The explosive journalism landscape inspires strong emotional reactions. But how accurate is the information we receive from news media?
A study by Pew Research shows that “When it comes to getting news about politics and government, liberals and conservatives inhabit different worlds. There is little overlap in the news sources they turn to and trust. And whether discussing politics online or with friends, they are more likely than others to interact with like-minded individuals…”
Since our organization is focused on researching what is going on with Medicare, and not with partisan politics, the subtle or not-so-subtle biases of the press makes our commitment to non-partisanship more difficult.
Here are some tools to help you sort the wheat from the chaff. These tools are not perfect, but they are helpful if you want a (mostly) non-partisan perspective on events and statements.
Here is a list of non-partisan fact-checking websites.
- Politifact.com – PolitiFact is a fact-checking website that rates the accuracy of claims by elected officials and other American political voices. The Tampa Bay Times, an independent newspaper in Florida, runs the site. Politifact has won a Pulitzer Prize and is considered by many to be the best non-partisan fact checking site. Here is an example of what Politifact.com has to say about statement people have made about Medicare.
- Factcheck.org – FactCheck.org is run by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. They are a nonpartisan, nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters that aims to reduce deception and confusion. However, their title choices make them appear to lean to the left, and their format is not ideally suited to quickly fact check something.
- Open Secrets – Open Secrets is a nonpartisan, independent and nonprofit, run by the Center for Responsive Politics. This organization is a leading research group that tracks money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy. Open Secrets tracks how much and where candidates get their money. They also track lobbying groups and whom they are funding.
- Snopes.com – Snopes is well-known for debunking Internet myths and urban legends. They also report on the most obvious falsehoods being spread to the public. Here are some of their activities on Medicare related topics.
You can also check out these PARTISAN fact-checking sites.
Newsbusters – Launched by the Media Research Center is 2005, this website is committed to “combatting liberal bias.”
Media Matters – A liberal media watchdog group that focuses on fact-checking Fox News.