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The rise of fact-checking sites in Europe

At least 34 political fact-checking groups operate throughout Europe, a report released this week by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (RISJ) showed.

In the West and North of Europe, fact-checking teams are predominantly part of established newsrooms, while in Eastern Europe they tend to be driven by NGOs.

The report, called “The Rise of Fact-Checking Sites in Europe”, is based on interviews with more than 40 fact-checkers, site visits in eight countries in Europe, and an online survey conducted in August and September 2016 with responses from 30 organisations.

The authors, Lucas Graves, assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and Federica Cherubini, head of knowledge sharing at Condé Nast International and previously a research associate at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, researched the types of fact-checking operations, their growth and how they see their role in relation to their audience.

Some 43 per cent of respondents said their primary goal was either “improving the quality of public discourse” or “holding politicians accountable”.

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