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: The cynical lure of fake screenshots

The surge of misinformation accompanying the coronavirus outbreak has included several cases in which people have been deceived by fake screenshots. In one case, people circulated a manipulated screenshot of a disease tracker from the Chinese tech company Tencent with death toll numbers significantly higher than the official ones. The number purported to have captured the accidental […]

Factually: A busy week tests U.S. fact-checkers

It was one of the busiest weeks for American politics in recent memory. On Sunday, President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg aired dueling ads during the Super Bowl. Monday was the Iowa caucuses, which kicked off the primary election season (as of this writing, we still don’t have all of the results). On Tuesday, Trump delivered the annual […]

Factually: Fact-checkers band together on coronavirus

Three weeks ago, China officially reported the first death caused by the 2019 coronavirus. But since then there has been a distinct lack of quality data from the Chinese government about the origins of the new disease and the official steps authorities are taking to find a cure for it. The information void has led to widespread […]

Factually: Who should fix the disinformation problem?

Who should be responsible for curbing the spread of disinformation? We might start by looking at who is responsible for spreading it. Those of us who follow this topic closely know there are a number of answers to that question: nefarious foreign actors, irresponsible platforms, zealous partisans, politicians who lie with impunity, people who stand […]

Factually: Stories from Iran are keeping fact-checkers busy

Those who are following the tension between the United States and Iran saw that President Donald Trump and the national security team have offered shifting explanations for the airstrike that killed top Iranian military leader Gen. Qassem Soleimani. Obviously, U.S.-based fact-checkers have been following this topic very closely, trying to determine whether the Iranian general […]

Factually: Our 2020 Forecast

Happy New Year! With the start of 2020, we’ve been thinking about what the year might bring to the misinformation and fact-checking world. Of course, hoaxers, manipulators and propagandists will come up with new techniques. And we also expect a new intensity of misinformation, especially around the U.S. election. There will still not be enough […]

Off the clock? Not in this business

Reporters are under a microscope today — both on and off the job. Nearly 25 years ago, after Timothy McVeigh ignited a Ryder truck full of explosives outside the Alfred P. Murrah building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people and injuring hundreds of others, students at the University of Oklahoma’s student newspaper, The Oklahoma Daily, […]

Factually: Reflecting on fact-checking in 2019

For fact-checkers around the world, 2019 was a big year. In October, the Duke Reporters’ Lab counted more than 200 fact-checking projects around the world. Facebook continued to grow its partnership with such organizations, hosting its first fact-checking summit at the company’s Menlo Park, California, headquarters. And misinformation continued to grow as a global problem. Each year, the IFCN […]

Factually: Anti-vaxxers are adopting new tactics

In May, Instagram announced that it would block hashtags that promote “verifiably false” information about vaccines. The move came after similar efforts from other social media platforms to restrict vaccine misinformation. But anti-vaxxers have developed some clever workarounds to Instagram’s restrictions. Coda Story reported Dec. 6 that anti-vaxxers have started using coded hashtags to continue promoting the false belief that vaccines […]

Factually: Why ‘facts won’t save us’

Whitney Phillips, an assistant professor of communication and rhetorical studies at Syracuse University, wrote a piece for Columbia Journalism Review saying that disinformation, like environmental pollution, calls for an ecological solution. “Facts won’t save us,” she wrote. Phillips is the author of two books as well as an important paper on disinformation amplification for Data & Society. Now she’s […]