Interviews

Email Exchange With PolitiFact’s Katie Sanders, Oct. 3-9, 2018

On Oct. 9, 2018 we received a response to an email message we sent to truthometer@politifact.com. Katie Sanders sent the response. Sanders serves as PolitiFact’s managing editor. Note that Sanders may well have also read a different description of the same issue forwarded through the International Fact-Checking Network. ZEBRA FACT CHECK (Oct. 3, 2-018) The Sept. 20, 2018 PolitiFact Missouri fact…
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September 2018 Q&A with Alexios Mantzarlis

Each month we pose a question to International Fact-Checking Network Director Alexios Mantzarlis. Our arrangement permits Mantzarlis to reply to questions at any time as his schedule permits.   ZEBRA FACT CHECK (Sept. 3, 2018) Earlier this year, PolitiFact issued a new statement of principles, including a corrections policy that apparently gives it license to correct all spelling errors without issuing any…
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Email Outreach to PolitiFact, Sept. 12, 2018:

Our message to PolitiFact pointing out an error in its PunditFact fact from Sept. 12, 2018 resulted in an automated response. We will update this item if we receive additional response from PolitiFact. Message from Zebra Fact Check (Sept. 12, 2018 10:32 p.m. EDT): Dear Truth-O-Meter, A PunditFact fact check published on Sept. 12, 2018 requires correction. The fact check examines the…
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August 2018 Q&A with Alexios Mantzarlis

Each month we pose a question to International Fact-Checking Network Director Alexios Mantzarlis. Our arrangement permits Mantzarlis to reply to questions at any time as his schedule permits.   ZEBRA FACT CHECK (Aug. 17, 2018) The IFCN has published a review of its first year enforcing its principles. It has also revamped its web presence, including making the rules for compliance with…
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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 Whitehouse.gov website. We started our outreach solely with the purpose of obtaining information about the primary source….
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