France 24 - Les Observateurs

Organization: France 24 - Les Observateurs
Applicant: Derek Thomson
Assessor: Laurent Bigot

Background

"Les Observateurs" is a distinct fact-checking section of France 24, a legally registered French media outlet.

"Les Observateurs" was set up in 2006, exclusively for the purpose of fact-checking : it works as a UGC and image verification unit for videos coming from all over the world : it is true that the work of "Les Observateurs" must be distinguished from that of other fact-checking sites, because of the particularity of its work on video debunking (Intox part of the website: https://observers.france24.com/fr/tag/intox).

France, where this medium is based, is a democratic country which allows "Les Obesrvateurs" to work independently, even when a media is part of a media group owned by the French state (France Media Monde). 

Assessment Conclusion

According to my assessment, Les Observateurs continue to be a reliable fact-checking partner.

This media is compliant with all the principles enacted by the IFCN..

However, complements are needed for next year on one criteria :

6.4: The parent media company of Les Observateurs, called France 24, has its own code of ethics. It contains references to a kind of corrections policy. But it could be that in the future, such a mention is not sufficient (not enough details) to demonstrate a real correction policy.

NB: Les observateurs use 4 working languages. This assessment is only available for the French and the English sections of the website.

on 11-Jun-2022 (3 months ago)

Laurent Bigot assesses application as Compliant

A short summary in native publishing language

"Les Observateurs" est une section distincte de vérification des faits de France 24, un média français légalement enregistré.

"Les Observateurs" ont été créés en 2006, exclusivement dans un but de fact-checking : il fonctionne comme une cellule de vérification participative d'images pour les vidéos venant du monde entier : il est vrai que le travail de "Les Observateurs" doit être distingué de celui des autres sites de fact-checking, du fait de la particularité de son travail sur le débunking des vidéos (partie Intox du site : https://observers.france24.com/fr/tag/intox).

La France, où ce média est basé, est un pays démocratique qui permet aux "Observateurs" de travailler de manière indépendante, même lorsqu'un média fait partie d'un groupe de médias appartenant à l'État français (France Média Monde).

Selon mon évaluation, Les Observateurs continuent d'être un partenaire fiable pour la vérification des faits.

Ce média est conforme à tous les principes édictés par l'IFCN.

Cependant, des compléments sont nécessaires sur un critère :

6.4 : La maison mère des Observateurs, France 24, a son propre code de déontologie. Il contient des références à une sorte de politique de correction. Mais il se pourrait qu'à l'avenir, une telle mention ne soit pas suffisante (pas assez de détails) pour démontrer une véritable politique de correction.

NB : Les observateurs utilisent 4 langues de travail. Cette évaluation n'est disponible que pour les sections française et anglaise du site Web.

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.

France 24 - Les Observateurs
11-Apr-2022 (5 months ago)

The France 24 Observers (Les Observateurs de France 24) is a distinct verification/fact-checking section of France 24, a legally registered French media outlet. All the evidence of its legal registration are presented in the “Mentions légales” through its RCS number, here: https://www.francemediasmonde.com/fr/legal-notice

And here : https://www.francemediasmonde.com/en/legal-notice

Laurent Bigot Assessor
22-Apr-2022 (5 months ago)

"Les Observateurs" is a distinct fact-checking section of France 24, a legally registered French media outlet. All the evidence of its legal registration are presented in the “Mentions légales” through its RCS number, here: https://www.francemediasmonde.com/fr/legal-notice


And here : https://www.francemediasmonde.com/en/legal-notice


done_all 1.1 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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?

France 24 - Les Observateurs
11-Apr-2022 (5 months ago)

1. The Observers was created in 2006 as a UGC and image verification unit. The idea was to create a global community of amateur contributors who would help our team of journalists find and verify amateur images online.

2. 6+

- 1 senior editor

- 1 line editor

- 4 staff journalists

- other free-lancers when resources permit

3. verification of amateur images + amateur accounts of news-related events and phenomena

4. to extend our media literacy activities - notably via anti-fake news programme in collaboration with France's education authorities

Laurent Bigot Assessor
22-Apr-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

"Les Observateurs" was set up in 2006, exclusively for the purpose of fact-checking : it works as a UGC and image verification unit for videos coming from all over the world :

https://observers.france24.com/fr/

https://observers.france24.com/en/


The team counts 6 journalistes and some free-lancers when resources permit. They work on verification of amateur images and amateur accounts of news-related events and phenomena. Their goal is to extend our media literacy activities - notably via anti-fake news programme in collaboration with French education authorities.


done_all 1.2 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

France 24 - Les Observateurs
11-Apr-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago
Laurent Bigot Assessor
22-Apr-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Les Observateurs publish 1 fact-check a week on political, economical, environmental, health issues. 


These fact-checks can be viewed here:

French - https://observers.france24.com/fr/tag/intox/


English - https://observers.france24.com/en/tag/debunked-1/ 



done_all 1.3 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Laurent Bigot Assessor
22-Apr-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

According to our assessment, the fact-checking stories presented by "Les Observateurs" are in line with IFCN's expectations.

We find that these fact checks deal in majority (more than 75%) with “public interest” issues that “relate to or could have an impact on the well-being of individuals, the general public or society”.


done_all 1.4 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

France 24 - Les Observateurs
11-Apr-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

The France 24 Observers is a unit of public broadcaster France 24, which is part of France Medias Monde, a media group owned by the French state. FMM, France 24 and the France 24 Observers have no relationship or financial link to any political party in France or anywhere else. 

Laurent Bigot Assessor
22-Apr-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Les Observateurs explain:
"The France 24 Observers is a unit of public broadcaster France 24, which is part of France Medias Monde, a media group owned by the French state. FMM, France 24 and the France 24 Observers have no relationship or financial link to any political party in France or anywhere else."


France 24 is part of the French public broadcasting service. So its sole shareholder is the French state.

We can only find an explaination of the institutional relationship it has to the French state, here:

https://www.france24.com/fr/a-propos



done_all 1.5 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

France 24 - Les Observateurs
11-Apr-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago
Laurent Bigot Assessor
22-Apr-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Les Observateurs explain the editorial independance of their work here:

https://observers.france24.com/en/who-are-we

https://observers.france24.com/fr/qui-sommes-nous



"The France 24 Observers, as a department of France 24, is part of the France Medias Monde group, which is funded by the French state but editorially independent. The France 24 Observers adheres to France Medias Monde’s code of standards The France 24 Observers does not endorse political parties or candidates or programs, and our journalists do not actively engage in political or other forms of advocacy."


done_all 1.6 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

France 24 - Les Observateurs
11-Apr-2022 (5 months ago)

It is hard for us to show examples of traditional non-partisanship (equal scrutiny of political parties for instance) because our focus at the France 24 Observers is on social issues on an international level, rather than politics at a national level. You will find examples of both below.

The best way to illustrate our non-partisanship is to show that we regularly debunk false news targeting both sides of a conflict or controversy : Russia and Ukraine in the 2022 war, rivals France and Russia in Africa, Hindus and Muslims in India. And while we have published extensive documentation of the Taliban’s abuses in Afghanistan, we also debunk misinformation falsely discrediting the Taliban.

---

#1A - False news targeting French left

Jean-Luc Mélenchon qui “refuse qu’on le touche” ? Attention à cette vidéo hors contexte

https://observers.france24.com/fr/france/20220404-jean-luc-m%C3%A9lenchon-qui-refuse-qu-on-le-touche-attention-%C3%A0-cette-vid%C3%A9o-hors-contexte

#1B - False news targeting French centre

Ces images ne montrent pas un "faux bain de foule" organisé pour Emmanuel Macron le 16 février

https://observers.france24.com/fr/france/20220218-ces-images-ne-montrent-pas-un-faux-bain-de-foule-organis%C3%A9-pour-emmanuel-macron-le-16-f%C3%A9vrier

---

#2A - False news discrediting Russia in Ukraine conflict

Cette photo ne montre pas un crématorium mobile russe en Ukraine

https://observers.france24.com/fr/europe/20220408-intox-crematorium-russe-ukraine-photo-klitschko

#2B - False news discrediting Ukraine

Cette vidéo ne prouve pas que les morts de Boutcha ont été tués après le départ de l’armée russe

https://observers.france24.com/fr/europe/20220404-ces-images-de-boutcha-ne-montrent-pas-des-faux-cadavres-mis-en-sc%C3%A8ne-par-l-arm%C3%A9e-ukrainienne

----

While we regularly publish factual information about abuses by the Taliban in Afghanistan:

Manifestation à Kaboul réprimée par les Taliban : "Même si vous nous décapitez, nous repousserons"

https://observers.france24.com/fr/asie-pacifique/20210907-afghanistan-manifestation-pakistan-taliban-video

We also publish false news that discredits the Taliban:

#3A - Les Taliban détruisent-ils tous les téléphones portables ? Attention à cette vidéo décontextualisée

https://observers.france24.com/fr/europe/20220128-les-taliban-d%C3%A9truisent-ils-tous-les-t%C3%A9l%C3%A9phones-portables-attention-%C3%A0-cette-vid%C3%A9o-d%C3%A9contextualis%C3%A9e

#3B - Ces personnes emballées dans du plastique ne sont pas des "chrétiens persécutés en Afghanistan"

https://observers.france24.com/fr/asie-pacifique/20210907-ces-personnes-emball%C3%A9es-dans-du-plastique-ne-sont-pas-des-chr%C3%A9tiens-pers%C3%A9cut%C3%A9s-en-afghanistan

---

#4A - False news targeting French presence in Africa

Des "mercenaires français" tués par l’armée algérienne ? Non, des jihadistes vaincus au Niger

https://observers.france24.com/fr/afrique/20220203-intox-mercenaires-fran%C3%A7ais-alg%C3%A9rie-niger-terroristes

#4B - False news targeting Russian presence in Africca

Cette photo ne montre pas une livraison d’armes russes "dernière génération" au Mali

https://observers.france24.com/fr/afrique/20211125-cette-photo-ne-montre-pas-une-livraison-d-armes-russes-derni%C3%A8re-g%C3%A9n%C3%A9ration-au-mali

---

In India, while we often debunk false news targeting Muslims:

#5A - Inde : deux intox sur des musulmanes ciblées en marge des tensions sur le voile à l’école

https://observers.france24.com/fr/asie-pacifique/20220214-inde-deux-intox-sur-des-musulmanes-cibl%C3%A9es-en-marge-des-tensions-sur-le-voile-%C3%A0-l-%C3%A9cole

We also debunk false news claiming to show Muslims as victims

#5B - Non, cette vidéo ne montre pas le lynchage d’un musulman par la foule en Inde

https://observers.france24.com/fr/asie-pacifique/20210930-non-cette-vid%C3%A9o-ne-montre-pas-le-lynchage-d-un-musulman-par-la-foule-en-inde

Laurent Bigot Assessor
22-Apr-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Les Observateurs fact-checks seem to use the same high standards of evidence and judgement for equivalent claims regardless of who made the claim. We didn't find any example of obvious unfair treatment...

The team explains how the international fact checks they selected show that they use the same high standards of evidence for equivalent claims.


done_all 2.1 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

France 24 - Les Observateurs
11-Apr-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago
Laurent Bigot Assessor
22-Apr-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Les Obesrvateurs publish an explaination on their website to set out how it selects claims to check, here:

https://observers.france24.com/fr/qui-sommes-nous

https://observers.france24.com/en/who-are-we


"The Observers site is a collaboration between our Observers and our team of journalists in Paris. We work in two different ways:

1. Our team of journalists finds amateur images on social networks and tries to contact the author or a person with firsthand knowledge of the events depicted. If we are able to verify their account and they agree to join our network, they become an Observer.

2. Our Observers send us information about events they have witnessed and documented via photo/video.

When we are sure of the authenticity of the information and any supporting documentation, we publish them in an online article. The article takes the form of an introduction written by one of our journalists, giving context and explaining who our Observers are and why their account is pertinent. That is followed by a first-person account from our Observer, taken from a telephone interview or an exchange via social media."



done_all 2.2 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Laurent Bigot Assessor
22-Apr-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

In view of what we have observed, Les Obesrveteurs disclose in their fact checks relevant interests of the sources it quotes and any commercial or other such relationships it has.


done_all 2.3 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Laurent Bigot Assessor
22-Apr-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

In view of what we have observed, Les Observateurs do not show support for any party, any politician or political candidate.


done_all 2.4 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

France 24 - Les Observateurs
11-Apr-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago
Laurent Bigot Assessor
22-Apr-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Les Observateurs explain their policies to preserve its non-partisan way of fact-checking claims here:


https://observers.france24.com/en/who-are-we

https://observers.france24.com/fr/qui-sommes-nous



"The France 24 Observers does not endorse political parties or candidates or programs, and our journalists do not actively engage in political or other forms of advocacy."




done_all 2.5 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Laurent Bigot Assessor
22-Apr-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

In view of what we have observed, Les Observateurs identify the source of significant evidence used in its fact checks.


done_all 3.1 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Laurent Bigot Assessor
22-Apr-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

In view of what we have observed, Les Observateurs use (most of the time) the best available primary sources of evidence.


done_all 3.2 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Laurent Bigot Assessor
22-Apr-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

In view of what we have observed, Les Observeteurs check all key elements of claims with more than one source of evidence.


done_all 3.3 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Laurent Bigot Assessor
22-Apr-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

In view of what we have observed, Les Observateurs identify 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.


done_all 3.4 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

France 24 - Les Observateurs
11-Apr-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

We are the fact-checking section or unit of public broadcaster France 24.

France 24 is part of the state-owned France Médias Monde media group.

https://www.francemediasmonde.com/en/legal-notice

Laurent Bigot Assessor
22-Apr-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

done_all 4.1 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

France 24 - Les Observateurs
11-Apr-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago
Laurent Bigot Assessor
22-Apr-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

As a fact-checking section of France 24, Les Observateurs share a link to the statement on its website about its management:

[English] https://observers.france24.com/en/who-are-we

[French] https://observers.france24.com/fr/qui-sommes-nous



done_all 4.2 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

France 24 - Les Observateurs
11-Apr-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago
Laurent Bigot Assessor
22-Apr-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Les Observateurs present their organizational structure and makes clear how and by whom editorial control is exercised (Chief editor, deputy-chief editor, etc.) here:

[English] https://observers.france24.com/en/who-are-we

[French]  https://observers.france24.com/fr/qui-sommes-nous



done_all 4.3 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

France 24 - Les Observateurs
11-Apr-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago
Laurent Bigot Assessor
22-Apr-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

The "AFP Factuel" team presents a page detailing the first and last names of most team members (except those who could be endangered), and their biographies, here:

[English] https://observers.france24.com/en/who-are-we

[French] https://observers.france24.com/fr/qui-sommes-nous




done_all 4.4 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

France 24 - Les Observateurs
11-Apr-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago
France 24 - Les Observateurs
27-May-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

https://observers.france24.com/en/who-are-we


Hello Laurent - I have added our contact info to the French "Qui sommes-nous ?" page: 

https://observers.france24.com/fr/qui-sommes-nous

Vous pouvez contacter nos journalistes en écrivant à observateurs@france24.com.

Vous pouvez également nous contacter par WhatsApp : +33 6 30 93 41 36.


Laurent Bigot Assessor
22-Apr-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

It’s quite easy for readers to contact Les Observateurs.

The link to do that, is in the "Story suggestions" chapter here:

[English] https://observers.france24.com/en/who-are-we

It is also in the menu: "Become an Observer"


But the link is less visible in the French version of the website:
it should be added to the chapter "Suggestions et idées" of this page:

https://observers.france24.com/fr/qui-sommes-nous



cancel 4.5 marked as Request change by Laurent Bigot.
Laurent Bigot Assessor
11-Jun-2022 (3 months ago)

It’s quite easy for readers to contact Les Observateurs.

The link to do that, is in the "Story suggestions" chapter here:

[English] https://observers.france24.com/en/who-are-we

It is also in the menu: "Become an Observer"


The link is also visible in the French version of the website:
https://observers.france24.com/fr/qui-sommes-nous



done_all 4.5 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

France 24 - Les Observateurs
11-Apr-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago
Laurent Bigot Assessor
22-Apr-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Les Observateurs give precisions about their fact-checking methodology, here:

[English] https://observers.france24.com/en/who-are-we

[French]  https://observers.france24.com/fr/qui-sommes-nous


"We use the following methodology to verify photos/videos sent in by our Observers, whether they say they took them themselves or found them online:

We try to contact the author of the image (if not our Observer).

We check to see whether the image has been previously posted elsewhere (Google Image search, InVID, Amnesty’s YouTube Dataviewer, etc).

We examine the image for signs of manipulation/tampering/photomontage.

We show the image to other Observers with firsthand knowledge of the issue/location.

We show the image to expert sources with knowledge of the issue/location.

We compare the image with published accounts of the same event."


done_all 5.1 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Laurent Bigot Assessor
22-Apr-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

In view of what we have observed (20 fact checks selection), Les Observateurs select videos to check based primarily on the reach and importance of the claims, and sometimes explains the reason for choosing the claim to check.


done_all 5.2 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Laurent Bigot Assessor
22-Apr-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

In view of what we have observed (20 fact checks selection), Les Observateurs set out in their fact checks relevant evidence that appears to support the claim as well as relevant evidence that appears to undermine it. 


done_all 5.3 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Laurent Bigot Assessor
22-Apr-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

In view of what we have observed (20 fact checks selection), Les Observateurs assess the merits of the evidence found using the same high standards applied to evidence on equivalent claims, regardless of who made the claim.


done_all 5.4 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

Laurent Bigot Assessor
22-Apr-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

In view of what we have observed (20 fact checks selection), Les Observateurs seek where possible to contact those who made the claim. 


done_all 5.5 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

France 24 - Les Observateurs
11-Apr-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Our fact-checking content is broadcast on France 24’s TV channels on weekday evenings. The presenters encourage viewers to send in tips via our Twitter account @InfoIntoxF24. Here’s an example - at 3’00 into the video the presenter mentions that a viewer sent in a tip ; at 4’23 the presenter encourages other viewers to do the same.

https://www.france24.com/fr/%C3%A9missions/info-ou-intox/20220329-des-pompiers-canadiens-dans-la-ville-ukrainienne-de-lviv

 

Files Attached
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France 24 - Les Observateurs
27-May-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

Our fact-checking content is broadcast on France 24’s TV channels on weekday evenings. The presenters encourage viewers to send in tips via our Twitter account @InfoIntoxF24. Here’s an example - at 3’00 into the video the presenter mentions that a viewer sent in a tip ; at 4’23 the presenter encourages other viewers to do the same.

https://www.france24.com/fr/%C3%A9missions/info-ou-intox/20220329-des-pompiers-canadiens-dans-la-ville-ukrainienne-de-lviv


UPDATE  Hello Laurent - I have added a sentence to the French and English pages explaining what cannot be fact-checked 


https://observers.france24.com/fr/qui-sommes-nous

Certaines affirmations, comme celles qui relèvent de l'opinion, sont impossibles à vérifier.

https://observers.france24.com/en/who-are-we

Certain assertions, such as those that are a matter of opinion, are impossible to fact-check.

Laurent Bigot Assessor
22-Apr-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

On France 24’s TV channels, the presenters of Les Observateurs encourage viewers to send in tips via the Twitter account @InfoIntoxF24. 

And there’s a page to invite readers to submit claims to fact-check on Les Observateurs website here :

[English] https://observers.france24.com/en/who-are-we (Story suggestions)

[French] https://observers.france24.com/fr/qui-sommes-nous (Suggestions et idées)

But, in the website, there is no explanation "making it clear what isn’t fact-checkable".


cancel 5.6 marked as Request change by Laurent Bigot.
Laurent Bigot Assessor
11-Jun-2022 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

On France 24’s TV channels, the presenters of Les Observateurs encourage viewers to send in tips via the Twitter account @InfoIntoxF24. 

And there’s a page to invite readers to submit claims to fact-check on Les Observateurs website here :

[English] https://observers.france24.com/en/who-are-we (Story suggestions)

[French] https://observers.france24.com/fr/qui-sommes-nous (Suggestions et idées)

And there is an explanation "making it clear what isn’t fact-checkable".


done_all 5.6 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

France 24 - Les Observateurs
11-Apr-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago
Laurent Bigot Assessor
22-Apr-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Les Observateurs give precisions about their corrections policy, here:

https://observers.france24.com/en/who-are-we

https://observers.france24.com/fr/qui-sommes-nous


"If we receive pertinent information after the initial publication, we add it to the original article as an update or - if the new information invalidates our original information - as a correction. We are open about our sources and our methodology and publish information only when we are convinced that it is accurate on the basis of the information we have gathered. If we receive new information that changes our conclusions, it is our responsibility to alert our users by publishing any update or correction quickly, clearly and openly. Members of the public who have information relating to the accuracy of our reporting should send it to us! You can find our contact information here. We correct major inaccuracies – those that could change the principal findings of the report - in the opening section of the article concerned, in a paragraph marked “CORRECTION” with the date the correction was published. We correct inaccuracies that do not have a direct bearing on the principal findings of the report at the end of the article, also with a paragraph marked “CORRECTION.” We make our best effort to respond to senders of new information, though not all complaints justify a response."


done_all 6.1 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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

Laurent Bigot Assessor
22-Apr-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

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.

Les Observateurs seem to follow this corrections policy quite scrupulously.

And they set clearly that some complaints may justify no response. But without any details or explanation.


done_all 6.2 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

France 24 - Les Observateurs
11-Apr-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Our Corrections policy is set out here:

https://observers.france24.com/en/who-are-we

Here are two examples from the last year: 


Thousands of Ukrainians sign up to fight for their country as Russian invasion continues
https://observers.france24.com/en/europe/20220225-thousands-of-ukrainians-sign-up-to-fight-for-their-country-as-russia-invasion-continues
CORRECTION: The original version of this article contained a video purportedly showing a Ukrainian man saying goodbye to his daughter before leaving to fight. The video in fact shows a man in the pro-Russian separatist region of Donetsk saying goodbye to his daughter who was being evacuated along with the rest of his family.

Videos of transgender women beaten and forced to strip in Benin go viral
https://observers.france24.com/en/africa/20210505-videos-showing-three-transgender-women-beaten-and-forced-to-strip-in-benin-go-viral
CORRECTION, 07/05/2021 : The original version of this article published May 5 stated incorrectly that the assault took place inside the Sunset bar. The victims and their aggressors were in the bar shortly before the incident but the violence took place outside the bar. 



Laurent Bigot Assessor
22-Apr-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Les Observateurs provide credible evidence that it makes corrections openly and transparently.

The team gives 2 examples, one  in English and one in French.


done_all 6.3 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

France 24 - Les Observateurs
11-Apr-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago
Laurent Bigot Assessor
22-Apr-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

Les Observateurs' website has a page where they declare themselves IFCN signatory here;

[English] https://observers.france24.com/en/who-are-we

[French] https://observers.france24.com/fr/qui-sommes-nous

"The International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) is a unit of the US-based Poynter Institute. The IFCN promotes best practices in the fact-checking field and organizes exchanges among fact-checking organizations around the world via grants and other programs. In 2017, the IFCN financed an exchange between the Observers and Teyit.org in Ankara, Turkey. If any individual or organization believes the France 24 Observers are failing to observe the IFCN’s standards they should notify the IFCN."

The website informs users that if they believe its journalists are violating the IFCN Code, people may inform the IFCN, with a link to the IFCN site.


done_all 6.4 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.

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.

France 24 - Les Observateurs
11-Apr-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

France Médias Monde, parent company of France 24, has has its own code of standards, which outlines the following correction policy: "published errors shall be corrected and the right of response accorded to those who claim it.”

https://www.francemediasmonde.com/pdf/charte_deontologie_journalistes.pdf

France 24 - Les Observateurs
27-May-2022 (4 months ago) Updated: 4 months ago

France Médias Monde, parent company of France 24, has has its own code of standards, which outlines the following correction policy: "published errors shall be corrected and the right of response accorded to those who claim it.”

https://www.francemediasmonde.com/pdf/charte_deontologie_journalistes.pdf


UPDATE Hello Laurent, regarding our parent company France Médias Monde's stated correction policy, you write: "It could be that in the future, such a mention is not sufficient (not enough details) to demonstrate a real honest and open correction policy." 

>>Is the mention sufficient for now? It will take time to change our parent company's policy. We at the Observers follow our own policy as outlined on this page: https://observers.france24.com/en/who-are-we

Please note that FMM's code of standards goes on to explain the French system of "droit de réponse" (right to respond to an article) and "droit de réplique" (the journalist's right to respond to the response) and "nouveau droit de réponse" (the right to respond to the journalist's response to your response). 

>>This is the French equivalent to a US corrections policy. Do you agree that it amounts to a "real honest and open correction policy"? 


Laurent Bigot Assessor
22-Apr-2022 (5 months ago) Updated: 5 months ago

The parent media company of Les Observateurs, called France 24, has its own code of ethics:

https://www.francemediasmonde.com/pdf/charte_deontologie_journalistes.pdf

It contains references to a kind of corrections policy:

"It is advisable to rectify the errors published and to respect the right of reply of the persons wishing to exercise it."

It could be that in the future, such a mention is not sufficient (not enough details) to demonstrate a real honest and open correction policy.


cancel 6.5 marked as Request change by Laurent Bigot.
Laurent Bigot Assessor
11-Jun-2022 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

The parent media company of Les Observateurs, called France 24, has its own code of ethics:

https://www.francemediasmonde.com/pdf/charte_deontologie_journalistes.pdf

It contains references to a kind of corrections policy:

"It is advisable to rectify the errors published and to respect the right of reply of the persons wishing to exercise it."

It could be that in the future, such a mention is not sufficient (not enough details) to demonstrate a real honest and open correction policy.

It takes time to change the parent company's policy ; but, for next year, it will be necessary to mention the whole content of Les Observateurs' corrections policy in the  France 24 code of ethics.


done_all 6.5 marked as Compliant by Laurent Bigot.