Checking in on Fact Checking

Friday, September 21, 2012


This election season, fact checking has become a story in itself. But what do we really know about how different media outlets fact-check their stories, and what could they be doing better? Brooke speaks with "This American Life" host Ira Glass, The New Yorker's Peter Canby, "All Things Considered" producer Chris Turpin and Poynter's Craig Silverman about the process of trying to get things right.


Peter Canby, Ira Glass, Craig Silverman and Chris Turpin

Hosted by:

Brooke Gladstone

Comments [4]

Larry Morris from Annapolis MD

I found your story on Fact Checking to be very interesting. But after reading Mark Hemingway’s column and the “checking the fact checkers” piece in the October 1 edition of the Weekly Standard it seems to be nothing more than an exercise in creditability boosting for organizations trying to maintain an impossible position “we are unbiased”.

To listen to Ira Glass painfully proclaim that we are investing in independent fact checking for every story to ensure accuracy can be interrupted in the light of Mark Hemingway’s story as nothing more than political cover for Ira and staff.

I would love to hear a “Fact Checkers part II” with Mark Hemingway and Ira exploring and debating the roll of the fact checker in today’s media.

Larry Morris, Annapolis MD

Oct. 02 2012 12:41 AM
Mark Devlin from sarasota

It's clear that that the fact checkers are now supporting their own biases under the cloak of authority. How could we expect anything else when the same editors write *and* fact check?

Last week I set up WeCheck ( ), the people's fact check that anyone can edit, to cut out the middleman and to put fact checking back in the hands of the people. WeCheck is like a Wikipedia for fact checking: anyone can edit, add sources or links to support or rebut claims made by politicians and their media friends. Please join me so we can create an unbiased source of facts about the campaigns.

Sep. 27 2012 09:34 AM
Tom Meyer

Listening to the story might help when posting criticism of that story. All the concerns you raise are addressed, therein.

Sep. 23 2012 04:00 PM
Vincent Masi from Baltimore, Maryland

I find this whole discussion and obsession of "fact checking" to be evidence of the sorry state of journalism in the United States -- including, I might say, "On the Media". As evidence of this, do you find Al Jazeera or the BBC employing "fact checkers"? No. Why? Because this is the job of their journalists. I find this especially problematic when talking or discussing politics, or such issues as climate change, etc. The basic question is: "What is the truth?" This is a broader issues than just segregated "facts". but involves deeper analysis and taking into context. What I find so distressing (for the most part) about coverage of politics in the "main stream media" (I include NPR as part of this), is that there is really no attention paid to the truth. In fact (sorry for the pun), you function as stenographers of both sides of a certain political debate. You are really unable or unwilling to state that a political claim (or that climate change is real, for example) is not true. Isn't the role of journalists to tell us the truth?

Sep. 23 2012 02:57 PM

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