‘Fact Check This’: How U.S. politics adapts to media scrutiny
Media fact-checking has become a fact of life for political professionals, especially at the national level and in places where local news organizations have dedicated reporters to verifying statements by elected officials, candidates and their supporters. This report looks at the ways the people who make those statements are adapting to the increased scrutiny. It is based on a review of responses to selected fact-checking reports and more than a dozen conversations with people in politics and journalism about how fact checking has changed their behavior. Some responses show how this style of coverage helps correct public statements and make political arguments more precise. But evidence also shows that fact-checking can be used to fuel the negative politics some of its proponents hope to counteract.