Insights, tools and research to advance journalism

Jane Elizabeth

Senior Manager, Accountability Journalism Program

Jane leads the American Press Institute's project to improve and expand accountability journalism. She is the Washington Post's former deputy local editor; and has taught journalism at Old Dominion University, the University of Pittsburgh and Point Park University.

Jane's work at five metropolitan U.S. newspapers has focused largely on politics, regional news and education. She was a reporter and editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; launched and directed PostLocal.com at the Washington Post as deputy local editor; and, as senior editor, created and managed The Virginian-Pilot's first digital news team.

She holds a master's degree in mass communications from Virginia Commonwealth University, and is a 2017 Knight Visiting Nieman Fellow at Harvard.

The Week in Fact-Checking: German elections, fake news for Halloween, and everyone out of the Twitter pool

German voters go to the voting booth on Sunday and “fake news” has been less of a concern. A propaganda expert tells Correctiv that bots were dormant during the campaign. Still, Motherboard found plenty of misinformation spread from both Russian and American media outlets. The Alliance for Securing Democracy created a dashboard to track the Russian efforts. Either way, the regional […]

Twitter, we just can’t quit you

For journalists and other non-trolls, navigating Twitter can be like walking in flip-flops through a well-used dog park. Even if you don’t step in anything, it’s a tricky and odious journey that leaves you slightly nauseous. And exhausted. So we really don’t need to wonder why journalists on Twitter, like New York Times reporter Glenn […]

The Week in Fact-Checking: Facebook’s interesting week, and more

More from the ongoing saga of Facebook’s complicated relationship with journalism: Politico fired off a story that criticized the platform for not sharing information about its fact-checking program. Then, Politico claimed the program itself doesn’t work (though the studyactually frames it a bit differently). Facebook also admitted that Russian propagandists bought ads aimed at impacting the U.S. elections. And a new study found […]

The Week in Fact-Checking: Don’t give up on the fact-resistant

Americans’ infatuation with misinformation — as depicted in this widely viewed Vox video — could make a fact-checker despair. But there are ways to potentially reach the fact-resistant, and we’d like to see fact-checkers give them a try. Quote of the week “it is also tempting to dismiss the impact that actual fake news has on those who […]

Don’t give up on the fact-resistant: Tips to break the grip of misinformation

“Why do Trump’s supporters continue to believe misinformation, even in the face of fact-checking?” That’s the question posed by Carlos Maza via this Vox video last week. In seven minutes, he constructs a dismal American persona that is obstinate, politically tribal, and so certain they’re right even when they’re so stunningly wrong. These people are […]

The Week in Fact-Checking: Fake news is old news

Two stories this week remind us that the history can be a great teacher and that “modern” burdens actually were borne by generations before us. Adrian Chen writes for the New Yorker about early radio and its role in “information anarchy.” And Merrill Fabry of Time magazine explains how fact-checkers were able to do their jobs well before the Internet was […]

The Week in Fact-Checking: PolitiFact looks back

PolitiFact’s championing of structure and ratings has informed the work of dozens of organizations around the world. As the website turns 10 this week, here’s a look at the global trend it helped inspire. Quote of the week “Democracy, like a muscle, needs to be worked out. …It means that news organizations must redouble their efforts […]

The Week in Fact-Checking: Sleuthing gone wrong

Over the past week, Twitter users outed white supremacists they thought they spotted in photos from the march in Charlottesville. Getting it wrong can have serious consequences, as The New York Times reported. Identifying people is not a simple task: Storyful, for instance, seeks eight to 10 sources before confirming anything. Here are some tips and an incredible list […]

The Week in Fact-Checking: Does your work need a checkup?

Facts — and fact-checking —can be sterile, dry and a bit academic. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) But are there more effective ways to present facts and controversial issues, and to reach fact-resistant audiences? Yes, says a new American Press Institute report; and it means more listening, fewer words and even a little psychology. See the stories and platforms that have done just […]

Tools for better accountability journalism

Creating charts, videos and interactives to enhance fact-checking and accountability reporting doesn’t need to involve a huge staff and expensive equipment. Here are some free or inexpensive tools and software that can help you create fact- and data-dominated presentations. Have recommendations of your own? Tell us here so we can add them to this list. […]

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