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The Week in Fact-Checking: Some research to make you think and rethink

Two new studies this week could encourage you to change the way you write and market your fact checks. A study co-authored by FactCheck.org’s Kathleen Hall Jamieson indicates that using videos and humor in fact-checking can be more effective than text-only fact-checking. And research from Columbia University says that people are more likely to believe fake news when they’re with other people, rather than alone. (For more fact-checking-related research, see the American Press Institute‘s collection.)

Quote of the week
“We’ve signed more bills — and I’m talking about through the legislature — than any president ever. For a while Harry Truman had us. And now I think we have everybody…I better say ‘think’ otherwise they’ll give me a Pinocchio, and I don’t like those, I don’t like Pinocchios.”  U.S. President Donald Trump

They didn’t give him Pinocchios, but…
“Tempted as we are to give the president Pinocchios for his statement, he seemed to be speaking off the cuff,” writes the Pinocchio-awarding Glenn Kessler in The Washington Post. Still, the quote is entirely off base. (And here’s a video if you prefer.).

We see what you’re doing there
Scottish fact-checkers The Ferret handed out the worst rating on their scale for the first time to a claim about British trade deals “in the bag.”  By the way, the rating stands for “For Facts’ Sake,” no matter what you might think.

Fact-checking attacked in Brazil
A fact-checker at Agencia Pública sent a politely worded request for evidence behind the claims in a viral political video. The response? A rude photo with the message: “Check This,” plus accusations of leftist censorship. For a humorous look at the story, and the battle over the facts in Brazil, check out this Last Week Tonight-inspired show. (H/T Flavia Mi).

The arithmetic of fakery
Mathematical models can help us understand how misinformation goes viral, scientists say. Or if you prefer, here’s a non-math way to explain it:  “The competition is so harsh that the good stuff cannot bubble to the top.”

Fighting Facebook fakes in Germany
With the German election approaching, POLITICO Europe speaks to Correctiv — freshly verified as an IFCN signatory — about their work as a third-party fact-checker on Facebook. “The results of this experiment, so far, are mixed,” the article notes.

Fool me once…
A Maryland man who was fired from his job over a fake story he wrote about Hillary Clinton earlier this year is in trouble again — this time for a fact-less telephone poll foisted upon Maryland voters recently.

Fact-checkers: Don’t worry, be happy 
It might have been an annus horribilis for some fact-checkers, but here are a bunch of reasons to be optimistic, says Patrick Worrall in journalism.co.uk.

Fake news, real danger
Though existence of the infamous “Blue Whale” conspiracy has not been proven, the game that encourages teens to harm themselves has placed people in danger, says the San Jose Mercury News.

The fake news chain — in mainstream media
A bogus story about a hotelier who wasn’t able to fill an open vacancy because young Italians are too choosy went from local newspaper to national newspaper to the evening news. International Journalism Festival organizer Arianna Ciccone deconstructs the fakery; and a h/t to Espresso journalist Alessandro Gilioli’s debunk.

More Global Fact 4 roundups
ICYM the annual fact-checkers’ shindig in Madrid, here’s a look at what’s going on around the world from Africa Check Nigeria editor David Ajikobi, FactsCan founder Dana Wagner, The Washington Post Fact Checker reporter Michelle Lee and Hitofumi Yanai on Yahoo Japan.

12 quick fact-checking links
(1) First Draft, the verification coalition, staffs up. (2) France Info is discontinuing its “Le Vrai du Faux” segment and journalist Antoine Krempf isn’t sure whether to thank politicians for five years of material. (3) Who planted fake news in Qatar? (4) The Institute for Government hosted a talk on “Post-truth and what we can do about it.” (5) Here are the numbers behind  France’s president Emmanuel Macron’s controversial claim about African maternity rates. (6) Germany has a new fact-checker. (7) Can you tell which of these photos has been doctored? It’s harder than it looks! (8) Building trust for fact-checking: Work in progress. (9) Is licensing journalists to fight fake news a bad idea or a good idea? (10) A new Oxford Internet Institute report looks at who is manipulating you on social media. (11) USAFacts releases its “State of the Facts” poll. (12) The Internet Archive TV News Lab launches Face-O-Matic, a Slack alert system for tracking U.S. political leaders.

Correction
We’re so sorry about the broken link in the first item of last week’s newsletter. Here’s the story.

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