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 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 recognized in Sweden as a well-known fact-checking entity part of the newspaper Metro. It has won several awards for innovative journalism, and is often used as a source in Swedish media.
Even though this initiative is a true fact-checking initiative, there were several of the criteria for IFCN that was not met, see short reports in the provided checklist. The website did not provide a list of authors, no biographies, and no corrections policy. Furthermore, as the ownership of Metro has shifted very recently, it is unclear to readers who owns Metro and there are no key figures or indications of what funding that might be involved in the initiative. This is also quite hard to come across even if you are an experienced Googler.
However, it is very clear that Viralgranskaren belongs to Metro, and therefore my remarks have more to do with the general policy of Metro and it's website, rather than the specific fact-checking initiative Viralgranskaren.
I would recommend that Viralgranskaren can be verified as part of IFCN, but from the perspective of the news consumer the website would benefit from providing the missing criteria.