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American Press Institute announces major project to improve fact-checking journalism

ARLINGTON, VA—The American Press Institute (“API”) announced today that it has received a grant of up to $400,000 over two years from the Democracy Fund. The grant will support research to improve political fact checking. The Institute will also work with news outlets to significantly increase the adoption of fact checking practices as well as contribute to public debates on the topic.

The Democracy Fund invests in social entrepreneurs working to ensure that our political system is responsive to the priorities of the American public and has the capacity to meet the greatest challenges facing our country.

“Helping citizens know what is true and what is not is at the core of journalism’s purpose. Almost everything in public life flows from this foundation—understanding, common ground and a working political system,” American Press Institute Executive Director Tom Rosenstiel said.

“Factchecking of statements made by politicians and pundits is emerging as a growing, and we believe, essential practice in political reporting. The American Press Institute will use its extensive networks within the news media, along with its credibility as a research group, to advance, refine, and defend this vital journalistic practice,” said Tom Glaisyer of the Democracy Fund.

The project will coordinate new research by scholars from six universities, combine that with the work of other scholars and API’s own research to identify what kinds of fact checking are most effective at stopping misleading rhetoric and are most informative to citizens. In the second year, API will conduct workshops, meetings and develop other resources aimed at supporting news organizations interested in factchecking on the eve of the 2016 election cycle.

API is hiring a project manager to run the program.

ABOUT THE AMERICAN PRESS INSTITUTE

Founded in 1946, The American Press Institute conducts research, training, convenes thought leaders and creates tools to help chart a path ahead for journalism in the 21st century. The Press Institute is an educational non-advocacy 501(c)3 nonprofit organization affiliated with the Newspaper Association of America. It aims to help the news media, especially local publishers and newspaper media, advance in the digital age.

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