Event: Who’s Afraid of the Fact-Checker?

If you are in DC and interested in journalism, politics, and facts, this one is for you. The event takes place at the Wilson Center on Wednesday 15 April at 10 am.

Here’s the full description:
Why has fact-checking become such an important part of journalism? How do politicians react to being corrected? How effective are fact-checkers in holding power to account?

The speakers of this event will give insight into how fact-checking is done in practice and why fact-checking politicians, pundits, and policymakers has recently become a global trend in online journalism.

Fact-checking politicians’ claims has been practiced primarily by a small group of American journalists for some years: The Washington Post’s Fact Checker, PolitiFact and FactCheck.org. More recently, this genre of journalism has become an international movement with new fact-checking ventures emerging in countries as varied as Tunisia, Italy, Ukraine, South Africa, and Finland. By now, almost one hundred fact-checking websites have been launched all over the world, according to the database maintained by The Reporter’s Lab at Duke University.

We will hear from Glenn Kessler, the Fact Checker columnist and blogger of the Washington Post, and Angie Drobnic Holan, the editor of PolitiFact, about their work as fact-checkers, followed by Jane Elizabeth’s insights from the American Press Institute’s fact-checking project and its research results. As a part of the API’s project, journalist Mark Stencel interviewed politicians, campaign officials and advertising executives for a qualitative report on the impact of fact-checking on politics, campaigning and governance. His report reveals politicians’ behind-the-scenes maneuvering to deal with unflattering fact-checks and how fact-checking is changing political practices.

The panel discussion will be hosted by Visiting Scholar Johanna Vehkoo.

The speakers include:

Glenn Kessler, Fact Checker at the Washington Post

Angie Drobnic Holan, Editor at PolitiFact

Jane Elizabeth, Senior Research Project Manager, American Press Institute

Mark Stencel, Journalist, researcher for the American Press Institute

About Johanna Vehkoo

Journo, speaker, fact-checker. Formerly Visiting Scholar at Wilson Center, Washington DC, and Fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, Oxford University. Wrote a book about the future of quality journalism. Founder of award-winning startup Long Play. Blogs in both Finnish and English.
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