In talks and presentations to students, journalists and news consumers, my first question for the audience often is: “What do you know about fact-checkers?” Someone might mention PolitiFact or The Washington Post’s Pinocchios or FactCheck.org. Among those who study such things, these are “the big three” fact-checkers in the U.S., all created in the mid-2000s […]
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.
Two new studies this week could encourage you to change the way you write and market your fact checks. A study co-authored by FactCheck.org’s Kathleen Hall Jamieson indicates that using videos and humor in fact-checking can be more effective than text-only fact-checking. And research from Columbia University says that people are more likely to believe fake […]
“Denying that the Holocaust happened is the biggest, most extraordinary and unacceptable fake news,” said the President of the Italian Chamber of Deputies at a recent parliamentary committee hearing. While U.S. media were criticizing Facebook and Google for their role in the fake news problem last summer, the wheels turned slower in European institutions. Read more on Poynter. […]
As a crowdsourced information platform, Wikipedia has had to “work to earn the trust of the public every day,” says Wikimedia Foundation leader Katherine Maher. Sound familiar? Maher, who spoke at Global Fact 4 today in Madrid, has some advice for fact-checkers on creating a transparent, useful and sustainable process. Read the story on Poynter. Quote of […]
The number of fact-checking stories produced by journalists has increased dramatically over the last decade, but only recently have we truly explored how those stories could be better at attacking misinformation. Leslie Caughell, a political science professor at Virginia Wesleyan University, discusses what reporters might do (or not do) to make their fact-checks more effective. Quote of […]
We’re counting on these projects to fix a couple of journalism’s stickiest problems: A mobile game that tracks falsehoods, a tool that busts lie-spewing bots, and a quality scorecard for media. They’re among the winners of a $1 million challenge from The Knight Prototype Fund to tackle misinformation and build trust in media. Read this morning’s announcement […]
Anyone who’s been surprised by the role of false news in elections probably wasn’t paying attention in history class. David Robert Grimes, an Oxford University researcher who’s studied misinformation and AIDS, writes in The Guardian that dezinformatsiya campaigns were created and directed by the Russians decades ago. Today, he says, nearly all of us are to blame for the spread of […]
An analysis of 10 U.S. partisan publications found that during the 2016 presidential election, popular conservative websites were far more likely to criticize fact-checking organizations than their liberal counterparts. Read about the report on Poynter.org. Quote of the week “Because here’s the thing: fact-checking isn’t friendly. Nor should it be. Fact-checking developed to hold powerful […]
You are likelier to think something is true if you’ve encountered it more often, a phenomenon psychologists call the “familiarity effect.” This has bedeviled efforts to root out widespread misperceptions because debunking them inevitably requires repeating them. A new study offers some hope (and tips) for fact-checkers. Quote of the week “On the internet there […]
A preliminary study comparing the consistency of ratings by PolitiFact and The Washington Post’s Fact Checker had a promising approach but a misleading conclusion. The key finding, that “14 out of 70 statements (20 percent) received two completely opposite ratings from the fact-checkers” led to a smattering of snarky — and unsubstantiated — headlines. Read the report […]