Fact-check Q&A

Fact-checking “S-Town”: 5 good questions with Benjamin Phelan

“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 […]

The end of “Fake on the Internet:” 5 good questions with Caitlin Dewey

The Washington Post’s popular weekly column, “What was fake on the Internet this week,” ended Friday after 19 months of debunking stories about new Oreo flavors, Syrians invading New Orleans, and just about every absurdity in between. Caitlin Dewey, who wrote the column for the Post’s Intersect blog, explained to readers that the decision to end it was […]

T. rex Autopsy: 5 good questions with Erin Fifer, National Geographic research manager

The National Geographic Channel in June released an ambitious project that took eight months to complete: a (very bloody) hands-on, boots-on examination of what it might be like to conduct an autopsy on “the biggest, baddest meat-eater that ever lived.” A life-sized replica of the tyrannosaurus rex — with realistic-looking organs, blood and horrible dead-carnivore […]

What happens when a curation site emphasizes fact-checking? 5 good questions with Matt Savener of Upworthy

Upworthy defines itself as a curation site for “compelling, meaningful” content — and that content is typically shared widely, often going viral. When Upworthy was launched three years ago by top-ranking ex-staffers from MoveOn and The Onion, it quickly became known for a couple of things: Its speedy growth in both audience and investors; and […]

The week in fact-checking: Legos, floating mobsters, avoiding the 1,500-word correction

The American Press Institute presents a roundup from the world of fact checking, debunking and truth telling — just in case you haven’t been paying as much attention as we do. Extreme fact-checking It began with a politician’s statement that the “Lego” movie is a subliminal attack on capitalism. Then, there was a fact check. […]

5 good questions with Jason Noble of the Des Moines Register’s ‘Reality Check’

Iowa has long been an epicenter for U.S. politics, as home to the first-in-the nation presidential caucuses. This year, with the caucuses and the 2016 presidential race around the corner, the state’s largest newspaper has launched a fact-checking feature called “Reality Check.” The Des Moines Register added two more political reporters to its staff and assigned reporter Jason Noble […]

Fact checking anonymous sources: 5 good questions with Ken Williams of San Diego Gay & Lesbian News

The San Diego businessman was looking for funding for his tech startup – not particularly unusual in California. But when A. Latham Staples began dropping names of alleged investors like Mark Zuckerberg and Carlos Slim, it raised red flags for journalists at the San Diego Gay & Lesbian News. A subsequent investigation by the news […]

Fact checking a sensitive story: 6 good questions with News Leader editor William Ramsey

Earlier this month, on the same day Rolling Stone magazine issued an apology for errors in a jarring story about campus rape, a small newspaper in western Virginia published an investigative series with similar sensitivities. The series told the stories of dozens of nurses who stole and became addicted to their patients’ drugs, threatening the […]

When the world’s fact-checkers team up: 5 good questions with Alexios Mantzarlis of Italy’s Pagella Politica

During the G20 Summit in Australia in November, fact-checking organizations from the United States and six other countries, as well as FactCheckEU, collaborated in fact checking statements made by world leaders at the international economic summit. They called the effort “G20 Factcheckathon.” Participants in the G20 Summit Factcheckathon included Chequeado.com of Argentina; ABC News Factcheck, Australia; […]

When aspiring politicians venture into journalism: 5 good questions with Andrew Pieper

What happens when students with an eye on careers as politicians and government officials enter the world of journalism? This semester, students in political science professor Andrew Pieper’s class at Kennesaw State University stepped into roles as journalists as they produced “Truth Test,” a political fact-checking feature for CBS46 News in Atlanta. Pieper, who holds […]