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News Outlets Doing More Fact-Checking of Political Ads

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

News Outlets Doing More Fact-Checking of Political Ads

Article excerpt

News outlets are fact-checking political advertising more than ever, according to two new studies being released Friday morning, which indicate the number of newspaper "adwatch" stories has more than tripled since the beginning of the decade.

"Those who feed false or misleading information to voters are going to be under more scrutiny in 2008," said FactCheck.org director Brooks Jackson. "For political advertisers the message is 'Caveat mendax - let the liar beware.'" Newspaper and broadcast journalists are becoming more aggressive in challenging false or misleading political claims, according to the studies released today by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.

The studies are being released by FactCheck.org and the Annenberg center at a Washington, D.C., conference titled, "Pants on Fire, Political Mendacity and the Rise of Media Fact-Checkers."

Among the findings:

* A study of stories published in 34 of the largest U.S. newspapers showed the number of "adwatch" type stories published in the 2005/2006 election cycle was more than 3-1/2 times higher than the number in the 1999/2000 election cycle. …

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