Dr. Pitney on Fact-Checking Election Websites

Yesterday’s article by Emily Yahr in the American Journalism Review says:

In addition to changing readers’ views, these Web sites could also have an impact on the candidates themselves, says Jack Pitney, a professor of government at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, California. A campaign is never going to provide impartial information, he says, but knowing a fact-checker is watching might restrain candidates and their staff from the most extreme statements.

The sites have the potential to be influential, Pitney says, because their findings can spread very quickly via blogs. Still, he cautions that there are limitations in divining the ever-elusive truth. “While these [efforts] are helpful, they can never be the last word,”Pitney says. “There are always issues of interpretation and emphasis.”

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