la date à laquelle celle-ci est faite. Nous corrigeons les inexactitudes qui n'ont pas d'impact direct sur le contenu de l'article également avec un paragraphe "CORRECTION", cette fois en fin d'article. Nous veillons à répondre autant que possible à tout signalement d'une nouvelle information, même si toutes les remarques n'appellent pas réponse.”

Laurent Bigot Assessor
09-Jun-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

"Les Observateurs" website give precisions about its corrections policy in its "about" section, here:

https://observers.france24.com/en/static/contact-us

"If we receive pertinent information after the initial publication, we add it to the original article as an update or - if the new information invalidates our original information - as a correction. We are open about our sources and our methodology and publish information only when we are convinced that it is accurate on the basis of the information we have gathered. If we receive new information that changes our conclusions, it is our responsibility to alert our users by publishing any update or correction quickly, clearly and openly. Members of the public who have information relating to the accuracy of our reporting should send it to us! You can find our contact information here. We correct major inaccuracies – those that could change the principal findings of the report - in the opening section of the article concerned, in a paragraph marked “CORRECTION” with the date the correction was published. We correct inaccuracies that do not have a direct bearing on the principal findings of the report at the end of the article, also with a paragraph marked “CORRECTION.”"


And here, with much less details:
https://observers.france24.com/fr/static/a-propos

"If we receive relevant information after the initial publication, we add it to the original article as an update or, if this information contradicts information from the original article, as a correction. We are transparent about our sources and methodology and only publish information when we are confident that it is accurate based on the information already collected. If we receive new information that changes our conclusions, it is our responsibility to alert our users by quickly posting an update and fix, clearly and openly."


So "Les Observateurs" has a corrections policy that is quite easily visible and accessible. Especially on the site in English. But it should be the same on all the versions of its website... And It is not possible for us today to verify what it mentions in the Arabic and Persian versions...


cancel 6.1 marked as Request change by Laurent Bigot.
Laurent Bigot Assessor
22-Jul-2020 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

"Les Observateurs" website give precisions about its corrections policy in its "about" section, here:

https://observers.france24.com/en/static/contact-us

https://observers.france24.com/fr/static/a-propos



It is not possible for us today to verify what it mentions in the Arabic and Persian versions...


done_all 6.1 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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

France 24 - Les Observateurs
19-Jul-2020 (9 months ago)

***UPDATE JULY 19 2020***

***Following changes recommended by the assessor we have added the appropriate language to the French-language version of our About page.

https://observers.france24.com/fr/static/a-propos

“Nous veillons à répondre autant que possible à tout signalement d'une nouvelle information, même si toutes les remarques n'appellent pas réponse.”

https://observers.france24.com/en/static/about

"We make our best effort to respond to senders of new information, though not all complaints justify a response." 

Laurent Bigot Assessor
09-Jun-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

"Les Observateurs" corrections policy  is quite easily visible and accessible on its website.

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. Especially on the site in English. 

But it doesn't set clearly that some complaints may justify no responseAnd it should be the same on all the versions of its website... 

Les Observateurs semms to follow its coorections policy quite scrupulously.


cancel 6.2 marked as Request change by Laurent Bigot.
Laurent Bigot Assessor
22-Jul-2020 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

"Les Observateurs" corrections policy  is now quite easily visible and accessible on its websites.


Les Observateurs seems to follow its corrections policy quite scrupulously.


It is not possible for us today to verify what is in the Arabic and Persian versions...


done_all 6.2 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

France 24 - Les Observateurs
16-Apr-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 11 months ago

When we published this fact-check about a video supposedly showing a “ball of fire” over train tracks we mistakenly listed the original poster as Russia. We later learned he was Belarussian and corrected the article.

https://observers.france24.com/fr/20200122-intox-video-boule-feu-elme-boule-foudre-globulaire-fake-cgi

We initially gave the wrong date for the arrest of a Chinsese citizen who had been posting videos of hospitals online.

https://observers.france24.com/fr/20200206-coronavirus-fangbin-wuhan-censure-chine-videos

Laurent Bigot Assessor
09-Jun-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

"Les Observateurs" provides credible evidence that it makes corrections openly and transparently.

The team gives 2 examples from 2 different articles :

https://observers.france24.com/fr/20200122-intox-video-boule-feu-elme-boule-foudre-globulaire-fake-cgi

https://observers.france24.com/fr/20200206-coronavirus-fangbin-wuhan-censure-chine-videos


But the team needs to work differently to ensure that users of the original see the correction and the corrected version.


done_all 6.3 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

France 24 - Les Observateurs
16-Apr-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 11 months ago
France 24 - Les Observateurs
19-Jul-2020 (9 months ago)

https://observers.france24.com/en/static/about

***UPDATE JULY 19 2020***

***Following changes recommended by the assessor we have added the appropriate language to the French-language version of our About page.

https://observers.france24.com/fr/static/a-propos

“La rédaction des Observateurs de France 24 est membre de l'International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN). Si une entité ou une personne estime que nous ne respectons pas les standards établis par l'IFCN, ils peuvent le signaler à l'IFCN .”

Laurent Bigot Assessor
09-Jun-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

"Les Observateurs" website has a page, on its English website, where it declares itself an IFCN signatory and informs users that if they believe its journalists are violating the IFCN Code, people may inform the IFCN, with a link to the IFCN site , here :

https://observers.france24.com/en/static/about


But, on its French website, "Les Observateurs" doesn't declare itself an IFCN signatory and doesn't inform users that if they believe its journalists are violating the IFCN Code, people may inform the IFCN, with a link to the IFCN site. 

We only found this statement in French :

"The International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) is an international network of fact-checkers based at the United States Poynter Institute. IFCN promotes best practices in fact-checking and organizes exchanges through scholarships and other programs. In 2017, IFCN funded an exchange between Observers and Teyit.org, a Turkish verification organization based in Ankara."


And It is not possible for us today to verify what it mentions in the Arabic and Persian versions...


cancel 6.4 marked as Request change by Laurent Bigot.
Laurent Bigot Assessor
22-Jul-2020 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

"Les Observateurs" website has a page, on its English and French websites, where it declares itself an IFCN signatory and informs users that if they believe its journalists are violating the IFCN Code, people may inform the IFCN, with a link to the IFCN site , here :

https://observers.france24.com/en/static/about

https://observers.france24.com/fr/static/a-propos


But Les Observateurs should explicitly mention that they are members of IFCN and that this link obliges them.


And It is not possible for us today to verify what it mentions in the Arabic and Persian versions...


done_all 6.4 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

France 24 - Les Observateurs
16-Apr-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 11 months ago

France Médias Monde, parent company of France 24, has got is own code of standards, that outlines (their) correction policy: published errors shall be corrected and the right of response accorded to those who claim it.”

https://www.francemediasmonde.com/pdf/charte_deontologie_journalistes.pdf


France 24 - Les Observateurs
19-Jul-2020 (9 months ago)

***UPDATE JULY 19 2020***

***Following changes recommended by the assessor we have added the appropriate language to the French-language version of our About page.

https://observers.france24.com/fr/static/a-propos

Nous adhérons à la charte de déontologie de France Medias Monde .

https://observers.france24.com/en/static/about

La rédaction des Observateurs, en tant que service de France 24, est intégrée dans le groupe France Médias Monde, détenu à 100% par l’État français. Ce groupe demeure indépendant d’un point de vue éditorial. La rédaction des Observateurs adhère par ailleurs à la charte de déontologie de France Médias Monde .

https://www.francemediasmonde.com/pdf/charte_deontologie_journalistes.pdf


Laurent Bigot Assessor
09-Jun-2020 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

France Médias Monde, parent company of France 24, has got is own code of standards, that outlines its correction policy, here: 

https://www.francemediasmonde.com/pdf/charte_deontologie_journalistes.pdf

"It is advisable to rectify the errors published and to respect the right of reply of the people wishing to exercise it."


But "Les Observateurs" doesn't provide evidence that it adheres to this code of ethics. This code is not even mentioned on the website.


cancel 6.5 marked as Request change by Laurent Bigot.
Laurent Bigot Assessor
22-Jul-2020 (9 months ago) Updated: 9 months ago

France Médias Monde, parent company of France 24, has got is own code of standards, that outlines its correction policy.

"Les Observateurs" provides evidence that it adheres to this code of ethics. This code is now mentioned on the website.

It is not possible for us today to verify what it mentions in the Arabic and Persian versions...


done_all 6.5 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.