TjekDet.dk

Organization: TjekDet.dk
Applicant: Thomas Hedin
Assessor: Ester Appelgren
Conclusion and recommendations
on 05-May-2019 (1 year ago)

Ester Appelgren wrote:

The applicant is fully or partially compliant except for two criteria. The initiative is impressive, important and very accessible!

I recommend two edits: That the applicant creates a separate corrections policy, and that the actual process of fact checking is described in more detail in the about section.

on 05-May-2019 (1 year ago)

Ester Appelgren 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.

Ester Appelgren Assessor
05-May-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The applicant clearly states both in the application and on it's website that it belongs to the media house Mandag Morgen, owned by Altinget. This media house is part of Rasmus Nielsen Hodling Aps.


done_all 1a marked as Fully compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

Ester Appelgren Assessor
05-May-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Claims are often supported or rejected in a separate box that stands out from the text in the story. Additionally, at times, the truth or false verdict is revealed already in the story headline.

Actually, claims are rarely supported, but rather rejected on a scale of false to in-between alternatives such as "not for certain", "not documented" or "deceptive". A few stories are built around a more vague claim that is debated rather than distinctly assessed as true or false. 

During the past three months, the applicant has published around three articles per week.


done_all 1b marked as Fully compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

TjekDet.dk
15-Apr-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

TjekDet.dk is a part of the established weekly magazine Mandag Morgen (Monday Morning) which follows the press ethical rules in Denmark. English translation here: http://www.pressenaevnet.dk/press-ethical-rules/

These rules states that yt is the duty of the media to publish information correctly and promptly, Information which may be prejudicial or insulting or detract from the respect in which individuals should be held shall be very closely examined before publication, attacks and replies should, where this is reasonable, be published together and in the same way, a clear distinction shall be drawn between factual information and comments, the form and content of headlines and subheadlines shall be substantiated by the article or publication in question, incorrect information shall be corrected on the editors’ own initiative etc.

Also, as a verified signatory of IFCN from april 2018-april 2019 the site has followed the IFCN code of conduct.

In order to protect sources to a fact check it is always up for consideration whether the sources should be refered to by name. This in order to protect a source that might not be aware of the consequences of a statement etc.

TjekDet especially focus on claims on social media, which have been shared substantially. Therefore, statements not only come from politicians or other prominent decisionmakers, but people with a many followers on social media.

TjekDet must always only seek claims that have broad attention and in that way be a politically balanced media, where factcheck-articles never express an opinion.

TjekDets factchecking is always based on science based facts/documentation. At least two researchers must evaluate a clame – except where this is not possible because of lack of scientists within the field of the factcheck.

The source to a claim is always contacted and asked for comments – offered to respond.

EX 1:

Scientists kill absurd claim: Cyclists do not contribute 513 billion euro. https://www.mm.dk/tjekdet/artikel/forskere-afliver-absurd-paastand-cyklister-bidrager-ikke-med-513-mia-euro 
(Translated: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=da&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mm.dk%2Ftjekdet%2Fartikel%2Fforskere-afliver-absurd-paastand-cyklister-bidrager-ikke-med-513-mia-euro)

EX 2:

More than 11,000 citizens are concerned, but 5G hardly leads to complete sterility https://www.mm.dk/tjekdet/artikel/flere-end-11000-borgere-er-bekymrede-men-5g-foerer-naeppe-til-komplet-sterilitet
(Translated: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=da&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mm.dk%2Ftjekdet%2Fartikel%2Fflere-end-11000-borgere-er-bekymrede-men-5g-foerer-naeppe-til-komplet-sterilitet&sandbox=1)

EX 3:

Does 76,400 people live in a parallel society in Denmark? We do not know (still) https://www.mm.dk/tjekdet/artikel/lever-76400-i-et-parallelsamfund-i-danmark-det-ved-vi-stadigvaek-ikke
(Translated: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=da&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mm.dk%2Ftjekdet%2Fartikel%2Flever-76400-i-et-parallelsamfund-i-danmark-det-ved-vi-stadigvaek-ikke)

EX 4:

For the 17th time, the MFR vaccine does not increase children's risk of developing autism https://www.mm.dk/tjekdet/artikel/for-17-gang-mfr-vaccinen-oeger-ikke-boerns-risiko-for-at-udvikle-autisme
(Translated: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=da&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mm.dk%2Ftjekdet%2Fartikel%2Ffor-17-gang-mfr-vaccinen-oeger-ikke-boerns-risiko-for-at-udvikle-autisme)

EX 5:

Neither this time research shows that much sleep is dangerous https://www.mm.dk/tjekdet/artikel/heller-ikke-denne-gang-viser-forskning-at-meget-soevn-er-farligt
(Translated: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=da&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mm.dk%2Ftjekdet%2Fartikel%2Fheller-ikke-denne-gang-viser-forskning-at-meget-soevn-er-farligt)

EX 6:

The Minister of Commerce decorates the Tour's popularity with unlikely high ratings https://www.mm.dk/tjekdet/artikel/erhvervsminister-pynter-paa-tourens-popularitet-med-usandsynligt-hoeje-seertal
(Translated: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=da&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mm.dk%2Ftjekdet%2Fartikel%2Ferhvervsminister-pynter-paa-tourens-popularitet-med-usandsynligt-hoeje-seertal)

EX 7:

Is the EU right in saying that Denmark is Europe's largest garbage collection? https://www.mm.dk/tjekdet/artikel/har-eu-ret-i-at-danmark-er-europas-stoerste-skraldesynder
(Translated: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=da&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mm.dk%2Ftjekdet%2Fartikel%2Fhar-eu-ret-i-at-danmark-er-europas-stoerste-skraldesynder)

EX 8:

Has the difference in life expectancy between the high and low educated increased or decreased? https://www.mm.dk/tjekdet/artikel/er-forskellen-i-levealder-mellem-de-hoejt-og-lavtuddannede-steget-eller-faldet
(Translated: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=da&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mm.dk%2Ftjekdet%2Fartikel%2Fer-forskellen-i-levealder-mellem-de-hoejt-og-lavtuddannede-steget-eller-faldet)

EX 9:

Record numbers of foreigners emigrate - but we do not know where they went https://www.mm.dk/tjekdet/artikel/15670-
(Translated: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=da&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mm.dk%2Ftjekdet%2Fartikel%2F15670-)

EX 10:

The border control has seized two firearms - they just can't shoot https://www.mm.dk/tjekdet/artikel/graensekontrollen-har-beslaglagt-to-skydevaaben-de%C2%A0kan-bare-ikke-skyde
(Translated: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=da&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mm.dk%2Ftjekdet%2Fartikel%2Fgraensekontrollen-har-beslaglagt-to-skydevaaben-de%25C2%25A0kan-bare-ikke-skyde)



Ester Appelgren Assessor
05-May-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

During the past three months, a wide variety of topics have been covered by the applicant, ranging from politics and religion to food and manipulated images. The fact-checks are often focused on Denmark, but do also include international topics.

The applicant demonstrates an impressive ability to include statistics and use scientists as sources to support or falsify a claim. In the application, TjekDet.dk explains that the topics are chosen due to their popularity on social media. Thus the news value for selecting a story is determined by the users on social media and there is thus a risk of one-sided topics, but TjekDet.dk complies with the criterion because of that stories are selected depending on popularity in social media. Thus, they are selected because of a significant need for fact-checking to serve the society.

Not all stories follow the exact same structure (therefore they are on the verge to get Partially compliant for this criterion).

Also, not all stories distinctly establish a clear true-or-false status, but that is only natural as some claims are not yet possible to accept or reject. This is in particular the case if you rely on scientists, who rarely want to fully reject a claim until substantial evidence has been gathered to reject it. In this context, I believe the applicant does a particularly good job in explaining that the world is not black and white.


done_all 2a marked as Fully compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

TjekDet.dk
15-Apr-2019 (1 year ago)

Being part of the established weekly magazine Mandag Morgen (Monday Morning) TjekDet is following the press ethical rules in Denmark. English translation here: http://www.pressenaevnet.dk/press-ethical-rules/

Freedomhouse.org states the Danish press as free. "Freedom of speech is protected in Section 77 of the constitution, and the government generally respects this right in practice. However, legal restrictions exist for libel, blasphemy, and racism. Discussions about removing legal restrictions for blasphemy continued at the start of the year, but in March 2015 Denmark confirmed that it would keep its antiblasphemy law in place."

https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-press/2016/denmark

Denmark continued its position as one of the few success stories in an era in which global media freedom is coming increasingly under threat, says a new report by Reporters Without Borders (RSF). https://rsf.org/en/ranking/2017#

All employees are subject to the following ethical guidelines in their employment contract:

Hability and integrity

The employees of Altinget (owner of Mandag Morgen/TjekDet) must act in such a way that their independence and integrity can not be questioned.

This means avoiding mixing work-related tasks and private relationships. Therefore, membership of parties, associations and organizations, as well as certain private-sector investments, may be incompatible with some assignments. Talk to your leader if you are in doubt.

Social Media

Social media is both a natural part of most people's private life and working life, and it can be difficult to distinguish when acting as an employee and an individual. Employees should therefore always act on social media carefully so that it does not harm the ability to perform their work.

Gifts

Employees may not receive gifts, services or similar from sources, customers, collaborators and others for reasons of habituity. Except for this, gifts in minor size and gifts of a natural size in connection with birthdays, anniversaries and similar.

Ester Appelgren Assessor
05-May-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

During this time for assessment, I have not found evidence suggesting that the applicant takes sides in terms of a specific political party, or policy positions outside of the boundaries of the fact-checking genre.

The applicant states that their staff are encouraged not to be actively involved in political parties, organizations or have own stakes in companies that may compromise their compliance with journalistic ethical rules. But I have not found evidence for that the staff is clearly advised against not doing so. Rather, it seems to be advised not to mix the private matters with the professional, and the staff is encouraged to seek guidance from their managers when in doubt. This vague policy is the reason for why I believe they are partially compliant.



done 2b marked as Partially compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

TjekDet.dk
15-Apr-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago


Ester Appelgren Assessor
05-May-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

There are always sources in the published stories, and they are sometimes directly linked to. If not linked, they are quite easy to find using Google. Experts such as scientists are almost always consulted and nicely presented with their image and a mini bio.
I did not find a specific "source policy" but the work process including how the applicant use sources, is explained in the about section of the website https://www.mm.dk/tjekdet/artikel/omtjekdet 


done_all 3a marked as Fully compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

TjekDet.dk
15-Apr-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Mission, list of sources of funding, code of conduct are listed here: https://www.mm.dk/tjekdet/artikel/omtjekdet
(Translated: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=da&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mm.dk%2Ftjekdet%2Fartikel%2Fomtjekdet)

TjekDet is a section of Mandag Morgen which is clearly stated on the website - even in the logo.

Ester Appelgren Assessor
05-May-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

There is a clear statement of ownership on the website. Furthermore the applicant transparently reveals that it has received funding and that it accepts donations.

I could not find an overview of spendings, but as the applicant is a fact-checking section of a media house, this is not needed for full compliance. 


done_all 4a marked as Fully compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

TjekDet.dk
15-Apr-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

List of authors and editor in chief are listed here - includes bios: https://www.mm.dk/tjekdet/artikel/kontakt-redaktionen
(Translated: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=da&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mm.dk%2Ftjekdet%2Fartikel%2Fkontakt-redaktionen)

Sometimes TjekDet also gets editorial contributions from the permanent staff of the weekly magazine Mandag Morgen. Possible contributors are listed here - including bios: https://www.mm.dk/artikel/medarbejdere (see section "Media").(Translated: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=da&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mm.dk%2Fartikel%2Fmedarbejdere)



Ester Appelgren Assessor
05-May-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The authors are clearly listed and have bios. On each story their photo and a link to the bio is provided. If an author from outside of Tjekdet publishes within the initiative, this is clearly accounted for, and you can find their bio and image. 


done_all 4b marked as Fully compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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

Ester Appelgren Assessor
05-May-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Stories include a comment field, and links to the applicant's social media outlets (where the reader obviously can interact with the applicant). There is also a special page for submitting claims as suggestions for future fact checks. On each reporter's bio, contact details are provided.

However, there is no explicit call for contact or an indication on how to complain in close proximity to the stories. Therefore, due to that there is no direct address or call for contact, I believe the applicant is in between fully compliant and partially compliant.


done 4c marked as Partially compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

Ester Appelgren Assessor
05-May-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The mission of TjekDet.dk and the precautions taken to be compliant with the IFCN and the Danish journalists' ethical guidelines are explained in an accessible and very clear manner in the about section.

However, the actual process of how journalists go about when fact checking claims is not. For example, it would be very nice to see a process consisting of several steps on how a claim is assessed by the applicant. It could start with the moment a claim is selected, move on to give examples of journalistic verification processes, how sources are used in the story, how the story is composed and finally ready for publication, including also the process of when a corrections policy comes into play. Partly this information is already provided but not in a very logical order for the audience member that is not familiar with fact checking.


cancel 5a marked as Non compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

TjekDet.dk
15-Apr-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Readers are mainly encouraged to send us tips via Facebook https://www.facebook.com/tjekdetdk/ and Twitter. But there is also a tip us page at https://www.mm.dk/tjekdet/artikel/tjekdettip (Google translated: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=da&sl=da&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mm.dk%2Ftjekdet%2Fartikel%2Ftjekdettip)

Ester Appelgren Assessor
05-May-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

There is a section on the website for submitting claims, and the applicant clearly states what readers can expect from Tjekdet.dk in terms of the claim getting selected for fact checking.


done_all 5b marked as Fully compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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.

TjekDet.dk
15-Apr-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Corrections policy is stated here: https://www.mm.dk/tjekdet/artikel/omtjekdet
(Translated: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=da&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mm.dk%2Ftjekdet%2Fartikel%2Fomtjekdet)

Excerpts from the page: 

"We bring rectification of incorrect messages on our own initiative as soon as we become aware of errors of importance in the articles where they are included. Corrections must be clearly stated in the article.

It is also standard procedure that such errors of importance must be emphasized on TjekDet's external platforms - for example on social media."

Ester Appelgren Assessor
05-May-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

There is no separate public corrections policy available. At the end of the about section there is a generic description on how the applicant handles corrections.

Mandag Morgen has a very nice and accessible section about journalistic ethics, however it differs in style and content from the about section of TjekDet.dk. This is in order, but I did not find anything explicit about corrections in the ethical policy of Mandag Morgen. Therefore, the applicant is non compliant for this criteria. I recommend that TjekDet.dk create a short but accessible corrections policy, perhaps it can be linked to from the about section. Even better if Mandag Morgen also creates one, but that is not a must.


cancel 6a marked as Non compliant by Ester Appelgren.

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

TjekDet.dk
15-Apr-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

We have had only a few corrections:

In this article the following correction was made: https://www.mm.dk/tjekdet/artikel/det-er-faktisk-slet-ikke-ualmindeligt-at-erklaere-usa-i-undtagelsestilstand

"The article has been updated to make it clear that President Donald Trump has declared the United States in state of emergency and not imposition of martial law".

In this article the following correction was made: https://www.mm.dk/tjekdet/artikel/vandt-broendby-grundspillet-i-superligaen-med-dommernes-hjaelp

"This article cannot be seen as a fact check as we originally presented it to be. We unreservedly acknowledge this. The article does contain a section in which a clear reservation is made of what concerns the method used for the review of the claim. But since this is an assessment of several possible outcomes of situations, the article cannot be categorized as a fact check, but rather a perspective on the claim stated. Hence, we have removed a sentence that concludes that Rasmus Ankersen's claim is incorrect. We apologize for the error.

In this article the following correction was added: https://www.mm.dk/tjekdet/artikel/er-antallet-af-migranter-i-eu-faldet-til-gladsaxe-niveau

"It is clarified that Eurostat statistics for asylum seekers are provisional".



Ester Appelgren Assessor
05-May-2019 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Articles are corrected and this is transparently accounted for. Corrections are not listed on a specific page but on the same page as the story.

Since there is no clear public correction policy but a rather vague one, the manner of displaying the corrections are consistent with the "policy".


done_all 6b marked as Fully compliant by Ester Appelgren.