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: Global Fact 7 Update

We’re halfway through (virtual) Global Fact 7, which was initially slated for three days this week in Oslo, Norway. But like all things, COVID-19 changed that. So the world’s fact-checkers are spending five days talking shop and talking about the future from wherever a stable internet connection can be found. This year’s conference features over 150 […]

Factually: Who should police online speech?

A new survey from the Knight Foundation and Gallup found that a majority of Americans (65%) want the internet to be a place of free expression. But eight in 10 people said they don’t trust big tech companies to make the right decisions about what content appears on their sites, and what should be removed. At the […]

Factually: A review of the evidence

What role does “the media” play in the spread of misinformation? A literature review published last month in the Annals of the International Communication Association tried to answer that question. Looking at previously published studies, the piece argues many “fake news sites” wouldn’t get much traction without the attention of more mainstream outlets. The authors define fake […]

Factually: Helping people fact-check on their own

Fact-checkers and other journalists who work to debunk misinformation spend most of their time arming people with the facts. In recent weeks, we’ve also seen them arm people with strategies to root out the falsehoods on their own. The “infodemic” surrounding COVID-19 had already pushed fact-checkers to capacity. The killing of George Floyd while in […]

Factually: Why Twitter’s ‘get the facts’ label matters

For the first time, Twitter this week flagged two tweets from the president of the United States. It didn’t choose the tweets that had attracted the most attention in Tuesday morning’s barrage from the White House (those would be the ones about Joe Scarborough). Nor was Twitter’s label particularly bold. “Get the facts about mail-in ballots,” read the blue label […]

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 […]