Vistinomer

Organization: Metamorphosis Foundation
Applicant: Vladimir Petreski
Assessor: Ivana Jeremic

Background

Vistinomer is a prominent fact-checking organisation from North Macedonia. It covers various topics such as politics, health, tourism, religion etc, and publishes various forms of articles such as analysis, claims and promises fact-checks.

Assessment Conclusion

Vistinomer has provided enough evidence to renew its status as an IFCN signatory. The methodology and criteria are strict and preserve the outlet's objectivity and integrity. The improvements have been made since the last year and the frequency of their fact-checks has been significantly higher. In the future, Vistinomer should do more on the transparency of their fundings by offering more details about specific projects.

on 22-Jul-2020 (1 year ago)

Ivana Jeremic assesses application as Compliant

A short summary in native publishing language

Vistinomer obezbedi dovolno dokazi za da se vrati statusot na potpisnikot na IFCN. Metodologijata i kriteriumite se jasni i ja obezbeduvaat objektivnosta i integritetot na mediumite. Bea napraveni nekoi podobruvanja vo tekot na izminatata godina i frekvencijata na nivnoto proveruvanje na faktite e značitelno pogolema. Vo idnina, Vistinomer treba da napravi poveḱe vo oblasta na transparentnosta na svoite finansii so toa što ḱe ponudi poveḱe detali za konkretni proekti.

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.

Metamorphosis Foundation
04-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Vistinomer (Truthmeter) was established and is published by the Metamorphosis Foundation, a non-governmental organization incorporated in Skopje, North Macedonia and is registered under the Associations and Foundations Law.

Vistinomer Contact page clearly states that the web site is published by the Metamorphosis Foundation with the link included: https://vistinomer.mk/kontakt/

Vistinomer About page clearly states the web site public interest fact checking purpose, as well as the list of donors throughout the years: https://vistinomer.mk/kontakt/

Metamorphosis Foundation web site: metamorphosis.org.mk

Metamorphosis Foundation annual financial/tax/audit reports (2010-2019): metamorphosis.org.mk/za-nas/godishni-izveshtai/

Vistinomer is not separately registered with the state. According to the Macedonia’s media/broadcasting laws, internet media/publications do not require registration with the state/media regulator.

Vistinomer has three language editions:

Vistinomer.mk (Macedonian language edition)

Vertetmates.mk (Albanian language edition)

Truthmeter.mk (English language edition)

Albanian and English language editions are not separately and/or differently edited or staffed (except with translators). They publish only Albanian and/or English language translations of the Macedonian edition originals.

Attached is the Macedonia's Central Registry incorporation document for the Metamorphosis Foundation (3 pages).

Files Attached
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Ivana Jeremic Assessor
20-Jul-2020 (1 year ago)

Within its "contact" page Vistinomer clearly states its legal status, provides details on its publisher, offers information about its management and proof that it is registered as an online media.


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?

Metamorphosis Foundation
04-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

1. Vistinomer was established in 2011 as a public accountability and transparency web site. The information regarding the reasons for the creation of Vistinomer are published at the web sites' About page: 

https://vistinomer.mk/za-vistinomer/

2. Here is the web page presenting the Metamorphosis Foundation team and their roles: https://metamorphosis.org.mk/en/about/staff/  

On the other hand, here is the list of the Vistinomer editorial board, authors, the support staff and the outside contributors together with their short CV's published at the web sites' Contact Page: https://vistinomer.mk/kontakt/


3. The activities of the Metamorphosis Foundation, the publisher of Vistinomer can be assessed here:

The list of the four main programs Metamorphosis Fooundation is active in: https://metamorphosis.org.mk/en/programs/

The list of the ongoing and previous projects stemming from the four main program areas can be found here: https://metamorphosis.org.mk/en/projects/


4. Over the coming year the the activities of our fact-checking operations will include:

- continuing to promote public accountability and transparency through performing our fact-checking activities at Vistinomer by fact-checking the fulfillment of the political parties election promises, especially at the local level, since the next local elections will be held in 2021, as well as fact checking the statements of the politicians through our Statements and Counter-spin sections. We will also continue to test and sharpen our rapid response media fact-checking skills with the new team we just established at the beginning of the election campaign 2020 last month;

- in cooperation with another media fact checking and media literacy project implemented at the Metamorphosis Foundation named Crithink - Critical Thinking for the Mediawise Citizens we will continue to preform media fact checking, as well as media literacy activities for the needs of the various target groups such as NGO's, the elderly, journalists through tailor made training sessions/webinars in order to educate various stakeholders in recognizing the signs such as cognitive prejudices leading to disinformation.

- in our organization we have trainers with experience in combating disinformation, media literacy, positive narratives and electronic security and privacy and we will also hold training sessions/webinars with our regional partners.

- we intend to grow and develop the regional Anti-Disinformation Network for the Balkans (ADN-Balkans) as one of the founding members. The members of the ADN-Ballkans are also members of IFCN and we intend working on strengthening the fact checking standards in the region in accordance to the IFCN Code of Principles, but also strengthening the cooperation inside the region, since many of the disinformation we encounter have regional roots and are republished throughout the Balkans.

- in order to go deeper and discover the root causes of disinformation we intend to use more tools in combination with our fact-checking work. We already started activities in pre-election media monitoring, where we monitor the ways media transmit the disinformation as compared to the professional news, where does the origin of disinformation start and how it spreads through the media landscape, what happens with the incidence of disinformation during the election campaign compared to after election period, etc.

These are just some of the activities we intend to implement during the next 12 months.

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
20-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Vistinomer was founded in 2011 with the aim to hold politicians and public officials accountable by checking the fulfilment of their promises. Overtime Vistinomer has expanded its fact-checking area to claims made by officials.


On their website, it's easy to check team members behind the website. The editorial team is made of prominent North Macedonia's journalists and editors with years of experience in journalism and fact-checking. 


Other projects such as Increasing Civic Engagement in the Digital Agenda, Media Reforms Observatory, Data Analytics for Transparency and Accountability etc have been operated by Vistinomer's founding organization Metamorphosis.


In future, Vistinomer has plans to further promote accountability and strengthen fact-checking anti-defamation media through literacy projects and regional cooperation.


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.

Metamorphosis Foundation
04-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Vistinomer is a public accountability and transparency web site. Our core mission is to increase the transparency and accountability of the public officials, political parties and state institutions.

Here is the list of our fact-checking sections together with the link to the section and the number of fact-checks in every section over the course of the six months prior to the date of application.

One of the main activities in accomplishing our mission consists of fact checking statements of the elected and appointed officials, public figures with influence over the creation of public policies and press releases of the political parties. This is accomplished through the following section:

https://vistinomer.mk/rubricna-kategorija/rubrika-izjavi-mk/ (20 articles)

Vistinomer also analyses the state of fulfillment of the political parties’ election promises, as well as the issues regarding accountability and transparency practices of the local and state institutions. Here is the link to this section:

https://vistinomer.mk/rubricna-kategorija/rubrika-vetuvanja-mk/ (40 articles)

From the 2019, Vistinomer also started to cover the region with our own fact-checks of the articles from the media in the neighboring countries as they cover North Macedonia, but also wider regional issues, fact-checks from the partner organizations in the neighboring countries, as well as news and information about the work of the fact-checkers around the Balkans region. Here is the link to the Region section:

https://vistinomer.mk/rubricna-kategorija/rubrika-region-mk/ (19 articles)

Note: As stated above, this section also contains other types of articles. Vistinomer fact checks from this section are submitted in a separate document attached bellow. 

During the upcoming 2020 parliamentary elections, Vistinomer created a rapid response media fact checking unit whose goal is to fact-check the media during the election campaign. Here is the link to this section:

https://vistinomer.mk/rubricna-kategorija/rubrika-predizborni-mk/ (44 articles)

Please, find attached the documents containing tables with links to all these fact-checking articles. As it can be seen, the tables contain a column denoting the public interest subject covered in the article, showing that all of our fact checks, and not only 75%, are intended in serving the public interest. 


Files Attached
description Election Campaign Me... (22 KB) description Fact Checks of the F... (20 KB) description Region Fact Checks -... (18 KB) description Statements Fact Chec... (18 KB)
Ivana Jeremic Assessor
20-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

In the last six months, Vistinomer has published on average more than one article per week covering the hottest topics in the country as well as the region. Ahead of the Parliamentary elections held last week, Vistinomer had a section dedicated solely to the election campaign checking claims made by politicians as well as other media reports.

In their "claims" section they've published 3 fact-checks per month with the exception of June when they didn't publish any. 

The fact-checks published in their "analysis" section are most frequent.

Through various forms of fact-checks, Vistinomer covers a range of topics - politics, religion, tourism, health.

Vistinomer also republishes a lot of other fact-checking organisations' articles, so it would be good if those are somehow divided from Vistinomer's original content.


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
20-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Vistinomer publishes articles based on the current events and relevance of the topics. 


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.

Metamorphosis Foundation
04-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Metamorphosis Foundation, the Vistinomer publisher, does not receive funds from the state, politicians and political parties. Vistinomer is funded from projects Metmaorphosis Foundation is awarded by international donors and non-profit organizations interested in strengthening democracy and accountability in the Republic of North Macedonia. This is the way to preserve the independence, credibility and non-partisan nature of the web site, as well guaranty unbiased fact-checking based on our methodology.

Metamorphosis Foundation annual financial/tax/audit reports (2010-2019) are published regularly and available here: metamorphosis.org.mk/za-nas/godishni-izveshtai/

Also, in the About section of our web site, we publish the names of our donors, together with the periods of provided funding:  https://vistinomer.mk/za-vistinomer/

The latest funding period was during June 2019 – June 2020 time frame, Vistinomer has received an annual grant for the activities from the National Endowment for Democracy (ned.org). Vistiinomer editorial team has complete editorial independence in making the editorial decisions. To confirm and publicize this policy, bellow every article published at Vistinomer, the following disclaimer is also included in the same language as the article:

"This article was created within the framework of the Project to increase the accountability of the politicians and political parties Truthmeter implemented by Metamorphosis. The article is made possible by the generous support of the US non-profit foundation National Endowment for Democracy (NED). The content is the responsibility of its author and does not necessarily reflect the views of Metamorphosis, the National Endowment for Democracy or their partners."



Ivana Jeremic Assessor
20-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Vistinomer does not receive funds from the state nor it's in any way connected to political parties or their members. The donors and the rules set to preserve its independence are available to the public on Vistinomer and Metamorphosis websites.


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.

Metamorphosis Foundation
04-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

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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.

Metamorphosis Foundation
04-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

These are our latest fact checked statements in chronological order with very little selecting included. Since these statements are mostly in chronological order and are not hand picked out of a larger pile, one can clearly see that the public figures whose statements are fact checked, are diverse politically and by ethnicity. 

Vistinomer team always follows the methodology when performing fact checks allowing us to maintain coherent standards across fact checks.

Also, as it can be seen, at the end of every fact check there is a list of sources used for quick reference beside the existence of links in the body of the text. It can also be seen that the structure of the articles is the same, providing us with uniformity of approach and a sure way in following the methodology. This, on the other hand, allows us to use the same standards of evidence for equivalent claims and follow the same essential process for every fact check.

When we fact check a statement, we always look for a video material containing the statement and use the original citation whenever possible. This allows us to avoid taking words out of context or missing out on an important part of the statement. On the other hand, whenever we are doing media fact checks, we always link to the original article and/or provide a complete screenshot of the whole page where the fact checked article is published.    

Vistinomer team tags in the social media the individuals, institutions or media whose statements we fact check. With that we provide opportunity for them to react, comment and provide additional context if required as soon as possible.    

Our fact checkers use primary sources in their fact checks whenever possible. We use publicly available information and databases regularly in our work, seek out help of experts and go through reports of domestic and international institutions, think thanks and NGOs. Unnamed sources are never used as a mean to come up with a conclusion in our fact checks. They are used only as a help in reaching or finding public and/or official sources and documents. 

Selection of the clams for fact-checking stems from the fact-checkers themselves, from our readers suggestions and from the editors. The go-no go decisions are made by the editors.


https://vistinomer.mk/kontraspin-reisot-na-ivz-vo-uloga-na-doktor-go-proglasi-korona_virusot-za-mrtov/

https://vistinomer.mk/mickoski-za-veligdenskite-praznici-gi-pochituval-preporakite-i-karantinot-i-%d1%98a-povikal-i-%d1%98avnosta-da-go-stori-istoto/

https://vistinomer.mk/terminot-za-izbori-%d1%9ce-treba-da-se-dogovori-bez-ogled-na-uredbata-na-vladata/

https://vistinomer.mk/vmro-dpmne-sepak-ponudi-resheni%d1%98a-za-nadminuva%d1%9ae-na-krizata/

https://vistinomer.mk/mickoski-e-neinformiran-ili-ne-saka-da-priznae-deka-imeto-na-narodnata-banka-e-smeneto-vo-2019-godina/

https://vistinomer.mk/nepoznato-e-dali-voopshto-e-potrebna-poddrshka-od-vtoriot-vo-prviot-penziski-stolb/

https://vistinomer.mk/zaev-krate%d1%9aeto-mora-da-se-sluchuva-od-sekade/

https://vistinomer.mk/mickoski-se-chudi-kako-nedostasuvaat-resursi-za-krizna-sosto%d1%98ba-iako-negovata-parti%d1%98a-10-godini-gi-krateshe/

https://vistinomer.mk/zaev-ne-gi-isprazni-akumulaciite-tuku-sushata-go-zema-danokot/

https://vistinomer.mk/levica-ne-gi-preskokna-pretsedatelskite-izbori-vo-2019-godina/

https://vistinomer.mk/ksenofobichna-manipulaci%d1%98a-pratenikot-dimkov-ekskluzivno-vide-milion-afrikanci-vo-makedoni%d1%98a/

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
20-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Vistinomer covers various topics and refers to a wider spectre of people making claims and promises. From the provided links and articles I've randomly chosen, it's obvious that the same methodology applies to all. For the articles checking the politicians' claims, it's easier to notice the logics behind, while analysis are more in-depth and have a freer form.


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.

Metamorphosis Foundation
04-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Vistinomer maintains coherent standards across fact checks by strictly following its methodology. Our methodology contains rules and procedures regarding the rating of the truthfulness of the statements we fact check, criteria for selecting statements to fact check, rules regarding the selection, quoting and reporting our sources, rules on how to state conflicts of interest, etc.

We select the statements to fact check by the importance of the source, as well as the importance of the statement subject on the lives of the citizens. We diligently follow the methodology in order to secure consistency and fairness among different statements. When it comes to sources, they are clearly stated in the articles by linking, and in the Statements section we also include a detailed and thorough list of sources at the end of every fact check. 

The political affiliation of the source behind the statement is not taken into consideration when making fact-checking selection decisions. We diligently follow the methodology in order to secure consistency and fairness among different statements.

Possible conflicts of interests are stated on the spot, so that they would be cleared at the time the reader encounters them.

Here is the link to the methodology we use as we fact-check the statements of the public officials, others with influence over policy decisions, as well as political party press releases: 

https://vistinomer.mk/metodologija/

Bellow is the link to our long standing and detailed methodology for the media fact checking we use throughout our fact checking projects at the Metamorphosis Foundation, ever since 2012 and update from time to time. 

Note: This document is linked to the Vistinomer web site on the same page as the statements fact-checking methodology.  

Macedonian language:

http://proverkanafakti.mk/методологија/

English language:

http://factchecking.mk/methodology/


Ivana Jeremic Assessor
20-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Within their "methodology" page, Vistinomer explains the rules for each of the categories it publishes. The strict methodology preserves the objectivity of the fact-checks.


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.

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
20-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

I haven't found examples that fit the problematic criteria. All the sources used are named and linked so the public can evaluate them.


done_all 2.3 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

Metamorphosis Foundation
04-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago



Ivana Jeremic Assessor
20-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Vistinomer fact-checks are fact-based and do not endorse any of the political parties. By its strict methodology of choosing and writing fact-checks, it preserves independence and objectivity.


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.

Metamorphosis Foundation
04-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Metamorphosis Foundation is and has always been a non-partisan organization. Neither the Foundation, nor the employees have ever publicly supported any political party or any candidate for a political office during elections.The employees, Vistinomer staff included, do not involve themselves directly in political parties and advocacy organizations. 

To insure the journalistic professionalism and integrity, Vistinomer team strictly follows these three acts/policy documents:


1. North Macedonia’s Foundations and Citizen Associations Law forbids NGO’s taking part in financing political parties, as well as engaging in electoral activities on behalf of political parties:

Chapter 4, Article 13 of the law says: “NGO’s cannot execute activities commensurate of those done by a political party, namely they cannot secure direct or indirect financing of a specific political party and influence the elections.” Elections influence is defined as “taking part in the elections and election campaigns on behalf of a specific political party and directly or indirectly financing an electoral campaign of a political party”.


2. Vistinomer team follows the Metamorphosis Foundation Integrity Policy (attached here) based on the organization's Code of Conduct, which is in turn adopted by the Managing Board.

The Article 2b of the Integrity Policy covers the issue of the organization's political independence and states the following:

"As non-partisan non-governmental organization, Metamorphosis Foundation shall maintain independence and not be aligned or affiliated with any political party, although it may share a common political or legislative cause within the limit of its mission, stated objectives and legal structure.

Metamorphosis’ advocacy efforts may include nonpartisan election-related activities. However, its resources may not be used for partisan political activities, including supporting or opposing a political party or organization and supporting or opposing candidates for public office."

Here is the page to which or organization's Integrity policy is linked on the Vistinomer web site:

https://vistinomer.mk/kontakt/


3. Vistinomer team also follows the Journalist Association of Macedonia Code of Ethics. This is a requirement for all the Vistinomer team members, as well as for the journalists working on all other Metamorphosis Foundation media projects.

The Article 14 of the Code of Ethics states the following:

"Reporting on political processes, especially elections, must be impartial, balanced and fair. The journalist must make professional distance from the political subjects."

Vistinomer web site at the Contact/Credits page provides links to both Metamorphosis Foundation's Integrity Policy and Journalist Association's Ethics Code in order to inform the audience about the professional obligations under which the Vistinomer team operates.


4. Vistinomer is registered at the register of the professional media, established by the Council of Media Ethics of Macedonia and the Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM) and is required to adopt and follow the strict Journalist Ethics Code.

Couuncil of Media Ethics Page: https://semm.mk/en/

Association of Journalists of Macedonia: https://znm.org.mk/en/homepage/

Professional Internet Media Register Main Page (Vistinomer is 9th from the top in the first column): https://promedia.mk/main

Vistinomer page at the Professional Internet Media Register: https://promedia.mk/medium;id=caee5f81-078f-4cf8-a204-2986bbadb190

AJM Ethics Code: https://promedia.mk/codeofethics?lng=en



Files Attached
picture_as_pdf Политика на интегрит... (479 KB)
Ivana Jeremic Assessor
20-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

On its website, Vistinomer provides credible information on the internal and state's documents and guidelines used to preserve integrity and objectivity. The code of ethics it needs to obey guarantees fair reporting and non-partisanship.


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
20-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Vistinomer names all of their sources and provides necessary links to the evidence used while writing fact-checks.


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
20-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

When possible Vistinomer uses official sources which are more reliable. With the links provided, readers are able to question both the methodology and the relevance of the sources used.


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
20-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

I haven't been able to found such examples.


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.

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
20-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

I haven't been able to find articles that fit these criteria.


done_all 3.4 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.

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.

Metamorphosis Foundation
04-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Vistinomer is a fact checking unit of the Metamorphosis Foundation, located in Skopje, North Macedonia.

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
20-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

On its website, Vistinomer offers information about its legal status and ownership. The donors and time frames of the projects are listed on their website. It would be good to provide links to documents with more information about the projects and the donation's worth.


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.

Metamorphosis Foundation
04-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago
Ivana Jeremic Assessor
20-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Within their "contact" page Vistinomer provides information of its ownership and status within the Metamorphosis Foundation. Vistinomer is also registered in the register of professional online media of the Council for Media Ethics (SEMM) and the Association of Journalists of Macedonia (ZNM). The funding details are also provided (see previous remarks).


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.

Metamorphosis Foundation
04-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

https://vistinomer.mk/kontakt/


Note: Beside publishing the roles of the whole team to make clear to our readers how the editorial control is exercised, the following disclaimer is also published bellow every single article in all three languages: 

Macedonian version:

Овој напис е изработен во рамките на Проектот за зголемување на отчетноста и одговорноста на политичарите и партиите пред граѓаните, Вистиномер, имплементиран од Метаморфозис. Написот e овозможен со поддршка на американската непрофитна фондација (NED - National Endowment for Democracy). Содржината на рецензијата е одговорност на авторот и не ги одразува ставовите на Метаморфозис и National Endowment for Democracy или нивните партнери.

English translation:

This article was created within the framework of the Project to increase the accountability of the politicians and political parties Truthmeter implemented by Metamorphosis. The article is made possible by the generous support of the US non-profit foundation National Endowment for Democracy (NED). The content is the responsibility of its author and does not necessarily reflect the views of Metamorphosis, the National Endowment for Democracy or their partners.




Ivana Jeremic Assessor
20-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Within its "contact" page Vistinomer offers information about the editorial staff together with the link to their biographies on Metamorphosis website. The editorial consists of prominent North Macedonia's journalists and editors and their roles have been described on Vistinomer's website.


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.

Metamorphosis Foundation
04-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago
Ivana Jeremic Assessor
20-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The biographies of Vistinomer's editorial staff is published on the Metamorphosis website and are linked on the website's contact page. It would be good to link them directly to the biography of each member rather than the whole page.


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.

Metamorphosis Foundation
04-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

https://vistinomer.mk/kontakt/

Beside the contact form, the e-mail addresses of the editorial staff and the e-mail of the management, the following disclaimer is published bellow every single article (in all three languages) to make it easier for the readers to communicate with the editorial team:


Macedonian version:

Сите коментари и забелешки поврзани со овој и другите написи на Вистиномер, барањата за корекции и појаснувања, како и предлозите за проверка на изјавите на политичарите и ветувањата на политичките партии, можете да ги доставите преку овој формулар (https://truthmeter.mk/contact/)

English translation:

All comments and remarks regarding this and other Vistinomer articles, correction and clarification requests as well as suggestions for fact-checking politicians’ statements and political parties’ promises can be submitted by using this form (https://truthmeter.mk/contact/)



Ivana Jeremic Assessor
20-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Vistinomer encourages people to share their remarks, questions and complaints both through their website and social media. Within their "contact" page there is a form for those who want to contact the editorial. They also have a disclaimer below every article explaining how to contact them and encouraging people to send their proposals.


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.

Metamorphosis Foundation
04-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago
Ivana Jeremic Assessor
20-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Vistinomer offers strict guidelines to its methodology for all of the sections. They're offering information on their criteria while selecting topics, how they verify the claims and sources. The analyzed statements are published integrally, without interventions in language, grammar and meaning. Statements are published in their original form, along with all possible errors and specifics for readers to get a true picture of what they look like, sound, how they are published and what they contain in their original form. After the analysis of the claims, they are given a certain grade.


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
20-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Based on the randomised sample, the same rule applies to all fact-checks. The logic behind the fact-check is more visible when it comes to claims, while the analysis is more in-depth articles and have a somewhat freer form.


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
20-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Vistinomer provides sources that both undermine and support the claim where it's not obvious if the information is true or fake. 


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
20-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The same principle is used for all evidence and sources in the articles. 


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
20-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

I wasn't able to find such examples. It would be good to adopt this as a regular part of the process as it might bring additional value to the fact-check and prevent the media from making mistakes.


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.

Metamorphosis Foundation
04-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Our readers are encouraged to send us claims to fact-check in various ways.

1. First and foremost, bellow every article we publish on the web sites we include the following disclaimer:

Macedonian version:

Сите коментари и забелешки поврзани со овој и другите написи на Вистиномер, барањата за корекции и појаснувања, како и предлозите за проверка на изјавите на политичарите и ветувањата на политичките партии, можете да ги доставите преку овој формулар

English translation:

All comments and remarks regarding this and other Vistinomer articles, correction and clarification requests as well as suggestions for fact-checking politicians’ statements and political parties’ promises can be submitted by using this form.

The link at the end of the disclaimer leads to the contact form (https://vistinomer.mk/kontakt/) our readers can use to suggest statements or political party promises to fact check. This disclaimer is also published right bellow the contact form to inform the readers about its' intended use.

2. Our readers can also send us suggestions for fact checks at our various social media properties.

Here is the content of the About field at our FB page (https://www.facebook.com/vistinomer/) explaining how to use the Facebook page (in 256 characters) to send us suggestions and what kind of suggestions to send:

Macedonian version:

Вистиномер анализира исполнетост на изборни ветувања и вистинитост на изјави на политичарите. Предлози за анализи испратете во инбокс.

English translation:

Vistiinomer analyses the fulfillment of the election promises and the truthfulness of the statements of the politicians. Send your suggestions for analyses in the Inbox.

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
20-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Bellow every article there is a disclaimer where readers can learn how to send remarks, questions and complaints. Also, withing Vistinomer's "contact" page there is a form through which remarks can be submitted. When it comes to readers' proposals for fact-checks it would be good to offer more information about the process of selection. Would readers need to send some links or proofs as well? Shall they explain the relevance of the proposal to be taken into account? 


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.

Metamorphosis Foundation
04-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Vistinomer has a separate page titled Corrections and Clarifications: http://vistinomer.mk/korektsii-i-pojasnuvana/

This page contains step-by-step explanation how to submit a claim, who will receive it and who will decide on the merit of the claim, how and where will the claim be published (if needed), as well as how to obtain the Vistinomer team answer on the claim by e-mail (if needed). This page is an excerpt of the Metamorphosis Foundation institution wide Corrections and Clarifications Policy. The page contains a link to the policy document, as well as Annex to the selection of articles of the Macedonian Constitution and laws upon whom this policy is created.

Metamorphosis Foundation institution wide Corrections and Clarifications Policy link: http://vistinomer.mk/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Politika-za-korektsii-i-pojasnuvana.pdf

Metamorphosis Foundation institution wide Corrections and Clarifications Policy Annex link: http://vistinomer.mk/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Aneks-1.pdf

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
20-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Vistinomer has described its correction policy on the website and provided relevant documents with strict guidelines.

The deadline for submitting a request for corrections can be sent within 30 days from the date of publication.

The responsible persons will review the remarks and will send an appropriate answer within 2 days.

However, it's not clear who is the responsible person? A journalist or the editor? That's something that should be clarified.


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
20-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Vistinomer follows its internal guidelines made by the Metamorphosis, which offer enough information about how the corrections requests will be handled and during which time frame.


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.

Metamorphosis Foundation
04-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Our correction policy provides our readers with powerful tool to make their voices heard whenever they think a mistake has been made. We are ready and willing to admit our mistakes and publish corrections at any time and even for small infractions or unclear language. But, the trends in correcting the media in North Macedonia are not going in the direction of publishing corrections. We are witnessing instances in other media where the wronged party doesn't ask for correction, but counterattacks in a different on-line media in order to gain more exposure for a web site that is friendly to them, and not allow exposure for the web site that made the mistake. This is especially the case with the politicians, which have a lot of influence in the media and can publish their content somewhere else.

We also see instances of not asking for any correction in order not to provide clicks for the outlet that made the mistake. Politicians are especially not interested in corrections knowing that they will not draw lot of readers and will stay under the radar.

Another option politicians have is to report the mistake directly to the donors not caring about the correction. For them, putting pressure on the donors to withdraw funding is more beneficial than a correction.

Another way the wronged parties deal with media mistakes on-line is to ask the media outlet to simply delete that part of the article and not to publish anything else, in order for their name not to show in internet searches in the future. This is something that happened to us. During the Covid-19 pandemic, we published an article showing instances of manipulation with so called miracle drugs. One of those examples was a statement of a person proposing various plants as immunity boosters. Our mistake was that we mistook his (not very clear) statement as offering cure for Covid-19. But, when we offered to publish the correction, provide our explanation and apologize, we were asked to just delete the offending paragraph with no explanation whatsoever, so that the name of the person mentioned wouldn't appear in future internet searches. Which is what we did in order to follow the wishes of this person and avoid potential legal issues

Here is one example for a correction request submitted to Vistiinomer last year:

https://vistinomer.mk/dodatokot-za-litsata-so-posebni-potrebi-e-zgolemen-20-otsto/

As it can be clearly seen, the editors informed the readers about the reaction in the title by adding the words "(Correction request added, as well as editorial explanation)"

Directly bellow the title, additional information about the correction request were also added, explaining that we received it from the Labor Ministry and that it is published in full under the original article. We also explain that bellow the Ministry's letter readers can find our own editorial explanation. Both of these texts can be found under the original article. The Ministry's letter didn't demand we withdraw the article. They disagreed with our assessment and wanted to tell their part of the story. The issue was the specificity. They wanted to show everything they have done for the citizens with special needs, while our analysis (grading the election promise as partially fulfilled) was concerned with the fact that the electoral promise to raise the funds available to this vulnerable group by 50% was not completely fulfilled.

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
20-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Vistinomer provided only one example and I wasn't able to find another. Anyhow, it offers a fair insight into how the corrections are handled. At the beginning of the article, it's stated that the corrections have been made together with the explanation of what's been amended and why. It also offers an integral letter of the body requesting the correction.


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.

Metamorphosis Foundation
04-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago
Ivana Jeremic Assessor
20-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Within its "contact" section Vistinomer has a disclaimer noting that readers may inform IFCN of any possible violations of IFCN Code.


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.

Metamorphosis Foundation
04-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Vistinomer is not a fact-checking unit of a media company, but part of an NGO.

Ivana Jeremic Assessor
20-Jul-2020 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Vistinomer is a fact-checking unit of an NGO.


done_all 6.5 marked as Compliant by Ivana Jeremic.