Our funders play no role in our fact-checking process. Staffed by independent media professionals, Factcheck.bg has no personal or institutional relations with any individuals, institutions or political entities covered in Bulgaria or other countries. Please read here about our editorial independence.
Small Grants Program of the U.S. Embassy
Factcheck.bg received support from the U.S. Embassy Sofia Small Grants Program for fact-checking trainings for journalists, students and activists from January - November 2021. The support also covered the organization of a fact-checking competition on the topic: “Human Rights as a Target of Disinformation Campaigns.” The U.S. Embassy plays no role in any of these activities – editorial, supervisory or otherwise – and they are entirely managed and implemented by Factcheck.bg.
European Parliament contract
From May - September 2021, Factcheck.bg implemented the project "DetecDisinfoNet" with funding provided by the European Parliament. The objective was to fund the production and publication of fact-checking on European-wide topics including the pandemic, energy, human rights and foreign policy. All the fact checks published under this grant are clearly marked as such and the European Parliament played no role beyond funding. The editor of Factcheck.bg examines every story assignment for potential conflicts of interest and takes full responsibility for the choice of topics and how they are fact-checked. From December 2021 to July 2022, Factcheck.bg again received financing from the European Parliament for another project whose objective is to build and grow the fact-checking community.
Active Citizens Fund
In October 2021 Factcheck.bg started a new project to cultivate a community of scientist fact-checkers and collaborate with Factcheck.bg and its team of journalists. The project is supported by the Active Citizens Fund [ACF] in Bulgaria. Funded by donors Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism and administered by the Open Society Institute - Sofia, the goal of the ACF is to foster civil society development. The grant includes developing a methodology for scientific fact-checking; setting up a system to coordinate fact-checking collaborations between scientists and journalists; fact-checking training for scientists; and the production of fact checks to be published on the site. The project ends in October 2023.
NATO Public Diplomacy Programme
Factcheck.bg received funding from the NATO Public Diplomacy Programme to produce 6 fact checks and 4 short videos for the site from October 1 - December 31 2021. The funding is dedicated to supporting fact-checking in NATO member states generally and NATO exercises no influence over the choice of claims to check nor the way in which they are verified. All published reports supported under the program will be clearly marked as such.
Countering Disinformation Innovation Fund, U.S. Department of State
The project “Boosting the factchecking capacity of Factcheck.bg” is funded by Counter State Disinformation Innovation Fund and consists of the production of at least 18 actual factchecks on political statements and other disinformation narratives and campaigns in the social and traditional media. The project’s objectives are to increase the speed and depth of fact-checking coverage of critical events in Bulgarian and around the world, such as the war in Ukraine. An additional objective is to create a more trustworthy, robust media environment by providing free and much-needed content on timely issues to Bulgaria’s beleaguered independent media who have limited resources to research and respond to disinformation. The project’s period is 1 October 2022- 31 March 2023.
Detect and Check Disinformation, U.S. Department of State
The project “Boosting the fact checking community in Bulgaria” is implemented in partnership with Poynter institute for media studies and consists of three main activities. In the first the partners developed a fact-checking program and guide designed to equip Bulgarian national and regional journalists and journalism students with the skills to identify disinformation in Bulgaria and to develop effective fact-checking measures to counter it. The next element consists of training 12 fact-checkers from Factcheck.bg and other media to become professional fact-checking trainers. The third element is the fact-checking academy which has two sessions - summer and autumn, to train 100 regional journalists and journalism students.
European Media and Information Fund
The project “Combat disinformation in a sustainable way - COMDISWAY” is implemented with the financial support of the European Media and Information Fund, managed by Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. The sole responsibility of the content lies with Factcheck.bg and does not necessarily reflect the positions of EMIF and the Fund Partners, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the European University Institute.
The project aims to develop a systematic and sustainable strategy to tackle the disinformation in Bulgaria related to critical events. The project rationale is to fight the disinformation with a model that involves prebunking, debunking and updates on the most sensitive topics which, based on our experience, will be part once again of the disinformation landscape.
The project’ team will search for disinformation in two ways - in the isolated Bulgarian Facebook groups and through international partnerships (the IFCN, Science+) and other fact-checking platforms (EDMO, EU vs Disinfo). This way, the project will be able to address both local disinformation discourses and major narratives popular in Central and Eastern European countries.
For the articles on disinformation about the war in Ukraine and its broader context,Factcheck.bg will continue to translate these articles into Ukrainian and to increase their reach via a partnership with the Ukrainian fact-checker StopFake. StopFake.org will republish Factcheck.bg articles in Ukrainian. It will also provide the team with consultation on Ukrainian topics throughout the whole project cycle.
The Association of European Journalists - Bulgaria (AEJ) and Google have launched a new partnership as a joint effort to promote media literacy and counter disinformation in Bulgaria. Google’s funding will allow for the scale and reach of Factcheck.bg to grow, which will enable AEJ to enlarge its team, establish at least 5 new partnerships with media outlets and double their online audience (website views and social media followers). At least 96 fact-checks will be made on various actual topics in the framework of the project. The project period is July 2023 - July 2024.