Susan Benkelman

Susan is the Director of Accountability Journalism at API.

Susan joined API in November 2018 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: Why ‘facts won’t save us’

Whitney Phillips, an assistant professor of communication and rhetorical studies at Syracuse University, wrote a piece for Columbia Journalism Review saying that disinformation, like environmental pollution, calls for an ecological solution. “Facts won’t save us,” she wrote. Phillips is the author of two books as well as an important paper on disinformation amplification for Data & Society. Now she’s […]

Factually: Why the Tories’ fact-check stunt matters

Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery. But not in this case. The move by the U.K. Conservative Party’s press office to make its Twitter account look like a real fact-checking site holds implications for fact-checkers’ credibility and presents social media companies with a new test of how to respond to such ploys. There […]

Factually: Facebook defines ‘politician,’ but will it solve the problem? 

Facebook’s policy of not subjecting politicians’ statements or ads to third-party fact-checking has riled critics in the United States and abroad – including some of the company’s own employees – who say it lets politicians off the hook in an era when the truth is under siege. The reason for the policy, the company says, is that […]

Factually: Facebook hears from fact-checkers

It took Facebook some public and international controversy regarding its policies to open its headquarters in Menlo Park, California, and receive more than 100 fact-checkers. Facebook’s first global Fact-Checking Partner Summit took place Tuesday and Wednesday as a completely off-the-record meeting — an opportunity for fact-checkers and company employees to exchange experiences and concerns regarding the present and […]

Factually: Misinformation makes its way to TikTok

If you build it, they will come. Trolls and misinformers, that is, will come to any social media platform that attracts a big user base. This time we’re talking about TikTok. Cristina reports this morning on Poynter’s web site that TikTok, the short-video app popular among teenagers around the world, has become host to a wide range […]

Factually: Facebook and Twitter step up their game

For nearly three years, Facebook has been working with fact-checking organizations to limit the spread of false content on the platform. That partnership, which the IFCN brokers and (Poynter-owned) PolitiFact participates in, has changed a lot. And now, it’s changing again. This week during a press call, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a slew of updates to the company’s […]

Factually: Newsrooms gear up to cover 2020 misinformation

With a little more than a year to go before the 2020 election, U.S. newsrooms are gearing up for what they expect will be a deluge of misinformation aimed at influencing, dividing and confusing voters. The efforts fall, roughly, into two categories: Covering misinformation as a beat to alert readers to hoaxes and trends in […]

Factually: Fact-checking the impeachment

It’s only been a little more than two weeks since U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump. But for fact-checkers, it feels like a lifetime. Since the announcement of the inquiry, which focuses on a phone call between Trump and the president of Ukraine, misinformation has come from all sides. Online, […]

Factually: Sorting fact from opinion in the impeachment debate

When U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham appeared on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday to talk about a whistleblower’s report that touched off the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, host Margaret Brennan challenged the senator on his assertion that the complaint was based on “hearsay.” Much of what was in the complaint, she said, was backed […]

Factually: How misinformation makes money

There has been much written about how fake news websites and other sources make money from spreading misinformation. During the 2016 election in the United States, it even became a cottage industry. Now a new study quantifies just how much misinformers are profiting from online advertising. Spoiler: It’s a lot. On Monday, the nonprofit Global Disinformation […]