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.

The Week in Fact-Checking: Blue Monday isn’t a thing but here are some other things

Our top story this week: Mariya Gabriel, the European Commissioner in charge of Digital Economy and Society, kickstarted on Monday the first meeting of the EU’s High Level Group on fake news. Alongside a series of public events, the High Level Group’s report will inform a communication from the Commission on the topic expected for April. Communications are policy documents, not […]

The Week in Fact-Checking: Facebook therapy, a new cookbook, Sweden’s fake news problem

It’s been a rocky year or so for Facebook’s and fact-checkers’ efforts to combat fake news on the platform. The Buzzsumo-crunching Craig Silverman found in December that engagement for major fake news stories was doing just great, thank you very much. Academics Guess, Nyhan and Reifler determined Facebook is by far the key referrer to fake news websites. But there may […]

Can civility save journalism? 5 good questions with researcher Ashley Muddiman

Contentious stories and clickbait headlines are more than just annoying. They’re a barrier to a civil discussion of facts, they tend to increase partisanship, and they can impact the level of trust in media and other institutions. But are “civil” stories that focus on solutions interesting enough to attract readers? For her new research, University […]

The Week in Fact-Checking: New year, same old fake news

An analysis by BuzzFeed News shows that the 50 most viral fake stories of 2017 had more engagement than 2016’s top 50 list — despite Facebook’s partnership with fact-checkers. Disconcertingly, corresponding fact checks had only 0.5 percent of the Facebook engagement generated by hoaxes. But, some good news, maybe: This study found that falsified stories constitute a relatively small portion […]

The Week in Fact-Checking: Your top stories of 2017

It’s been a busy year for both the readers and authors of this newsletter. So for the last edition of 2017 (we’re taking next week off) we’re revisiting the 10 most-clicked articles from our newsletter. Scroll down to see which stories did best with our audience of fact-checking aficionados. Thanks for reading along this year, […]

The Week in Fact-Checking: Should you say ‘fake news’?

Politicians around the world are increasingly using Donald Trump’s favorite insult to discredit media reports they dislike. So should journalists abandon the term? In a Poynter article, The Washington Post’s Margaret Sullivan says yes, because “fake news” has only become more weaponized since 2016. But PolitiFact’s Aaron Sharockman disagrees, saying the phrase still has some use for describing misinformation. […]

The Week in Fact-Checking: Summit news, jail time for fakery, and the tale of the frog and the horse

The International Fact-Checking Network announced the fifth Global Fact-Checking Summit will be held in Rome from June 20-22, 2018. The conference is free to attend and will address topics ranging from how to reach out to skeptical audiences to automated fact-checking. (Express your interest here). Quote of the week “People are commenting on comments without even checking out the […]

The Week in Fact-Checking: In Italy, it’s the season for fake news

Fake news is making the news in Italy. Preparing for election season and an expected barrage of misinformation, the governing party is demanding that Facebook and other social platforms help in the fight for facts — but not everyone trusts the messenger. Plus, a look at which advertisers help pay for fake news sites. Quote of the week “I prefer the term […]

The Week in Fact-Checking: Whose job is it, anyway?

No one is better situated to fight digital misinformation than professional journalists who work with social media every day. But that’s not happening in many news organizations today. Newsroom social media teams are due for a redesign — one that would include more fact-checking, debunking and accountability, according to a new American Press Institute report. Read […]

Doing big projects with minimal newsroom resources – without compromising

Some things about accountability journalism will never change. Any important investigative project will require patience, persistence, extreme fact-checking and high ethical standards. It’ll involve a significant portion of the newsroom staff and lots of time. But here’s where accountability journalism has changed: Technology, access to data and grant funding have created a potentially equal playing […]