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Posted by on Apr 13, 2014 in Featured, Media | 5 comments

Fact-checking journalism gains momentum

Fact-checking journalism gains momentum (via AFP)

Journalists have always faced up to facts, but a new wave of fact-checking journalism has gained prominence in the past decade to counter misleading or outrageous claims of political figures. Notable among these are FactCheck.org, and PolitiFact, which…

  • SteveK

    So far, he observed that even though fact checking has had an impact, “it hasn’t stopped politicians from lying.”

    And that’s a fact!

  • Bob Munck

    Here’s an interesting thought: is fact-checking within the range of things that IBM’s Jeopardy-champion WATSON computer complex could do? From my limited understanding of how Watson works, I think it might well be.

    (Given the “state it as a question” rule for Jeopardy responses, the game could be characterized as “questioning an answer.” Sounds like a description of fact checking. (I don’t know if that’s a pun or not, but it’s similar to them.))

    Watson couldn’t quite be assumed to be unbiased in any such judgments; its programs are written and its databases are populated by human beings. But it might well be less biased than any existing organization.

  • ChrisCrawford

    I think the US has needed fewer things more than the rise of fact-checking. We live in an age where our beliefs are determined almost entirely by where we get our information from, and accountability (for media figures and politicians) couldn’t be more important.
    I still check facts from multiple “checkers,” but it’s clear that those in power will say only what they think they can get away with. Imagine a US where a Legislator could be instantly held accountable for a lie said on the campaign trail, or on the House floor. We may never get there, but it’s worth trying.

  • sheknows

    ChrisCrawford says : ” Imagine a US where a Legislator could be instantly held accountable for a lie said on the campaign trail, or on the House floor. We may never get there, but it’s worth trying.”.

    My belief exactly. Fact checking after the fact is closing the barn door etc,…

    It also would help for main stream media to not report a “he said or she said “claim. The claim may be fact checked later as being false ,but the public has already heard it. It is often not germane to the story either.

  • Fact checking is generally valuable, but there are also dangers in simply labeling mediocre journalism as “fact checking” when it tries to find an equal number of lies from each side. Some things work well for fact checking articles, but in other cases the issue is more complex than to say something is true or false.

    I commented more on this here.

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