Having the truth on your side is a necessary thing when trying to debunk misinformation.
But it’s far from enough.
The truth alone does not change minds, create belief. Convincing people of your argument, or correcting someone else’s lies, requires more than unearthing the truth and reciting the facts.
So what’s a journalist to do?
Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler continue to produce work aimed at identifying the best and most effective ways to combat political misinformation. (I also recently wrote about their research into whether politicians fear fact checkers.)
Nyhan, a professor at Dartmouth, and Reifler, a lecturer at the University of Exeter, today added a bit more to their body of debunking work. They published a research paper, “Which Corrections Work,” with the New America Foundation that contains three specific pieces of advice for how journalists can best correct misinformation. That advice is coupled with related experiments they conducted to reinforce the tips.