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

Istinomer deserves to have its signatory status renewed. In this assessment, I have tried to focus more on things that can be improved in future. I believe readers and social media users would like to have more information about the contract and the assessment process organisations like Istinomer have as part of Meta's Third-Party-Fact-checking. More transparency in that regard would help people to better understand why some of the posts have been flagged, especially having in mind Facebook's general lack of transparency. 

on 30-Jul-2022 (4 months ago)

Ivana Jeremic assesses application as Compliant

A short summary in native publishing language

Istinomer zaslužuje da im se obnovi status potpisnika. Ovog puta, pokušala sam da se više fokusiram na stvari koje mogu da unaprede u budućnosti. Verujem da bi čitaoci i korisnici društvenih mreža želeli da dobiju više informacija o ugovoru i procesu procene koje organizacije kao što je Istinomer imaju kao deo Metine provere činjenica. Više transparentnosti u tom pogledu pomoglo bi ljudima da bolje razumeju zašto su neke objave označene kao nestinite, posebno imajući u vidu opšti nedostatak transparentnosti kad je u pitanju Fejsbuk.

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
08-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 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 (In Serbian: Agencija za privredne register), 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 publicly available 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
picture_as_pdf 1a 2 - Istinomer_s r... (923 KB)
Ivana Jeremic Assessor
29-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Istinomer was founded by a non-profit organisation in Serbia and it is listed as media in the Serbian Business Registry. Details of their legal status is noted in their "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
08-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 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 public speech and digital space.

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 in media as well as on social media platforms. Until July 2022, Istinomer debunked hundreds of disinformation shared in the Serbian digital space about the covid-19 and related vaccines, ecology, war in Ukraine...

For the last 13 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 the emerging developments and issues of public importance that were used for manipulation and misusing the facts in the public sphere, 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 who approximately open 410.000 pages (source: Google Analytics, for the period between July 1, 2021 - June 30, 2022), 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 an editor-in-chief, seven journalists, a project coordinator and a media analyst and their biographies are published on 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 expand its methodology in order to engage with the narrative dissection in addition to verifying the politicians' claims and hoaxes in media and social media. In the era of misusing the facts and context manipulations, Istinomer will invest its efforts to analyse false narratives that emerge around the political and social developments in Serbia and the wider region. 

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
29-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Istinomer remains one of the most valuable fact-checking organisations in the Balkans. It is a first-of-its-kind in the region and is exclusively set up for the purpose of fact-checking. 


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
08-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

In the six months period from January 1 to July 1, 2022, Istinomer published 30 fact-checks of politicians' and public officials’ claims. Istinomer has been focused on covering a constitutional referendum held in January 2022 and general elections held in April 2022, as well as on fact-checking the statements on ecology, economy, rule of law and other key issues of public importance.

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

With an aim to improve the quality and trustworthiness of the Serbian information space marked with numerous false information and facts manipulation, particularly in the period of the war in Ukraine, Istinomer invested its efforts to deploy fact-checking skills of its Istinomer team of journalists to counter disinformation shared in media and social media spheres. During the previous 6 months, Istinomer published 91 fact-checks of viral hoaxes published in media or shared across social media platforms, available at the following link https://www.istinomer.rs/facebook-provere/.


Ivana Jeremic Assessor
29-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Istinomer has published more than one fact-check per week over the course of one year. 


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.

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
29-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Istinomer publishes fact-checks relevant to the public such as those tackling health, climate change, anti-vax narratives and others. They also tackle some of the viral clickbait news stories. 


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
08-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 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.

In 2021, the Istinomer work was supported by the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs within the Transition program through an allocated grant (CZK 594,135). Within the project "Building Trust in Media in Southeast Europe and Turkey", Istinomer worked with UNESCO on the education of journalists in the field of fact-checking and data journalism (7,980 EUR).

Grants approved to other CRTA initiatives were also used to fund Istinomer activities - European Union funds within the project "Back to Basics - Parliament as a Backbone for the Rule of Law" (4,900 EUR), the Embassy of Germany in Belgrade for the project "Open Parliament - Bridging the Gap between citizens and the Parliament" (15,800 EUR), the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation (18,350 USD), USAID for the project awarded to the National Coalition for Decentralization (11,450 USD), the Embassy of Canada (20,995 CAD) and the Embassy of Luxembourg (2,250 EUR).

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

All financial data, including auditors’ annual reports, are available on the CRTA website. The latest CRTA financial report (covering 2020) is available on this link https://crta.rs/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Crta-Izvestaj-revizora-2020.pdf.


Files Attached
picture_as_pdf 1a 2 - Istinomer_s r... (923 KB)
Ivana Jeremic Assessor
29-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Istinomer's editorial policy seems not to be influenced by any political party, partially due to its financial independence from the state funds. According to their financial reports and public statements, they do not receive money from national public funds.


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
08-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

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

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
29-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Istinomer's editorial guidelines prevent the organisation from political influence and make sure the strict rules of the code of ethics are respected.


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
08-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Within fact-checking processes implemented since its establishment in 2009, Istinomer applies the highest professional standards and strict methodology in fact-checking in order to ensure impartiality and objectivity and to preserve credibility among readers.

Istinomer is making an effort to fact-check the claims that are referring to the facts in the public interest. Therefore, the 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.

Istinomer strives to rate as many different politicians and public officials and it evaluated 30 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 his Serbian Progressive Party members take almost all decision-making positions, delivering public speeches on a regular basis and presenting numerous facts that need to be examined for the sake of public interest, the Istinomer team more than others fact-checks their 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 comments 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 tanks, searches credible databases and consults 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, and important statements where there is a strong public interest and never fact-checks claim only to prove someone was wrong. Istinomer evaluates 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 are obligated to 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/isto-smo-postupili-s-davanjem-dozvola-n1-i-nova-s-kao-sa-rt/

https://www.istinomer.rs/izjava/narod-ce-da-odlucuje-o-rio-tintu/

https://www.istinomer.rs/izjava/malverzacije-brojem-biraca-u-vranju-novom-pazaru-raskoj-i-kursumliji/

https://www.istinomer.rs/izjava/jedini-sam-kome-na-mitinzima-nisu-govorili-politicari-iz-republike-srpske/

Examples of the fact-checks of disinformation published in media outlets and social platforms:

https://www.istinomer.rs/facebook-provere/baka-koja-zbog-protesta-nije-mogla-na-rucak-ipak-nije-na-reklami-za-artiflex/

https://www.istinomer.rs/facebook-provere/migranti-nisu-osumnjiceni-za-ubistvo-zene-u-somboru/

https://www.istinomer.rs/facebook-provere/fotografija-povredjene-zene-je-autenticna-i-nastala-je-pre-tri-dana/

https://www.istinomer.rs/facebook-provere/snimak-u-kom-se-glas-obraca-mateju-perisu-nije-autentican/

https://www.istinomer.rs/facebook-provere/lazni-tviter-nalozi-sirili-vest-o-smrti-novinara-cnn-a/


Ivana Jeremic Assessor
29-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Looking at the selected fact-checks, it seems to me that Istinomer uses the same standards regardless of the topic or who made the statement.


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
08-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago
Ivana Jeremic Assessor
29-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Based on the randomly selected samples of fact-checks, Istinomer does not seem to concentrate its fact-checking on any side. Brief explanation of its selection and editing process is available on its website.


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
29-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

In my opinion, Istinomer relies on the basic journalistic norms, taking no sides and reporting without bias.


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
08-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

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

According to Istinomer’s own Rules of Procedure which is published within the “About Istinomer” page and uploaded below, 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 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 the 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.”

Files Attached
picture_as_pdf Pravilnik-o-sprečav... (134 KB)
Ivana Jeremic Assessor
29-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Istinomer's Rules on prevention of conflict of interest document is available online within the “about” section. Their staff is forbidden from becoming members or activists of political parties.


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
29-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Istinomer lists proofs and sources used in the fact-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
29-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Istinomer's proofs consist of publicly available information, documents obtained through FOI requests, reports, media reporting and experts' quotes.


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
29-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Istinomer's journalists cross-check relevant sources of evidence when possible.


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
08-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 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.https://www.istinomer.rs/o-istinomeru/


Files Attached
picture_as_pdf 1a 2 - Istinomer_s r... (923 KB)
Ivana Jeremic Assessor
29-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

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

Their funding is listed on the about page. Most of the funds received in the previous two years are available (numbers included), except for the contract Istinomer has with Facebook as a part of Meta's Third Party Fact-checking programme. Details of the contract might not need to be explained in detail, but it is important to understand the scope of financial support Istinomer gets from other deals, especially with Facebook.


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
08-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago
Ivana Jeremic Assessor
29-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Details about Istinomer's legal status, founder and funding are available and listed within their "about" section.


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
08-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 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
29-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Readers can learn on Istinomer's webpage how the editor is appointed and by whom. According to their statement, editor-in-chief is completely free and independent in conducting editorial policy and creating content on Istinomer.


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
08-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Short biographies of the team members are published on the "Impressum" page on the Istinomer website - https://www.istinomer.rs/redakcija/

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
29-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Names and short biographies of Istinomer's team members are available in the Impressum.


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
08-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

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

 

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
29-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Readers can 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.


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
08-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 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 the core methodology. Ratings that are being used for fact-checking the media and social media claims are also published at the same page.

Selection of the clams for the fact checks is made at the editorial meetings. The Istinomer team usually chooses recent claims, and 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
29-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Criteria and methodology are well explained within Istinomer's "about" section. I would suggest somehow dividing fact-checks from other statements marked as "Sto zelenije to pliva", "Izjava ljubavi" etc. because it's not clear how they decide to put them in a certain category and can be found among fact-checks even though they do not belong there.


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
29-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Istinomer takes into account the reach and relevance of certain statements.


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
29-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Istinomer 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 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
29-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Same standards seem to be applied in all cases, although having in mind current political situation and the dominance of one political party, most of the statements reviewed come from the most powerful party.


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.

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
29-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Istinomer claims to always reach out to people whose claims are reviewed.


done_all 5.5 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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
08-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 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/)

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
29-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Readers can submit proposals through a browser extension, social media and email. Based on their experience, most relevant proposals come from social media and email.


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
08-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 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
29-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Istinomer's correction policy is available within their "about section". Complaints, additional proofs or explanations can be sent 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
29-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Istinomer correction policy is in line with Serbian Code of Ethics for journalists and media laws.


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
08-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 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/analize/tako-su-govorili-kebara-langura-i-ostali/

https://www.istinomer.rs/facebook-provere/nema-dokaza-da-je-azov-bombardovao-pozoriste-u-mariupolju/

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
29-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Istinomer uses a disclaimer at the end of each article to describe amends or corrections made in the article.


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
08-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 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 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
29-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Within Istinomer's "about" section, readers are informed that the outlet is an IFCN signatory and what steps they can take in case there are suspicions 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.

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
29-Jul-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

N/A


done_all 6.5 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.