#portugal #spain #factchecking
The lack of media attention given to various cities across different countries raises ques-tions about the impact on their communities. When local journalism initiatives disappear, it creates space for alternative narratives that may not be as dedicated to holding those in power accountable. In these locations, polarisation intensifies, and civic engagement dwindles, leading to the depletion of democracy. However, these signs can persist even when journalistic cover-age exists if it lacks thoroughness. Through in-depth interviews with journalists from 12 local media outlets in Portugal and Spain, this exploratory study delved into their perspectives and approaches to fact-checking. Time and resources available in the newsrooms, when scarce, lead to less fact-checking. It is also noteworthy that journalists in both countries demonstrate a near unwavering trust in official sources. That creates a deficit in the verification process when infor-mation originates from these sources. On the other hand, local politicians refrain from cooperat-ing and actively impede journalists’ efforts to fact-check through local media outlets, often driven by their vested interests.