Fact-checking direct democracy

Details

Serval ID
serval:BIB_11596B4644E5
Type
A part of a book
Publication sub-type
Chapter: chapter ou part
Collection
Publications
Institution
Title
Fact-checking direct democracy
Title of the book
Misinformation in Referenda
Author(s)
Bernhard Laurent
Publisher
Routledge
ISBN
9780429274725
Publication state
Published
Issued date
07/07/2020
Pages
77-90
Language
english
Abstract
The recent boom of fact-checking has raised scholarly interest in these activities. As opposed to elections, the domain of direct democracies has remained unexplored so far. This chapter studies the journalistic work in the selection and presentation of fact-checked claims about referenda and initiatives. More specifically, the empirical analysis examines the extent to which journalists include checkable claims and whether the rating scores of political actors vary according to partisan affiliation. It focuses on Switzerland, the paradigmatic case of direct democracy, by examining 107 claims analyzed by TA-Faktencheck, the country’s most ambitious fact-checking project. These claims were made by politicians in the framework of the political TV show, Arena, on 14 ballot propositions that were submitted to the people for voting purposes from February 2016 to May 2018. Two main findings emerge from a quantitative content analysis. First, slightly more than 40% of the included claims fail to pass the “checkability test” since they refer to opinions, predict the future, or are vague in nature. Second, this study documents considerable partisan variation in terms of rating scores, as the members of the Swiss People’s Party from the radical right are shown to perform significantly worse than those from the Social Democrats. This chapter suggests that journalistic fact-checking practice needs to be improved.
Keywords
Direct democracy, Fact-checking, Journalism, Switzerland
Create date
20/07/2020 10:45
Last modification date
21/07/2020 6:21
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