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Fact checking and accountability journalism (Page 3)

The Week in Fact-Checking: That big, gaping partisan divide

An analysis of 10 U.S. partisan publications found that during the 2016 presidential election, popular conservative websites were far more likely to criticize fact-checking organizations than their liberal counterparts. Read about the report on Poynter.org. Quote of the week “Because here’s the thing: fact-checking isn’t friendly. Nor should it be. Fact-checking developed to hold powerful […]

The Week in Fact-Checking: Check, rinse, repeat

You are likelier to think something is true if you’ve encountered it more often, a phenomenon psychologists call the “familiarity effect.” This has bedeviled efforts to root out widespread misperceptions because debunking them inevitably requires repeating them. A new study offers some hope (and tips) for fact-checkers. Quote of the week “On the internet there […]

The Week in Fact-Checking: The truth about fact-checkers’ disagreements

A preliminary study comparing the consistency of ratings by PolitiFact and The Washington Post’s Fact Checker had a promising approach but a misleading conclusion. The key finding, that “14 out of 70 statements (20 percent) received two completely opposite ratings from the fact-checkers” led to a smattering of snarky — and unsubstantiated — headlines. Read the report […]

Fact-checking “S-Town”: 5 good questions with Benjamin Phelan

“S-Town,” the latest podcast from “Serial” and “This American Life,” is the entrancing story of the brilliant-but-tortured John B McLemore and his complicated life in Woodstock, Alabama. In its first month, the truly addictive podcast was downloaded more than 40 million times. And if you’ve listened to all seven chapters, it might have seemed as […]

The Week in Fact-Checking: The trouble with reality

“On The Media” co-host Brooke Gladstone published a punchy, short book for those grappling with the state of facts under President Trump. Her recommendation for journalists is to keep fact-checking but provide crucial context if they want to have an impact on reality. “[R]efer to the circumstances in which people live,” she says, “because that’s […]

The Week in Fact-Checking: 100 days later, has anything changed?

In 2016, U.S. fact-checkers drew record traffic — but the Pants-on-Fire candidate still became the Pants-on-Fire president. This complicated reality could have led to big changes to the ways fact-checking is conducted in America. Yet the formats, tone and methods adopted by fact-checkers have barely changed since Trump’s inauguration. Read about the first 100 days […]

The Week in Fact-Checking: Satire and hoaxes meet real life

On Le Monde, Adrien Sénecat has an excellent deconstruction of how satire and hyperpartisan truth-twisting can result in real misperceptions. Step 1: A satirical site writes that French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron, caricatured as out-of-touch, feels dirty after touching poor people’s hands. Step 2: Hyperpartisan Facebook pages take this at face value, mixing in footage from […]

The Week in Fact-Checking: With your own two feet

Julien Pain was tired of preaching to the choir. After several years spent debunking viral fakes for France 24’s Les Observateurs, he was on the lookout for a format that would expand the reach of his fact-checking. “I realized I was only reaching people who agreed with me,” he said. Since September, he’s been taking […]

The Week in Fact-Checking: Status report on platforms and misinformation

It was an eventful week for fact-checking and the big tech platforms. To recap: On Thursday, Google announced it would be highlighting fact checks in search results. (Sloppy coverage ensued.) The next day, Facebook launched a public service announcement in 14 countries asking readers to be wary of what it now calls “false news.” (Full […]

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