Commentary

Poynter Institute allowing the attribution style that led to Jim Romenesko’s resignation

Things have come full circle at the Poynter Institute in the past 10 years. Jim Romenesko ran a popular journalism blog for the Poynter Institute journalism school until 2011. Romenesko’s blog highlighted stories relating to the field of journalism. But eventually assistant editor Erika Fry of Columbia Journalism Review noticed that Romenesko was using verbatim quotations in his summary blurbs…
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Notes on the International Fact-Checking Network’s upcoming annual review of PolitiFact

Zebra Fact Check documented the International Fact-Checking Network’s 2019 failure to hold its stable of “verified” fact-checking organizations to account. PolitiFact, which shares ownership with the IFCN, was notable in escaping scrutiny. The IFCN has yet to explain those failures, but coincidentally or otherwise it revised its Code of Principles in December 2019 along with its methods for verifying compliance…
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Media Bias/Fact Check Blinded by Science Feedback? (Updated)

Recently we chanced on the Science Feedback evaluation at Media Bias/Fact Check, a website that uses subjective ratings to score the bias and accuracy of various websites (including Zebra Fact Check). Apparently blinded by “Science,” Media Bias/Fact Check gave Science Feedback its highest rating for factual accuracy. Indeed, Media Bias/Fact Check proclaimed Science Feedback a “Pro-Science” source. Yet in 2019…
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An Unhealthy ‘PolitiFact Health Check’

This week PolitiFact, with its franchise partner Kaiser Health News, published what was, in effect, a fact check of a prediction by President Barack Obama. “PolitiFact Health Check” awarded Mr. Obama a “True” rating for his prediction. Spoiler: For good reason, fact checkers usually try to avoid doing fact checks on predictions. A Trump Lawsuit Seeking to Overturn the ACA?…
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Facebook’s Fact-Checking Needs Work

For whatever reason, we encounter very few examples of Facebook’s fact-checking effort while using Facebook. An example today renews our concerns about that effort, with the system flagging a picture the fact-checking system associated with false content. “See Why”? Let’s. The photo of two women wearing facemasks supposedly counts as false information because a “Viral poem about staying home was…
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Scandal: Fact Checkers Fail at Accountability

complaint to the international fact-checking network about PolitiFact

The International Fact-Checking Network’s Epic Fail on Fact-Checking Accountability It’s a scandal when an accountability organization fails to provide accountability. After years of finding fault with mainstream media fact checkers, especially PolitiFact, it came as welcome news in 2018 that the International Fact-Checking Network would institute a formal system for registering complaints about its stable of fact-checking organizations. A properly…
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Email outreach regarding IFCN error reporting on Pew Research findings

In July 2019, Zebra Fact Check discovered an error in the International Fact-Checking Network’s coverage of a Pew Research survey. The IFCN-published story falsely said “Almost half of Americans believe that fact checkers are biased, and the majority of those skeptics are Republican.” Pew Research data apparently do not support the latter proposition. Zebra Fact Check received no reply to…
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A Trifecta of Fact Checker Error on IG Report

The so-called “elite three” mainstream fact checkers, FactCheck.org, PolitiFact and the Washington Post Fact Checker, all followed the mainstream press in making a serious error reporting on the Inspector General’s report on the FBI’s “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation. What the IG Report Said The IG report repeatedly said investigators failed to find “documentary or testimonial evidence” of political bias. But the…
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