VRT NWS

Organization: VRT NWS
Applicant: Luc van Bakel
Assessor: Henk van Ess

Background

Belgian public broadcaster VRT, also known as the Flemish Radio and Television Broadcasting Organization, is based in Flanders. They are seeking IFCN certification for the first time.

Assessment Conclusion

VRT is transparent in their process of verification and allows the public to comment. Not every week a story is published. There are gaps in fact checks between March 15, 2022 and March 24, 2022, and between June 3, 2022 and June 11, 2022. VRT will try to meet the criterion of weekly fact checks from now on. The output, published in "Desinformatie" is confusing. VRT does not just publish fact checks, but includes all kinds of articles that are in the same area, but technically not a traditional fact check, like news articles, all columns of their Ombudsman about journalism, an investigative story, a historical summary on fact checks or explainers (why is something happening). It would be helpful if the "traditional checks" were labelled a bit more clearly. VRT promised to do so. 


on 18-Jul-2022 (6 months ago)

Henk van Ess assesses application as Compliant

A short summary in native publishing language

De VRT is transparant in hun verificatieproces en laat het publiek commentaar leveren. Niet elke week verschijnt er een verhaal. Er zijn hiaten in factchecks tussen 15 maart 2022 en 24 maart 2022 en tussen 3 juni 2022 en 11 juni 2022. De VRT zal vanaf nu proberen te voldoen aan het criterium van wekelijkse factchecks. De output, gepubliceerd in "Desinformatie", is verwarrend. De VRT publiceert niet alleen factchecks, maar neemt allerlei artikelen op die in hetzelfde gebied liggen, maar technisch gezien geen traditionele factcheck, zoals nieuwsartikelen, alle columns van hun Ombudsman over journalistiek, een onderzoeksverhaal, een historisch feitenoverzicht controles of uitleg (waarom gebeurt er iets). Het zou handig zijn als de "traditionele checks" wat duidelijker zouden worden aangeduid. De VRT belooft dit voortaan te doen.

Section 1: Eligibility to be a signatory

To be eligible to be a signatory, applicants must meet these six criteria

  • 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.
  • 1.2 The team, unit or organization is set up exclusively for the purpose of fact-checking.
  • 1.3 The applicant has published an average of at least one fact check a week over the course of the six months prior to the date of application. For applicants from countries with at least 5 or more verified signatories need to have at least a fact check a week over the twelve months of publishing track. Consult to factchecknet@poynter.org for confirmation.
  • 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.
  • 1.5 The applicant’s editorial output is not, in the view of the IFCN, controlled by the state, a political party or politician.
  • 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.

Criteria 1.1
Proof you meet criteria
Please explain where on your website you set out information about your organization’s legal status and how this complies with criteria. Attach a link to the relevant page of your website.

VRT NWS
06-May-2022 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

The check team is a separate unit of VRT NWS, the news department of the Flemish Radio and Television (VRT).

It is a team of journalists that deals with disinformation, fact checking, online fraud and data journalism.

More information:

- About VRT NWS in general:

https://www.vrt.be/nl/aanbod/vrt-nieuws

- About the Check unit:

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2022/03/16/hoe-werkt-de-check-redactie-van-vrt-nws/

- About complaint policy:

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2022/03/16/vragen-of-opmerkingen-bij-factchecks/

https://www.vrt.be/en/about-vrt/organisation/legislative-framework/

- About: The Flemish Radio- and Television Network Organisation (VRT)

https://www.vrt.be/en/about-vrt/organisation/legislative-framework/

Henk van Ess Assessor
17-Jul-2022 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

In Flanders, Belgium, the Flemish Radio and Television Broadcasting Organization, abbreviated VRT, is the public broadcaster for radio and television. Founded by the Flemish government and financed with tax revenue and its own income, it is a public limited liability company.


done_all 1.1 marked as Compliant by Henk van Ess.

Criteria 1.2
Proof you meet criteria
Please answer the following questions – (see notes in Guidelines for Application on how to answer)

 1. When and why was your fact-checking operation started?
 2. How many people work or volunteer in the organization and what are their roles?
 3. What different activities does your organization carry out?
 4. What are the goals of your fact-checking operation over the coming year?

VRT NWS
06-May-2022 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

1. The VRT NWS 'disinformation cell' was established in 2019 as an attempt to address the growing problem of disinformation in the Flemish public sphere (in Flemish online media). Since 2020, the VRT NWS website also includes a separate 'check' page to highlight our fact checking efforts.

2. Our fact checking team consists of 6 people.

Luc van Bakel - Coordinator

Jef Cauwenberghs- Fact checker

Dorien Vanmeldert - Fact checker

Rien Emmery - Fact checker

Amra Dorjbayar - Fact checker/data-journalist

Tim Verheyden - journalist

VRT NWS has 200 journalists.

3. VRT is the Flemish Public Broadcast Organisation.

VRT has a broad brand portfolio for which it is autonomously responsible. Each brand addresses a specific target group or a specific domain. Information, culture and education are core tasks. More info: Aanbod | VRT.be

These brands broadcast on various platforms, including five radio stations, two television channels, online and on various social media platforms.

https://www.vrt.be/en/our-content-/

VRT NWS is the news department of VRT and covers daily news and investigative stories on all of the channels and platforms mentioned.

https://www.vrt.be/en/our-content-/brand-vrt-nieuws/

The fact check team is a unit of VRT NWS.

website: www.vrtnws.be or https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/rubrieken/desinformatie/

The annual report of VRT gives an insight in the activities of the public broadcaster :

https://www.vrt.be/nl/over-de-vrt/prestaties/jaarverslag/

4. Our main goals for the coming year:

-We have ‘traditional’ fact checks on our website (text). We want to translate the check formula to new formats, usable for video, social media like Tiktok & Instagram, YouTube.

-We want to apply our checks to the places where the disinformation on the topic is circulating, especially to online channels for young people.

-We want to develop new video (short form video) and audio (podcast) formats.

-We want to bring more fact checks if possible.

-Expand cooperation with national & international partners. 

Henk van Ess Assessor
17-Jul-2022 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Disinformation is a segment of VRT that differs from most other fact checkers on IFCN. There are seven types of stories published under "Desinformatie". In 2.1, the categories are listed..



done_all 1.2 marked as Compliant by Henk van Ess.

Criteria 1.3
Proof you meet criteria
- The applicant has published an average of at least one fact check a week over the course of the six months prior to the date of application.
- For applicants from countries with at least 5 or more verified signatories need to have at least a fact check a week over the twelve months of publishing track.
- Consult to factchecknet@poynter.org for confirmation.

VRT NWS
06-May-2022 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

Spreadsheet with fact checks of the last six months is added. It shows the fact checks published with an average of at least one a week. You’ll also find other articles about fake news and disinformation and international cooperation in investigative stories about disinformation.


Files Attached
description spreadsheet checks .... (15 KB)
Henk van Ess Assessor
17-Jul-2022 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

There are gaps in fact checks between March 15, 2022 and March 24, 2022, and between June 3, 2022 and June 11, 2022, even with the inclusion of "other recent news articles about disinformation" (but not the traditional check-formula)". VRT reported 33 regular fact checks between October 10 2021 and April 27, 2022. It would be helpful if the "traditional checks" were labelled a bit more clearly. News articles about conspiracies are placed in the same section as fact checking.


done_all 1.3 marked as Compliant by Henk van Ess.

Criteria 1.4
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will assess compliance through a review of the fact checks published over the previous three months. No additional information required.

VRT NWS
06-May-2022 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

Spreadsheet with fact checks of the last six months is added. More info:

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/rubrieken/desinformatie/check/


Henk van Ess Assessor
17-Jul-2022 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Fact checks are mostly done by VRT for a broad audience. VRT says this is their policy. "Rather than 'just' reaching 5,000 people, we're looking at claims that reach 100,000."


done_all 1.4 marked as Compliant by Henk van Ess.

Criteria 1.5
Proof you meet criteria
Please explain any commercial, financial and/or institutional relationship your organization has to the state, politicians or political parties in the country or countries you cover. Also explain funding or support received from foreign as well as local state or political actors over the previous financial year.

VRT NWS
06-May-2022 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

The Flemish Media decree states that the news room of the national channel can work autonomously. This includes both a news content autonomy vis-a-vis the government AND autonomy in relation to the company’s management. The management and the board of directors have no impact on the journalistic decisions made in the news room. This autonomy has been officially confirmed in a news room manifesto. (Art 29 of the Flemish Media Decree.)

Art. 179 of the Flemish Media decree also stipulates that the broadcasting company can refuse any functional rules that would infringe upon its editorial autonomy.

More info: https://www.vlaamseregulatormedia.be/sites/default/files/mediadecreet_27_maart_2009_22_versie_20210804bis.pdf

Deontological code of the news departement: The deontology of the news service is based on value accuracy, impartiality and good faith. These values ​​have been elaborated in the code of ethics and the editorial manifesto that guarantee the independence of the news service.

More info: https://www.vrt.be/nl/over-de-vrt/beleid/beroepsethiek/deontologische-code-en-redactiestatuut/

The editorial manifesto affirms that the chief editor must defend the autonomy of the editorial board within the company and against any outside pressure. The chief editor should be mandated by an editorial board, democratically elected among the members of the editorial board. This council also has the power to revoke the mandate of the chief editor.

More info: https://www.vrt.be/nl/over-de-vrt/beleid/beroepsethiek/deontologische-code-en-redactiestatuut/

About the funding of VRT and VRT NWS:

The Flemish government grants VRT an annual financial envelope. This is laid down in a media decree.

More information:

https://www.vrt.be/nl/over-de-vrt/financien/financieel-kader/

https://www.vrt.be/nl/over-de-vrt/financien/financieringspijlers/

Twelve members of the Board of Directors are appointed by the Flemish Government. In doing so, it takes into account the proportional representation of the political parties in the Flemish Parliament. The remuneration of the members of the board of directors has been published since 2014 in the annual report of the VRT.

https://www.vrt.be/nl/over-de-vrt/organisatie/raad-van-bestuur/bezoldiging-raad-van-bestuur/

The managing director and the executive board are jointly responsible for the operational policy of the VRT. The public broadcasting company publishes the wages of its managing director and the total amount in wages of its board of directors.

https://www.vrt.be/nl/over-de-vrt/organisatie/directie/bezoldiging-gedelegeerd-bestuurder-en-directiecollege/

Henk van Ess Assessor
17-Jul-2022 (6 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

VRT will receive a total subsidy of 163,710 euros from the Belgian government (Benedmo) + invests 54.570 euro own resources, spread over three years (until March 2024). That money will be divided roughly 50/50 between the VRT Innovation Department and the VRT NWS fact check cell.

Within the Benedmo project, VRT is responsible for "communication, training & outreach". This includes building the project's website and organising a conference in September 2022. To make this more clear they added an extra paragraph about partnerships on this page: https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2022/03/16/vragen-of-opmerkingen-bij-factchecks/.

VRT referred to a Flemish media-decree in their application that was not applicable. It was article 180§3 and not article 179 as mentioned in the application: "Functionalities that infringe on the editorial autonomy and responsibility of the television broadcasters concerned can always be refused." 

Files Attached
2022-07-17_16-33-16.... (426 KB) 2022-07-17_16-33-16.... (426 KB)
done_all 1.5 marked as Compliant by Henk van Ess.

Criteria 1.6
Proof you meet criteria
If you confirmed the organization receives funding from local or foreign state or political sources, provide a link to where on your website you set out how you ensure the editorial independence of your work.

VRT NWS
06-May-2022 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

The deontology of VRT NWS is based on values of accuracy, impartiality and good faith.

- These values are elaborated in the code of ethics and editorial manifesto that guarantee the independence of the news service.

More information: https://www.vrt.be/nl/over-de-vrt/beleid/beroepsethiek/deontologische-code-en-redactiestatuut/

-The VRT NWS puts the public interest first, applies a clear journalistic deontology and is editorially independent. Content considerations are paramount in the selection and presentation of news items and other journalistic content.

More information: https://www.vrt.be/nl/over-de-vrt/opdracht/kernopdrachten/onafhankelijk-nieuws-en-informatie/

Henk van Ess Assessor
17-Jul-2022 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Their internal rules require the editor-in-chief to be informed of any internal or external pressure. Journalists must inform the editor-in-chief immediately when under pressure.


done_all 1.6 marked as Compliant by Henk van Ess.

Section 2: A commitment to Non-partisanship and Fairness

To be compliant on nonpartisanship and fairness, applicants must meet these five criteria

  • 2.1 The applicant fact-checks using the same high standards of evidence and judgement for equivalent claims regardless of who made the claim.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Criteria 2.1
Proof you meet criteria
Please share links to 10 fact checks published over the past year that you believe demonstrate your non-partisanship.
Please briefly explain how the fact checks selected show that (I) you use the same high standards of evidence for equivalent claims, (II) follow the same essential process for every fact check and (III) let the evidence dictate your conclusions.

VRT NWS
06-May-2022 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

1) https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2022/03/25/check-neen-johnson-werd-niet-bewust-genegeerd-op-navo-top/

2) https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2022/03/23/check-keuken-raket/

3) https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2022/02/24/oorlog-op-social-media-opgelet-voor-de-vele-fake-beelden/

4) https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2022/03/09/check-neen-macron-kreeg-geen-inzinking-na-telefoongesprek-met/

5) https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2021/10/15/check-oversterfte/

6) https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2022/01/24/relschoppers/

7) https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2021/12/24/geen-cst-voor-kinderen/

8) https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2022/01/17/foto-van-amazoneman-is-niet-tien-jaar-oud/

9) https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2022/01/24/myocarditis-en-coronavaccins/

10) https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2021/08/24/check-zevende-dag/

11) https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2021/12/22/er-zijn-wel-degelijk-studies/

12) https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2021/11/17/check-neen-een-vader-en-zijn-kind-worden-hier-niet-weggestuurd/

Every article we publish follows the same basic structure: We start with a clear claim. Then we explain the steps we took to investigate that assertion. Finally, we draw a conclusion. Learn more about how we do that here:

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2022/03/16/hoe-werkt-de-check-redactie-van-vrt-nws/

In the list above you’ll find checks that we believe demonstrate our non-partisanship:

- Broad political spectrum

- Topics on Europe/ Brexit/ Russia/Ukraïene/ ...

- Scientists/alternative scientists,

- Own or other media,

- Official authorities

We use the same methods for every check as mentioned in the link above.  

Henk van Ess Assessor
17-Jul-2022 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

The VRT says that every article "follows the same basic structure: we start with a clear claim. We explain the steps we took to investigate that assertion. We conclude with a conclusion." It seems that VRT files away all articles that have to do with fact checking under Desinformatie, even if they don't follow the format described.

The way of link checking was unclear. VRT added extra information on their 'how we check - page'. "Fact Checks always have a clear label 'Check' otherwise it's not a fact check. Besides that we write articles about.... " https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2022/03/16/hoe-werkt-de-check-redactie-van-vrt-nws/ (paragraph 'what is fact checking?’)


done_all 2.1 marked as Compliant by Henk van Ess.

Criteria 2.2
Proof you meet criteria
Please share a link to a place on your website where you explain how you select claims to check, explaining how you ensure you do not unduly concentrate your fact-checking on any one side, and how you consider the reach and importance of the claims you select to check.

VRT NWS
06-May-2022 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

-These articles explain what we check and how we proceed..

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2022/03/16/hoe-werkt-de-check-redactie-van-vrt-nws/

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2022/03/16/vragen-of-opmerkingen-bij-factchecks/

-You’ll find these articles standard on our Check-page: https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/rubrieken/desinformatie/check/

-VRT NWS puts the public interest first, applies a clear journalistic deontology and is editorially independent. Content considerations are paramount in the selection and presentation of news items and other journalistic content.

More information: https://www.vrt.be/nl/over-de-vrt/opdracht/kernopdrachten/onafhankelijk-nieuws-en-informatie/

Henk van Ess Assessor
17-Jul-2022 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

This is documented in great detail by VRT. Among the criteria for checking out something and not checking it out are:

It must be based on verifiable information, be current, and reach a wide audience.

The allegation is controversial: some doubt its accuracy.

It is relevant. Whether or not it is true, it must make a (social) difference. Does it pose a health risk, for example? Is it discrediting individuals or groups?

Currently relevant and important. It is not relevant to watch trends or make predictions. 



done_all 2.2 marked as Compliant by Henk van Ess.

Criteria 2.3
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will assess compliance through a review of the fact checks published over the previous year. No additional information required.

VRT NWS
06-May-2022 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

Factcheckpage: https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/rubrieken/desinformatie/check/

Spreadsheet with fact checks of the last six months is added (Criteria 1.3). 

Henk van Ess Assessor
17-Jul-2022 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

It would be great if VRT allowed users to view older articles via their own web interface and allows to search for specific articles from the fact check section only.e.


done_all 2.3 marked as Compliant by Henk van Ess.

Criteria 2.4
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will assess compliance through a review of the fact checks published over the previous year. No additional information required.

VRT NWS
06-May-2022 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

Factcheckpage: https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/rubrieken/desinformatie/check/

Spreadsheet with fact checks of the last six months is added (Criteria 1.3). 

Henk van Ess Assessor
17-Jul-2022 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Online, we only could view fact checks from May 20th on via https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/rubrieken/desinformatie/check/. With the VRT spreadsheet and Google, we got more articles. 


done_all 2.4 marked as Compliant by Henk van Ess.

Criteria 2.5
Proof you meet criteria
Please share a link to a place on your website where you publish a statement setting out your policy on non-partisanship for staff and how it ensures the organization meets this criteria.

VRT NWS
06-May-2022 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

- The deontology of VRT NWS is based on values such as accuracy, impartiality and good faith. These values ​​have been elaborated in the code of ethics and the editorial manifesto that guarantees the independence of the news service.

More information:

https://www.vrt.be/nl/over-de-vrt/beleid/beroepsethiek/deontologische-code-en-redactiestatuut/

- At all times the impartiality of the VRT must be safeguarded. Its principles are contained in “10 Guidelines on Impartiality”.

More information: https://www.vrt.be/nl/over-de-vrt/beleid/beroepsethiek/10-richtlijnen-van-onpartijdigheid-/

- VRT NWS puts the public interest first, maintains a clear journalistic deontology and is editorially independent. Substantive considerations are paramount in the selection and presentation of news and other journalistic content.

More information: https://www.vrt.be/nl/over-de-vrt/opdracht/kernopdrachten/onafhankelijk-nieuws-en-informatie/

- Read more here about an independent study by several universities about the impartiality of VRT NWS: https://www.vrt.be/nl/over-de-vrt/nieuws/2021/02/22/2e-onafhankelijk-onderzoek-naar-onpartijdigheid-toont-aan-de-vr/

- The VRT customer service and the News Ombudsman report each year to the Flemish Ombudsman on their activities and the number of complaints received. That report goes to the Flemish Parliament.

More information:

https://www.vrt.be/nl/over-de-vrt/nieuws/2022/03/07/vrt-klantendienst-zag-aantal-contacten-in-2021-opnieuw-stijgen/

Henk van Ess Assessor
17-Jul-2022 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

The 10 guidelines on impartiality include:

Keep your editorial independence high.

No one is impartial, not even you. Everyone looks at the world through their own glasses. Ask for a second opinion. Discuss your approach and approach with colleagues or engage other expertise.

Vox-pops are not representative of the entire population. Seek different opinions and never present them as that opinion.

Do not always interview the same people. Let someone else speak, someone with a different look. Each time, add context and meaning.

Speakers, experts, analysts get a proper introduction in broadcasts and online. Indicate why you are speaking to this person and outlining his or her background.

Each story has different sides. So let different people speak, especially on controversial topics. Give feedback when needed. If someone comes to tell you that the earth is round, you do not necessarily have to look for someone who believes in a flat earth.



done_all 2.5 marked as Compliant by Henk van Ess.

Section 3: A commitment to Standards and Transparency of Sources

To be compliant on sources, applicants must meet these four criteria

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Criteria 3.1
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the applicant’s use of sources in a randomised sample of its fact checks to assess compliance. No additional evidence is required.

VRT NWS
06-May-2022 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

Factcheckpage: https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/rubrieken/desinformatie/check/

Spreadsheet with fact checks of the last six months is added (Criteria 1.3). 

Henk van Ess Assessor
17-Jul-2022 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

The fact checks do not include a year, just a date. This can become confusing in later years.

Some articles have only a few links, like the 3 links in https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2022/06/24/check-ryanair/

The applicant meets the criterion overall, however.



done_all 3.1 marked as Compliant by Henk van Ess.

Criteria 3.2
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the applicant’s use of sources in a randomised sample of its fact checks to assess compliance. No additional evidence is required.

VRT NWS
06-May-2022 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

Factcheckpage: https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/rubrieken/desinformatie/check/

Spreadsheet with fact checks of the last six months is added (Criteria 1.3). 

Henk van Ess Assessor
17-Jul-2022 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Not all original sources are quoted, but shown as screenshot, f.e.  https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2022/06/24/check-ryanair

Sometimes claims are mentioned without a link to the original source, f.e. https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2022/06/28/check-krementsjoek ) It says:

One of the most recurring claims is that the shopping center would have been closed for several months and therefore 1,000 people could not be present, as President Zelenski communicated. The Russian Ministry of Defense also claims that it is a "non-functioning" shopping center on the Telegram messaging app and wants to make it appear that it did not make any civilian casualties.

There are no links to those claims.

But in general, applicant meets the criterion.



done_all 3.2 marked as Compliant by Henk van Ess.

Criteria 3.3
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the applicant’s use of sources in a randomised sample of its fact checks to assess compliance. No additional evidence is required.

VRT NWS
06-May-2022 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

Factcheckpage: https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/rubrieken/desinformatie/check/

Spreadsheet with fact checks of the last six months is added (Criteria 1.3). 

Henk van Ess Assessor
17-Jul-2022 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

In general, this is done correctly.


done_all 3.3 marked as Compliant by Henk van Ess.

Criteria 3.4
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the applicant’s use of sources in a randomised sample of its fact checks to assess compliance. No additional evidence is required.

VRT NWS
06-May-2022 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

Factcheckpage: https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/rubrieken/desinformatie/check/

Spreadsheet with fact checks of the last six months is added (Criteria 1.3). 

Henk van Ess Assessor
17-Jul-2022 (6 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

We couldn't find any clear bias in the samples we took. 


done_all 3.4 marked as Compliant by Henk van Ess.

Section 4: A commitment to Transparency of Funding & Organization

To be compliant on funding and organization, applicants must meet these five criteria

  • 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).
  • 4.2 Applicants that are the fact-checking section or unit of a media house or other parent organization make a statement on ownership.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 4.5 The applicant provides easy means on its website and/or via social media for users to communicate with the editorial team.

Criteria 4.1
Proof you meet criteria
Please confirm whether you are an ‘independent organization’
or ‘the fact-checking section or unit of a media house or other parent organization’ and share proof of this organizational status.

VRT NWS
06-May-2022 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

- The fact check team of the VRT is a unit of VRT NWS which is part of the Public Broadcasting Company VRT. A ‘who is who’ article you’ll find here:

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2022/03/16/vragen-of-opmerkingen-bij-factchecks/

- VRT (national channel) derives its income from two sources: government funding and its own income.

https://www.vrt.be/nl/over-de-vrt/financien/inkomsten/

- The VRT distinguishes eight financing pillars: https://www.vrt.be/nl/over-de-vrt/financien/financieringspijlers/

- Twelve members of the Board of Directors are appointed by the Flemish Government. In doing so, it takes into account the proportional representation of the political parties in the Flemish Parliament. The remuneration of the members of the board of directors has been published since 2014 in the annual report of the VRT. https://www.vrt.be/nl/over-de-vrt/organisatie/raad-van-bestuur/bezoldiging-raad-van-bestuur/

- The managing director and the executive board are jointly responsible for the operational policy of the VRT. The public broadcasting company publishes the wages of its managing director and the total amount in wages of its board of directors.

https://www.vrt.be/nl/over-de-vrt/organisatie/directie/bezoldiging-gedelegeerd-bestuurder-en-directiecollege/

VRT NWS
09-Aug-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

- The fact check team of the VRT is a unit of VRT NWS which is part of the Public Broadcasting Company VRT. A ‘who is who’ article you’ll find here:

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2022/03/16/vragen-of-opmerkingen-bij-factchecks/

- VRT (national channel) derives its income from two sources: government funding and its own income.

https://www.vrt.be/nl/over-de-vrt/financien/inkomsten/

- The VRT distinguishes eight financing pillars: https://www.vrt.be/nl/over-de-vrt/financien/financieringspijlers/

- Twelve members of the Board of Directors are appointed by the Flemish Government. In doing so, it takes into account the proportional representation of the political parties in the Flemish Parliament. The remuneration of the members of the board of directors has been published since 2014 in the annual report of the VRT. https://www.vrt.be/nl/over-de-vrt/organisatie/raad-van-bestuur/bezoldiging-raad-van-bestuur/

- The managing director and the executive board are jointly responsible for the operational policy of the VRT. The public broadcasting company publishes the wages of its managing director and the total amount in wages of its board of directors.

https://www.vrt.be/nl/over-de-vrt/organisatie/directie/bezoldiging-gedelegeerd-bestuurder-en-directiecollege/

Extra information about fundings: 

- We are partner in the BENEDMO-project, together with numerous Flemish and Dutch partners: https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2021/07/02/edmo/

This project is funded by the European Union: INEA/CEF/ICT/A2020/2381738. (https://benedmo.eu/over-het-project/). VRT will receive a total subsidy of 163.710 euros for this, spread over three years (until March 2024). That money will be divided roughly 50/50 between the VRT Innovation Department and the VRT NWS fact check cell. Within the Benedmo project, VRT is responsible for "communication, training & outreach". This includes building the project's website and organising a conference in September 2022. That task falls to VRT Innovation. In addition, we will make our fact checks available for newsletters and academic research within Benedmo, and we will set up some joint fact check projects across national borders with editorial/journalistic Benedmo partners. That task falls to the factcheck cell of VRT NWS. In the framework of Benedmo, we are also working on setting up an international network (BE and NL) of fact checkers, media companies and academics, in order to exchange know-how about the fight against disinformation. 

Benedmo is mentioned on https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2022/03/16/vragen-of-opmerkingen-bij-factchecks/


Files Attached
picture_as_pdf edmo finance .pdf (413 KB)
Henk van Ess Assessor
17-Jul-2022 (6 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

 Applicant meets criterion now the added extra information about funding at https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2022/03/16/vragen-of-opmerkingen-bij-factchecks/


done_all 4.1 marked as Compliant by Henk van Ess.

Criteria 4.2
Proof you meet criteria
If your organization is an “independent organization”, please share a link to the page on your website where you detail your funding and indicate the legal form in which the organization is registered (e.g. as a non-profit, as a company etc).
If your organization is “the fact-checking section or unit of a media house or other parent organization”, please share a link to the statement on your website about your ownership.

VRT NWS
06-May-2022 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

- The relations between the Flemish Government and the VRT are based on the Media decree and the Management contract:

https://www.vrt.be/en/about-vrt/organisation/legislative-framework

- The fact check team is a unit of the news department of VRT NWS. This is the deontological code: https://www.vrt.be/nl/over-de-vrt/beleid/beroepsethiek/deontologische-code-en-redactiestatuut/

- This is the fact check team and it’s editor in chief (see in the article)

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2022/03/16/vragen-of-opmerkingen-bij-factchecks/

- VRT (public broadcasting company) derives its income from two sources: government funding and its own income.

https://www.vrt.be/nl/over-de-vrt/financien/inkomsten/

-The VRT distinguishes eight financing pillars:

https://www.vrt.be/nl/over-de-vrt/financien/financieringspijlers/

-Twelve members of the Board of Directors are appointed by the Flemish Government. In doing so, it takes into account the proportional representation of the political parties in the Flemish Parliament. The remuneration of the members of the board of directors has been published since 2014 in the annual report of the VRT. https://www.vrt.be/nl/over-de-vrt/organisatie/raad-van-bestuur/bezoldiging-raad-van-bestuur/

-The managing director and the executive board are jointly responsible for the operational policy of the VRT. The public broadcasting company publishes the wages of its managing director and the total amount in wages of its board of directors.

https://www.vrt.be/nl/over-de-vrt/organisatie/directie/bevoegdheden-directie/

https://www.vrt.be/nl/over-de-vrt/organisatie/directie/bezoldiging-gedelegeerd-bestuurder-en-directiecollege/


Henk van Ess Assessor
17-Jul-2022 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

The ownership and the relation to the Belgian government is clearly stated.


done_all 4.2 marked as Compliant by Henk van Ess.

Criteria 4.3
Proof you meet criteria
Please share a link to where on your website you set out your organizational structure, making clear how and by whom editorial control is exercised.

VRT NWS
06-May-2022 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

This link shows the organogram of VRT:

https://www.vrt.be/nl/over-de-vrt/organisatie/organogram/

So the organogram for the fact check team is this:

a) CEO: Frederik Delaplace (Public Broadcast)

b) Director information: Liesbet Vrieleman

c) Editor in chief Griet De Craen

d) Coordinator Fact check Team: Luc van Bakel

e) Fact check team

More info and a video on how the fact check team works: :

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2022/03/16/vragen-of-opmerkingen-bij-factchecks/

Additional:

-The managing director and the executive board are jointly responsible for the operational policy of the VRT.

https://www.vrt.be/nl/over-de-vrt/organisatie/directie/bevoegdheden-directie/

-Twelve members of the Board of Directors are appointed by the Flemish Government. In doing so, it takes into account the proportional representation of the political parties in the Flemish Parliament. The Board of Directors has the following powers:

https://www.vrt.be/nl/over-de-vrt/organisatie/raad-van-bestuur/bevoegdheden-raad-van-bestuur/


VRT NWS
09-Aug-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

This link shows the organogram of VRT:

https://www.vrt.be/nl/over-de-vrt/organisatie/organogram/

This link shows the editorial department that controls the news department including the fact check team:

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/services/hoofdredactie/


So the organogram for the fact check team is this:

a) CEO: Frederik Delaplace (Public Broadcast,https://www.vrt.be/nl/over-de-vrt/organisatie/organogram/)

b) Director information: Liesbet Vrieleman (https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/services/hoofdredactie/)

c) Editor in chief Griet De Craen  

d) Coordinator fact check Team: Luc van Bakel

e) Fact check team

More info and a video on how the fact check team works: :

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2022/03/16/vragen-of-opmerkingen-bij-factchecks/

Additional:

-The managing director and the executive board are jointly responsible for the operational policy of the VRT.

https://www.vrt.be/nl/over-de-vrt/organisatie/directie/bevoegdheden-directie/

-Twelve members of the Board of Directors are appointed by the Flemish Government. In doing so, it takes into account the proportional representation of the political parties in the Flemish Parliament. The Board of Directors has the following powers:

https://www.vrt.be/nl/over-de-vrt/organisatie/raad-van-bestuur/bevoegdheden-raad-van-bestuur/


Henk van Ess Assessor
17-Jul-2022 (6 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Criterion 4.3 is 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. In the explanation of VRT, the focus is on board and management of the whole company. Since the fact edits are controlled by a editorial department, we suggest you include here https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/services/hoofdredactie/ ("het nieuwscollege").



done_all 4.3 marked as Compliant by Henk van Ess.

Criteria 4.4
Proof you meet criteria
Please share a link to where on your website you set out the professional biographies of those who play a significant part in your organization’s editorial output.

VRT NWS
06-May-2022 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

Here you’ll find information regarding the editorial staff:

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/services/hoofdredactie/

Here you’ll find information on who is who in the fact check team, with a video explaining how the fact check team works:

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2022/03/16/vragen-of-opmerkingen-bij-factchecks/

 

VRT NWS
09-Aug-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Here you’ll find information regarding the editorial staff:

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/services/hoofdredactie/

Here you’ll find information on who is who in the fact check team, with a video explaining how the fact check team works*:

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2022/03/16/vragen-of-opmerkingen-bij-factchecks/

(Update: a new member is added: Mathijs Minten, started at the end of June 2022) 

*Fact Checks (articles with the CHECK-label) are always written by the fact checkers mentioned on the website. Sometimes, in addition to the above-mentioned fact checkers, you may also see other names listed as authors. These are collegues of VRT NWS who support our fact checkers with a field of expertise such as graphic design, video editing, data processing or OSINT-techniques. They help the fact checker in the development of his fact check. The fact checker is the responsible author. (This is mentioned on our website: https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2022/03/16/vragen-of-opmerkingen-bij-factchecks/)

We also have an independent news ombudsman. Sometimes he answers questions of the public about disinformation topics in general, but he doesn't write articles with the 'CHECK'-label. (https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/experten/nieuwsombudsman/)

Henk van Ess Assessor
17-Jul-2022 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

An extra paragraph is added on the website to make the structure of the organization more clear https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2022/03/16/vragen-of-opmerkingen-bij-factchecks/


done_all 4.4 marked as Compliant by Henk van Ess.

Criteria 4.5
Proof you meet criteria
Please share a link to where on your website you encourage users to communicate with your editorial team.

VRT NWS
06-May-2022 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

- Under any articles published by VRT NWS, you can find buttons to ask questions, to make news suggestions or to report an error.

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/services/fout-opgemerkt/

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/services/vraag-over-dit-nieuws/

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/services/nieuws-melden/

.- We have our own mailbox for questions concerning fact checks:

check@vrtnws.be, this address is mentioned in every check article.

- We explain how users can contact the checkteam:

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2022/03/16/vragen-of-opmerkingen-bij-factchecks/

- The home page has a link to the page of the news ombudsman, at the top of the page. https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/

- The news ombudsman has his own page : https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/experten/nieuwsombudsman/

Henk van Ess Assessor
17-Jul-2022 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

There are many places where readers are encouraged to communicate.


done_all 4.5 marked as Compliant by Henk van Ess.

Section 5: A commitment to Standards and Transparency of Methodology

To be compliant on methodology, applicants must meet these six criteria

  • 5.1 The applicant publishes on its website a statement about the methodology it uses to select, research, write and publish its fact checks.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Criteria 5.1
Proof you meet criteria
Please provide a link to the statement on your website that explains the methodology you use to select, research, write and publish your fact checks.

VRT NWS
06-May-2022 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

These articles explain the standard procedure of our fact checking…

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2022/03/16/hoe-werkt-de-check-redactie-van-vrt-nws/

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2022/03/16/vragen-of-opmerkingen-bij-factchecks/

It also contains a video about how we work. 

Henk van Ess Assessor
17-Jul-2022 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

VRT NWS follows experts, interest groups, opinion makers, influencers, governments, politicians through domestic and foreign news channels and often social media. The statements or claims must circulate on television, radio, online or on social media. Claims can also be images and memes (digital ‘cartoons’) that go viral on social media.


done_all 5.1 marked as Compliant by Henk van Ess.

Criteria 5.2
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the methodology used in a randomised sample of your fact checks to assess compliance with these criteria. No additional evidence is required.

VRT NWS
06-May-2022 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

Factcheckpage: https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/rubrieken/desinformatie/check/

Spreadsheet with fact checks of the last six months is added (Criteria 1.3). 

Henk van Ess Assessor
17-Jul-2022 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Applicant meets this criterion in most cases.


done_all 5.2 marked as Compliant by Henk van Ess.

Criteria 5.3
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the methodology used in a randomised sample of your fact checks to assess compliance with these criteria. No additional evidence is required.

VRT NWS
06-May-2022 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

Factcheckpage: https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/rubrieken/desinformatie/check/

Spreadsheet with fact checks of the last six months is added (Criteria 1.3). 

Henk van Ess Assessor
17-Jul-2022 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Applicant meets this criterion in most cases.


done_all 5.3 marked as Compliant by Henk van Ess.

Criteria 5.4
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the methodology used in a randomised sample of your fact checks to assess compliance with these criteria. No additional evidence is required.

VRT NWS
06-May-2022 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

Factcheckpage: https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/rubrieken/desinformatie/check/

Spreadsheet with fact checks of the last six months is added (Criteria 1.3). 

Henk van Ess Assessor
17-Jul-2022 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Ok, but try to link consistent to any original social media postings and only use a screenshot as an addition, not as the source itself. If you are afraid the tweet or posting will be deleted, use services like archive.is or archive.org to save the original posting.



done_all 5.4 marked as Compliant by Henk van Ess.

Criteria 5.5
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the methodology used in a randomised sample of your fact checks to assess compliance with these criteria. No additional evidence is required.

VRT NWS
06-May-2022 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

Factcheckpage: https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/rubrieken/desinformatie/check/

Spreadsheet with fact checks of the last six months is added (Criteria 1.3). 

Henk van Ess Assessor
17-Jul-2022 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Applicant meets this criterion in most cases.


done_all 5.5 marked as Compliant by Henk van Ess.

Criteria 5.6
Proof you meet criteria
Please describe how you encourage 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. Include links where appropriate. If you do not allow this, explain why.

VRT NWS
06-May-2022 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

To contact our fact check team we mention a link in every fact check: check@vrtnws.be.

More information about how we work and what readers can legitimately expect will be fact-checked and what isn't fact-checkable you’ll find on the checkpage:

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/rubrieken/desinformatie/check/

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2022/03/16/hoe-werkt-de-check-redactie-van-vrt-nws/

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2022/03/16/vragen-of-opmerkingen-bij-factchecks/

Under any articles published by VRT NWS, you can find buttons to ask questions, to make news suggestions or to report an error.

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/services/fout-opgemerkt/

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/services/vraag-over-dit-nieuws/

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/services/nieuws-melden/


Henk van Ess Assessor
17-Jul-2022 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

VRT gives in several sections, including each article, clear links to additional information, a direct e-mail address and invites readers to use it.


done_all 5.6 marked as Compliant by Henk van Ess.

Section 6: A commitment to an Open & Honest Corrections Policy

To be compliant on corrections policy, applicants must meet these five criteria

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Criteria 6.1
Proof you meet criteria
Please provide a link to where you publish on your website your corrections or complaints policy. If you are primarily a broadcaster, please provide evidence you frequently reference your corrections policy in broadcasts.

VRT NWS
06-May-2022 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

- You’ll find the information on the checkpage of VRT NWS:

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/rubrieken/desinformatie/check/

The article with the correction or complaints policy: https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2022/03/16/vragen-of-opmerkingen-bij-factchecks/

- You can reach the VRT NWS Check Team via check@vrtnws.be.

- That mailbox is monitored daily (mo-fri). We also try to answer as soon as possible. Abusive emails or personal attacks will not be answered.

- Messages are always read and, if necessary, forwarded to the author and editor-in-chief of the fact check. In case of errors, an article is updated quickly and transparently.

- Depending on the type of error, a separate update will also be added at the bottom of the article so that other readers also know what went wrong or what additional information is mentioned.

- In any case, the date at which an adjustment was made is mentioned.

- Possible writing errors are also updated, but as the content is not altered, this update is not explicitly mentioned.

- Link to the Ombudsperson of VRT NWS for all kinds of questions concerning VRT-journalism in general. https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/experten/nieuwsombudsman/

- Correction, monthly overview of VRT NWS

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2022/05/03/correcties-en-aanvullingen-in-mei/

- Each article on VRT NWS has a button for ‘corrections’. This is the link to the contact page for corrections:

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/services/fout-opgemerkt/


Henk van Ess Assessor
17-Jul-2022 (6 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Corrections and complaints policies are easily accessible and visible on the organization's website.


done_all 6.1 marked as Compliant by Henk van Ess.

Criteria 6.2
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the corrections policy to verify it meets critera. No additional information needed.

Henk van Ess Assessor
17-Jul-2022 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

According to the policy, there is a clear definition of what it covers and does not cover, the procedures for handling major mistakes, especially those that require revision of the conclusions of a fact check, and the fact that some complaints may justifiably be ignored.


done_all 6.2 marked as Compliant by Henk van Ess.

Criteria 6.3
Proof you meet criteria
Please provide a short statement about how the policy was adhered to over the previous year (or six months if this is the first application) including evidence of two examples of the responses provided by the applicant to a correction request over the previous year. Where no correction request has been made in the previous year, you must state this in your application, which will be publicly available in the assessment if your application is successful.

VRT NWS
06-May-2022 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

Examples of correction requests or questions about a specific factcheck:

1) Quick update with extra information, because of newly available satellite images.

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2022/04/04/check-beelden-boetsja/

2) Addition in the conclusion (see bottom of article) after a well-substantiated and correct complaint was made and subsequently discussed internally by the editors.

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2021/12/22/er-zijn-wel-degelijk-studies/

3) Update because conclusions were dated (mentioned in beginning of the article). In this particular case we added this update because it was an important adjustment about the age at which children could be vaccinated. A reader pointed it out to us. The editors also immediately added the date of the amendment to the article to provide additional information.

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2021/10/14/terugkerende-valse-of-misleidende-uitspraken-coronavirus-en-vacc/

About corrections in general for VRT NWS:

list of corrections in general:

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2021/08/04/aanvullingen-correcties-augustus-2021/

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2021/10/01/correcties-en-aanvullingen-in-oktober/

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2022/02/04/correcties-en-aanvullingen-in-februari/

About corrections in factchecks:

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2022/03/16/vragen-of-opmerkingen-bij-factchecks/

Under any articles, also fact checks, published by VRT NWS, you can find buttons to ask questions, to make news suggestions or to report an error.

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/services/fout-opgemerkt/

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/services/vraag-over-dit-nieuws/

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/services/nieuws-melden/


Henk van Ess Assessor
17-Jul-2022 (6 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

The applicant provides credible evidence and makes a correction in an open and transparent manner.


done_all 6.3 marked as Compliant by Henk van Ess.

Criteria 6.4
Proof you meet criteria
If you are an existing signatory, please provide a link to show where on your site you inform users that if they believe you are violating the IFCN Code, they may inform the IFCN of this, with a link to the complaints page on the IFCN site.

VRT NWS
06-May-2022 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

Not applicable. 

Henk van Ess Assessor
17-Jul-2022 (6 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Despite not being a signatory yet, VRT has published online that they will adhere to the IFCN code.


done_all 6.4 marked as Compliant by Henk van Ess.

Criteria 6.5
Proof you meet criteria
If you are the fact-checking unit of a media company, please provide a link to the parent media company’s honest and open corrections policy and provide evidence that it adheres to this.

VRT NWS
06-May-2022 (8 months ago) Updated: 8 months ago

These links give you a clear view on VRT’s honest and open correction policy:

- Art. 55 of the editorial statute: Accuracy means correcting mistakes.

Deontological code: https://www.vrt.be/nl/over-de-vrt/beleid/beroepsethiek/deontologische-code-en-redactiestatuut/

- Corrections or relevant additions to audiovisual content can be found here: https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/experten/nieuwsombudsman/

- To contact the news ombudsman: https://www.vrt.be/heb-je-een-vraag/s/contactsupport-vrtnws

- Under any articles published by VRT NWS, you can find buttons to ask questions, to make news suggestions or to report an error.

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/services/fout-opgemerkt/

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/services/vraag-over-dit-nieuws/

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/services/nieuws-melden/

-For fact checking: In case of errors, an article is updated quickly and transparently. Depending on the type of error, a separate update will also be added at the bottom of the article so that other readers also know what went wrong. In any case, the date and time at which an adjustment was made will appear. Possible writing errors are also updated, but because this does not alter the content, this update is not explicitly mentioned.

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2022/03/16/vragen-of-opmerkingen-bij-factchecks/

-The VRT customer service and the News Ombudsman report each year to the Flemish Ombudsman on their activities and the number of complaints received. That report goes to the Flemish Parliament. https://www.vrt.be/nl/over-de-vrt/nieuws/2022/03/07/vrt-klantendienst-zag-aantal-contacten-in-2021-opnieuw-stijgen/

Henk van Ess Assessor
17-Jul-2022 (6 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

The VRT has a policy of openness and honesty when it comes to corrections


done_all 6.5 marked as Compliant by Henk van Ess.