Observador - Fact Check

Organization: Observador - Fact Check
Applicant: Miguel Pinheiro
Assessor: Ramón Salaverría
Conclusion and recommendations
on 27-Mar-2017 (1 year ago)

Ramón Salaverría wrote:

Missing conclusion

on 27-Mar-2017 (1 year ago)

Ramón Salaverría recommended Accept


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.

Observador - Fact Check
27-Mar-2017 (1 year ago)

In our “Terms and Conditions” page we have information about our official registration, with the legal number “510 914 713”

http://observador.pt/termos-e-condicoes/

Ramón Salaverría Assessor
27-Mar-2017 (1 year ago)

Observador.pt is an online news outlet with a “distinct fact-checking section”:

http://observador.pt/seccao/observador/fact-check/


done_all 1a marked as Fully compliant by Ramón Salaverría.

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.

Observador - Fact Check
27-Mar-2017 (1 year ago)
Ramón Salaverría Assessor
27-Mar-2017 (1 year ago)

Observador started publishing fact-checks on June 2015. That year the rhythm of publication was variable: there were months with just one fact-check published (July 2015), but some other with up to fifteen fact-checks (August 2015). Throughout the last 12 months (Mar. 2016 – Feb 2017) the publication rate of fact-checks has been as follows:

Mar. 2016: 0

Apr. 2016: 0

May. 2016: 6

Jun. 2016: 0

Jul. 2016: 1

Aug. 2016: 0

Sep. 2016: 10

Oct. 2016: 6

Nov. 2016: 3

Dic. 2016: 1

Jan. 2017: 2

Feb. 2017: 9

Regarding these figures, this assesor concludes that Observador.pt doesn’t meet yet the condition of publishing fact-checks “on a regular basis (an average of at least one report a week over the previous three months)”.

Nevertheless, the pace of fact-check publishing has speed up since the beginning of February 2017, when Observador announced ( see: http://observador.pt/especiais/como-vao-ser-os-novos-fact-checks-do-observador/) a boost of that section.


done 1b marked as Partially compliant by Ramón Salaverría.

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.

Observador - Fact Check
27-Mar-2017 (1 year ago)

In our fact checks, we cover the complete political spectrum: the President, the prime-minister, a wide variety of ministers (Finance, Environment, Health, etc), the parties that support the government, and the opposition parties. Each political actor has already had, of course, positive and negative conclusions.

We also have a wide range of conclusions, so as not to have black-or-white decisions: “Right”, “Almost Right”, “Far-Fetched”, “Inconclusive”, “Misleading” and “Wrong”.

Here are our 10 examples:

In this one, the Government is “Right”

http://observador.pt/factchecks/fact-check-e-este-o-maior-aumento-de-pensoes-da-decada/

In this one, the Government is “Almost Right”

http://observador.pt/factchecks/taxar-bebidas-acucaradas-melhora-mesmo-a-saude/

In this one, the Government is “Misleading”

http://observador.pt/factchecks/mario-centeno-nao-mentiu-sobre-o-acordo-com-antonio-domingues/

In this one, the Government is “Wrong”

http://observador.pt/factchecks/antonio-costa-nunca-usou-a-divida-para-atacar-o-governo/

In this one, the President is “Wrong”

http://observador.pt/factchecks/fact-check-portugal-esta-a-reestruturar-a-divida-pacificamente/

In this one, the leader of the main opposition party is “Wrong”

http://observador.pt/factchecks/fact-check-passos-coelho-nunca-inaugurou-estradas-pontes-coisas-nenhumas/

In this one, one of the highest-ranking members of the main opposition party is “Right”

http://observador.pt/factchecks/fact-check-so-a-taxa-de-juro-portuguesa-subiu-na-zona-euro/

Sometimes, the Fact Check is “Inconclusive”

http://observador.pt/factchecks/fact-check-o-que-contou-mais-para-o-ajustamento-despesa-ou-impostos/

We Fact Check a variety of subjects: Health

http://observador.pt/factchecks/poupar-26-mil-euros-turma-transferida-publico-pouco-provavel/

We Fact Check a variety of subjects: Environment

http://observador.pt/factchecks/ria-formosa-ministro-contou-tudo-sobre-as-demolicoes-no-parlamento/

Ramón Salaverría Assessor
27-Mar-2017 (1 year ago)

Observador covers in its fact-checking service a wide array of subjects (politics and business, mainly) and speakers (it fact-checks both national and international leaders’ statements).


done_all 2a marked as Fully compliant by Ramón Salaverría.

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.

Observador - Fact Check
27-Mar-2017 (1 year ago)

Observador is independent from any political party or movement.

In our site, we have a link to our editorial principles:

http://observador.pt/estatuto-editorial/

Here is the translation of two of the sentences:

“Observador is an online daily, independent and free”

“Observador seeks the truth and is only binded by facts. We will never be pressured by political party or economical or group interests. We are accountable only to our readers”.

Ramón Salaverría Assessor
27-Mar-2017 (1 year ago)

Since the beginning of its fact-checking service in 2015, Observador hase not supported a candidate in any election nor advocate or take policy positions on any issues not strictly related to fact-checking. Additionally, Observador pledges publicly the IFCN code of principles (see: http://observador.pt/2017/02/08/codigo-de-principios-para-fact-checks/)


done_all 2b marked as Fully compliant by Ramón Salaverría.

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.

Observador - Fact Check
27-Mar-2017 (1 year ago)

At Observador, we have publicly adopted, and published, the International Fact-Checking Network fact-checkers’ code of principles (http://observador.pt/2017/02/08/codigo-de-principios-para-fact-checks/). This, of course, includes point 2 (“A commitment to transparency of sources). 

Also, all our Fact Checks have links to documents and to articles from other media outlets, the original sources of video or audio clips, full references to any experts interviewed and, when useful, charts with data.

We have also created an email address specifically for our fact checks: if our readers want any additional information, they can ask for it and we will provide it.

We have also published an article detailing how our fact checks are made (http://observador.pt/especiais/como-vao-ser-os-novos-fact-checks-do-observador/), with specific references to the publicity of sources.

Ramón Salaverría Assessor
27-Mar-2017 (1 year ago)

When publishing fact-checks, Observador consistently links to sources. Many times these links refer to news stories previously published by the online outlet itself. However, in a significant amount of cases it also links to original sources, allowing the readers to check the information by themselves. Additionally, as mentioned above, Observador pledges the IFCN code of principles, which includes, in its second principle, the commitmment to provide access to original sources of the news.


done_all 3a marked as Fully compliant by Ramón Salaverría.

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.

Observador - Fact Check
27-Mar-2017 (1 year ago)

In our site, we have a list of all our shareholders (under the title “Estrutura acionista”). They are presented according to the amount of shares they hold: 

http://observador.pt/ficha-tecnica/

We also published an article with all the answers readers might have about the project, including funding and organization:

http://observador.pt/explicadores/tudo-o-que-precisa-de-saber-sobre-o-observador/

Ramón Salaverría Assessor
27-Mar-2017 (1 year ago)

Although Observador does not “set out an overview of spending” during the current year, it provides a detailed information about the owners of the media outlet. That statement is publicly available here:

http://observador.pt/ficha-tecnica/


done 4a marked as Partially compliant by Ramón Salaverría.

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.

Observador - Fact Check
27-Mar-2017 (1 year ago)

We have a page with all the journalists of Observador. All of them can, at any time, write a fact check:

http://observador.pt/autores/

Ramón Salaverría Assessor
27-Mar-2017 (1 year ago)

A full list of Observador’s journalists and staff members is available on the website. However, the journalists’ biographies are not available.


done 4b marked as Partially compliant by Ramón Salaverría.

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

Observador - Fact Check
27-Mar-2017 (1 year ago)

This is the page with all our contacts:

http://observador.pt/contactos/

Ramón Salaverría Assessor
27-Mar-2017 (1 year ago)

All fact-checks provide a clear identification of the journalist(s) behind the project, with their emails available as they can be easily contacted for corrections.


done_all 4c marked as Fully compliant by Ramón Salaverría.

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.

Observador - Fact Check
27-Mar-2017 (1 year ago)

We have two articles regarding this subject. One is the translation of the International Fact-Checking Network fact-checkers’ code of principles (http://observador.pt/2017/02/08/codigo-de-principios-para-fact-checks/), which we have adopted.

The other is an article about the general principles and methodology of our fact checks: http://observador.pt/especiais/como-vao-ser-os-novos-fact-checks-do-observador/

Ramón Salaverría Assessor
27-Mar-2017 (1 year ago)

Observador not only publishes the IFCN code of principles, but it also explains how the fact-checks will work from February 2016 onwards: http://observador.pt/especiais/como-vao-ser-os-novos-fact-checks-do-observador/


done_all 5a marked as Fully compliant by Ramón Salaverría.

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.

Observador - Fact Check
27-Mar-2017 (1 year ago)

We created an email exclusively for our fact checking project, that can be used to send corrections or suggestions of future Fact Checks. We have also publicized it in our article announcing our new fact checking formats: http://observador.pt/especiais/como-vao-ser-os-novos-fact-checks-do-observador/

And, at the end of each Fact Check, we have, near the “Share” and “Comments” area, the emails to which readers can send corrections or suggestions (view, for example, here: http://observador.pt/factchecks/ja-ha-1-milhao-de-pessoas-a-viver-com-o-salario-minimo/)

Ramón Salaverría Assessor
27-Mar-2017 (1 year ago)

Observador has an specific email account for its fact-checking project. The online outlet allows readers to send corrections or suggestions of fact checks.


done_all 5b marked as Fully compliant by Ramón Salaverría.

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.

Observador - Fact Check
27-Mar-2017 (1 year ago)

In the article “Como são os novos Fact Checks do Observador?” (http://observador.pt/especiais/como-vao-ser-os-novos-fact-checks-do-observador/) we write about our corrections policy, namely in the question “O Observador acha que os Fact Checks são infalíveis?” (“Does Observador think its Fact Checks are infalible?”). In it, we explain that, when there are any mistakes, we will correct the article and explicitly refer what the corrections were. We also provide the email any reader can use for corrections.

Ramón Salaverría Assessor
27-Mar-2017 (1 year ago)

Observador informs clearly about its corrections policy in this article (http://observador.pt/especiais/como-vao-ser-os-novos-fact-checks-do-observador/), which is accesible from the fact-checking service homepage.


done_all 6a marked as Fully compliant by Ramón Salaverría.

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

Observador - Fact Check
27-Mar-2017 (1 year ago)

In a Fact Check concerning fiscal policy, we not only added corrections, but also changed the conclusion from “Misleading” to “Right”. The changes were clearly stated in the article:

http://observador.pt/2016/09/16/fact-check-centeno-reduziu-mesmo-a-carga-fiscal/

In a Fact Check concerning the public deficit, we added explanations and informations. The changes were clearly stated in the article:

http://observador.pt/factchecks/novo-banco-e-o-impacto-no-defice-ainda-mais-negativo-ou-tambem-positivo/

Ramón Salaverría Assessor
27-Mar-2017 (1 year ago)

In case of any mistake, Observador committs itself to correct the article and explicitly refer what the corrections were.


done_all 6b marked as Fully compliant by Ramón Salaverría.