How to be a better fact-checker in 8 videos

Ask any fact-checker and they’ll tell you: Finding the truth is hard.

It’s time-consuming, money is tight and the potential blowback can be severe. And with hundreds of digital tools and how-tos out there, it can be difficult to figure out which ones are actually helpful.

So over the past year, the International Fact-Checking Network has been producing videos that focus on tips, tricks and tools that can help improve people’s fact-checking skills. Each video is about two minutes long and features interviews and demonstrations with journalists and developers who debunk fake news for a living.

From how to fact-check on WhatsApp to preparing for breaking news misinformation, here are all eight instructional videos from our “Check It” series. Have an idea for another video you think Poynter should produce? Email dfunke@poynter.org or use the form at the bottom of this article.

1. Don’t fall for false claims about crowd size. Use a tool like Mapchecking to verify them.

2. Text fact checks are cool, but they can get boring for your audience. Try using GIFs on social media to promote your work.

3. Automated fact-checking isn’t as far in the future as you may think — several organizations are working to create shareable tools. Prepare your newsroom ahead of time.

4. WhatsApp has become one of the biggest sources of misinformation on the internet. Set up an institutional account to field and debunk hoaxes.

5. If breaking news stikes and you want to set up a last-minute verification project, don’t waste precious time testing new techniques. Learn from past efforts first.

6. Of all the different types of misinformation online, videos are among the hardest to fact-check. Leverage tools like reverse image search to make it easier.

7. Online fakery isn’t anything new, and it pops up after almost every breaking news event. Prepare your newsroom ahead of time so you don’t fall for viral hoaxes.

8. Starting your own fact-checking project is hard. Seek advice from existing organizations on how to create your processes.


Have an idea for a fact-checking tutorial video that you want to see Poynter produce? Email dfunke@poynter.org or use the form below.


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