Category Archives: Fact-checking

Thoughts on International Fact-checking Day

PolitiFact joined with other fact-checkers from around the world to observe International Fact-Checking Day on April 2. Here’s the column I wrote about why we need a day to celebrate fact-checking and how the International Fact-Checking Network came up with the idea. It starts:

With all the phony headlines and hoaxes floating around the Internet, it can feel like April Fool’s any day of the year.

At PolitiFact, we’re debunking more false claims than ever. It’s a sad trend that people will maliciously invent fictitious stories and then pass them off as real, hoping for clicks. That’s our definition of fake news.

The hoax stories tend to straddle the line between absurd and disturbing. READ MORE …

C-SPAN’s ‘Washington Journal’ and tracking President Barack Obama’s campaign promises

On C-SPAN, I recently talked about PolitiFact’s Obameter project, which tracks President Barack Obama’s campaign promises.

Fact-checking fake news on Facebook

PolitiFact recently announced it would join with other independent fact-checkers to fact-check fake news on Facebook. (Read PolitiFact’s announcement.) I talked about that initiative with Brian Stelter on CNN’s Reliable Sources.

Unveiling ‘Lie of the Year’ on MTP Daily

PolitiFact unveiled its “Lie of the Year” for 2016 on MTP Daily with Chuck Todd. Read the story on the PolitiFact website.

PolitiFact on Vice

PolitiFact was recently featured on Vice News. The report looked at how we fact-check on debate nights.

C-SPAN’s ‘Washington Journal’ and fact-checking the 2016 presidential debates

I went on C-SPAN to discuss PolitiFact’s fact-checking of the 2016 presidential debates between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

A fact-checker’s advice for debate moderators

I wrote this column for PolitiFact reflecting on what I’ve seen fact-checking debates since 2007.

Do you yell at the TV when you see an interviewer letting a politician get away with spinning the truth? I know I do. But let’s admit the reality: Questioning candidates on live TV is harder than it looks. And moderating a presidential debate is probably the hardest.

Just look at the typical criticism of debate moderators. They ask dumb questions. They ask inside-baseball questions. The questions are too tough. The questions are too soft. They don’t follow up. They flog a pointless line of questioning.

This will be my third time fact-checking presidential debates, and while criticizing the moderators is common, I’ve seen a few things that make a difference between good moderating and lousy moderating. MORE ...

Q and A with Lucas Graves, author of ‘Deciding What’s True’

Here’s a link to my interview with Lucas Graves, a professor at the University of Wisconsin and author of the book, Deciding What’s True: The Rise of Political Fact-Checking in American Journalism. We talked about how fact-checking works, fact-checking presidential debates and reform movements in journalism.

Holan: Let’s talk about the big question first. Why does fact-checking matter?

Graves: Fact-checking matters in a few different ways. The most important one for me is that it represents a new kind of commitment from journalists to try to pierce political rhetoric and hold politicians accountable. It’s a cultural shift in journalism. MORE …

C-SPAN’s ‘Washington Journal’ and Fact-checking

I appeared recently on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal to discuss the 2016 election and how PolitiFact does its work.

Fact-checking TV ads in a post-truth election

The Internet Archive combined forces with fact-checkers like PolitiFact this year to collect, archive and fact-check television ads of the 2016 election cycle. Nancy Watzman of the Internet Archive and I joined together to write this column for USA Today about our insights on the project.

As sure as night follows day, we are in for a torrent of political ads in the next 14 weeks. Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump already are running general-election spots, and Senate and House campaigns will generate their own deluge as the two parties battle for control of Congress. These ads are often the main point of communication between candidates and voters. Most of them are designed to catch people’s attention with simple and striking messages. And most of them have a tortured relationship with the truth — bending, stretching, or all-out contradicting the facts. MORE …