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 […]
Jane Elizabeth (Page 5)
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 is a 2017 Knight Visiting Nieman Fellow at Harvard.
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 […]
Quote of the week “The result wasn’t that falsehoods were accepted as facts but rather the creation of a ‘crust of lies’ so thick and pervasive, that people no longer believed anything at all. People became cynical, obedient or some combination of the two — and the wounds were so deep, I could still see […]
“S-Town,” the latest podcast from “Serial” and “This American Life,” is the entrancing story of the brilliant-but-tortured John B McLemore and his complicated life in Woodstock, Alabama. In its first month, the truly addictive podcast was downloaded more than 40 million times. And if you’ve listened to all seven chapters, it might have seemed as […]
“On The Media” co-host Brooke Gladstone published a punchy, short book for those grappling with the state of facts under President Trump. Her recommendation for journalists is to keep fact-checking but provide crucial context if they want to have an impact on reality. “[R]efer to the circumstances in which people live,” she says, “because that’s […]
In 2016, U.S. fact-checkers drew record traffic — but the Pants-on-Fire candidate still became the Pants-on-Fire president. This complicated reality could have led to big changes to the ways fact-checking is conducted in America. Yet the formats, tone and methods adopted by fact-checkers have barely changed since Trump’s inauguration. Read about the first 100 days […]