The 24-hour news cycle, coupled with a high-stakes political climate, has made for a ripe environment for “fake news.” In response, the West Virginia University Reed College of Media is partnering with PolitiFact, a Pulitzer Prize-winning news organization, to help train student journalists how to properly fact-check politicians.
Bob Britten, a teaching associate professor in the College of Media, is leading a class that has been working with Lou Jacobson, senior correspondent at PolitiFact, to cover events like Donald Trump’s rally in Charleston, West Virginia, on August 21. The students researched and investigated Trump’s claims and, depending on their findings, recommended a “Truth-O-Meter” ruling of “True”, “Mostly True,” “Half True,” “Mostly False,” "False” or “Pants on Fire,” in line with PolitiFact’s standards.
The students will continue to closely follow West Virginia politicians and government officials leading up to, and following, the mid-term elections on November 6. Once stories are approved by the editors at PolitiFact, the fact-checks will be published on PolitiFact’s website .