Mairéad McGuinness, European Parliament's Vice-President in charge of communications, Michel Lebrun, CoR President, Faktabaari's journalist Tuomas Muraja, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and Faktabaari's host Mikko Salo with the European Public Communication Award at the European Parliament.
The European Public Communication Award 2014 was attributed to the Finnish fact-checking project “Faktabaari” (“Fact bar”) which, in the context of the 2014 European elections, contributed to boost the factual content of the political debate by addressing common misconceptions on the EU.
The award was attributed at the EuroPCom 2014 Conference in Brussels 15th of October.
A jury made up of EU communication experts selected the most appealing and convincing campaign from a total of 28 candidates.
This year’s EuroPCom opening also saw the second edition of the European Public Communication Award to honour outstanding EU-related communication campaigns and projetcs developed by a national, regional or local authority.
EuroPCom is a yearly initiative from the Committee of the Regions, organised in partnership with the European Parliament, the Italian EU Presidency 2014, the Council of the EU, the European Commission and the European Economic and Social Committee.
The programme for EuroPCom 2014 features a wide range of workshops, networking sessions and lectures on issues such as reputation building, the impact of “total connectivity”, creative campaigning, communicators or artists cooperation and the perception of Europe through arts and culture.
Faktabaari (direct translation: Fact bar) will reopen for business in the beginning of 2015 when it starts to review and if necessary correct claims made during the run-up to the Finnish Parliamentary election. This relaunch has been made possible by a €59,000 grant awarded to Faktabaari by the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation in September 2014.
The preparatory phase will start immediately so that Faktabaari can assemble as varied a network of experts as possible. The project website will also be stocked with general information about the Finnish Parliament and the election. Citizens can start to ask questions and request checking for claims they have come across once the political parties have kicked off their election campaigns in early 2015.
Faktabaari will again offer verified information addressing false facts put forward in the Parliamentary election discussion, just like it did during the European elections project. In spring 2014 the web-based Faktbaari monitored the European elections discussion and by the eve of the polling day had checked more than 60 claims about the European Union and corrected over 40 of them.
Faktabaari creates conditions for a fact-based public election debate and high quality journalism. This service works with social media, crowd sourcing and an open source code and is primarily targeted at the media and opinion leaders. Faktabaari is also involved in organising a training project on fact verification together with universities than offer courses in communications.
Faktabaari is a politically neutral open to all citizens’ service. It positions itself neither for nor against any political party.
Faktabaari is run by Avoin yhteiskunta ry (direct translation: Open Society association), a Finnish non-governmental organisation. The purpose of the association is to promote openness as a fundamental societal value, to bring societal decision making closer to the citizens and to offer them better opportunities to participate in decision making.
More information is available from Faktabaari manager Mikko Salo, tel.+358405565050 firstname.lastname@example.org www.faktabaari.fi Twitter: @Faktabaari FB: facebook.com/faktabaari