July 2018 Q&A with Alexios Mantzarlis

Each month we pose a question to International Fact-Checking Network Director Alexios Mantzarlis.   ZEBRA FACT CHECK (July 9, 2018) Hypothetical: Evidence reveals the Washington Post Fact Checker, Glenn Kessler, as a long-time partisan Republican (with a history of partisan political donations and advocating for political issues that he fact checked). What happens in terms of IFCN verification, if anything?…
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Email Outreach to PolitiFact’s Angie Holan and Jon Z. Greenberg

Email sent to PolitiFact’s Angie Drobnic Holan and Jon Z. Greenberg on May 10, 2018. I’m currently writing up a fact check of statements PolitiFact has supported. First, that the BCRA’s Medicaid cut was aimed at reducing Medicaid enrollment (Holan). Second, that the BCRA eliminates the ACA option for states to expand Medicaid (Greenberg). The other day during your Reddit…
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May 2018 Q&A with Alexios Mantzarlis

ZEBRA FACT CHECK From the start, the rating systems for PolitiFact and the Washington Post Fact Checker have drawn criticism over their inherent subjectivity. At the same time, such systems draw some strong support from members of the fact-checking community (a Duke Reporters Lab article from 2016 estimates a majority of fact-checking organizations use such rating systems).  PolitiFact’s founder, Bill Adair, reportedly participated…
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To & From Michael Wagner (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Email message sent to Michael Wagner on April 26, 2018: Following the announcement that the International Fact-Checking Network would serve as a type of quality control organization for fact checkers, I have carried the concern that the verification process lacks teeth. The issue of error correction served as the issue of greatest concern. The IFCN verification process appeared to place…
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Email outreach to the Des Moines Register et al

Upon finding dubiously sourced information in a byline-less Des Moines Register editorial, Zebra Fact Check reached out to try to find the primary source backing the editorial’s claims. Quickly we realized that the editorial had very probably borrowed, without credit, material from the website. We started our outreach solely with the purpose of obtaining information about the primary source….
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Email Outreach to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s Brenda Looper

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Brenda Looper

After we noticed an April 11, 2018 newspaper opinion article in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette making misleading statements about Zebra Fact Check and another site I help run, we tried to contact the author, Brenda Looper, via the email address listed on the Democrat-Gazette’s website. We sent the first email on April 11, 2018 and the second on April 13, 2018….
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Email Outreach to Allison Colburn, Louis Jacobson, Angie Holan and Aaron Sharockman

(Post-publication update note: We published this with no title. We added the title promptly) Email outreach to PolitiFact’s Allison Colburn, Louis Jacobson, Angie Holan and Aaron Sharockman, Sent March 29, 2018. Dear PolitiFact folks, As most of you are probably aware, PolitiFact rated charges the ACA cut Medicare as “Half True” or worse (mostly worse, were you to tell the truth about…
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Email outreach to PolitiFact’s John Kruzel and Katie Sanders

PolitiFact writer-researcher John Kruzel

After writing an article for PolitiFact Bias containing criticisms of a March 3, 2018 PolitiFact fact check, we sent the following email to the writer and editor asking for either a correction or explanation of what looks like a core error. We copied the email to PolitiFact Editor Angie Drobnic Holan, PolitiFact Executive Director Aaron Sharockman and International Fact-Checking Network…
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Inquiry sent to Alison Mitchell of the Congressional Research Service

We sent the following message to Alison Mitchell of the Congressional Research Service in an attempt to clarify the CBO’s language about the “costs” of employment-based insurance under CHIP reauthorization. I’m a fact-checking journalist looking at claims made about the CHIP program renewal. I’ve run across your name more than once while trying to find information on the relationship between…
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