Insights, tools and research to advance journalism

The Week in Fact-Checking: Calling in reinforcements

The U.S. presidential campaign has been so full of spin that fact-checkers at Univision flew in reinforcements. For the final debate, 25 journalists from 11 countries gathered at the Miami offices of the Spanish-language network. (On the night itself, most of the activity was on Twitter and video, the joint content on immigration is expected later today).

Quote of the week
“One of the ironies, I think, of the Internet has been the degree to which it’s bringing us unprecedented knowledge, but everything on the Internet looks like it might be true. And so in this political season, we’ve seen just — you just say stuff. And so everything suddenly becomes contested. That I do not think is good for our democracy.” — President Barack Obama at the White House Frontiers Conference

An upgrade for the second screen
A Duke University computer science student developed a Chrome extension that added PolitiFact fact checks to a live stream of the final presidential debate. On Wednesday night, there were 383 active users running the tool.

Fact-checking crack from Siri
The iPhone’s voice-controlled assistant got a little snarky when asked about Halloween costumes by a fact-checker at The Washington Post (h/t Michelle Ye Hee Lee).

The latest polls about fact-checking
Most people believe it’s a journalist’s responsibility to provide facts that correct misinformation uttered by politicians, according to new polling by Pew. In less cheery news, YouGov found that Trump voters were far less likely to trust fact-checkers findings than Clinton voters. Then again, Trump doesn’t mind quoting fact-checkers when they side with him, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

The case for Christian fact-checking
Citing the commandment “Do not bear false witness,” a Patheos blogger says she’s particularly fed up with Christians’ role in spreading “obvious blatant misinformation.” She offers them some guidelines to help ensure truth flourishes.

Stop us if you’ve heard about “the post-fact era”
In this Al Jazeera “The Listening Post”  program, fact-checkers around the world  — including FactCheck.org, Chequeado and BBC’s Reality Check — explain why they do what they do. And answer more questions about the “post-fact era.”

‘Nothing I’ve ever written has made so many people so angry’
6206464068_b785bd00dc_z
A Canadian journalist explains why he’s fact-checking everything U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump says during these final days before the election. Read it.

Have you seen the new Google News fact-check tag?
Google News added “Fact Check” to their set of story labels. Google Head of News Richard Gingras said that the company was “excited to see the growth of the Fact Check community and to shine a light on its efforts to divine fact from fiction, wisdom from spin.” Ironically, coverage of this story didn’t always get thoroughly fact-checked.

French fact-checking in full form
BuzzFeed followed the French Republicans’ presidential primary debate and crowned Nicolas Sarkozy the biggest spinner. Meanwhile, Le Monde’s Décodeurs debunked a much-shared claim that an ISIS leader endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.

If it sounds too bad to be true…
A Congressional race in Colorado is getting “down and dirty,” with one candidate accusing his opponent of supporting a bill that allows welfare recipients to use their public benefit cards to pay for strippers. You  might be surprised at the Truth-o-Meter rating by Denver Channel 7 and PolitiFact.

Some fact-checking fun
The U.S. presidential election has given comedy many gifts. Among them are three memes based on television favorites “Arrested Development,” “The Office” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” Time magazine takes a look. 

Quick fact-checking links
(1) A Bustle writer uses PolitiFact’s fact checks and figures out what politicians look like when they lie. (2) An ICFJ/Code for Africa grant will allow Africa Check to develop a promise tracker. (3) Basketball star Manu Ginóbili is a fan of Chequeado. (4) ICYMI, you have until Nov. 7 to submit an automated fact-checking silver bullet. (5) TheJournal.ie gets a politician to ‘fess up on an inaccuracy. (6) University of Kansas librarians create afact-checking guide for students, most of whom are first-time voters. (7) That Vegemite/Marmite Twitter war was not for real.

Need to Know newsletter

The smart way to start your day

Each morning we scour the web for fresh useful insights in our Need to Know newsletter. Sign up below.

Featured topics

Go deeper on…

Dive deep on everything we produce about these key topics.

Strategy Studies

The best practices for innovation within news organizations

This Strategy Study presents examples and insights about journalism innovation, offering actionable advice and methods to move your journalism and business forward.