Political Mendacity and The Rise of the Media Fact-Checkers

Political Mendacity and
The Rise of the Media Fact-Checkers

Why do candidates lie to voters or twist the facts? Are campaigns less truthful now than before? What are mainstream journalists doing about it? Are they doing any good?

Friday, Nov. 9, 2007, 9 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

National Press Club
Holeman Lounge (13th floor)
14th and F Streets NW
Washington, D.C.

New data show print and broadcast journalists are becoming more aggressive about exposing falsehoods and factual distortions in political campaigns. The St. Petersburg Times' "Politifact.com" and the Washington Post's "The Fact Checker" feature are only the latest manifestations of a journalistic trend that has been gathering momentum in recent elections.

This conference will present new, exclusive data that document a rise in "adwatch" and "factcheck"-type stories among major newspapers and also among local TV news departments. It will bring together journalists who are at the cutting edge of this trend. Two veteran political consultants will discuss how much truth-squadding affects candidates, both Democrat and Republican.


Welcome: Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director, Annenberg Public Policy Center

Introductions: Brooks Jackson, director, FactCheck.org

Newspaper trends: Justin Bank, FactCheck.org

Broadcast trends: Bob Papper, Hofstra University

Journalist panel:

Bill Adair, Washington bureau chief, St. Petersburg Times ("PolitiFact.com")
Colin Benedict, news managing editor, WISC-TV, Madison, Wis.
Michael Dobbs, Washington Post ("The Fact Checker")
Mark Matthews, political reporter, KGO-TV, San Francisco
Jake Tapper, senior national correspondent, ABC News

Political consultant panel:

Anita Dunn, Squier Knapp Dunn Communications
Ladonna Lee, Foley & Lardner LLP

Brigitte Tapp
[email protected]
320 National Press Building
Washington, D.C. 20045