Facts took a bit of a beating in 2020. Let’s turn the page and celebrate the truth! United Facts of America, brought to you by PolitiFact and the Poynter Institute, is a celebration of fact-checking featuring some of the most important voices in media, health care, politics and technology.
Over 10 hours of virtual programming, you’ll hear from expert fact-checkers from PolitiFact, the Washington Post and FactCheck.org, doctors on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic and political and technology leaders trying to counter the spate of misinformation that lives online.
And we’ll talk with mental health counselors and experts about how we all can better share the truth with our friends and constituents in times of crisis.
Get tickets now to access four days of forward-thinking conversation about the role of facts in our lives.
This virtual festival is for everyone interested in fact-based expression, civic engagement and the role of facts in a free society. Come celebrate facts with us!
General ticket: $50 (April 10-May 10, 2021)
VIP experience: $100 (May 10, 2021, 5:25-6:30 p.m. Eastern — Includes a private virtual happy hour with CNN’s Brian Stelter and small group break-out sessions with PolitiFact fact-checkers)
Members of PolitiFact’s Truth Squad are offered discounted tickets. Truth Squad members should have received an email with more details. If you’re unsure about your membership status, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Event sponsorship opportunities are also available. Please contact Aaron Sharockman, executive director of PolitiFact, at email@example.com for details.
We’d love to hear from you. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each day of the festival features more than two hours of lively, thoughtful conversations about facts. Days are broken down by theme: democracy, COVID-19, technology and culture. More speakers will be added as they are confirmed and this schedule is subject to change. Stay tuned!
Monday, May 10: Facts and Democracy
General program: 3-5:15 p.m Eastern time
VIP experience: 5:25-6:30 p.m.
- Heaven Taylor-Wynn, MediaWise multimedia reporter, interviews Katie Sanders, Managing Editor of PolitiFact; Glenn Kessler, editor and chief writer of the Washington Post’s Fact Checker; Linda Qiu, fact-check reporter at The New York Times; and Eugene Kiely, director of FactCheck.org.
- PolitiFact founder Bill Adair discusses the creation of PolitiFact in 2007 with the original PolitiFact team.
- Tia Mitchell, Washington correspondent for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, interviews Gabriel Sterling, the Georgia elections official at the center of countering misinformation surrounding the 2020 election in his state.
- PolitiFact Editor-in- Chief Angie Drobnic Holan in conversation with Charlie Sykes, The Bulwark’s Editor-At-Large. CNN’s Brian Stelter will join.
- VIP EXCLUSIVE: Angie Drobnic Holan, PolitiFact editor-in-chief, interviews Brian Stelter, anchor of CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” and the chief media correspondent for CNN Worldwide.
Tuesday, May 11: The COVID Infodemic — with keynote Dr. Anthony Fauci
3 p.m.-5 p.m. Eastern time
- Dr. Daniel Fagbuyi discusses his efforts to reach vaccine hesitant people of color through social media.
- Jon Greenberg interviews Shefali Luthra, health and gender reporter at The 19th, Derek Thompson, staff writer for the Atlantic, and Elisabeth Rosenthal, editor-in-chief of Kaiser Health News about COVID-19 misinformation.
- Katie Sanders, PolitiFact managing editor, interviews Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a leading voice on COVID-19.
- MediaWise project manager Katy Byron explains how to evaluate potential COVID-19 misinformation using a simple technique called lateral reading.
Wednesday, May 12: Big Tech, Big Questions
11 a.m.-1 p.m. Eastern time
- Aaron Sharockman, PolitiFact executive director, interviews Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., about Section 230 and possible internet regulation in the U.S.
- Aaron Sharockman in conversation with Justine Isola, Head of Misinformation Policy, Facebook and Keren Goldshlager, News Integrity Partnerships Lead, Facebook, about Facebook’s Third Party Fact Checking program.
- PolitiFact audience engagement editor Josie Hollingsworth interviews WildFireMike, Michael Clark, the firefighter who went viral last year on TikTok debunking claims about the California wildfires.
- Krishnan Anantharaman, PolitiFact deputy editor, interviews Baybars Örsek, director of the International Fact Checking Network, Brandy Zadrozy, senior reporter NBC News, and Jeff Horwitz, reporter for the Wall Street Journal, about the role technology platforms are playing in fighting misinformation online.
- ON DEMAND!: PBS Senior Correspondent Hari Sreenivasan and News Not Noise founder Jessica Yellin join the hosts of the Go Fact Yourself podcast J. Keith van Straaten and Helen Hong for a trivia game that tests the knowledge of a secret passion.
Thursday, May 13: Speaking the Truth — with keynote Steven Hassan
11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Eastern time
- Poynter President Neil Brown interviews CNN’s Christiane Amanpour about trust and the news media, in the U.S. and around the world.
- Rebecca Catalanello, PolitiFact deputy editor, interviews Steven Hassan, an American mental health counselor who has written on the subject of mind control and how to help people who have been harmed by the experience. Hassan has written about Q, and the cult of personality surrounding Donald Trump.
- MediaWise senior multimedia reporter Alex Mahadevan interviews researchers Ethan Porter of George Washington University and Emily Thorson of Syracuse University about the efficacy of fact-checking.
- PolitiFact Executive Director Aaron Sharockman interviews Mary Snapp, Microsoft vice president for strategic initiatives, about the company’s Defending Democracy initiative and its efforts to promote and build trust among journalists.
- PolitiFact Editor-in-Chief Angie Drobnic Holan interviews Kathleen Hall Jamieson of FactCheck.org, Sally Lehrman of the Trust Project and Steve Hayes of the Dispatch about improving trust in journalism and reaching people who are prone to fall for misinformation.