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 […]
Jane Elizabeth (Page 6)
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.
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 […]
On Le Monde, Adrien Sénecat has an excellent deconstruction of how satire and hyperpartisan truth-twisting can result in real misperceptions. Step 1: A satirical site writes that French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron, caricatured as out-of-touch, feels dirty after touching poor people’s hands. Step 2: Hyperpartisan Facebook pages take this at face value, mixing in footage from […]
Julien Pain was tired of preaching to the choir. After several years spent debunking viral fakes for France 24’s Les Observateurs, he was on the lookout for a format that would expand the reach of his fact-checking. “I realized I was only reaching people who agreed with me,” he said. Since September, he’s been taking […]
It was an eventful week for fact-checking and the big tech platforms. To recap: On Thursday, Google announced it would be highlighting fact checks in search results. (Sloppy coverage ensued.) The next day, Facebook launched a public service announcement in 14 countries asking readers to be wary of what it now calls “false news.” (Full […]
Do those post-debate discussions on cable news programs make any difference in how their audience views presidential candidates? Do reporters frame their police-shooting stories differently, depending on whether the suspect is black or white? Can fact-checking persuade people to change their minds about candidates? Those are some of the topics that media and political science […]
Where does fact-checking go from here? A group of experts in information and research — both journalists and non-journalists — spent a day working with the American Press Institute, Poynter Institute, and Duke University’s Reporters’ Lab. In short, they recommended a transformation that includes more visibility and strategies for growth. Related: A call to rethink fact-checking […]