The IFCN welcomes new applications to its Code of Principles beginning Jan. 16, 2024. Our website is currently under renovation, so new signatories should begin the application process by emailing their interest to info@ifcn.org with "New Signatory" in the subject line.

Demagog.cz

Organization: Demagog.cz
Applicant: Petr Gongala
Assessor: Jan Indra

Background

Demagog.cz is the oldest and most experienced fact-checking initiative in the Czech Republic. Over the last 10 years, the organization has established itself as a publicly-known entity known for high-quality fact-checking and media literacy workshops. The organization continuously grows and expands its activities, with aspirations to co-create a regional network of fact-checking organizations within the CEE region that share best practices and collaborate on various projects.

The current political climate in the Czech Republic and the CEE region as a whole shows that fact-checking is still highly relevant for the public. As the volume of available information, political debates and various claims with respect to economy and inflation, energy or war in Ukraine still grows, the organization serves as an indispensable platform for those who seek context of such claims uttered in TV debates or on-line, especially in sensitive pre-election periods where politicians usually even strengthen their rhetoric to achieve election victory, often with little regard for facts, which was, for example, evident in the final stages of the presidential election.

Assessment Conclusion

I have had the opportunity to assess the Applicant several times now and can confidently state that the organization upholds both high standards of fact-checking quality and transparency. Stemming also from my previous recommendations recorded in other assessments, the organization adequately states all relevant information on its website (methodology, team, financing, contact, corrections etc.) and the website has also improved in terms of displaying content (more user friendly now). The fact-checking methodology remains sound and the explanation behind each fact-check is sometimes also exhausting as it can really be considered as a small case study of the given topic, especially with claims touching upon highly controversial topics such as the government handling economy and inflation or the current war in Ukraine as the two most recent and primary examples.

Altogether, I recommend the Applicant to be accepted with no significant reservations or recommendations this year, and believe the organization will keep on improving.

on 14-Apr-2023 (10 months ago)

Jan Indra assesses application as Compliant

A short summary in native publishing language

Demagog.cz i v rámci letošního hodnocení potvrzuje svůj rozvoj a postupnou profesionalizaci. Zatímco u zrodu projektu stálo pouze pár jednotlivců s ambicí fact-checkovat, v projektu se nyní angažuje přes 30 lidí a rozsah aktivit organizace neustále narůstá a vzájemně se doplňuje (fact-checking, workshopy, mediální observatoř).

V rámci hodnocení organizace opětovně prokazuje postupně rozvinutou metodologii a vysokou úroveň fact-checkingu samotného. V organizační rovině je Demagog.cz transparentní, kdy zveřejňuje všechny klíčové informace o svém fungování na webu a je v kontaktu se svým publikem, osoby zodpovídající za chod organizace jsou poté snadno identifikovatelné.

V rámci letošního hodnocení tak projekt doporučuji k přijetí bez jakýchkoliv zásadnějších výhrad.

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.

Demagog.cz
07-Dec-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Demagog.cz is legally registered as an association with the explicit purpose of fact-checking and related activities. Information about the association and its structure are listed on the website at: https://demagog.cz/stranka/o-nas .

Link to public register: https://or.justice.cz/ias/ui/rejstrik-firma.vysledky?subjektId=938169&typ=PLATNY

Jan Indra Assessor
20-Mar-2023 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

Demagog.cz is a stand-alone legal entity, provided link to national public register is sufficient.


done_all 1.1 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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?

Demagog.cz
07-Dec-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

1) Demagog.cz was publicly launched in February 2012 for the purpose of fact-checking public political debates. Back then, there was no media organization explicitly dedicated to fact-checking in the country and we (largely students from Brno, Czech Rep.) felt that there was need to publish independent fact-checks for debates during elections and even for those happening each week on TV.

For the past 11 years, our mission has remained the same: provide the public with unbiased information, point out falsehoods and misleading claims, and educate young people, not least our student interns, on how to find and use sources of data.

2) Who currently works at Demagog.cz:

5 editors

16 analysts, mostly interns

8 analysts-proofreaders

2 IT specialists

2 social media managers

1 PR specialist

1 coordinator

3) Besides fact-checking, we:

a) run workshops on fact-checking and media literacy,

b) promote fact-checking during various public gatherings,

c) maintain political promise trackers,

d) cooperate with Facebook to fact-check widely shared content,

e) work with AI developers to research and develop automated tools for fact-checkers.

f) coordinate regional cooperation with Demagog.sk and Demagog.org.pl.

4) In the next 12 months our plan is to fully launch regional-level coordination between Demagog.cz, Demagog.sk and Demagog.org.pl, incl. regular meetings, sharing expertise, sharing fact-checks and jointly adopting new technological tools for fact-checkers. We are also updating our visuals and expanding our communications team and activities. We will also be relaunching our promise tracker for the new Czech government.

Jan Indra Assessor
20-Mar-2023 (11 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

As described by the Applicant, Demagog.cz was the first fact-checking-focused initiative/project in the Czech Republic, going all the way back to 2012.

I have had the opportunity to repeatedly assess the organization and the project and it is encouraging to see how the project has grown and professionalized itself over the years.

As the register excerpt (see attachment) states, the main objectives of the organization are:

  • Checking factual claims made in policy debates (selection, processing and evaluation).
  • Increasing public and media pressure on the quality of individual policy debates and on politicians themselves.
  • Developing an active civil society, democracy and the rule of law.
  • Promoting the principles of accountability.
  • Education for media literacy.
Considering the plans for the upcoming year, I commend the vision of more collaboration of similar projects within the CEE region as knowledge and expertise sharing can help all included organizations further develop their processes, communication and presentation.

While fact-checking is the primary objective of the organization, other activities such as media literacy workshops or keeping track of the government's promises seem to be a well-suited addition that enables the organization to further engage with their audience and widen its scope.


done_all 1.2 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Demagog.cz
07-Dec-2022 (1 year ago)

All our fact-checks are listed directly on our website: https://demagog.cz with some publications containing fact-checks of a number of claims made during the same speech, interview or debate.

To find past political fact-checks, you can switch pages at the bottom of the list. For lists of fact-checks of particular politicians, parties, topics etc., go to https://demagog.cz/vypis-recniku or https://demagog.cz/vyroky or use our API ( https://demagog.cz/stranka/api-pro-vyvojare ).

An Excel file with past fact-checked political statements is attached.

Besides fact-checking politicians, Demagog.cz works with Facebook to fact-check and label widely shared Facebook content: https://demagog.cz/spoluprace-s-facebookem

Files Attached
description statements.xlsx (2 MB)
Jan Indra Assessor
20-Mar-2023 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

I always have to appreciate that the Applicant provides its data on fact-checked statements in an open format which points to a continuous management and updating of the fact-check database.

Provided data show that Demagog.cz fact-checked a total of 662 statements in 2022, which would be 12–13 fact-checked statements per week on average.

The distribution of fact-checks clearly shows that some weeks did not contain any fact-checked statements. However, this can be closely related to what political debates are on air in a given week and e.g. what is the current political environment (close to election/in the midst of a campaign etc.).

The weeeks where the Applicant has 'failed' to publish a fact-check primarily occur during the summer or before Christmas, with few exceptions in between. Considering the overall volume of fact-checked statements, I consider the level of activity of the organization as sufficient and compliant.


done_all 1.3 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Jan Indra Assessor
20-Mar-2023 (11 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

Using a sample of 200 fact-checked statements out of 622 total in 2022, I assigned each statements to one of pre-defined topical group (National economy, Domestic Politics, Foreign politics/relations, Energy, War in Ukraine, Covid-19, Regional politics, Other). The statistical distribution of topics shows that majority of statements are related to Domestic politics (36 %), National economy (18 %), Regional politics (12 %), Energy (10 %), Foreign politics/relations (9 %), all of which are closely related to the well-being and public interests of Czech society. A significant portion (10 %) of topics were classified as 'Other', however, these are often connected to verification of personal history statements of politicians running in an election as the Czech Republic had municipal election in September 2022 and an upocoming presidential election in January 2023, and numerous fact-checked debates were focused on the candidates themselves.

Furthermore, the Applicant's methodology highlight the importance of relevance of fact-checked claims and clearly states that 'we pay attention, as far as possible, to party leaders who discuss current political issues at the national forum. So we don't follow rank-and-file MPs that often, let alone local councillors, we don't select debates on issues that don't have political overlap or are not crucial at the time of fact-checking, and we focus on national media when selecting claims'.


Files Attached
DEMAGOG_CZ_2022_Fact... (112 KB)
done_all 1.4 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Demagog.cz
07-Dec-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

We accept no funding or donations from political parties or politicians.

In 2021 Demagog.cz joined CEDMO, a national hub within the EDMO framework, a European Commission project intended to coordinate and support fact-checkers around Europe. As part of the project the Commission indirectly provides financial support for Demagog's fact-checking activities. In addition, the project is funded from the Czech National recovery plan.

https://digital-strategy.ec.europa.eu/en/policies/european-digital-media-observatory

https://fsv.cuni.cz/en/news/central-european-digital-media-observatory-cedmo-will-be-located-faculty-social-sciences

https://opp.cuni.cz/OPP-96.html (Czech, description of the recovery plan project)

Jan Indra Assessor
20-Mar-2023 (11 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

As stated by the Applicant, the organization does not receive funding from political entities and no such funding has been identified. Such funding is prohibited by the organization altogether.

As the Applicant describes, however, it gains some fiancial support from national and international grants as it collaborates with other organizations in the academic/non-governmental sector. Such financial support is duly described by the Applicant on a dedicated webpage (https://demagog.cz/stranka/jak-je-projekt-demagogcz-financovan).


done_all 1.5 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Demagog.cz
07-Dec-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Our financing is described on our website: https://demagog.cz/stranka/jak-je-projekt-demagogcz-financovan.

The funding Demagog.cz receives from the European Commission through the CEDMO consortium is provided in accordance with our Code of Ethics ( https://demagog.cz/stranka/eticky-kodex-demagogcz ) and all fact-checks are conducted based on our standard methodology ( https://demagog.cz/stranka/jak-hodnotime-metodika ).

CEDMO itself functions independently, in a transparent manner ( https://cedmohub.eu/cs/o-nas/cedmo-zblizka/# ) and with no participation of European Commission personnel.


 

Jan Indra Assessor
20-Mar-2023 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

As described with respect to criterion 4.1, the Applicant provides ample details concerning its funding.

While some projects that the Applicant participates in are funded through international grant programmes, this is relatively standard in the non-profit sector and in my view should not be considered as breaching any of the criteria unless significant influence over operations is identified, which is not the case here.


done_all 1.6 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Demagog.cz
07-Dec-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

The fact-checks listed below, most of which cover multiple statements, illustrate that whether we are checking statements made in an interview, in a tweet or a Facebook post, we apply the same basic approach:

1) Identify the various interpretations of the claim and their broader contexts.

2) Present data, ideally based on primary sources, and link to sources whenever they are available online. If sufficient data is not directly available nor obtainable upon request, the claim is uncheckable.

3) Determine whether there is a reasonable interpretation of the claim that is supported by available data. If not, the claim is false. If yes, the claim is true.

4) If the claim is true, determine whether, when put into context, the claim does not lead the listener/reader to a false conclusion. If it does, the claim is misleading.

https://demagog.cz/diskuze/stridani-prezidentu

https://demagog.cz/diskuze/prezidentske-finale-1f2d0fd5-2e23-491b-87e6-bc672e827ef8

https://demagog.cz/diskuze/zavolime-prezidentska-debata

https://demagog.cz/diskuze/statni-duchodovy-fond-v-cesku-nikdy-neexistoval-a-nebyl-tedy-vykraden

https://demagog.cz/diskuze/fotografie-z-roku-2017-vyuzita-proti-uprchlikum-z-ukrajiny

https://demagog.cz/diskuze/video-z-letecke-prehlidky-vydavano-za-zaber-z-ruske-invaze-na-ukrajinu

https://demagog.cz/diskuze/sona-pekova-a-americke-biologicke-laboratore-na-ukrajine

https://demagog.cz/diskuze/danuse-nerudova-kandidatka-na-prezidentku

https://demagog.cz/diskuze/andrej-babis-kandidat-na-prezidenta

https://demagog.cz/diskuze/petr-pavel-kandidat-na-prezidenta

Jan Indra Assessor
20-Mar-2023 (11 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

The methodology of the Applicant has gradually improved and expanded over the years as has the collective experience of the team. The sourcing and logical reasoning behind both specific fact-checks and their broader context clearly displays the quality of the fact-checking.

The attached links feature claims by various politicians from across the Czech political scene. No apparent bias or different approach based on who made the claim was identified and the methodology laid out by the Applicant is identifiable within its fact-checks.


done_all 2.1 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Demagog.cz
07-Dec-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

While we employ no strict formula to ensure balance, we make sure that politicians from all parliamentary parties are covered in our publications, with an increased focus on those in executive positions. During election time, we cover all parties or candidates with significant levels of support. Our primary focus is on interviews and debates or debate segments, from which we simply draw all factual statements and check those regardless of perceived importance.

https://demagog.cz/stranka/jak-hodnotime-metodika

Jan Indra Assessor
20-Mar-2023 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

Inspecting the data provided by the Applicant, the highest number of fact-checked statements are attributed to the Civic Democratic Party (ODS) which is currently in government and whose Chairman Petr Fiala is the Prime Minister, followed by the Pirate party (also in government), Freedom and Direct Democracy (second largest opposition party) and ANO2011 (largest opposition party in parliament). 12 more parties are also represented in the fact-checked statements in 2022, showing no clear bias towards one or another political entity.

The methodology of Demagog also clearly states how claims are selected, what factors are considered (balance, relevance, verifiability), what claims are NOT fact-checked at all, how are evaluations made, how is quality of fact-checks ensured and how should statistical data of specific politicians with respect to all their claims and their evaluations should be perceived and considered.

In short, this is still to date the most complete methodology I have had the opportunity to assess.


Files Attached
picture_as_pdf DEMAGOG_CZ_2022_webp... (2 MB) DEMAGOG_CZ_2022_Fact... (68 KB)
done_all 2.2 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Jan Indra Assessor
20-Mar-2023 (11 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

The Applicant's fact-checks almost without exception always delve into the broader context of the fact-checked claim and analyze it using available open-source information. No instance of a fact-check source with legitimate private interests was identified. The Applicant frequently contacts politicians or institutions with further requests for information and such action is duly described in the fact-check. Credible media outlets often serve as secondary sources for contextual information, however, emphasis on primary sources such as official documents, statistics, contracts etc. is evident.


done_all 2.3 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Jan Indra Assessor
20-Mar-2023 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

The Applicant`s fact-checks do not display any apparent bias towards political entities other than that more attention is usually given to the statements of parties/politicians currently serving in governmental positions. Neither the organization nor its fact-checks display any advocacy for specific policy positions.


done_all 2.4 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Demagog.cz
07-Dec-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Our code of ethics includes non-partisanship as one of the primary principles. Both employees and volunteers are required to disclose membership in political parties or political youth organizations and are barred from working in Demagog.cz if they become members or become employed or volunteer for such an entity.

https://demagog.cz/stranka/eticky-kodex-demagogcz

Jan Indra Assessor
20-Mar-2023 (11 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

As described by the Applicant, direct political activity of team members or presenting policy views by the Applicant is strictly prohibited.

The Code of Conduct could, in some form, touch upon the issue of social media activity of the organization's team members (or especially its main representatives), however, the specification of prohibition of presenting views in the name of the legal entity otself suggests that presenting personal views is allowed.

However, considering that the organization currently has over 30 team members, credible history and partnerships, and that no significantly politically engaged social media activity of its Coordinator or Chief Editory was identified, it is unlikely that such activity of an individual could be attributed to the organization as a whole. In that sense, the expansion of the Code of Conduct is only presented as a suggestion of the Assessor.


done_all 2.5 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Jan Indra Assessor
20-Mar-2023 (11 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

The Applicant has a very sound and time-tested sourcing, which has only been improving over the years. The usual number of sources and its contextualization within a fact-checks is very extensive and easy-to-follow for fact-check replication. I also appreciated the, in my opinion, improvement of the website and its layout as it now allows to browse through fact-checks from a specific debate within a single page without the need to go to a new page.

No instance of a source's personal security being compromised was identified.


done_all 3.1 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Jan Indra Assessor
20-Mar-2023 (11 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

The Applicant places special focus on primary sources within its methodology, and high usage of primary sources (government documents, statistics, contracts, but also ifnormation obtained thorugh direct contact) is easily identifiable across fact-checks.


done_all 3.2 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Jan Indra Assessor
20-Mar-2023 (11 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

The Applicant demonstrates high-quality of its fact-checking through often deconstructing series of events or other claims related to the fact-checked one. Numerous sources are always used and whenever sufficient evidence is not identified, the claim is marked as non-verifiable.


done_all 3.3 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Jan Indra Assessor
20-Mar-2023 (11 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

No specific istances where the reader could expect relevant interests of the sources used were identified.


done_all 3.4 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Demagog.cz
07-Dec-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Demagog.cz is an independent organization, legally a registered association.

Record in public register: https://or.justice.cz/ias/ui/rejstrik-firma.vysledky?subjektId=938169&typ=PLATNY

Jan Indra Assessor
20-Mar-2023 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

The Applicant has a dedicated web page focused on financing (https://demagog.cz/stranka/jak-je-projekt-demagogcz-financovan).

The page details all main sources of funding, with the main current sources being:

  • A joint grant provided by Google
  • A partner grant awarded to the CEDMO (Central European Digital media Observatory) project
  • A fact-checing project conducted in co-operation with Prague Security Studies Institute, financed fromm the European Media and Information Fund
  • Co-operation with Facebook (Meta Platforms Ireland Limited) on fact-checking platform content

The page also contains links to annual reports from 2016–2019. Annual reports gradually improve with respect to information completeness.

Demagog.cz also provides a link to its transparent account which lists all incoming and outgoing transactions, with a specification of a given transaction.


done_all 4.1 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Demagog.cz
07-Dec-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Financial information on our website: https://demagog.cz/stranka/jak-je-projekt-demagogcz-financovan

Our accounts are not audited, the accounting requirements for our association are limited, but financial transactions made in CZK and received by Demagog.cz are listed on our "transparent account" available to the public. Due to technical limitations of the account, transactions made in USD or EUR are not visible. We are considering potential solutions to this issue.

Jan Indra Assessor
20-Mar-2023 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

The Applicant, as stated before, is registered as its own legal non-profit entity, therefore the ownership obligation is not applicable in this context.

The Applicant details its funding on the provided webpage in a above-standard manner. Existence and link to its transparent bank account also allows for verification of major donations or outgoing transactions.


done_all 4.2 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Demagog.cz
07-Dec-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Section "Spolek Demagog.cz" at https://demagog.cz/stranka/o-nas

Jan Indra Assessor
20-Mar-2023 (11 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

The specific team members and their roles are displayed on the web page, accompanied by a photo and a short bio. Professional social media links such as LinkedIn would be welcome but are not necessary.

Organizational structure is fairly simple with 1 Project Coordinator, 1 Chief Editor, 4 Editors, 4 Board Members and other specific non-executive roles (PR, web, social etc.) and is sufficiently described.


done_all 4.3 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Demagog.cz
07-Dec-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Section "Kdo připravuje Demagog.cz?" at: https://demagog.cz/stranka/o-nas

Jan Indra Assessor
20-Mar-2023 (11 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

The professional bios of leading team members (Coordinator, Chief Editor, Editors, Board members) could ideally be somewhat expanded and standardized (some members state more specific information), however, I view the current state as compliant.


done_all 4.4 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Demagog.cz
07-Dec-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

https://demagog.cz/stranka/kontakty

Users can also get in touch with us on Facebook via direct messages or comments: https://www.facebook.com/Demagog.CZ/

We encourage users to contact us when they find incorrect information in any of our fact-checks, if they are aware of additional data sources or if they simply have a suggestion on who and what to fact-check: https://demagog.cz/stranka/mam-vyhradu-k-hodnoceni-nebo-navrh-na-overeni-kam-se-mohu-obra

Jan Indra Assessor
20-Mar-2023 (11 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

The Applicant properly lists numerous contact information and encourages its audience to reach out to Demagog.


done_all 4.5 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Demagog.cz
07-Dec-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Our methodology: https://demagog.cz/stranka/jak-hodnotime-metodika .

A specific of Demagog.cz is that we largely focus on debates, speeches or interviews and their segments and fact-check all factual statements made during their course. Over the past 11 years we have checked on average more than 90 claims each month (our current average is around 60) and many more during election campaigns. As a result, we have not found it practicable to contact the speakers in reference to each claim. Rather, we communicate with them and their offices when we are unable to find sufficient sourcing for an assessment of their claim.

Jan Indra Assessor
20-Mar-2023 (11 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

The Applicant's methodology is extensive and clearly explains the entire fact-checking process and associated expectations or issues related to claim assessment.


done_all 5.1 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Jan Indra Assessor
20-Mar-2023 (11 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

The Applicant explains in detail how it selects claims to be fact-checked, and takes into balance, relevance and verifiability of claims. While it usually does not provide reasoning for choosing each specific claim (this mostly happens with on-line fact-checks), it expains how it selects specific debates that feature high-level politicians or cadidates who delve into topics relevant for the Czech public as a whole (i.e. as opposed to closely focusing on regional topics).

Files Attached
Snímek obrazovky 20... (320 KB)
done_all 5.2 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Jan Indra Assessor
20-Mar-2023 (11 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

The Applicant repeatedly demonstrates commitment to proper contextualization, fact-checks can often be perceived as a short insight case study into the topic at hand. The volume of provided sources allows to gain a broader understanding of the claim and any potentially conflicting information are duly noted and contextualized.


done_all 5.3 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Jan Indra Assessor
20-Mar-2023 (11 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

No bias related to utilized sources or to handling and assessing evidence was identified.


done_all 5.4 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Jan Indra Assessor
20-Mar-2023 (11 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

The Applicant often contacts official institutions or the authors of claims for additional information, which is both stated in the methodology and identifiabe within fact-checks. As the Applicant notes on its website, this is logically not done with respect to each fact-check but only where sufficient evidence has not been identified.

Files Attached
Snímek obrazovky 20... (470 KB)
done_all 5.5 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Demagog.cz
07-Dec-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

We encourage visitors to make suggestions on who and what to fact-check on our website: https://demagog.cz/stranka/mam-vyhradu-k-hodnoceni-nebo-navrh-na-overeni-kam-se-mohu-obra . On the other hand, most suggestions come during times of heightened public interest based on our encouragement of users of social media (such as http://tiny.cc/wzi4vz ).

We used to host a web-based platform called "Ověř to", where fans could suggest claims to check and vote on which ones should be prioritized. The platform was discontinued after a few years due to low public interest and the fact that most of the claims submitted were not factual.

Jan Indra Assessor
20-Mar-2023 (11 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

The Applicant clearly and repeatedly invites its audience to send in claims to fact-check as evidenced. The potential for a claim to be fact-checked is descirbed in the Applicant's methodology (https://demagog.cz/stranka/jak-hodnotime-metodika), where it clearly states that only factual claims are fact-checked and provides examples of what is or is not fact-checked.


done_all 5.6 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Demagog.cz
07-Dec-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago
Jan Indra Assessor
20-Mar-2023 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

Demagog.cz has an easily accessible and coherent corrections policy, as evidenced on its website.


done_all 6.1 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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

Jan Indra Assessor
20-Mar-2023 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

The corrections policy of Demagog (see attachment for webiste translation) is clear and concise, clearly stating the following:

  • how can the audience reach out to Demagog if they think they identified a mistake
  • how is the correction request handled and passed on to editors
  • all new information are sources are carefully verified
  • based on the new analysis, a correction is either made or not made
  • if the new information is deemed as relevant and the assessment is adjusted, this is notably marked next to the corresponding statement and published the same way as the original statement, icluding publishing on social media

The website also includes a list of all the corrections made, currently sitting at 37, which seems like an incredible number over 10 years of existence of the organization.

In my opinion, the corrections policy is also sufficiently tied to the website dedicated to methodology, as the corrections process follows the same principles as the original assessment.


done_all 6.2 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Demagog.cz
07-Dec-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Over the past 12 months we received no correction request which resulted in a change of rating. In 3 cases, we updated our assessment based on additional information provided after publication:

https://demagog.cz/vyrok/22358

https://demagog.cz/vyrok/22373

https://demagog.cz/vyrok/22271

Correction requests have, in the past few years, took the form of Facebook comments, sometimes by the speakers themselves arguing for the veracity of their claims, to which we respond using the same means while applying our standard corrections process.

The last correction request that led to a change of rating happened in 2021: https://demagog.cz/vyrok/20418

Jan Indra Assessor
20-Mar-2023 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

Corrections are clearly marked and the Applicant also provides a list of all corrections made over time (see attachment).

Files Attached
picture_as_pdf DEMAGOG_CZ_2022_CORR... (1 MB)
done_all 6.3 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Demagog.cz
07-Dec-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago
Jan Indra Assessor
20-Mar-2023 (11 months ago) Updated: 10 months ago

Correctly stated on the Applicant's website. A short statement about the IFCN's mission, including its full name, would also be welcome.


done_all 6.4 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.

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.

Demagog.cz
07-Dec-2022 (1 year ago) Updated: 1 year ago

Not Applicable

Jan Indra Assessor
20-Mar-2023 (11 months ago) Updated: 11 months ago

As stated before, Demagog.cz is a stand-alone legal entity.


done_all 6.5 marked as Compliant by Jan Indra.