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Is it time to completely rethink fact-checking?

The basic format of political fact-checking is identical the world over: Start from a widely circulated claim by a public figure, then rate the truthfulness of its objectively verifiable components. Tom Rosenstiel, executive director at the American Press Institute, thinks it may be time to rethink this model. Local newsrooms especially, he suggests, should make “the key unit of fact-checking … Read More

This Sunday, celebrate International Fact-Checking Day

On April 2 — not coincidentally the day after April Fools' Day — we’ll celebrate the inaugural International Fact-Checking Day. The initiative is a collaboration by fact-checkers and journalism organizations from around the world, with a goal to enlist the public in the fight against misinformation in all its forms. On the website of the initiative, you … Read More

Rivals become partners in Norway's newest fact-checking project

Imagine that The New York Times, The Washington Post and PBS launched a joint fact-checking project. That is, roughly speaking, what happened in Norway earlier this week. VG and Dagbladet, Norway's two largest online news sources by readership, joined forces with NRK, the public broadcaster, to launch Faktisk. The initiative, a team of at least five journalists led by … Read More

This online tool makes checking crowd sizes easier

Donald Trump is neither the first nor the last politician to mislead the public about his crowd's size. Long before the 45th President of the United States was grossly overestimating attendance at his inauguration, another tycoon-turned-politician was exaggerating his own turnouts. Silvio Berlusconi, a fixture of Italian politics for two decades, claimed more than 10 years ago that … Read More

7 newsrooms closed their PolitiFact chapters since the presidential campaign

PolitiFact, the national political fact-checking franchise started by the Poynter-owned Tampa Bay Times, has lost seven of its statewide partners since the presidential campaign. Partners in Providence, Rhode Island, Des Moines, Iowa and Richmond, Virginia all discontinued their PolitiFact franchises within the last year, according to a report from the Duke Reporters' Lab. E.W. Scripps Television Stations, which operated … Read More

Fact-checking changes minds but not votes, according to new research

Facts-don't-matter headline writers take note: According to new research, fact-checking may be an effective medicine against misinformation. However, it doesn't seem likely to move people at the ballot box. A study published today by Royal Society Open Science concentrated specifically on statements — both factual and inaccurate — made by Donald Trump during the Republican primary campaign. Read More

There are now 114 fact-checking initiatives in 47 countries

Facts may be passé, but fact-checking appears to be a growth industry. The latest figures by the Duke Reporters' Lab indicate there are 114 dedicated fact-checking teams in 47 countries. When the Lab first counted up fact-checkers in 2014, the same number was 44. While some of this increase is a matter of identification rather than creation — Duke … Read More

Journalism can't afford for corrections to be next victim of 'fake news' frenzy

In a Facebook post, Barbara Tyler is merciless. "Hey, did anyone think of proofreading your headline today before the paper went to press? I am pretty sure Trump did not replace his vice president. Fake news at its best. Sometimes I wonder why I continue to subscribe to your paper." Tyler was responding to an extraordinary slip-up by The … Read More

I spent two weeks with the best TV fact-checkers. Here’s what I learned.

It is 8:55 a.m. on a Thursday, and the journalist Natalia Hernández is on a train that connects downtown Madrid to Fuencarral, one of the Spanish capital's northern districts. It is freezing outside. The city lights are still on. Hernández is concentrating, her eyes glued to her phone. Playing through her headphones is an interview with Mariano Rajoy, Spain’s prime … Read More

What does "The Death of Expertise" mean for fact-checkers?

For populists on both sides of the Atlantic, "expert" is now an expletive, a synonym for out-of-touch elitists swindling the common man. This was perhaps most obvious during the Brexit referendum campaign, when the UK Justice Secretary and "Leave" advocate Michael Gove told a stunned interviewer that "the people of this country have had enough of experts ... from organizations with acronyms saying that … Read More
In Case You Missed It

Google expands application of "Fact Check" tag

Google is expanding its "Fact Check" tag to Argentina, Brazil and Mexico. The tag will also now appear in the news mode of the search box.


Months after losing funding, ABC Fact Check is back

Last year, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation had come under criticism for shutting down its Fact Check unit after the government halted funding. Before the shutdown, ABC Fact Check was one of the most notable TV fact-checking efforts worldwide. On Tuesday, ABC News announced the operation would relaunch, thanks to a new partnership with RMIT University. Read More

Getting automated fact-checking from science fiction to reality

A government leader opens his mouth, and listeners instantly know how much of the speech is provable. Science fiction? For the moment, but hopefully not forever. The state of technology and the maturity of fact-checking organizations today make it possible to take the first steps toward that goal. Chequeado, where I work as director of editorial innovation, started working … Read More

PolitiFact raised $105,000 in 20 days through its newly launched membership program

The Committee to Protect Journalists saw a spike in donations after Meryl Streep's Golden Globe hat-tip; The New York Times and Vanity Fair, both objects of unflattering presidential tweets, have seen subscriptions surge. Now PolitiFact, the fact-checking outfit of the Poynter-owned Tampa Bay Times, seems set to benefit from a Trump bump. Between donations and pledges, PolitiFact … Read More

Can fact-checkers teach future world leaders to lie less?

"96 million really wanting a job and they can’t get (it). You know that story. The real number — that’s the real number." Donald Trump cited this highly misleading statistic in his first press conference after the election. It was a claim with scant evidence, but he said it anyway. But what if someone could stop a world … Read More