Articles about "Fact Checking"

Is Truth-O-Meter the real issue in Maddow’s latest blast at PolitiFact?

The Tampa Bay Times’ fact-checking site PolitiFact has drawn another heated rebuke from MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow, who accuses it of “ruining fact checking” and being “truly terrible.”

But at the risk of looking like a homer — the Times … Read more


New NYT video series will fact-check the past

The New York Times Co. | Retro Report | The New York Times
The New York Times Co. Monday announced a video collaboration with Retro Report, which "Fact-Checks Yesterday’s News," in the words of a Times release. The videos will run on the Times' Booming blog.

Future reports will take on crack babies -- "we learn that warnings in the 1980s about these children being damaged for life were not supported by the research of the time or by more recent studies," Michael Winerip writes -- and the Tawana Brawley story.

Retro Report says it combines "documentary techniques with shoe-leather reporting" because "the first draft of history can be wrong." (more...)
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Bill Adair: Fact-checking ‘is a good investment’

Bill Adair says in an interview with Brendan Nyhan for Columbia Journalism Review that while he is leaving newspapers for academia, the lessons he learned from founding PolitiFact are worth sharing with all of journalism. Fact-checking, he said, is needed more than ever.

"The challenge is that news organizations are so strapped that they are looking for things to cut, not things to add such as factchecking," he said. "I’m hopeful they’ll realize that factchecking is a good investment — and one that readers love."

Verifying statements validates the role of journalists as guardians against misinformation, Adair said, a job that seems to have fallen by the wayside. (more...)

Washington Post gets closer to real-time fact checking with new Truth Teller prototype

Truth Teller | Knight Foundation
Politicians lie.

Journalists try to point out those lies, but usually at some later time and in a different medium. That gap in time and distance is just enough to let the original lie take root in the public's mind before the truth catches up, if it ever does.

Closing that gap is the holy grail of professional fact checkers. PolitiFact made some progress in last year's election with the Settle It! mobile app that empowers users to look up fact-checks at the precise moment they need them. Dan Schultz at MIT has worked on a browser plugin called Truth Goggles that highlights truths and falsehoods on whatever Web page you're currently reading. (more...)

Romney adviser asks Washington Post to reconsider fact-check of Jeep statement

The Washington Post  | The Weekly Standard Mitt Romney adviser Stuart Stevens wrote to Washington Post's "Fact Checker" Glenn Kessler this week asking him to look anew at his four-Pinocchio rating of a Romney ad that asserted Chrysler was moving Jeep production to China. Chrysler said it plans to make "at least 100,000 Jeeps in China when production starts in 2014," Reuters' Stephen Jewkes and Stefano Rebaudo reported last week. (more...)

Plagiarism, fabrication and hoaxes marked this year in ‘Regret the Error’

We’ve published the year’s most notable errors and corrections and a month-by-month accounting of plagiarism and fabrication. Now it’s time to highlight the three accuracy-related trends from this year.

Inconsistent standards for handling plagiarism & fabrication

This year saw … Read more

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Denver TV stations debunk political ads they air, says’s Jamieson

Colorado is a key swing state in the 2012 election, and that means local airwaves are inundated with political advertisements from campaigns and third parties.

Kathleen Hall Jamieson has been watching the ads and the resulting coverage in Colorado … Read more

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PolitiFact tells group to stop using its ‘Truth-o-Meter’ on billboards

Willamette Week
PolitiFact sent a cease-and-desist letter to Oregon Transformation Project, which has placed about 30 billboards around Portland, Ore., that imitate the fact-checking organization's visual presentation.

The signs say: "FALSE or TRUE? Portland school bond improves education" and show PolitiFact's "Truth-O-Meter" displaying a rating of "Pants on Fire." Below the meter is a logo that says, in the style of PolitiFact's logo.

PolitiFact is operated by the Poynter-owned Tampa Bay Times. Republican strategists have asserted the site is biased against conservatives. (more...)

Fact-checking will play prominent role in tonight’s debate

The New York Times | The Washington Post | The Hill | CJR | Free Press
Along with many other news organizations, The New York Times is marshaling a small army of red pencilers for Wednesday night's debate. Public Editor Margaret Sullivan writes about the preparations:
Mary Suh, a deputy politics editor, has a team of 20 reporters who have worked on the effort and who will be present to respond to what comes up during the debate. ...

“We’re writing these fact-checks in advance so that we’re not scrambling,” Ms. Suh said. “It’s all on an Excel spreadsheet – from Romney’s Bain history to Obama’s record on the deficit.”
Fact-checking "may well stem from decades of news-consumer frustration with the conventions of political reporting," Erik Wemple writes. But it also does big box office on the Web. Associated Press spokesperson Paul Colford tells him that on "online popularity lists" the news co-op's fact-checking pieces "often outperform and outlast the mainbar stories to which they are sidebars." (more...)

Washington Post fact-checker, columnist fact-check each other

ABC News | The Washington Post | The Washington Post
Representatives from the nation's fact-checking apparatus will gather Wednesday at the National Press Club to discuss "the less-than-factual lines President Obama and Mitt Romney are likely to spin" at their debates, Amy Bingham reports., the Associated Press, The Washington Post and Politifact, which is owned by Poynter's Tampa Bay Times, all plan to send red-pencilers.

The first debate is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 3.

Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler appears to be all set for fact-checking's Super Bowls: Monday morning he published a takedown of a claim in a political ad based on a Marc Thiessen column that ran in The Washington Post.

In the piece, Kessler goes to work on Thiessen's thesis that "more than half the time, the commander in chief does not attend his daily intelligence meeting." He goes into wonk-glazing detail on the presidential daily briefing (PDB) and concludes it's a "a misguided attack because Obama has chosen to receive his information in a different manner than his predecessor." Three Pinocchios, ruleth the fact-checker.

Thiessen fired back Tuesday morning. (more...)