Pagella Politica

Organization: Pagella Politica
Applicant: Daniele De Bernardin
Assessor: Paolo Attivissimo
Conclusion and recommendations
on 04-Jun-2018 (1 year ago)

Paolo Attivissimo wrote:

2b): The fact-checker selection criteria stated in the application do not match explicitly the criteria published on the signatory’s website. Website should be amended to clarify the criteria used.

4a): Funding is not described publicly in detail as required. Spending is not published at all. A detailed public statement of funding and spending should be required.

4b): One of the founders and former directors of the signatory is Director of IFCN. He is currently involved with the signatory in an “informal” and “advisory” role only, not in fact-checking. Out of an abundance of caution, potential conflicts of interest should be considered.

6) A formal public corrections policy should be published to expand the current concise description of how corrections are handled.

The signatory has stated that the organisation is “more than willing to comply to any suggestions for additions or modifications deemed necessary to fully address the standards.”

on 04-Jun-2018 (1 year ago)

Paolo Attivissimo 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.

Pagella Politica
25-May-2017 (2 years ago)

See the attachment

Files Attached
picture_as_pdf visura nuovo amm.re... (107 KB)
Paolo Attivissimo Assessor
25-May-2017 (2 years ago)

Pagella Politica is registered as a limited liability company (società a responsabilità limitata semplificata) that performs fact-checking and also training. Evidence of legal registration is in the attached statement (visura) from the Chamber of Commerce of Reggio Emilia, filename visura nuovo amm.re Bernardin (3).pdf (attached).


done_all 1a marked as Fully compliant by Paolo Attivissimo.

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.

Pagella Politica
25-May-2017 (2 years ago)
Paolo Attivissimo Assessor
25-May-2017 (2 years ago)

Pagella Politica has produced an average of one fact-check per week or more over the past three weeks of 2017 and over the past three months of 2017. Specifically, it has produced 6 fact-checks over the past three weeks and 26 over the past three months:

May 5: https://pagellapolitica.it/dichiarazionii/7823/paola-taverna-sui-tagli-agli-aumenti-previsti-per-la-sanita-ha-quasi-ragione

May 5: https://pagellapolitica.it/dichiarazionii/7822/grillo-sui-vaccini-ha-la-memoria-corta

April 26: https://pagellapolitica.it/dichiarazionii/7817/salvini-sulle-rapine-in-italia-due-errori-clamorosi-e-unaffermazione-corretta

April 21: https://pagellapolitica.it/dichiarazionii/7818/di-battista-e-la-guerra-in-afghanistan

April 19: https://pagellapolitica.it/dichiarazionii/7814/lorenzin-e-la-spesa-sanitaria-quanto-e-lontana-dalla-media-ue

April 14: https://pagellapolitica.it/dichiarazionii/7812/il-balzo-del-pil-italiano-sotto-il-governo-renzi-e-da-record-decisamente-no

April 13: https://pagellapolitica.it/dichiarazionii/7811/esiste-davvero-un-tesoretto-da-47-miliardi

April 13: https://pagellapolitica.it/dichiarazionii/7816/di-maio-sui-criminali-rumeni-in-italia-sbaglia-due-volte

April 12: https://pagellapolitica.it/dichiarazionii/7802/il-tap-potra-avere-effetti-positivi-ma-non-sara-determinante

April 10: https://pagellapolitica.it/dichiarazionii/7788/droga-e-armi-sono-in-aumento-in-italia

April 5: https://pagellapolitica.it/dichiarazionii/7790/per-fare-un-referendum-sulleuro-serve-una-legge-costituzionale

March 28: https://pagellapolitica.it/dichiarazionii/7737/rossi-e-i-fondi-per-listruzione-in-italia

March 18: https://pagellapolitica.it/dichiarazionii/7735/emiliano-si-sbaglia-su-magistrati-e-attivita-politica

March 18: https://pagellapolitica.it/dichiarazionii/7760/quali-sono-le-piu-grandi-aziende-del-mondo

March 8: https://pagellapolitica.it/dichiarazionii/7730/i-nati-nel-2016-sono-il-numero-piu-basso-di-sempre

March 6: https://pagellapolitica.it/dichiarazionii/7728/limmunita-di-marine-le-pen

March 3: https://pagellapolitica.it/dichiarazionii/7723/emiliano-e-la-costituzione-cubana

March 1: https://pagellapolitica.it/dichiarazionii/7722/alfano-ne-azzecca-una-su-due-litalia-e-in-ripresa-ma-la-crisi-economica-e-durata-meno-di-quello-che-crede

February 26: https://pagellapolitica.it/dichiarazionii/7718/salvini-si-sbaglia-non-e-vero-che-in-europa-cresce-di-piu-chi-non-ha-leuro

February 24: https://pagellapolitica.it/dichiarazionii/7719/i-figli-del-sud

February 24: https://pagellapolitica.it/dichiarazionii/7714/il-sud-e-luniversita

February 20: https://pagellapolitica.it/dichiarazionii/7704/lam-lira-e-le-monete-parallele

February 14: https://pagellapolitica.it/dichiarazionii/7691/chi-ha-causato-il-problema-della-prescrizione-in-italia

February 10: https://pagellapolitica.it/dichiarazionii/7682/di-battista-e-il-controllo-della-banca-ditalia

February 8: https://pagellapolitica.it/dichiarazionii/7697/il-surplus-commerciale-della-germania-viola-le-regole-europee

February 8: https://pagellapolitica.it/dichiarazionii/7689/il-nuovo-record-della-disoccupazione-giovanile


done_all 1b marked as Fully compliant by Paolo Attivissimo.

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.

Paolo Attivissimo Assessor
25-May-2017 (2 years ago)

Signatory has provided the following fact-checks, which cover statements made by a broad range of political figures:

  1. https://pagellapolitica.it/dichiarazioni/7718/salvini-si-sbaglia-non-e-vero-che-in-europa-cresce-di-piu-chi-non-ha-leuro 
  2. https://pagellapolitica.it/dichiarazioni/7686/il-muro-di-obama 
  3. https://pagellapolitica.it/dichiarazioni/7677/qualche-numero-sulla-disoccupazione-giovanile 
  4. https://pagellapolitica.it/dichiarazioni/7584/corruzione-quanto-ci-costi-la-bufala-dei-60-miliardi 
  5. https://pagellapolitica.it/dichiarazioni/7515/guiyang-non-e-stata-costruita-in-un-giorno 
  6. https://pagellapolitica.it/dichiarazioni/7459/il-nuovo-senato-e-il-confronto-europeo 
  7. https://pagellapolitica.it/dichiarazioni/7638/quegli-altri-nel-nome-di-dio 
  8. https://pagellapolitica.it/dichiarazioni/7494/di-maio-e-il-ritmo-delle-leggi 
  9. https://pagellapolitica.it/blog/show/152/meningite-e-migranti-la-bufala-di-forza-nuova 
  10. https://pagellapolitica.it/blog/show/148/la-notizia-pi%C3%B9-condivisa-sul-referendum-%C3%A8-una-bufala

According to https://pagellapolitica.it/politici/iscriti, a very substantial fraction of the fact-checks deals with statements by Matteo Renzi (365), Beppe Grillo (238), Matteo Salvini (150), Silvio Berlusconi (111) and Renato Brunetta (102). No other politician has more than 100 fact-checks. The remarkably large number of Mr Renzi’s fact-checks is not necessarily a sign of political bias; it may be due to Mr Renzi’s prominence in Italian politics and to the abundance of his public statements.

The signatory has explained how Pagella Politica strives to maintain standards as follows:

Our factchecking process is made up of three phases. 1) selection process. We pick only statements that have verifiable facts and data made my [sic; typo for “by”] prominent Italian politicians 2) our factchecker verifies the statement through primary sources and databases 3) a peer reviewer fact checks the fact checker and reviews the analysis


done_all 2a marked as Fully compliant by Paolo Attivissimo.

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.

Pagella Politica
25-May-2017 (2 years ago)

None of the founders and staffers are part of any political party or organisation. It is a requirement during the selection process of new fact-checkers. All of this is publicly stated on our website - https://pagellapolitica.it/progetto/index

Paolo Attivissimo Assessor
25-May-2017 (2 years ago)

The signatory has described as follows Pagella Politica’s policy regarding advocacy/political positions:

None of the founders and staffers are part of any political party or organisation. It is a requirement during the selection process of new fact-checkers. All of this is publicly stated on our website - https://pagellapolitica.it/progetto/index

However, only the first part of this claim (no political affiliation) is actually stated at https://pagellapolitica.it/progetto/index (“Nessuno dei fondatori o dei membri dello staff fa parte di partiti e/o movimenti politici”, i.e., “None of the founders or staff members are part of parties and/or political movements”).

The second part (nonaffiliation requirement for new fact-checkers) is not stated as claimed at the provided link. The signatory clarified by mail (attached) that “this requirement is generally checked during the job interview, and when we were open to occasional collaborations - a condition that doesn’t apply any more today - we had a standard email sent to the applicants, detailing that they couldn’t be actively involved in politics.” This part of their requirements is not stated publicly.


done_all 2b marked as Fully compliant by Paolo Attivissimo.

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.

Pagella Politica
25-May-2017 (2 years ago)

Our use of sources if very transparent. Every single time a number or fact is stated in one of our analysis, a direct link is provided in order for readers to replicate the fact check. As a policy pagella politica uses direct sources and primary data bases. This process is explained here - https://pagellapolitica.it/progetto/index

Paolo Attivissimo Assessor
25-May-2017 (2 years ago)

The signatory does provide clearly identifiable links to sources and evidence. The signatory provided this explanation:

Our use of sources if [sic; typo for “is”] very transparent. Every single time a number or fact is stated in one of our analysis, a direct link is provided in order for readers to replicate the fact check. As a policy pagella politica uses direct sources and primary data bases. This process is explained here - https://pagellapolitica.it/progetto/index

The signatory does not have a formal policy on sources. On this matter, the signatory stated by email (attached): “We do not have a formal, written policy on sources. However, it is important to underline that our standard contemplates the use of publicly accessible materials, such as databases or reports, and we give the reader every element to redo the analysis by himself/herself, for example publishing Google Sheets with all the data used in our piece (an example here).”


done_all 3a marked as Fully compliant by Paolo Attivissimo.

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.

Pagella Politica
25-May-2017 (2 years ago)

The pagella politica website explains the financial start up of the project (https://pagellapolitica.it/progetto/index) and also lists all past and current clients (https://pagellapolitica.it/servizi/index)

Paolo Attivissimo Assessor
25-May-2017 (2 years ago)

There is no public page that thoroughly details funding sources. The signatory has provided the following statement on this matter:

The pagella politica website explains the financial start up of the project (https://pagellapolitica.it/progetto/index) and also lists all past and current clients (https://pagellapolitica.it/servizi/index)

The first link above only describes funding sources very vaguely as self-funding and crowdfunding.

The second link above lists past and current clients but provides no information as to the funding that they provided, if any. The signatory stated by email (attached): “We do not publish in detail our funding sources and spending, even if I can say that the funding has always come entirely from our clients - except for a crowdfunding campaign in 2015 - and that the spending is almost entirely dedicated to salaries.

There is no public statement of spending.

The link https://pagellapolitica.it/servizi/edit/8/newsletter mentions the option of sponsoring Pagella Politica’s newsletter (50 euros for one newsletter, 150 euros for a one-month sponsorship), but no further details.


done 4a marked as Partially compliant by Paolo Attivissimo.

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.

Pagella Politica
25-May-2017 (2 years ago)
Paolo Attivissimo Assessor
25-May-2017 (2 years ago)

Authors and key actors are clearly listed, with their bios, at https://pagellapolitica.it/static/chisiamo.

NOTE: One of the founders and former directors of Pagella Politica, Alexios Mantzarlis, is the Director of IFCN. This is stated publicly at https://pagellapolitica.it/static/chisiamo and https://www.poynter.org/about-the-international-fact-checking-network/. I, the assessor, contacted Mr Mantzarlis for a statement regarding possible conflict of interest in this assessment, and he provided the following:

In terms of the questions

  1. I remain a founding member ("socio") with an informal advisory role, but have no executive position. The company is run by another founder, Daniele De Bernardin, who has the role of "amministratore unico" and therefore has control over budgetary and administrative decisions. 
  2. The company does not distribute dividends, which I am sure the budget can provide evidence for if necessary, so I have no economic entries 
  3. I have no editorial responsibilities, nor do I write fact checks

done_all 4b marked as Fully compliant by Paolo Attivissimo.

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

Pagella Politica
25-May-2017 (2 years ago)
Paolo Attivissimo Assessor
25-May-2017 (2 years ago)

Readers are actively invited to contact the signatory via a form at https://pagellapolitica.it/contattaci.


done_all 4c marked as Fully compliant by Paolo Attivissimo.

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.

Paolo Attivissimo Assessor
25-May-2017 (2 years ago)

https://pagellapolitica.it/progetto/index describes in detail its methodology and the criteria for selecting a claim to fact-check. It also provides a method for reporting errors: reports are to be posted in the comments section of the fact-check to which they refer.

https://pagellapolitica.it/metodologia provides some details of the rating criteria and a disclaimer regarding the statistics for each politician who has been fact-checked.


done_all 5a marked as Fully compliant by Paolo Attivissimo.

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.

Pagella Politica
25-May-2017 (2 years ago)
Paolo Attivissimo Assessor
25-May-2017 (2 years ago)

Readers can submit claims at https://pagellapolitica.it/dichiarazioni/submit. This link is clearly indicated in the home page of the site and the form to which it links provides clear and detailed instructions on the content to include in a claim to be submitted. https://pagellapolitica.it/progetto/index clarifies which claims can be fact-checked.


done_all 5b marked as Fully compliant by Paolo Attivissimo.

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.

Paolo Attivissimo Assessor
25-May-2017 (2 years ago)

There is no formal public corrections policy, but at https://pagellapolitica.it/progetto/index, item 6 states that readers can leave a comment to submit corrections and that the corrections will be reviewed.


done 6a marked as Partially compliant by Paolo Attivissimo.

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

Pagella Politica
25-May-2017 (2 years ago)

All of our corrections (with detailed explanation) are listed here - https://pagellapolitica.it/blog/show/50/quando-i-fact-checker-sbagliano

Paolo Attivissimo Assessor
25-May-2017 (2 years ago)

done_all 6b marked as Fully compliant by Paolo Attivissimo.

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.