What is Pagella Politica
Pagella Politica has been online since 2012, as the only Italian website dedicated to political fact-checking. Our objective is to monitor statements made by Italian politicians and verify their truthfulness according to reliable data and sources.
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Who we are?
Pagella Politica is a Srls (“società a responsabilità limitata semplificata”, according to the Italian laws) established at the end of 2013 by 10 partners: Pietro Curatolo, Daniele De Bernardin, Federica Fusi, Giorgio Gagnor, Amerigo Lombardi, Alexios Mantzarlis, Flavia Mi, Andrea Saviolo, Silvia Sommariva and Carlo Starace.
None of the founders or staffers are members of political parties and/or organisations, and the lack of political involvement is a key prerequisite in order to work or cooperate with Pagella Politica, which we verify during the selection process. We do not support a candidate in any election nor advocate or take policy positions on any issues.
If you want to know more about us, you can find our bios here.
How is the project financed?
Presently, Pagella Politica is financed mainly by our content-providing activities. In 2016 and 2017, 90 per cent of our income was based on services provided to three clients formed. We also provide training services and participate as speakers or panelists to relevant events. The training activities we undertook are listed here. In 2018, we started our cooperation with Facebook, who is now one of our main clients. More details on our partnerships follows:
- RAI: starting in 2014, we have a weekly appearance on RAI2, one of the three main TV channels of the Italian public broadcaster. In 2016-2018, we collaborated with “Night Tabloid” and, during the electoral campaign, with “Kronos”. Our segments are available here.
- AGI: we currently provide 5 fact-checks a week for AGI - Agenzia Giornalistica Italia, one of the main Italian newswire services. Our articles are available here.
- Facebook: we are part of the Third-Party Fact-checkers group, which works to contrast the spread of fake news on the platform. All articles related to that project are available here.
- EastWest, a bimonthly foreign policy publication: we produce a fact-checking column on European issues, called La Pagella di Bruxelles.
Pagella Politica doesn’t receive money from political parties or entities related to political parties.
What exactly do we do?
1. We have an automated system that allows us to monitor politicians’ statements by constantly reviewing the main Italian newspapers, both print and online, at a national and local level; we also monitor the leading press agencies; politicians’ websites and twitter profiles; national political party websites; ministerial and government websites; politicians’ Youtube videos;
2. We then choose the statements that contain facts or data that we can fact-check;
3. We upload the selected statements on the website, as well as the link to the original source, so that the reader can verify when, where and exactly what the politician said;
4. We fact-check the data and facts of the statement, accurately quoting all the sources which we base our fact-checks on;
5. Finally, we give the politician a grade based on a spectrum that goes from “True” to “Insane Whopper”. If you want to know more about our grading system, please refer to our methodology.
Ok, cool! What happens when fact-checkers make a mistake?
We are far from perfect, which is why we publish all the sources of the data that we use for our analyses. If you read an analysis that seems wrong, please leave a comment under the declaration and justify your opinion. We will then consider it and eventually correct our mistake.
All our corrections are available on this page. It is however important to keep in mind that:
1. Newspapers and press agencies may misreport a statement. In this case, we will try to correct our mistake as soon as possible, but we do not consider ourselves responsible for the misinformation as it is not always possible to obtain the primary source, such as videos, to obtain the original statement made by the politician.
2. Sometimes, data is updated after we have already analysed a statement. In this case, we will not correct the analysis as the statement is verified according to the data available to us (and to the politician!) in a given moment.
Does Pagella Politica publish a league table of the worst liars?
No. Our objective is not to present a statistically valid indicator of politicians’ credibility. Each politician has a different number of statements and some politicians have been monitored for a shorter time period than others. For this reason, we believe that it is impossible to compare the politicians based on the truthfulness of their claims. The graphic visualizations of each profile are a guide to the reliability of their statements, but they have no statistical value.