The Week in Fact-Checking: In case you missed us
There was a surprising amount of fact-checking news during the holiday break. Assuming that you actually were taking a break (as we did) we’ve collected some items you might have missed, along with some news from this week.
First: It’s just not a new year until you can wrap up the old year with a list, right? So here’s our list of just some of the fact-checking lists that summarize the highlights and challenges of 2016.
Quote of the week
“Don’t get me wrong — fact-checking is a start, and some of it may even help. But for all the hand-wringing, hot takes and congratulatory posts about the latest fact-checking heroics, fake news continues to do what it does best: adapt.” — Brooke Borel, author of the Chicago Guide to Fact-Checking, writing for FiveThirtyEight
Throughout 2016, David Fahrenthold, political reporter at The Washington Post, closely scrutinized claims president-elect Donald Trump made about his charitable giving. In awarding him the Ben Bradlee prize, the Post lauded him for “discovering major discrepancies between the candidate’s statements and the verifiable facts.” He shared with Poynter nine tips for fact-checking claims about charitable donations.
Do you like your myths busted, or not?
The New York Times’ “The Upshot” blog mapped the popularity of television shows around the United States, including “MythBusters” (see #38).
To what extent is “post-truth” synonymous of liberal angst?
From BBC Radio 4, here’s a good exploration of how “our brains process facts when they become polluted by politics” with contributions from Brendan Nyhan, Dan Kahan, Stephan Lewandowsky and more.
Fake news, real squabbles
As 2016 turned to 2017, Italy found itself mired in a debate over fake news. The head of its antitrust authority told the Financial Times there was a need for new state authorities that can fight fake news. Comedian cum-opposition party leader Beppe Grillo called this a “new Inquisition,” then said traditional media are the “prime fabricators of fake news.” This led the host of one newscast to threaten a lawsuit.
Verification resources, translated
The First Draft Coalition is now publishing in Arabic, French, German and Spanish, as well as English. Check out all their resources.
The future of fake news
Predictions for 2017 from the Chicago Tribune’s Rex Huppke include the fate of fake news. Guess what: It becomes real and Christmas moves to June.
Some fact-checking fun
Corrections to news stories can be hilarious. (Well, unless it’s your mistake and a note goes into your personnel file, of course.) Poynter collects the best of 2016.
9 quick ICYMI fact-checking links
(1) The grandfather of the fake news industry: The tobacco industry. (2) When fake news becomes harmful. (3) When fake news is “beautiful.” (4) A bittersweet competition for the best fake-news-fighting technology. (5) Did bad science news give birth to the fake news industry? (6) A cure for fake news: Ban gullibility from the internet. (7) To understand facts, read fiction. (8) After all this time, lessons not learned by the media. (9) How to be persuasive with absolutely no facts.