The Year In Fact-Checking: Your 10 top stories of 2017

December 22, 2017
Category: Fact-Checking

The Week in Fact-Checking is a newsletter about fact-checking and accountability journalism, from Poynter's International Fact-Checking Network & the American Press Institute's Accountability Project

Your top fact-checking stories of 2017

It's been a busy year for both the readers and authors of this newsletter. So for the last edition of 2017 (we're taking next week off) we're revisiting the 10 most-clicked articles from our newsletter. Scroll down to see which stories did best with our audience of fact-checking aficionados. Thanks for reading along this year, and thanks to the almost 3,000 new subscribers who joined us in 2017!

Bonus: A look ahead at what to expect from fact-checking in 2018 (and the 2017 edition, annotated) | The best and worst media corrections of the year | Nieman Lab predictions on fact-checking and misinformation: Lucas Graves / Steve Grove / Alexios Mantzarlis / Claire Wardle.

See you in 2018!

Scooby Doo GIF

10. 'New research: The characteristics of news stories that help attack misinformation' by Leslie Caughell, Virginia Wesleyan University  

Is a fact check more effective if it includes a photo of the fact-checker? Who's the most believable source of facts: a college professor or an academic researcher? This research examines some ways accountability journalism could be more effective.

9. 'Can tech make democracy great again?' by Geoffrey Fowler, The Wall Street Journal

A collection of non-partisan tech tools designed to keep politicians honest.

8. 'Skepticism is a weapon' by Mark Graham, Josh Tavlin and John McNeil of Brill's Content, published by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice library 

Do you need a pithy poster to explain how to be skeptical? This is a good one. 


7. 'Snopes is locked in a legal battle for control of its website' by Daniel Funke, IFCN/Poynter

A look at how the longtime urban folklore fact-checking site got tangled up with a digital services company and headed to court.

6. 'Announcing new research: "A field guide for fake news"' by Liliana Bounegru, Jonathan Gray and Tommaso Venturini for First Draft News

The exhaustive guide will cover everything from data journalism to digital sociology. 

5. 'When is a false claim a lie? Here's what fact-checkers think' by Alexios Mantzarlis, IFCN/Poynter

Who uses the "L-word" and why? Fact-checkers and news organizations explain why they do and do not call falsehoods "lies."

4. '5 fake stories that just won't go away' by Doug Criss, CNN

These are the "zombie stories" that survive fact check after fact check after fact check.

3. 'The ultimate guide to busting fake tweeters: A video toolkit in 10 steps' by Henk van Ess for Poynter

It's easy to figure out who the fake tweeters are: Just trace them back to their birth.


2. 'Fact-checking "S-Town": 5 good questions with Benjamin Phelan' by Jane Elizabeth, American Press Institute

The popular serial podcast had a (ex ante) fact-checker, and he was very, very busy. 

1. 'Inside the trenches of an information war' by Henk van Ess on Medium

This article and how-to combines CSI, MacGyver and Sherlock Holmes all rolled into one excellent package.

Until 2018,

JaneAlexios and Daniel

Looking for previous editions of this newsletter? You can find them here