Le Monde - Les Décodeurs

Organization: Le Monde - Les Décodeurs
Applicant: Michaël Szadkowski
Assessor: Laurent Bigot
Edits made by the organization after this assessment

IFCN Staff wrote:

Le Monde updated its "Team" page with the detailed bios required.

The applicant also edited its standards page with additional information. The edits are directly related to the information required by the assessor, namely:


#2 =  fact-checking guidelines

#3 = correction policy

#4 = fundings & ownership


Les Décodeurs are now compliant with all the principles enacted by the IFCN.


Conclusion and recommendations
on 30-Sep-2018 (1 year ago)

Laurent Bigot wrote:

According to my second assessment, I think Les Décodeurs are a reliable fact-checking partner. They are compliant with most of the principles enacted by the IFCN.

There are some points of uncertainty but it's easy for them to correct and to precise things like the corrections policy, the fact-checking methodology, journalists’ biographies...

on 30-Sep-2018 (1 year ago)

Laurent Bigot recommended Accept with edits


Section 1: Organization

Criterion 1a
Proof of registration
Evidence required: Please provide evidence that the signatory is a legally-registered organization set up exclusively for the purpose of fact-checking or the distinct fact-checking project of a recognized media house or research institution.

Le Monde - Les Décodeurs
29-Aug-2018 (1 year ago)

Le Monde is a company registered in Paris (registration number 433 891 850), editing a newspaper and online articles. The fact-checking and datavizualisation department is Les Décodeurs, created in 2014 (it was a fact-checking blog since 2009). It comes with 10 principles, aiming to give contexte and facts to the readers, transparency of all our sources, etc.

https://moncompte.lemonde.fr/mentions-legales

http://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/article/2014/03/10/la-charte-des-decodeurs_4365106_4355770.html 

Laurent Bigot Assessor
30-Sep-2018 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

"Les Décodeurs" (https://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/) is the distinct fact-checking section of the legally registered French media outlet "Le Monde" (https://www.lemonde.fr/).

All the evidence of Le Monde's legal registration are presented in the “Mentions légales” through its ISSN and CPPAP numbers, here: https://moncompte.lemonde.fr/mentions-legales


done_all 1a marked as Fully compliant by Laurent Bigot.

Criterion 1b
Archive
Evidence required: Insert a link to the archive of fact checks published in the previous three months. If you do not collect all fact checks in one place, please explain how the fact-checking is conducted by your organization.

Section 2: Nonpartisanship and Fairness

Criterion 2a
Body of work sample
Evidence required: Please share links to ten fact checks that better represent the scope and consistency of your fact-checking. Provide a short explanation of how your organization strives to maintain coherent standards across fact checks.

Le Monde - Les Décodeurs
29-Aug-2018 (1 year ago)

https://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/article/2018/08/29/nos-reponses-aux-parents-inquiets-des-pretendus-dangers-de-la-loi-schiappa-pour-les-enfants_5347529_4355770.html

https://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/article/2018/08/27/edouard-philippe-se-trompe-en-comparant-arret-maladie-et-conge_5346793_4355770.html

https://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/article/2018/08/27/bruno-le-maire-nie-l-evidence-sur-le-pouvoir-d-achat-des-retraites_5346619_4355770.html

https://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/article/2018/08/15/la-video-d-un-pillage-attribuee-injustement-a-des-migrants-en-espagne_5342755_4355770.html

https://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/article/2018/08/08/non-il-n-y-a-pas-de-genocide-contre-les-fermiers-blancs-en-afrique-du-sud_5340550_4355770.html

We cover all kinds of topics. Les Décodeurs has found, since 2009, its origin in political fact-checking – we still fact-check political leaders, from any party. Since 2015, we have also focused on debunking fake news and rumors, about terrorist attacks, migrants and any other relevant topic. Each story is published after editorial meetings between the journalist and the editor of Le Monde and Les Décodeurs. Our standards are described in our charter, which is available to the public. If the quote is not precise enough, we contact the person in order to have a better understanding. If we don’t have an answer from him or her, we do write it in our article. When we find fake news or rumors, we always go back to the source. If there is a controversy about a fact, we do mention it. If there is an error in an article, mentioned by the implicated person (or readers), we correct it and mention it with an edit. Eventually, any article is read at least 4 times before it gets published.

Laurent Bigot Assessor
30-Sep-2018 (1 year ago)

Les Décodeurs’ journalists selected several fact-checks to prove scope and consistency of their work:

https://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/article/2018/08/29/nos-reponses-aux-parents-inquiets-des-pretendus-dangers-de-la-loi-schiappa-pour-les-enfants_5347529_4355770.html

https://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/article/2018/08/27/edouard-philippe-se-trompe-en-comparant-arret-maladie-et-conge_5346793_4355770.html

https://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/article/2018/08/27/bruno-le-maire-nie-l-evidence-sur-le-pouvoir-d-achat-des-retraites_5346619_4355770.html

https://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/article/2018/08/15/la-video-d-un-pillage-attribuee-injustement-a-des-migrants-en-espagne_5342755_4355770.html

https://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/article/2018/08/08/non-il-n-y-a-pas-de-genocide-contre-les-fermiers-blancs-en-afrique-du-sud_5340550_4355770.html

We add these examples :

https://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/article/2018/09/28/immigration-europe-les-intox-de-laurent-wauquiez-face-a-edouard-philippe_5361784_4355770.html

https://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/article/2018/09/21/impots-pouvoir-d-achat-emploi-les-contre-verites-de-benjamin-griveaux_5358544_4355770.html

https://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/article/2018/09/18/non-eric-ciotti-l-europe-ne-sanctionne-pas-orban-parce-qu-il-a-exprime-une-position_5356816_4355770.html

https://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/article/2018/09/18/non-il-n-y-a-pas-de-reductions-d-effectifs-d-eleves-justifiant-1-800-suppressions-de-poste_5356787_4355770.html

https://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/article/2018/09/11/non-un-retraite-moyen-ne-va-pas-perdre-1-000-euros-par-an_5353515_4355770.html

These examples show that Les Décodeurs covers a variety of speakers (Bruno Le Maire, Edouard Philippe, etc.) and that its fact-checks are non-partisan work.


done_all 2a marked as Fully compliant by Laurent Bigot.

Criterion 2b
Nonpartisanship policy
Evidence required: Please share evidence of your policy preventing staff from direct involvement in political parties and advocacy organizations. Please also indicate the policy your organization has as a whole regarding advocacy and supporting political candidates.

Le Monde - Les Décodeurs
29-Aug-2018 (1 year ago)

Le Monde has a tradition of political neutrality in news articles, which must be balanced and give the opportunity of people involved to speak. Le Monde has a charter of professional ethics, which is public. It explicitly forbid journalists to claim political preferences or to cover a topic of which they have potential conflict of interests. We also have an ethics comitee of independent external members, the CEO company, the Editor and elected representatives of journalists, employees and readers. The Société des rédacteurs (regrouping the journalists and which is a minority shareholder) is very vigilant about possible violations of ethics.

http://www.lemonde.fr/actualite-medias/article/2010/11/03/la-charte-d-ethique-et-de-deontologie-du-groupe-le-monde_1434737_3236.html 

Laurent Bigot Assessor
30-Sep-2018 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

To explain its policies to preserve its non-partisan way of fact-checking claims, Les Décodeurs' team mentions the Le Monde code of ethics: https://www.lemonde.fr/actualite-medias/article/2010/11/03/la-charte-d-ethique-et-de-deontologie-du-groupe-le-monde_1434737_3236.html

It specifies that "the purpose of the Le Monde Group's outlets is to provide, in any medium, quality, accurate, verified and balanced information. Journalists must take a critical look at information and echo the pluralism of opinions."

Les Décodeurs' team also mentions its ethics comitee and its "Société des rédacteurs" that are vigilant about the non-partisan nature of publications...



done_all 2b marked as Fully compliant by Laurent Bigot.

Section 3: Transparency of Sources

Criterion 3a
Sources Policy
Please share a brief and public explanation (500 words max) of how sources are provided in enough detail that readers could replicate the fact check. If you have a public policy on how you find and use sources for your fact-checking, it should be shared here.

Le Monde - Les Décodeurs
29-Aug-2018 (1 year ago)

The chart of Les Décodeurs explicitly mention the sources must be accessible in one click. We aim to be very strict about our sources, that’s our contract with readers. Every fact must be checked with all available data. We do mention the source, and we link it when we can, so that the reader can get access to the source and the data. More and more, we publish our data (used for graphics) in open source, mainly on Github but also on the French official platform Data.gouv.fr.

http://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/article/2014/03/10/la-charte-des-decodeurs_4365106_4355770.html

https://github.com/decodeurs

Laurent Bigot Assessor
30-Sep-2018 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Most of the time, sources are provided in Les Décodeurs' fact-checks. According to our assessment, Les Décodeurs' fact-checkers give most of the time details to the readers, so that they are able to replicate the fact-check by their own means.

Fact-checks are written in a pedagogical way and the team try to explain its work.

Besides, Les Décodeurs have a specific policy on sources, which is mentioned here: : http://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/article/2014/03/10/la-charte-des-decodeurs_4365106_4355770.html

This document mentions, in its sixth section: "Our articles explicitly mention the source of a fact or a number. As soon as a fact, a number, a source, is available on the Internet, we indicate it by a link".


done 3a marked as Partially compliant by Laurent Bigot.

Section 4: Transparency of Funding & Organization

Criterion 4a
Funding Sources
Evidence required: Please link to the section where you publicly list your sources of funding (including, if they exist, any rules around which types of funding you do or don't accept), or a statement on ownership if you are the branch of an established media organization or research institution.

Le Monde - Les Décodeurs
29-Aug-2018 (1 year ago)

We do inform our readers of every change in the capital. Le Monde’s majority shareholders are Pierre Bergé, Xavier Niel, Matthieu Pigasse and the Spanish group Prisa. The charter of professional ethics mention the rights but also, and especially, the duties of the shareholders, in particular a strict ban on interfering with editorial content. http://www.lemonde.fr/actualite-medias/article/2017/01/27/groupe-le-monde-une-transformation-en-bonne-voie_5070086_3236.html http://www.lemonde.fr/actualite-medias/article/2017/01/27/ce-que-change-le-nouvel-accord-entre-les-personnels-du-monde-et-les-actionnaires-du-groupe_5070198_3236.html 

Laurent Bigot Assessor
30-Sep-2018 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Les Décodeurs is the fact-checking sections of a media named Le Monde. And the ownership of Le Monde is detailed here, in specific articles that the readers are not able to find by themselves : http://www.lemonde.fr/actualite-medias/article/2017/01/27/groupe-le-monde-une-transformation-en-bonne-voie_5070086_3236.html http://www.lemonde.fr/actualite-medias/article/2017/01/27/ce-que-change-le-nouvel-accord-entre-les-personnels-du-monde-et-les-actionnaires-du-groupe_5070198_3236.html

The team actually explains the way the shareholding is made up, but there's no way for the readers to find it directly or to find the shareholding details...


done 4a marked as Partially compliant by Laurent Bigot.

Criterion 4b
Staff
Evidence required: Please link to the section detailing all authors and key actors behind your fact-checking project with their biographies. You can also list the name and bios of the members of the editorial board, pool of experts, advisory board, etc. if your organization has those.

Laurent Bigot Assessor
30-Sep-2018 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The names of Décodeurs' journalists are clearly listed here : https://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/article/2014/03/10/l-equipe-des-decodeurs_4365082_4355770.html

But to find some indications about their biographies, readers have to connect to the Décodeurs' Twitter account (https://twitter.com/decodeurs), and then click on the lists section of the account (https://twitter.com/decodeurs/lists), then click on the team list (https://twitter.com/decodeurs/lists/equipe) and finally on the members section of the team list (https://twitter.com/decodeurs/lists/equipe/members)...

It would be more usefull for readers to find biographic informations with a link on each name of the list (https://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/article/2014/03/10/l-equipe-des-decodeurs_4365082_4355770.html) to the associated Twitter account.


[Full bios were added after this application]


done_all 4b marked as Fully compliant by Laurent Bigot.

Criterion 4c
Contact
Evidence required: Please link to the section where readers can get in touch with the organization.

Le Monde - Les Décodeurs
29-Aug-2018 (1 year ago)
Laurent Bigot Assessor
30-Sep-2018 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

There are several ways to reach the team, through the social media Twitter (https://twitter.com/decodeurs) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/lesdecodeurs/). And also through the specific section :

https://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/live/2016/09/28/posez-vos-questions-aux-decodeurs_5004759_4355770.html


done_all 4c marked as Fully compliant by Laurent Bigot.

Section 5: Transparency of Methodology

Criterion 5a
Detailed Methodology
Evidence required: Please link to a section or article detailing the steps you follow for your fact-checking work.

Laurent Bigot Assessor
30-Sep-2018 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The Décodeurs's team doesn't really explain clearly and with details its fact-checking methodology.
Its "Charte" (www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/article/2014/03/10/la-charte-des-decodeurs_4365106_4355770.html) is more like a code of principles, but it explains the philosphy more than the methodology....


[The methodology was updated after this assessment, see note at the top]


done_all 5a marked as Fully compliant by Laurent Bigot.

Criterion 5b
Claim submissions
Evidence required: Please link to the page or process through which readers can submit claims to fact-check. If you do not allow this, please briefly explain why.

Laurent Bigot Assessor
30-Sep-2018 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Les Décodeurs have a specific section, a live section, that readers can use to send claims for verification : 
https://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/live/2016/09/28/posez-vos-questions-aux-decodeurs_5004759_4355770.html

But they don't explain what readers can legitimately expect will be fact-checked and what isn't fact-checkable...


done_all 5b marked as Fully compliant by Laurent Bigot.

Section 6: Open & Honest Corrections Policy

Criterion 6a
Corrections policy
Evidence required: Please link to the page with your policy to address corrections. If it is not public, please share your organization's handbook.

Le Monde - Les Décodeurs
29-Aug-2018 (1 year ago)

Le Monde is making its best effort to update stories and contents that would, unfortunately, have mistakes or imprecisions when first published. As we do so, we explain our readers why and how we made this update.

Laurent Bigot Assessor
30-Sep-2018 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Les Décodeurs had no public corrections policy, and Le Monde either.

[The policy was added after the assessment, see link at top]


done_all 6a marked as Fully compliant by Laurent Bigot.

Criterion 6b
Examples of corrections
Evidence required: Please provide two examples of a correction made, or correction requests handled, in the past year.

Laurent Bigot Assessor
30-Sep-2018 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Les Décodeurs have no public page listing all corrections made... But they provide two examples of corrections made in the past three months...


done 6b marked as Partially compliant by Laurent Bigot.

Section 7: Eligibility to be a signatory

Criterion 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.

Criterion 1.2
The team, unit or organization is set up exclusively for the purpose of fact-checking.

Criterion 1.3
The applicant has published an average of at least one fact check a week over the course of the three months prior to the date of application.

Criterion 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.

Criterion 1.5
The applicant’s editorial output is not, in the view of the IFCN, controlled by the state, a political party or politician.

Criterion 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.

Section 8: A commitment to Non-partisanship and Fairness

Criterion 2.1
The applicant fact-checks using the same high standards of evidence and judgement for equivalent claims regardless of who made the claim.

Criterion 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.

Criterion 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.

Criterion 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.

Criterion 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.

Section 9: A commitment to Standards and Transparency of Sources

Criterion 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.

Criterion 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.

Criterion 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.

Criterion 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.

Section 10: A commitment to Transparency of Funding & Organization

Criterion 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).

Criterion 4.2
Applicants that are the fact-checking section or unit of a media house or other parent organization make a statement on ownership.

Criterion 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.

Criterion 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.

Criterion 4.5
The applicant provides easy means on its website and/or via social media for users to communicate with the editorial team.

Section 11: A commitment to Standards and Transparency of Methodology

Criterion 5.1
The applicant publishes on its website a statement about the methodology it uses to select, research, write and publish its fact checks.

Criterion 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.

Criterion 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.

Criterion 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.

Criterion 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.

Criterion 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.

Section 12: A commitment to an Open & Honest Corrections Policy

Criterion 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.

Criterion 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.

Criterion 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.

Criterion 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.

Criterion 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.