(VIDEO) “Polygraph”: Who misinforms that the countries of the Western Balkans surpassed Macedonia on the Rule of Law Index?

One thing is claimed in the title, and quite another in the text. This method of inaccurate information is common among online media in the country.

Such is the example with the portal Lider.mk, which on 25/10/2023 published a text with the title: “Countries from the Western Balkans surpassed Macedonia according to the rule of law index, Macedonia fell by four places”.

As written at the beginning of the text, according to the latest Global Rule of Law Index published today by the World Justice Project, Macedonia maintained its ranking in 67th place among 142 countries with a score of 0.53, the same as in the previous three years .

But further down in the text, the Leader portal publishes data that refutes the claim from the headline. “From the countries of the Western Balkans, Montenegro and Kosovo have a better ranking on the overall list, at 57th and 58th place, respectively, with scores of 0.56. Bosnia and Herzegovina is weaker in 75th place with an index of 0.51. Albania and Serbia are ranked 91st and 93rd with 0.48, respectively. Turkey is in 117th place with a score of 0.41,” says the text of Lider.mk.

Therefore, the conclusion of Lider.mk in the title, that “Western Balkan countries surpassed Macedonia according to the rule of law index…” is incorrect, because Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania and Serbia have a lower ranking than North Macedonia, and Montenegro has a better ranking. Gora and Kosovo.

Moreover, as can be seen from the official announcements of the European Commission, Turkey is not considered as part of the countries of the Western Balkans.

What can be concluded from this case? Audiences should be wary of what’s in the headlines, read full texts, and seek information from multiple sources. Certainly, the media should not make false claims in the headlines, which are often used as sensationalist hooks to increase readership, because such an approach has the effect of reducing the audience’s trust in the media.