Meet the fact-checking scholars

FCP_blackSix experienced scholars representing universities from Wyoming to the U.K. are working with the American Press Institute to study fact-checking and how to improve it.

The group joined API’s fact-checking project, announced in February, with plenty of experience in the study of information, misinformation and how facts are processed. Here are the scholars, with a brief description of their work for API. We’ll keep you posted on the progress of their projects.

Dr. Michelle Amazeen

Michelle Amazeen, Rider University, Lawrenceville, N.J. Amazeen, a Temple University graduate who holds a Ph.D. in mass media and communication, will study the effectiveness of political fact-checking rating systems (such as the Washington Post’s “pinnochios”). On Twitter @commscholar.

Lucas Graves, University of Wisconsin. LucasGravesGraves, who holds a Ph.D. in journalism from Columbia University, has written about fact-checking topics for Columbia Journalism Review and other publications. He will study the effects of fact-checking on journalistic practice and is part of the team working on the study of rating systems. On Twitter @gravesmatter.

Ashley Muddiman, University of Wyoming. AshleyMuddimanMuddiman, who holds a Ph.D. from the University of Texas, is part of the team that will study the effectiveness of rating systems. She also is involved in the Engaging News Project. On Twitter @ashleymuddiman.


Brendan Nyhan, Dartmouth College. BrendanNyhanNyhan, who holds a Ph.D. from Duke University, will assist in the project on the effects of fact-checking and a project which will examine how attitudes toward fact-checking change over the course of the campaign. On Twitter @BrendanNyhan.


JasonReiflerJason Reifler, University of Exeter in the UK. Reifler also holds a Ph.D. from Duke University. He will work with the teams studying the effects of fact-checking and changing attitudes during the course of a campaign. On Twitter @jasonreifler.


Emily Thorson, George Washington University. EmilyThorsonThorson holds a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. She will examine how contextual information in news coverage can minimize misperceptions, and will work with the team studying the effectiveness of ratings systems. On Twitter @emilythorson.

The American Press Institute, with a grant from the Democracy Fund, will combine the researchers’ work with  the work of other scholars and API’s own research to identify what kinds of fact-checking are most effective at stopping misleading rhetoric and are most informative to citizens. In the second year, API will conduct workshops, meetings and develop other resources aimed at supporting news organizations interested in fact-checking on the eve of the 2016 election cycle.

For more information, contact Jane Elizabeth, API’s senior research manager, at; or 571-366-1116.  You can also follow our list of fact-checking experts on Twitter, follow #FactCheckAPI), and find fact-checking articles at