Susan Benkelman

Susan Benkelman joined the American Press Institute in November to lead its project to improve and expand accountability journalism. Before joining API, Susan worked for five years as a news editor in the Washington bureau of the Wall Street Journal. Previously she was the editorial director at CQ-Roll Call, holding the top newsroom job at the company formed by the merger of Roll Call and Congressional Quarterly, where she spent 15 years as an editor. Previously, Susan was been a reporter at Newsday in Washington, New York and Moscow, and before that was in the Washington and Lansing bureaus for the Detroit News. Originally from Michigan, she holds a degree in Journalism from Michigan State University.

Factually: A few takeaways from Global Fact 6

Howdy from Cape Town! This week, the IFCN traveled to South Africa for our sixth annual Global Fact-Checking Summit. During the three-day event — the largest yet — journalists, technology companies, nonprofits and startups from around the world are mingling to discuss the possibilities and obstacles facing the future of fact-checking. What are those obstacles? It depends on […]

Factually: The problem with deepfakes

(June 13, 2019 newsletter) Today, the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Intelligence is holding a hearing on deepfake videos. Researchers will testify to Congress about the potential threat manipulated content poses to national security — particularly in the lead-up to the 2020 election. And based on the past few weeks, the committee will have plenty to […]

America’s future fact-checkers know a lot already

Hey y’all, it’s Daniel. In this newsletter, we spend a lot of time reporting on and analyzing some of the internet’s biggest problems — and how fact-checkers do (or don’t) help solve them. But this week, I have some good news for you: The kids are alright. On Monday, I traveled to Detroit to teach […]

How can journalists deliver the truth in ways that audiences will believe and trust it — and help people get out of their corners?

Journalists are operating in an environment unlike anything they’ve faced before. Fact-based reporting is under assault from public officials who call journalists the enemy of the people. Audiences, more connected through technology, have more exposure to misinformation and propaganda. Most journalists are trained, thoughtful professionals who have spent whole careers trying to get at the […]

Factually: Some basic facts on the Pelosi fake

Fact-checkers and other players in the truth-telling business have been preoccupied in the past week by an altered video of Nancy Pelosi. The story, originally covered in The Washington Post, involves a slowed-down video designed to make Pelosi, the speaker of the United States House of Representatives, appear to slur her words and struggle to speak.The […]

Factually: Russia’s video play

The New York Times last week published a striking piece about how the Russian news network RT has been airing story after story about the dangers of 5G cell phones as part of a disinformation effort to undermine the United States’ comfort with — and advances in — the technology (which scientists say isn’t actually harmful). We say […]

Factually: Twitter goes after anti-vaxxers

Twitter is trying a new tactic to head off misinformation about vaccines. This week, several media outlets reported on how the social media platform had started surfacing factual information about vaccines in search. As of last Friday, if a user searches for vaccine information in the United States, the top result will be a tweet from the Department of Health and Human […]

Factually: Checking Trump in 2020

We are now 18 months from the United States presidential election, but the challenges facing reporters and fact-checkers assigned to cover Donald Trump’s re-election bid are already clear. Some of them are challenges journalists have faced before, but taken together they add up to an escalation that illustrates how hard it will be to ensure […]

Fact-checking ephemeral content

This week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg elaborated on what he calls the company’s “living room” strategy, the idea that the platform’s user experience could soon be more private, more closed and more “ephemeral” — posts that disappear after a certain amount of time. The move toward ephemerality has been building since Snapchat started the disappearing […]

Can social media shutdowns work?

When news broke that six sites, including churches, hotels and housing complexes, had been bombed on Easter Sunday, the Sri Lankan government acted swiftly. Following the terrorist attacks, which had killed more than 300 people as of this publication, government officials blocked several social media sites in an attempt to stop the potential spread of misinformation. The New […]