Applicant: Åsa Larsson
Assessor: Ester Appelgren
Edits made by the organization after this assessment
IFCN Staff wrote:
Viralgranskaren have now tried to increase transparency and clarify how readers find information about how we work.
To make it happen, from now on, we will have a fact box at the end of each new fact-checking article. There it says how readers come in contact with us and that we follow the Swedish guidelines for publishers and IFCN:s code of principles.
We also link to a more detailed "About Viralgranskaren" article where we present our staff and additional guidelines.
Here is a link to an article that contains the fact box in the end:
Here is a link to the article "About Viralgranskaren”:
The article ”About Viralgranskaren” can also be found in the top menu on Metro.se.
From the assessor:
With the new fact box, Viralgranskaren now meet almost all of the criteria for the IFCN. Following the links in the Fact box, there is easy access to contact Viralgranskaren through Facebook and Twitter with suggestions for stories that readers want fact checked. However, I strongly recommend to add the Fact Box to each new fact check and even to the old ones if possible.
There is a link to the Swedish guidelines for journalists available at the webpage of the union for journalists in Sweden. Short methodology can be found following the last link and there is also a list of active authors to articles, and short bios are given. In regard of Viralgranskaren’s policy on preventing their staff from direct involvement in political parties and advocacy organizations I think it is sufficient with the link to the ethical guidelines for Swedish journalists, however, for the future renewal I strongly recommend Viralgranskaren to come with their own policy, especially considering that the Swedish code of conduct is not clear on (1)expressing political views publicly and (2) being member of a political party.
Conclusion and recommendations
Ester Appelgren wrote:
Viralgranskaren does not meet all the criteria of the IFCN, see previous assessment, as the same criteria is not met:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-dqYAuRL4RxTTczd3hoLWRodFk/view This is also shortly commented on below with recommendations on how to solve the insufficiencies.
As previously stated, the initiative is a well known fact-checking initiative in Sweden, and a part of the metro.se website. It is clear to the news consumer that this initiative belongs to Metro, but the Swedish guidelines for publishers is not generally something the audience is aware of.
Clarifications, in order for the audience to easily understand how Viralgranskaren works when fact-checking stories, selecting stories, and with ethical rules and general publishing guidelines should be more transparently explained, especially since such transparency is becoming standard in more recent fact-checking initiatives around the world.
I recommend that the initiative is approved subject to edits, see comments below.