Insights, tools and research to advance journalism

How I got that fact

How I got that fact: Diving into a 600-page data dump

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, Emily LeCoz and Geoff Pender, reporters for The Clarion-Ledger in Mississippi, explained how and why they investigated the state’s controversial no-bid contract law. Background: Federal investigators unsealed a […]

How I Got That Fact: Did he or didn’t he? Searching for the elusive conclusion

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, Catharine Richert, a reporter for Minnesota Public Radio News’ PoliGraph, explains how she fact-checked an adamant closing statement from Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson. BACKGROUND:  When the three candidates […]

Small newsroom, big election? Don’t be afraid of fact-checking

Fact-checking is hard. Political fact-checking is harder. But often, hard things are worth doing. When done the right way, fact-checking is a rigorous, valuable process of research, investigation and interviewing. MSNBC commentator Rachel Maddow recently said that “any third-grader who can spell Google can do [fact checking] alone, without help.” Let’s chalk that up to […]

How I Got That Fact: There’s always a video camera somewhere

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, Jeremy Finley, an investigative reporter with WSMV-TV in Nashville, explains how he combined tips, documents and video — lots of it — to prove official misbehavior. Background:  From a well-placed […]

How I Got That Fact: Fighting words in Alaska Senate race

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, Pat Forgey of the Alaska Dispatch News untangles some claims in the heated Senate race in Alaska. BACKGROUND: Republicans see a Senate seat for the taking in Alaska, […]

How I Got That Fact: A government database that really works

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, Peter Hancock of the Lawrence Journal-World reveals a valuable resource and offers step-by-step instructions on how to check a candidate’s claim about job growth. Background: Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback […]

How I got that fact: Transposed numbers add fuel to fiery campaign

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, Mark Olalde of the Arizona Republic talks about a trail of numbers that tripped up a political candidate and needed some explaining.  Background: Election season is upon us, and […]

How I Got That Fact: Finding useful nuggets in a pile of meeting minutes

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, Ben Amey of WETM-TV in Elmira, N.Y., explains the steps he took to track down the truthfulness of a barrage of statements made in the first […]

How I Got That Fact: Be careful what you ask for

As part of our efforts to improve and expand fact-checking, the American Press Institute regularly presents tips on how media organizations around the country chase down accuracy. Today, community analysis writer Mark Robison of the Reno Gazette-Journal in Nevada explained how he checked out an unusual fee reportedly from the state education department. BACKGROUND:  The president of Stop Common […]

How I Got That Fact: A number heard across the nation

As part of our efforts to improve and expand fact-checking, the American Press Institute regularly presents tips on how media organizations around the country chase down accuracy. Today, fact-checker Josh Sweigart, a reporter for the Dayton Daily News and WHIO-TV, explained how he got the fact that helped launch an investigation into VA hospitals nationwide. BACKGROUND: This is a […]

Need to Know newsletter

The smart way to start your day

Each morning we scour the web for fresh useful insights in our Need to Know newsletter. Sign up below.

Featured topics

Go deeper on…

Dive deep on everything we produce about these key topics.

Strategy Studies

The best practices for innovation within news organizations

This Strategy Study presents examples and insights about journalism innovation, offering actionable advice and methods to move your journalism and business forward.