April 2 is International Fact-Checking Day, launched in 2017 by Poynter’s International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) to raise awareness of the importance of fact-checking in the modern era of misinformation. The day celebrates facts and equips journalists, professional fact-checkers, educators and citizens with resources to help separate fact from fiction.
The premise is simple: We believe that fact-checking isn’t only for professional fact-checkers. Society relies on an accurate information ecosystem for democracy to thrive. We can all play a role in curbing the spread of misinformation.
Since International Fact-Checking Day’s modest beginning three years ago, Poynter’s work in accountability journalism and media ethics has expanded. In January of 2018, Poynter acquired the Pulitzer Prize-winning PolitiFact from the (Poynter-owned) Tampa Bay Times, and shortly thereafter, we launched MediaWise — a project in partnership with Stanford University History Education Group and funded by Google — to help teenagers be more savvy consumers of online information.
And, earlier this year, we announced plans to launch the Craig Newmark Center for Ethics and Leadership at Poynter.
Even with all of this dedicated effort towards the fight against misinformation, there’s more work to be done. That’s where you come in. Take advantage of the International Fact-Checking Day resources and join the quest for the truth.
Here’s how you can make the most of it:
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If you’re a teacher
- Connect with fact-checkers through the new, interactive EduCheckMap.
- Download a gamified lesson plan in four languages at factcheckingday.org.
- Discover 200 ways to teach about fact-checking.
- Have your students take the quiz to guess the fakes.
- Follow (and encourage middle and high school students to follow) MediaWise on Instagram.
- Integrate the MediaWise Stanford University History Education Group’s curriculum in your classroom through the Navigating Digital Information Crash Course hosted by John Green.
If you’re a student
- Follow MediaWise on Instagram.
- Use #IsThisLegit to send MediaWise posts you think might be misinformation and the staff will help you figure it out.
- Check out the organic Snapchat Our Story featuring MediaWise tips and Snaps from PBS NewsHour’s Student Reporting Labs student reporters.
- Watch NBC’s “Stay Tuned” daily news show on Snapchat as it features special guest, “NBC Nightly News” anchor Lester Holt – the first MediaWise Ambassador – sharing MediaWise fact-checking tips with host Savannah Sellers.
- Visit the YouTube Learning channel guest picks playlist on YouTube celebrating fact-checking and digital literacy, including a series of videos created in partnership with the MediaWise project and from the International Fact-Checking Network.
- Stream this Smarter Every Day video to see how to improve your social feeds.
- Keep an eye out for opportunities to join the MediaWise teen fact-checking network.
If you’re a journalist or professional fact-checker
- Tag your fact-checks with #factcheckingday.
- Contact Poynter to receive the press release to cover Fact-Checking Day for your news organization.
- Apply to join Poynter’s fact-checking team as a MediaWise Multimedia Reporter or International Fact-Checking Network Intern, or forward these jobs to qualified journalists.
- Subscribe to the IFCN’s weekly newsletter, “Factually.”
If you’re a news consumer
- Polish your skills through our Hands on Fact-Checking Short Course.
- Use the hashtag #isthislegit if you want the MediaWise teen fact-checking network to research the accuracy of posts on social media.
- Participate in an AMA with PolitiFact on Reddit at noon ET on April 2.
- Go behind the scenes with Poynter’s fact-checkers on Facebook Live at 2 p.m. ET on April 2. Ask us your questions here.
If you’re a fan
- Stand up for the facts — become a PolitiFact member and receive your Pants on Fire sticker.
- Consider making a donation to Poynter to support our work advancing journalistic excellence.
- Connect with us if you’re interested in funding fact-checking programs around the world.
On April 2, engage, participate and help Poynter, the International Fact-Checking Network, MediaWise and PolitiFact make some noise, raise awareness and educate people around the world about the importance of finding facts.
Together, we can make a difference in the fight against misinformation.