Istinomer

Organization: Istinomer
Applicant: Rasa Nedeljkov
Assessor: Ivana Jeremic

Background

Istinomer is a well-known fact-checking platform in the Western Balkans. In the last decade, they have published thousands of fact-checks and have set standards for the whole region. Their work has been widely recognized and republished.

Assessment Conclusion

I think Istinomer deserves to have its signatory status renewed. They have once again shown that with a good methodology and a non-partisan approach, one can maintain the exclusive, without deviating from the professional standards. Throughout the years, Istinomer was able to adjust its work and standards in accordance with the IFCN requirements, and as such deserves to be praised for the important work they've been doing.

on 09-Jun-2021 (1 month ago)

Ivana Jeremic assesses application as Compliant

A short summary in native publishing language

Istinomer zaslužuje obnavljanje statusa potpisnika IFCN Code of Ethics. Još jednom su pokazali da se dobrom metodologijom i nepristrasnim pristupom može održati ekskluziva, bez odstupanja od profesionalnih standarda. Tokom godina Istinomer je uspevao da svoj rad i standarde prilagodi u skladu sa IFCN zahtevima i kao takav zaslužuje da bude pohvaljen za važan posao koji rade.

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.

Istinomer
06-May-2021 (2 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago

Istinomer (https://www.istinomer.rs/) was established by the legally registered non-profit organization Center for Research, Transparency and Accountability - CRTA (https://crta.rs/). Istinomer is inscribed in the Media Register kept by the Serbian Business Register Agency [Registar javnih glasila], which is clearly stated in the "About" section on the Istinomer website:

https://www.istinomer.rs/o-istinomeru/

Besides on the Istinomer website, the registration document is also available on the link http://pretraga.apr.gov.rs/javnaglasila/PublicMediaBasicData.aspx?beid=3715&rnd=8FD269C0FB71CA88365D1D3A23DC6BE5DC2F516A.

This registry does not keep a record of the purpose of certain media, including Istinomer. However, Istinomer is officially and publicly defined as a fact-checking portal, dedicated to fact-checking and rating politicians' and public officials' claims, as well as debunking disinformation published on social media, which is Istinomer's core business. 

Files Attached
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Ivana Jeremic Assessor
08-Jun-2021 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

Istinomer is registered in the Serbian Business Registry, under the media section. Information about the registration is available to readers of their website within the "about" section. 


done_all 1.1 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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?

Istinomer
06-May-2021 (2 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago

As the first fact-checking platform in the region of the Western Balkans, established in 2009 by its founding organization CRTA, Istinomer debunks disinformation and propaganda shared in digital space and public speech.

Istinomer was established to provide the audience with an effective fact-checking mechanism for assessing politicians’ and public officials’ accountability based on what they are saying and promising to their constituents and how they actually perform. Istinomer established a comprehensive, precise, and transparent methodology used to evaluate politicians’ and public officials’ claims in three categories: truthfulness, consistency, and fulfillment of promises. It uses uniform standards and methodology for each fact-check, relying on verifiable facts only to ensure the highest level of objectivity and fairness.

With the intensive spread of disinformation and conspiracy theories regarding the Covid-19 pandemic, the Istinomer team introduced fact-checking of disinformation shared on social media and debunked dozens of them, mostly health and science-related.

For the last 12 years since Istinomer was established, it has applied the highest professional standards and strict methodology in fact-checking to ensure impartiality and objectivity and preserve credibility. Besides fact-checking, Istinomer became recognized for its in-depth analyses of major developments and issues of public importance, as well as for video fact-checks, interviews, podcasts and innovative visual presentations of its findings in the online and digital sphere.

In addition to the ongoing publishing of the fact-checking and accountability journalism content at the Istinomer website, which reaches over 220.000 unique users monthly, Istinomer content was regularly promoted at Istinomer’s Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram pages, which further increased the Istinomer outreach effect.

The Istinomer team includes editor-in-chief, seven journalists, a project coordinator and a media analyst and their biographies are published within the "Impressum" page on the Istinomer website (see the link https://www.istinomer.rs/redakcija/).

Besides reaching the broader public with its fact-checking content, in the following period the Istinomer team plans to invest additional efforts in fact-checking education of journalists who work in mainstream media with a goal to inspire them to establish fact-checking units within those media outlets, as the coronavirus pandemic followed by infodemic posed the need for even more fact-checkers who can provide trustworthy information on the ongoing pandemic and track widely shared false claims.

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
08-Jun-2021 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

Istinomer was the first fact-checking platform set up exclusively for fact-checking purposes in the Western Balkans in 2009. Since then, Istinomer has been known for its professional standards and quality journalism. Their team consists of experienced editors and journalists.


done_all 1.2 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

Istinomer
06-May-2021 (2 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago

Istinomer is making an effort to fact-check the claims that are referring to the facts in the public interest. Therefore, focus is on the public officials, since they have the opportunity to exercise power and to use public funds and should be accountable to the public. Besides public officials, the Istinomer team also rates different opposition politicians’ statements and collects their promises, particularly during the election campaign. Political affiliations of the people Istinomer evaluates play no role in its fact checks, but verifiable facts only. In the six months period from November 1, 2020, to April 1, 2021, Istinomer published 49 evaluations of politicians' and public officials’ claims (including the claims of the Crisis Team for Fighting the Coronavirus members). In the previous period, Istinomer has been focused on covering the health crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, vaccine development, and government measures to prevent the spread of the virus. Istinomer was also reporting and fact-checking the statements on ecology, elections, economy including the average salary rates, rule of law, unemployment rate, and other key issues of public importance (more information available in attachment).

Fact-checks of the public officials’ and politicians’ claims in categories truthfulness, consistency, and fulfillment of promises are available on this link - https://www.istinomer.rs/izjava/

With the intensive spread of disinformation and conspiracy theories regarding the Covid-19 pandemic, the Istinomer team introduced fact-checking of viral disinformation and debunked dozens of them, mostly health and science-related. During the previous six months, Istinomer published almost 60 fact-checks of false claims published in the media and on social networks.

All fact-checks of viral disinformation are available on this link - https://www.istinomer.rs/facebook-provere/

Files Attached
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Ivana Jeremic Assessor
08-Jun-2021 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

Since December 2020, Istinomer has regularly published fact-checks, covering various topics, approximately two or three times a week. 


done_all 1.3 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

Istinomer
06-May-2021 (2 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago

N/A

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
08-Jun-2021 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

In the last three months, Istinomer has published numerous fact-checks covering relevant and timely topics such as health, fake news regarding Covid-19 and vaccines, but also topics related to daily politics.


done_all 1.4 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

Istinomer
06-May-2021 (2 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago

Istinomer is an initiative of the nongovernmental organization Center for Research, Transparency and Accountability, CRTA, which can be seen in the registration document attached below. Since it was established, Istinomer received funds from projects CRTA and Istinomer were awarded by international donors and non-profit organizations interested in strengthening democracy and accountability in Serbia. CRTA and Istinomer never apply for funds from the state or local government budgets in order to preserve credibility and neutrality and ensure impartial reporting.

In the "About" section (https://www.istinomer.rs/o-istinomeru), Istinomer published the list of donors for the last two years and the amount of money it was granted by each donor. The Istinomer work was supported through grants awarded in 2020 by the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs within the Transition program (21,805 EUR), Internews within the Engaging Content Grant program (14,108 USD), and by the Open Society Foundation (1,267,248 RSD). As a partner of the Centre for Independent Living, Istinomer participated in the USAID-supported project “Do as you speak, together with people with disabilities” (5,000 USD). For the innovation in fact-checking, Istinomer was supported by the International Fact-checker Network and Facebook’s Journalism Project (49,971 USD).

Funds from all these projects were used for the operational costs of Istinomer, video production, organization of journalist trainings, conferences, panel discussions and other events.

All financial data, including auditors’ annual reports, are available on the CRTA website. The latest CRTA’s financial report is available on this link https://crta.rs/o-nama/#report. 

Files Attached
picture_as_pdf 1a 2 - Istinomer_s r... (923 KB)
Ivana Jeremic Assessor
08-Jun-2021 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

Istinomer has provided substantial information about its donors. Such information is available in the "about section" on their website, as well as on the website of their founding organization CRTA. Both Istinomer and CRTA deny ever applying for any of the state funds.


Readers can learn about the donors and amounts in the previous year on Istinomer's website, while audit reports (until 2019) are available on CRTA's website.


done_all 1.5 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

Istinomer
06-May-2021 (2 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago

Information about Istinomer’s non-partisanship policy is available at this link - https://www.istinomer.rs/o-istinomeru/

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
08-Jun-2021 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

Istinomer has strict rules on how to ensure objectivity regardless of their donors and their employees are prohibited from any political activism.


done_all 1.6 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

Istinomer
06-May-2021 (2 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago

For the last 12 years since Istinomer was established, it applied the highest professional standards and strict methodology in fact-checking in order to ensure impartialness and objectivity and to preserve its credibility. Istinomer strives to rate as many different politicians and public officials and it evaluated almost 50 different claims in the previous six months. However, due to the fact that current president Aleksandar Vucic is the most powerful person in the country and that he delivers public speeches on a regular basis, presenting numerous facts that need to be examined for the sake of public interest, the Istinomer team more than others fact-checks his claims.

The Istinomer team of fact-checkers tends to use video materials to have original citations whenever possible in order to avoid misquoting and misinterpretation. When this is not possible, verbatim quotations published in different media outlets are being used. Journalists of Istinomer always contact people they rate in order to request further information about the given statement, whether it be comment or data. This way they also have the opportunity to react in case their statement was misquoted or taken out of context.

Journalists also contact responsible institutions in a search for data and use publicly available information and databases (both local and international), as well as FOI requests to obtain certain documents, contracts, etc.

Istinomer is open and honest about the sources in our articles - it names the source for every fact and every number.

The Istinomer team analyzes reports of domestic and international institutions and think thanks, search credible databases and consult experts in different fields, university professors, NGOs. No conclusion in the fact checks could be made based on unnamed sources, as Istinomer uses on-the-record sources and official documents.

Selection of the clams for the fact checks is made at the editorial meetings. The Istinomer team usually chooses recent claims, important statements where there is a strong public interest and never fact-checks claims only to prove someone was wrong. Istinomer examines something if journalists believe there is a demand for verified facts on a certain topic.

Istinomer also has internal procedures regarding the methodology that explain steps in the creation of Istinomer's fact checks. Istinomer journalists oblige the following internal procedures:

- to contact the actor for comment and/or data, to always refer to official information/research/statistical data (when possible),

- to contact the expert (individual or organization) for more information about the researched topic,

- to follow the copyright rules (especially for photos) etc.


Examples of evaluations of politicians’ and public officials’ claims published in the previous year:

https://www.istinomer.rs/izjava/nijedan-evropski-svetski-ni-susedni-drzavnik-nije-cestitao-vucicu-na-istorijskoj-pobedi/

https://www.istinomer.rs/izjava/emisije-iz-kostolca-nize-nego-dozvoljene-u-eu-i-na-nivou-koje-je-propisala-energetska-zajednica/

https://www.istinomer.rs/izjava/javna-nabavka-izrade-logoa-je-stopirana/

https://www.istinomer.rs/izjava/preminulo-je-13-14-lekara-ostali-nisu-imali-dodirne-tacke-sa-kovid-sistemom/

https://www.istinomer.rs/izjava/nema-preminulih-u-gerontoloskom-centru-u-sapcu/


Examples of the fact-checks of disinformation or misinformation published in media outlets and on social networks:

https://www.istinomer.rs/facebook-provere/zvanicni-podaci-iz-izraela-nisu-pokazali-da-fajzer-vakcina-povecava-verovatnocu-umiranja-od-kovida-19/

https://www.istinomer.rs/facebook-provere/sneg-koji-se-ne-topi-nije-nista-drugo-nego-sneg/

https://www.istinomer.rs/facebook-provere/netacno-je-da-vakcinisani-protiv-kovida-19-ne-smeju-da-daju-krv/

https://www.istinomer.rs/facebook-provere/putin-nije-odobrio-novi-zakon-koji-dozvoljava-zenama-da-ubiju-silovatelja-u-samoodbrani/

https://www.istinomer.rs/facebook-provere/opsta-bolnica-u-cupriji-niti-operise-srce-niti-diskriminise-nevakcinisane-pacijenate/https://www.istinomer.rs/o-istinomeru/

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
08-Jun-2021 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

It seems like Istinomer uses the same standards regardless of the topic and stakeholders. Due to the current political situation in the country, Serbia's ruling coalition and pro-government propaganda take a lot of space in the public sphere, thus it reflects on the topics they need to debunk too. 


done_all 2.1 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

Istinomer
06-May-2021 (2 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago
Ivana Jeremic Assessor
08-Jun-2021 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

Istinomer's criteria and methodology are visible on their website and easily accessible to anyone visiting the page. 


done_all 2.2 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

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.

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
08-Jun-2021 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

Based on the fact-checks published in the course of the year, Istinomer doesn't show signs of support nor endorsement of political actors. The methodology used in the fact-checking process is precise and well explained in articles.


done_all 2.4 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

Istinomer
06-May-2021 (2 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago

https://www.istinomer.rs/o-istinomeru/

According to Istinomer’s own Rules of Procedure which is published within the “About Istinomer” page, journalists and employees of the Istinomer may not be members and/or activists of political parties, nor hired by public opinion research agencies or other marketing agencies engaged in market research or public opinion polls.

Istinomer is a member of the Press Council, an independent, self-regulatory body that brings together publishers, owners of print and online media, news agencies and media professionals. As a member organization, Istinomer is obliged to respect and to actively promote the Serbian Journalists' Code of Ethics. This code sets high standards for professional reporting, giving concrete guidelines necessary to ensure objectivity and fairness. One of the most important sections of the Code, section III, refers to the prevention of corruption and conflict of interest, including prevention from the direct involvement of journalists in political parties and advocacy organizations:

“Work in PR and marketing agencies, lobbying agencies, public bodies and institutions, and political parties are incompatible with the profession.

Guidelines:

• Participation in a political, electoral or media campaign (political parties/companies, and others) cannot be performed simultaneously with journalistic/editorial work. The political activity of the family members of journalists/editors could also cause a real or apparent conflict of interest.”

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
08-Jun-2021 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

Istinomer has created its own Rules on prevention of conflict of interest document, available on their page within the “about” section. According to the rules, Istinomer's journalists and employees are forbidden from becoming members or activists of political parties. 

Istinomer is also a member of the Serbian Press Council, a self-regulatory body and as a member organization, it is obliged to respect and actively promote the Serbian Journalists' Code of Ethics.


done_all 2.5 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
08-Jun-2021 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

Istinomer fact-checks include proofs and relevant links used during the checking process.


done_all 3.1 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
08-Jun-2021 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

The relevance of the source used in the fact-check is explained in the article. According to the randomised sample, Istinomer uses relevant and credible sources.


done_all 3.2 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
08-Jun-2021 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

Istinomer uses documents, experts' comments, reports and publicly available information and cross-checks them with other available sources.


done_all 3.3 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

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.

Istinomer
06-May-2021 (2 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago

Istinomer is a fact-checking initiative of the non-governmental organization Center for Research, Transparency and Accountability, CRTA, which can be seen in the registration document attached below.

Files Attached
picture_as_pdf 1a 2 - Istinomer_s r... (923 KB)
Ivana Jeremic Assessor
08-Jun-2021 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

Istinomer is an independent media outlet founded by the NGO Center for Research, Transparency and Accountability, CRTA.                                                                                                           


done_all 4.1 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

Istinomer
06-May-2021 (2 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago
Ivana Jeremic Assessor
08-Jun-2021 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

Within the "about" section on Istinomer's website, their legal status, founder and funding details are available. Istinomer states that their work is solely funded through grants and are operating as a non-profit organization.


done_all 4.2 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

Istinomer
06-May-2021 (2 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago

On the “About Istinomer” page (https://www.istinomer.rs/o-istinomeru/) readers are informed that Istinomer is edited by a team of journalists who gather and build a database of public officials’ and politicians’ statements, analyze and compare those statements, evaluate them according to the criteria of truthfulness, consistency and fulfillment of promises. Each rating given by a journalist is additionally checked by another journalist, a journalist-editor and Istinomer’s editor-in-chief.

The editor-in-chief is appointed by the CRTA organization, which is the Istinomer founder.

The editor-in-Chief is completely free and independent in conducting editorial policy and creating content on Istinomer. 

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
08-Jun-2021 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

As stated on Istinomer's website, the editor-in-chief is appointed by the CRTA organization, a founder of the fact-checking platform. "The editor-in-chief is completely free and independent in conducting editorial policy and creating content on Istinomer," a web page reads.


done_all 4.3 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

Istinomer
06-May-2021 (2 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago

Biographies of the team members are published within the "Impressum" page on the Istinomer website (see the link https://www.istinomer.rs/redakcija/).

 

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
08-Jun-2021 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

Names and short biographies of Istinomer team members are published in the Impressum within the Editorial section. 


done_all 4.4 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

Istinomer
06-May-2021 (2 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago

Readers are invited (https://www.istinomer.rs/o-istinomeru/) to suggest new topics through comments, via e-mail or tools such as “Proveri me” extension for web browsers or Istinomer button placed on Danas and N1 websites. In this way, statements for fact-checking are easily sent to the Istinomer team. 

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
08-Jun-2021 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

Readers may suggest new topics through comments on social media and the web page, via e-mail or tools such as “Proveri me” [Check me] extension for web browsers or the Istinomer button on Danas and N1 websites.


done_all 4.5 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

Istinomer
06-May-2021 (2 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago

On the “About Istinomer’ page (https://www.istinomer.rs/o-istinomeru/) is explained that there are three main criteria the Istinomer team is using for selecting statements for fact-checking and evaluation: that the statement contains verifiable fact, that it has been published in a number of different media and that is of public interest.

Istinomer readers may also find the general explanation on how Istinomer works and more details on the methodology and rating system in the 'About' section. Istinomer has three categories of ratings - truthfulness (scale from true to false), consistency (scale from consistent to inconsistent) and promises (scale from promise kept to not even started). All the ratings are followed by short and simple explanations, which enable readers to understand core methodology.

Selection of the clams for the fact checks is made at the editorial meetings. The Istinomer team usually chooses recent claims, important statements where there is a strong public interest and never fact-checks claims only to prove someone was wrong. Istinomer examines something if journalists believe there is a demand for verified facts on a certain topic.

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
08-Jun-2021 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

The criteria and methodology used in the fact-checking process are explained in details within Istinomer's "about" section.


done_all 5.1 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
08-Jun-2021 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

Seems like Istinomer chooses fact-checks based on their relevance and reach. However, it's not specifically explained within the article itself. Based on the methodology published on their website, the editorial team reviews proposals coming from readers, and are responsible for the final decision on which topics deserve the attention.


done_all 5.2 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
08-Jun-2021 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

Istinomer uses various sources, both those confirming the thesis and the ones undermining it.


done_all 5.3 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
08-Jun-2021 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

The same merits apply in all fact-checks. However, most of the space is given to members of the ruling coalition and so-called social media influencers sharing propaganda and fake news.


done_all 5.4 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

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.

Istinomer
06-May-2021 (2 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago

"Proveri me!" (Fact-check Me!) extension for web browsers enables readers of the most popular and most influential Serbian news portals to easily and with just one click communicate with Istinomer journalists and to suggest specific politicians’ and public officials’ statements or potentially false information from news and media articles for the Istinomer fact-checking. (https://www.istinomer.rs/o-fektcekingu/proveri-me/)

Also, as a result of established cooperation with the Danas daily (danas.rs) and cable network, TV N1 (rs.n1info.com) the Istinomer team succeed to post the "Istinomer button" on these websites and provide their readers with easy to use fact-checking function. Every page on Danas and N1 websites has a field readers can use to propose the topics and statements to the Istinomer team. Although this is a handy solution for readers, in many cases they still fail to send proper statements for fact-checking that fit Istinomer’s criteria and methodology. They either don't send quotes or send quotes where people are expressing their point of view, which Istinomer does not fact check. Therefore, most demands that are in accordance with Istinomer’s methodology that we receive from our readers come through email or social media channels - Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
08-Jun-2021 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

Istinomer promotes the option of submitting fact-check proposals on their website, and through their partnership with N1 and Danas. As stated in their application, the most popular way of suggesting topics and fact-check ideas is through the "Proveri me" [Check me] browser extension.


done_all 5.6 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

Istinomer
06-May-2021 (2 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago

In its correction policy published at https://www.istinomer.rs/o-istinomeru/, Istinomer admits that it may make mistakes in its work but would never miss the opportunity to correct inaccurate or imprecise articles after the mistake was done. Istinomer also states that politicians or political parties called out in the Istinomer fact-checks are welcome to provide additional explanations, challenge the given assessments or additionally shed light on the problems from their point of view. Istinomer admits and corrects every mistake it makes, in accordance with the Code of Journalists of Serbia and the Law on Public Information and Media, which defines in detail the journalists’ obligations on the manner and deadlines of publishing of different types of corrections.

Although texts on the Internet can be “easily” edited and corrected, as a rule, Istinomer marks every update of the text, either with new information or by rectifying incorrect information.

If they notice a mistake in the ratings or articles published on the Istinomer website, readers are invited to report it to Istinomer journalists at office@istinomer.rs.

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
08-Jun-2021 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago
Istinomer's correction policy is available within their "about section". It is clear and easy to understand. Stakeholders and readers are invited to send their comments, additional proofs or explanations through email or other platforms used to communicate with readers.

done_all 6.1 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
08-Jun-2021 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

Istinomer correction policy is fair and in accordance with the Serbian Code of Ethics for journalists, and is defined by the media laws. Readers or affected parties can easily request correction via email.


done_all 6.2 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

Istinomer
06-May-2021 (2 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago

In the previous six months, Istinomer corrected or updated articles with additional information, upon readers’ or persons’ who were subjects of the fact-checks requests. Below are examples:

https://www.istinomer.rs/izjava/vuciceva-ustavna-nadleznost-da-odlucuje-o-sastavu-vlade-srbije/

https://www.istinomer.rs/facebook-provere/vakcinacija-kineskom-vakcinom-nije-stopirana/

https://www.istinomer.rs/analize/sta-koristimo-za-dezinfekciju-i-koliko-je-to-opasno/

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
08-Jun-2021 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

Below each of the amended articles, there is a disclaimer indicating what was the intervention after the article was published.


done_all 6.3 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

Istinomer
06-May-2021 (2 months ago) Updated: 2 months ago

On its “About Istinomer’ page (https://www.istinomer.rs/o-istinomeru/), readers are informed that Istinomer is a member of the International Fact-Checking’s Network and respects the IFCN Code of principles, including details on how they can complain in case they notice the non-compliance of the IFCN code. 

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
08-Jun-2021 (1 month ago) Updated: 1 month ago

Within Istinomer's "about" section, readers are informed that the outlet is an IFCN signatory and how they can notify them in case they suspect that the IFCN code has been violated.


done_all 6.4 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.