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Fact-checking grows in Latin America

BUENOS AIRES — Fact-checking is booming in Latin America. Inspired by the success of Chequeado in Argentina and El Poligrafo in Chile, fact-checking sites have sprung up in Brazil, Uruguay, Costa Rica and Colombia and new sites are planned in Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Peru and Nicaragua. The fact-checkers from Latin America gathered in Buenos Aires last weekend to discuss their work and exchange tips with colleagues from other countries. The Latam Chequea conference, organized by the staff of Chequeado, was the first regional event of the international group of fact-checkers that formed last June at the Poynter Global Fact Checking Summit in London. At the Buenos Aires event, speakers from Chequaedo,, Africa Check, PolitiFact and Fact Check EU talked about the challenges of their new form of accountability journalism and how it is empowering democracy. Laura Zommer and … Read More »

A Viewer’s Guide to the N.C. Senate Debates

Political debates aren’t scripted, but the candidates usually come armed with some familiar talking points. To help you sort out the truth in the talking points in this week’s debates for the U.S. Senate seat from North Carolina, the Duke Reporters’ Lab has compiled a viewer’s guide from fact-checking done in the past year by WRAL-TV, PolitiFact, the Washington Post FactChecker, and McClatchy. The debates are being held tonight and Thursday, with Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan and Republican Thom Tillis tonight and Libertarian Sean Haugh joining them Thursday. ABC’s George Stephanopoulos will moderate tonight’s one-hour debate, which starts at 7 p.m. on TV and radio stations throughout the state. It will be streamed live at On Thursday, the debate will also be held at 7 p.m. and broadcast on TV stations around the state. Below are some of the … Read More »

Coverage of Global Fact-Checking Summit

The Duke Reporters’ Lab was one of the co-sponsors of the Poynter Institute’s inaugural Global Fact-Checking Summit, held at the London School of Economics June 9-10. It attracted about 50 fact-checkers and academics from countries ranging from India to Chile.  Here’s some of the coverage received: Washington Post, The global boom in political fact-checking ABC Australia, Fact checking around the world: Pioneers Bill Adair and Glenn Kessler speak to ABC Fact Check Africa Check Director Peter Cunliffe-Jones: Why fact-checking matters Duke professor Bill Adair: Lessons from the Poynter global fact-checking summit Tampa Bay Times Editor Neil Brown: 5 essential understandings of the fact-checking movement  Poynter: Fact-checkers plan international organization  

Lessons from the Poynter Global Fact-Checking Summit

The Reporters’ Lab was one of the co-sponsors of the Poynter Institute’s Global Fact-Checking Summit, which was held at the London School of Economics June 9-10, 2014. Here are some reflections on the conference and what’s ahead for the world’s fact-checkers. Poynter’s inaugural Global Fact-Checking Summit attracted a diverse group of journalists to a London classroom this week. Two Italians explained their creative ideas for earning money from their work. An energetic editor from Argentina talked about how she uses crowdsourcing to help her reporters. And two young journalists from Ukraine showed how they’ve used digital tools to find manipulated photographs in the Russian media. The journalists shared something big in common: a passion for fact-checking. As international conferences go, the Global Fact-Checking Summit was a small one — about 40 fact-checkers, a half-dozen academics who study this growing new … Read More »

Why Digital Tools Stay in the Shed: ‘The Goat Must Be Fed’

For all the talk about digital tools and a data reporting revolution in the news business, the hype doesn’t match the reality in most American newsrooms. That’s what we heard when the Duke Reporters’ Lab set out to understand why so many news staffs have such a difficult time figuring out how to open these digital toolboxes — even when peers at other organizations have shown what even one data-savvy journalist on staff can accomplish. The resulting report, published today, got its title from an answer we heard in an interview with Jim Farley, the recently retired news leader at WTOP-FM in Washington, D.C., one of the best-staffed and most successful radio news operations in the country. “We’re live and local, 24/7, 365,” Farley told us. “The goat must be fed.” It turns out the John S. and James L. … Read More »

A Map of Fact-Checking Around the Globe

To show the growth of political fact-checking, we plotted two maps of organizations around the world. The first map shows all 65 organizations — both active and inactive. The second map shows the 48 organizations with currently active sites. We geocoded the organizations by city. When the dots stacked on top of each other, we adjusted them so all the dots could be seen. Of all the 65 organizations, 33 are in Europe — 22 of which are currently active. North America has the second-largest number with 18 total organizations and 16 active. Fact-checking is on the rise in Australia, Africa, Asia and South America, where new organizations have emerged in the last year. To view the full interactive map of all the organizations, click here or follow this link: To view the full interactive map of organizations with active sites, … Read More »

Duke study finds fact-checking growing around the world

With sites such as Faktomat in Germany, Chequeado in Argentina and Les Decodeurs in France, political fact-checking is expanding rapidly around the globe, according to a new analysis by the Duke University Reporters’ Lab. The study found 59 sites that have done fact-checking in the last few years, including 44 currently active. More than two-thirds use rating systems such as the Truth-O-Meter, El Poligrafo or Pinocchios. The ratings typically include a true to false scale, although some use terms as such “Rubbish,” “Deceitful” and “Insane Whopper.” The Reporters’ Lab analysis, which was done in advance of a Poynter Institute conference to be held in London in June, is believed to be the first study to examine the growth of fact-checking around the world. The second phase of the study, to be conducted by University of Wisconsin journalism professor Lucas Graves, … Read More »

We’re building PebbleWire, a news app for a wristwatch

The Duke Reporters’ Lab is building a new app that will put headlines on your wristwatch. With the rapid growth of smart watches and other wearable devices such as Google Glass, the Reporters’ Lab is developing a new app that will allow people to get headlines on their watches for topics ranging from politics to sports. Our first such app, PebbleWire, is being built for the Pebble, a popular new watch that was launched with the most successful Kickstarter campaign in history. We also plan to adapt PebbleWire for other watches in the future. PebbleWire is being designed and built by Duke electrical engineering student Aaron Krolik, a developer in the Reporters’ Lab. He is finishing an early version of the app for Android users and plans to build an iPhone version in the next few weeks. (Pebbles connect to … Read More »

What’s next for the Reporters’ Lab

If journalism is in the doldrums, you wouldn’t know it from the Online News Association conference in Atlanta last weekend. The sold-out conference offered a dizzying array of great panels and a midway that lived up to its name. Vendors ranging from Google to the Knight Foundation showcased a wide range of new digital tools for journalists. Matt Waite flew his drone. The conference was a reminder that we’re at a moment of reinvention in journalism when we can radically improve how we tell stories and inform people. And that is our mission for the Reporters’ Lab. I took over the lab when I became the Knight Chair at Duke a few months ago. It’s been dormant while I focused on teaching my fall classes, but now that the semester is well underway, I’ve got several projects underway. You’ll be … Read More »