Fact Check #Fail
Wednesday Feb 15, 2012
In the Feb. 14 broadcast of The Rachel Maddow Show, host Rachel Maddow lambasted Politifact for incorrectly evaluating a statementmade by Florida congressman Marco Rubio at the CPAC conference last week.
Seriously! Claim A: False! Claim B: False! Overall PolitiFact rating: “Mostly True”!
PolitiFact, please leave the building. Do not bother turning off the lights when you leave; we will need them on to clean up the mess you have left behind you as you are leaving.
PolitiFact, you are a disaster.
Maddow's frustration is far from unique. Journalists have been concerned with the integrity of the news for decades. George Orwell wrote an essay "The Politics of the English Language," on that very subject in 1946. Orwell's concern is continues in large part because the journalism industry -- colloquially known as the forth branch of government -- is so influential.
During election season, the watchdog service of publications is particularly valuable. Fortunately, new developments in media are allowing the press to fact-check in new and innovative ways:
INNOVATIONS IN FACTCHECKING:
- The New York Times performed a live fact-check of President Barack Obama's State of the Union address in January.
- The Atlantic went a step further, making an annotated copy of the speech available online.
- At the DLD Conference in Munich this January, Huffington Post editor-in-chief Arianna Huffington raised the bet: challenging conference attendees to create a program that could evaluate political statements in real time.
Until developers give life to Huffington's fact-checking machine of the future, the reality is that it is time-intensive and laborious venture -- one that offers advantage to high caliber publications with the staff, resources and reputation to get it done. For related posts on content and media innovation, please read:
- "Do ingredients matter?"
- "Readers looking for “more curation, more selectivity, more civility,” says Arianna Huffington"
Recommended reading on fact-checking:
- "Keeping Them Honest" by Arthur S. Brisbane of The New York Times
This article you are reading was written by Claire for NewsCred Blog and is available for syndication through NewsCred, the world's leading content marketing platform.
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