Fact-checking and accountability journalism project

The American Press Institute’s Accountability Journalism and Fact-Checking Project aims to increase and improve fact-checking and other accountability journalism practices.

FCP_blackThe project, which began as a grant-funded initiative, supports research to improve political fact-checking, and works with news organizations to significantly increase and improve accountability journalism practices as well as contribute to public debates on the topic.

You can follow the work of the project here, and get top advice from experts on our Better News fact-checking resource page. Sign up for the weekly newsletter or enroll in our free online course. For more information or to be involved, contact Susan Benkelman, director of the program, at susan.benkelman@pressinstitute.org.

Factually: Perceiving the curve

Presentation matters when it comes to representing the scope of coronavirus cases. A study published by the London School of Economics shows one type of graphic representation could be creating confusion. A research team made up of academics from the LSE and Yale University found that logarithmic graphs used to show the curve of COVID-19 infections can confuse […]

Factually: Seven angles on a conspiracy theory

How do you cover a conspiracy theory? Journalists who write about misinformation know that the trick is to debunk the falsehoods without amplifying them or generating any suggestion of legitimacy. Context is critical, as is an exploration of potential harms for believers. The pseudoscience-ridden, conspiracy-driven “Plandemic” video, which contains a number of baseless theories about […]

Factually: Tools for a shifting debate

While governments say they are relying on science to keep the public safe, they are also watching sales and income taxes plummet and groups of protesters demand more freedom. This week we’ve seen examples of how governments are trying to balance those competing pressures. President Donald Trump announced in a tweet Wednesday that the White House Coronavirus […]

Factually: Truth-tellers in white coats

When Brad Pitt played Dr. Anthony Fauci on Saturday Night Live this past weekend, the “doctor” promised that as long as he isn’t fired, he would “be out there puttin’ out the facts for whoever’s listening.” The parody contained a biting truth: These days medical professionals are often default fact-checkers to politicians. Fauci is in a class […]

Factually: Here are some harmful COVID-19 hoaxes

Desperate for protection against COVID-19, some people are acting on dangerous misinformation they’ve found online. Fact-checkers need help sharing the articles that debunk the most life-threatening hoaxes. And all authorities should get involved too. In Tunisia and other Arabic-speaking countries, and in North Macedonia and Greece, the dangerous idea of gargling with Betadine — a topical antiseptic […]

Factually: Spain’s fact-checkers become a target

Sometimes it feels like the phrase “no good deed goes unpunished” was invented with fact-checkers in mind. This week, it applies to the ones in Spain. Not long after WhatsApp decided to limit message-forwarding in an effort to stem the spread of misinformation, supporters of Spain’s right-wing Vox party started a campaign of digital harassment […]

Factually: A game called ‘Truth or Dare the Platform’

Last fall, then-presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren ran an ad on Facebook falsely claiming that the tech giant’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, had endorsed President Donald Trump for re-election. It was an obvious stunt. Anyone paying attention knew Zuckerberg hadn’t endorsed Trump. Warren, a fierce critic of Facebook, wanted to call attention to the […]

Factually: A day to recognize fact-checkers

Today, on this fourth annual International Fact-Checking Day, it’s time to celebrate those who work hard to bring you reliable information and, therefore, they help you make better decisions. On this day, we recognize that fact-checking is indispensable for journalism and for every citizen. It’s also time to pressure the powerful and demand transparency in public […]

Factually: Coronavirus deniers spread a deadly message

The coronavirus has killed more than 20,800 worldwide, and still there are people denying it exists. These are people who, ignoring not only facts but also others’ grief, find time (probably during their quarantine) to push disinformation online about COVID-19. From a fact-checkers’ perspective – and also from a humanitarian point of view – I would suggest […]

Factually: The power of rumors in a fast-moving crisis

Once President Donald Trump declared on Friday that he would use a federal law known as the Stafford Act as the basis for an emergency declaration to assist states with their coronavirus response, it wasn’t long before misinformation started circulating on social media and in text messages. The law essentially allows federal resources to flow to […]