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 (8 months 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 (8 months 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 (9 months 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 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months 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 (9 months 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 (8 months 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 (9 months 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 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months 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 (9 months 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 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months 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 (9 months 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 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months 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 (8 months ago) Updated: 6 months 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 (9 months ago)
Laurent Bigot Assessor
30-Sep-2018 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months 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 (8 months ago) Updated: 6 months 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 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months 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 (9 months 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 (8 months ago) Updated: 6 months 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 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months 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.