Insights, tools and research to advance journalism

Jane Elizabeth

Director, 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 was a 2017 Knight Visiting Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.

The Week in Fact-Checking: The criminalization of misinformation

While actions against the publication of fake news have proceed cautiously in the U.S. — blame the First Amendment — things are moving right along in many parts of the world.  Malaysia’s newly elected prime minister is leaning towards keeping a controversial anti-fake news law that passed in early April. The Committee to Protect Journalists asked the Kenyan president not to […]

The Week in Fact-Checking: The real researchers behind fake news

Over the past year, interest in misinformation research has ballooned. In order to highlight some of the people working behind the scenes, Poynter’s Daniel Funke profiled just a few of the researchers whose work has changed Facebook’s fact-checking program, been cited in countless pieces on fake news and is developing solutions for debunking deepfake videos. The article […]

Getting started: Some templates and tools for encouraging organic news fluency

Every story is an opportunity to have a conversation with your audience about what journalism is for and how journalists conduct their work. Each type of story presents different questions and different ways to encourage news fluency, in an organic and contextual manner. In this section, we’ll list nine types of stories and the unique […]

Journalists can change the way they build stories to create organic news fluency

When journalists talk about how they wish the public could recognize good reporting from bad reporting or even fakery, the subject often turns to whether the audience has the right skills. The discussion usually falls under the heading of “news literacy,” a body of work that typically involves a curriculum supervised by schools, heavily oriented […]

Next steps for promoting organic news fluency

We hope this essay will provoke some new ideas about how to help people become more discriminating consumers of news. Our recommendations boil down to a few basic ideas: Journalists have a role to play in helping consumers become more discriminating. Being fluent as a news consumer is not only the responsibility of news audiences. […]

The Week in Fact-Checking: The Facebook saga, jailed for fake news, and a new mission for a Tea Partier

Mark Zuckerberg is out of Congressional hearings — but it was still a busy week for the Facebook CEO. This Wired writer is not impressed by Facebook’s testimony before British MPs. But Zuckerberg has another chance — he’s been summoned. “Fake news” warningsshrink the content on your News Feed. Here’s a look at Facebook’s new “something happened” ad campaign. At F8, the platform’s […]

The Week in Fact-Checking: WeChat, Van Morrison and green moons

The problem with WeChat The influence of misinformation among Chinese-speaking immigrants in the United States offers important clues for how fake news is constructed and distributed, according to a new paper published by the Tow Center for Digital Journalism. Chi Zhang found that, while many popular web hoaxes in the U.S. deal with jobs, the economy and […]

The Week in Fact-Checking: Facebook is helping more fact-checkers in more places, but is it enough?

In the past month, Facebook has doubled the number of countries using its fact-checking tool. The program, arguably Facebook’s most visible effort to combat fake news on the platform, is now active in India, Mexico, Indonesia, the Philippines and Colombia. Previously, it was only available to fact-checkers in the United States and four European countries. While fact-checkers […]

The Week in Fact-Checking: Zuckerberg testifies; kids fight fakery; faux fact-checking reappears

This week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified in front of U.S. congressional committees over the course of two days. While the testimony, prompted by Facebook’s recent scandal involving data firm Cambridge Analytica, was mostly focused on user privacy, it shed a little light on how Zuckerberg views the platform’s misinformation problem — as well as how ill-informed Congress is about how Facebook […]

Notes from a top U.S. political science conference: It’s all about fake news

What a difference a year of political upheaval makes. The Midwest Political Science Association since 1939 has focused on study and research of political science. Common themes for its annual conference in Chicago include voting patterns, electoral politics, politics in emerging democracies. This year, it’s all about the era of fake news. Today in Chicago […]

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