Sponsored by the Region Grand Est

9 November 2017 - 14.30-16.30 - Room 1 - Interpretation: FR/EN/RU

The lab will look into examples of fact checking methodologies to identify the most effective approaches in cracking down on fake stories.

Lab 9 final report

initiative 1

Protection of democratic values through fact-checking journalism (sut.am), “Union of Informed Citizens” NGO, Armenia

The initiative aims to increase public support for democratic values through fact-checking journalism. It fights against disinformation that undermines the activity of NGOs, democratic values, human rights, freedom of expression, and political reforms. The NGO intensively cooperates with other NGOs to produce its materials. Currently, its publications have 5000 to 7000 views online on average and according to the Google Analytics report, readers spend 3 minutes on its website, suggesting that its materials are read until the end.






Founder of Union of Informed Citizens


Daniel Ioannisyan has been working in the opposition political field since 2007. He worked at the RA National Assembly as a Deputy Assistant from 2010 to 2011. During this period, he prepared different packages of legislative reforms for the law enforcement sector. Since 2011 Mr. Ioannisyan has worked as a law enforcement sector analyst for various local media resources.  In 2013, Mr. Ioannisyan left politics and later founded the “Union of Informed Citizens” NGO, which is taking measures to increase the capacity of the media field in Armenia and also implementing media activities through the ArmRusInfo Russian-language news site and Sut.am fact-checking website, which combats misinformation. The main goal of Sut.am is to identify the false information spread by officials, the authorities and the media.

initiative 2

EUCHECK: Journalism schools for fact-checking, an impartial network, European Journalism Training Association (EJTA), the Netherlands

EUCHECK strives to be a reference point for fact-checking EU policies and politics, while promoting European studies and developing fact-checking. Over 15 EJTA journalism schools work on the project. EUCHECK aims to support quality journalism and journalism education while testing new cooperative arrangements, to enhance credibility of media; to contribute to the accuracy of European political statements; to engage European citizens as well as to create incentives to spread fact-checked information on social media; to develop a European open educational resource (OER) methodology; and to establish cooperation with quality national fact-checkers. For the 2019 European parliamentary elections, EUCHECK intends to bring all their national platforms together in one pan-European portal.





Senior lecturer and Head of Journalism and Communication, Dublin Institute of Technology


Kate Shanahan is a senior lecturer and Head of Journalism and Communication at the Dublin Institute of Technology. An award-winning journalist and TV and Radio producer she has worked across current affairs programmes for the national broadcaster RTE.  She has contributed papers to national and European conferences on media, politics, media literacy and online journalism. She is one of the contributing writers to Press Gang, New Island books, (2015), and has written about her work as a woman journalist in 1980’s and 1990’s Ireland. She is a founding member of Women Leaders in Higher Education and sits on the research advisory board of EJTA, as well as being a member of the Institute of Directors Ireland. She is a national expert for the European Media monitoring report, 2015 and 2016, a mentor for www.womenonair.ie, and established Ireland’s first children’s news website www.clicnews.ie.

TOUWEN Carien J.

Carien J. TOUWEN

International officer and senior lecturer journalism research, HU University of Applied Sciences in Utrecht


Carien J. Touwen is a senior lecturer in journalism/media studies and international officer at HU Applied Sciences University in Utrecht, the Netherlands. In her 25 year career in higher education and as a freelance consultant and trainer, she has worked on projects for education innovation, done research on media representation and is responsible for a broad network of international partners and projects.

initiative 3

The Insider, Russian Federation

The Insider is an investigative newspaper that seeks to provide its readers with information about the current political, economic and social situation in Russia, while also promoting democratic values and shedding light on issues related to human rights and civil society. In addition, the Insider implements the “Antifake” project, with the objective of systematically debunking fake news in Russian media, and to help its audience to distinguish relevant information from fake news and propaganda.




Editor-in-chief of The Insider

Russian Federation

Born in 1983 in Moscow, Roman Dobrokhotov is a Moscow-based investigative journalist, he is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Insider. He has Ph.D. in political science.


Discussants are invited to take part in the Labs in order to share their experience with the presented democratic initiatives and try to bring broader perspectives to the following discussions.



Visionary at Better News and co-founder at the Citizens Foundation


Gunnar is currently pioneering his Better News project, using tools and lessons learned by designing and using new democratic processes at the Citizens Foundation since 2008.Working on and presenting e-democracy projects in dozens of countries for thousands of people with over a million participating Gunnar has acquired a unique experience and perspective on different approaches to crowd-sourcing. His current project is to fix our broken news in a way never tried before, by crowd-sourcing all aspects of news making and bringing together people from all walks of lifes, from professionals to Jane on the street. Together we will report, rate, edit and fact-check news from all around the world, news of the people, by the people and for the people.



Director of European Security Programme at Vilnius Institute for Policy Analysis


Simas Čelutka is Director of European Security Programme at Vilnius Institute for Policy Analysis. He specializes in debunking fake news, information security, media literacy and politics of history. Simas has been involved in numerous public discussions on the fate of liberal democracy, the rise of nationalism and populism, and the importance of facts for a healthy democracy. He has also worked at The Henry Jackson Society, a London-based think tank, and as a journalist for the IQ. The Economist.

ISCAN Erdoğan

Erdoğan İŞCAN

Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Turkey to the Council of Europe


Erdoğan İşcan is Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Turkey to the Council of Europe since 2014. Before coming to Strasbourg, he has been Deputy Undersecretary of Political Affairs, as well as Director General of Multilateral Political Affairs, at the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. From 2009 to 2011 Mr İşcan has been Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, Seoul, and from 2005 to 2009 he has been ambassador to Ukraine in Kyiv.


Youth Department's youth delegation

United Kingdom

Conor McArdle is  a Law Student at Queens University Belfast , he is a member of the board of  the NGO New Europeans Ireland and the representative for Northern Ireland. He is also active within the The European Youth Parliament having represented Ireland at international forums  and acting as chair at various sessions. He is also currently chair of the Gaelic Athletic Associations national youth representational Committee  and have worked with various charity endeavours including a mission to Malawi in Africa and volunteer work for a local homeless Charity in Belfast.  



Building Change Trust

United Kingdom

Paul Braithwaite is Programme Leader with the Building Change Trust in Northern Ireland, leading their work on Social and Democratic Innovation. Since joining the Trust in 2013 Paul has developed and delivered a number of new initiatives for the Trust using research, grant-making, facilitated dialogue and international learning exchanges to stimulate new collaborations and initiatives around the themes of deliberative democracy and social innovation. These have included a Civic Activism Programme, the NI Open Government Network, Social Innovation NI and the Techies in Residence Programme, as well as emerging new initiatives on Participatory Budgeting and Citizens’ Assemblies. Prior to joining Building Change Trust, Paul’s background was in international development, a subject in which he holds a Masters degree, and he worked for international NGOs for around 10 years including periods based in Pakistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo where he developed and managed programmes with local civil society on themes including civic engagement, participatory governance, gender equality, bonded labour, human rights and disaster preparedness and response.



Researcher at GAP Institute,Youth Department's youth delegation


Nora Jusufi is a development economist with a distinct passion of research-based policy and project implementation, especially in the pursuit of poverty eradication and inequality reduction. She is a native speaker of Albanian and fluent speaker of English and Spanish. Nora is currently a researcher at GAP Institute which she joined in November 2016 through a professional development fellowship of the Open Society Institute (OSI). Nora has a number of experiences in non-governmental organizations in various fields, including but not limited to procurement research, access to justice, economics, public policies and related issues, but also in project coordination, public relations, communication management, and consultancy.

* All references to Kosovo, whether the territory, institutions or population, in this text shall be understood in full compliance with United Nation's Security Council Resolution 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.

LAB 9 - Fake news: does fact checking work?
Palais de l'Europe, Room 1 9 November 2017 - 14.30-16.30
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