Insights, tools and research to advance journalism

The Week in Fact-Checking: Election Edition

Consider an Election Day where fact-checking political memes and calling out fakery on social media is just as ubiquitous as those “I Voted” stickers. We’ve collected some of the best fact-checks about vote-rigging and ballot-stuffing for you here.

Quote of the week
“While it is important to get the facts straight, focusing on the truth content of their words is not nearly enough… . It often matters much more how candidates say things, or what they choose to leave out, than whether they stuck to the facts or not.” Gleb Tsipursky, writing for Intentional Insights blog

Hope for a post- post-truth world
In just over four months, at least 50 journalists or politicians have declared a “post-truth” era. The premise that voters are so blinded by partisanship as to flat-out reject the facts doesn’t seem to be holding up all that well, however. Read the Q&A with the authors of a new study. (Headline h/t Michael Moyer.)

Fact-checking, 2008 vs. 2016
What a difference eight years make. In this article, journalists ponder the rise of fact-checking in the U.S. presidential race. Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold notes: “In 2008, there was the news story, then there was the fact-check. Now fact-checking has become the news story.”

Finally a government we can fact-check
Two elections and several months later, Mariano Rajoy is sworn back in as Spain’s Prime Minister. Fact-checkers at El Confidencial and El Objetivo scrutinized the claims made in Parliament on the occasion.

Stop, drop and fact-check
Things got a little heated the other day when a CNN guest fired off one false statement after another. “We have to fact-check you live,” yelled a CNN anchor to a guest. “Stop, stop, stop!” Watch the clip.

Facebook’s fake news problem won’t fix itself
Evidence of Facebook’s fake news problem is piling up. The bigger problem, however, is that Facebook seems incapable of rooting out hoaxes even after acknowledging they are clearly fake news. Will the social network act? And what can you as a user do?

The truth about truth research
We’ve all heard it: The more misinformation is repeated, the “truer” it becomes. But new research indicates there’s a stronger factor in whether someone believes a statement is true — and that’s whether it is actually true. Read it.

A festival of faux-checking
It’s been a great (?) week for all sorts of people and organizations to pose as fact-checkers. Here are just a few: Politicians in New Hampshire and Montana “fact-check” their competitors. A PAC-funded “newspaper” pushes its political agenda. Guess who’s behind the “Standing Rock Fact-Checker”? The libertarian Cato Institute “fact-checks” the Dallas Morning News.

Good news about facts
Writing for Quartz, a psychology professor maintains that if facts are presented in just the right manner, partisans “will permit truth to have a larger impact on their thinking.” Find out how to make reality real again.

Some fact-checking fun
A Vulture writer has a weekly recap on the TV show “Fresh off the Boat” with an “authenticity index” each week that fact-checks whether the show reflects real life. And check out  “The Last Ever Chicago’s Biggest Liar Contest”, to be held not coincidentally just hours before the U.S. presidential election.

Quick fact-checking links
(1) Happy birthday to Africa Check. (2) Kathleen Hall Jamieson of FactCheck.org discusses why “custodians of knowledge” are being attacked. (3) What are “vox pops”and why is NPR fact-checking them? (4) A new fact-checking site launches in Ecuador. (5) The real person behind the fake congressman. (6) Will it be the TrumpMeter or the ClintonMeter? PolitiFact is getting ready either way. (7) Chequeado is holding a factcheckathon of its Justiciapedia platform on Saturday.

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.