Faktoje, a fact-checking media service that promotes accountability based on the right to information and transparency, was launched in Albania in May 2018 with full technical support from the USAID-funded Justice for All project (JfA), implemented by EWMI. The overarching goal of Faktoje is to improve public performance standards in Albania and, in less than two years, the platform has become a reliable source of information and set an example of responsible and ethical journalism. Since its establishment, Faktoje has also been acknowledged as the first fact-checking organization in Albania by a Tirana Court decision and become the first media organization in Albania to become a signatory member of the International Fact-Checking Network.
On April 2, 2020, which is International Fact-Checking Day, Faktoje launched a newly redesigned website. The new website, which was developed with support from JfA, is more user- and mobile device-friendly and contains several features that will help Faktoje better present its work, including an e-newsletter that has a growing list of subscribers.
More concretely, the updates to Faktoje’s website include the addition of a space for video news items and a feature that allows all readers to see the results of its fact-checking for declarations (true, untrue, or half-true) or promises (kept or not kept) by simply pointing to the headline of the given article. In addition, the fact-o-meter indicators that Faktoje regularly uses were placed front and center to highlight Faktoje’s approach to fact-checking and strengthen readers’ understanding of fact-checking as an approach to quality journalism.
The new website design also includes a dedicated space for COVID-19 updates, including quick access to key data based on official figures from the Ministry of Health and Social Protection and a page dedicated to articles focused exclusively on COVID-19, including the 71 relevant articles Faktoje has produced since the introduction of lockdown measures in Albania in March. These articles cover three main topics: the fact-checking of statements by public officials regarding measures and their implementation; identifying, exposing, and raising awareness about disinformation related to COVID-19 treatments; and the impact of COVID-19 on different sectors, such as education, health, the environment, and tourism. Faktoje’s COVID-19 reporting seeks to hold public officials accountable for promises made in relation to measures taken to reduce the spread of the coronavirus and to provide citizens with vital information on protection from the virus by countering disinformation.