It’s All Journalism: Fact Checking Politics and Beyond

It’s All Journalism is a weekly conversation about the changing state of the media and the future of journalism.

It’s early days in the 2016 presidential campaign, but things are already heating up at PolitiFact, the Pulitzer-prize-winning, fact-checking arm of the Tampa Bay Times.

PolitiFact journalists have already picked apart to recent Republican and Democratic debates and identified questionable quips from interviews and started running them through the Truth-O-Meter to determine their veracity.

Some of the results:

  • Donald Trump’s claim that the CIA warned President George W. Bush about the impending 9-11 terrorist attacks proved to be “False”.
  • Hillary Clinton’s assertion that Edward Snowden would’ve received all the protections of a government whistleblower was “Mostly False”.

  • Ben Carson’s statement that Mahmoud Appas, Ali Khamenei and Vladimir Putin first met at college garnered the “Pants-On-Fire” designation.
  • And on and on …

On this week’s It’s All Journalism podcast, Producer Michael O’Connell interviews Editor Angie Drobnic Holan about PolitiFact’s mission, the steps the website’s staff goes through to determine the truthfulness of candidate’s claims and their approach to covering the 2016 presidential race. She also discusses how PolitiFact and other organizations, like the American Press Institute, are bringing the fact-checking philosophy to newsrooms across the country, teaching journalists to use those skills to cover not just political campaigns, but the entire governmental process.

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