Fact-check Q&A

How I Got That Fact: Going CSI on the FBI

As part of our efforts to expand and improve fact checking, the American Press Institute regularly presents tips on how media organizations around the country chase down facts. Today, Meghan Hoyer, data journalist at USA TODAY, explains how she got to the bottom of some mystifying data that just couldn’t be true. Background:  After a Georgia father was charged with […]

Behind the viral hoax: 6 good questions with Nipsys News

A fake news story that claimed the legal drinking age in the U.S. would soon change to 25 began appearing on social media early this summer and continues to be shared, reaching by one count more than 9 million pageviews. The viral hoax, so pervasive that the website Snopes and other media wrote stories to […]

Fact checking in ‘the Church of St. Google’: 5 good questions with Bob Smietana

Bob Smietana, a religion news writer and president of the Religion Newswriters Association, has an admittedly bad habit — using his smartphone in church during sermons, much to the role-reversed embarrassment of his teenage daughter. But his intentions are good: He’s checking the preacher’s facts, statistics and history nuggets. What he’s finding in “the Church […]

Battling bogus media: 5 good questions with Checkdesk

The bogus tweets and photos that marred social media coverage of events like the Arab uprising and Hurricane Sandy have spurred the development of a number of fact-checking tools. Recently, one of them caught the attention of the Knight Foundation, which awarded Checkdesk a Knight News Challenge grant. Checkdesk, which provides verification tools for photos, is already in use […]

When facts don’t make a difference: 4 good questions with Brendan Nyhan

In the world of fact-checking, a phenomenon sometimes known as “the backfire effect” can flummox a journalist who’s worked diligently to develop an airtight fact-check. Many social science studies have found that people who hold very tightly to an ideology or their own set of “facts” cannot only be unswayed by the most obvious of facts […]

The American Press Institute’s fact-checking project, explained

For journalists, there’s one thing that might be worse than getting a fact wrong: getting the fact-checking wrong. What’s the best way to infuse solid fact-checking into the  journalistic process — whether it’s writing stories, building charts, making videos, or creating any element for news consumers? The American Press Institute has embarked on a long-term fact-checking program, […]