Les Observateurs published a more detailed and easily reachable section with their methodology, in line with criterion (5a), here:
Les Observateurs is now compliant with criterion 5a.
Les Observateurs seem not to have a particular methodology to do fact-checking. So there’s no accessible place on there website where it explains this methodology publicly and clearly.
The staff explains (in the application form): “We explain our methodology whenever possible, also in didactic guides like this one http://observers.france24.com/fr/20151106-comment-verifier-images-reseaux-sociaux”
But there’s a place on the website where it’s possible to read an explanation about the Observateurs’ work, here : http://observers.france24.com/en/static/about
It explains: “The Observers is a collaborative site in four languages (French, English, Arabic and Persian) and a TV show on France 24 (with both a weekly and monthly edition). We cover international current affairs by using eyewitness accounts from "Observers" - that's to say people who are at the heart of an event. They send us photos and videos, which our team of professional journalists in Paris both verify and contextualize.”
In the application document, Les Observateurs give details about their work:
“Note on our methodology:
We have a global network of “Observers” – “ordinary people” who give us firsthand information about events they have witnessed or phenomena they live through on a daily basis. More than 4,000 Observers have contributed since our launch in 2007. They are ordinary citizens, social activists, community leaders (not government officials or company spokespeople…. and not usually journalists, though we sometimes use local journalists if we can find no other source).
The first time we come into contact with a potential Observer (either they approach us or we approach them), we treat them like any other news source. We crosscheck the information we give them against other sources; we ask for photo or video documentation; we question them closely about their access to the event and motivations for talking to us. We err on the side of caution. We contact pertinent government agencies or other concerned parties.
Once an Observer has contributed, they become a trusted source. We keep their contact info in a data base. That is a valuable resource for human verification. During the 2009 presidential election in Iran, when videos surfaced on YouTube we were able to consult our Observers in Tehran or Isfahan or Qum and ask them to confirm the date and location of the videos.
Regarding verification, in addition to the standard journalistic methods outlined above, we have 9 years’ experience of debunking fake images – using standard tools like Google Reverse Image Search and Amnesty’s Data Viewer.”