Home – Election Season Puts a Focus on Fact-Checking

Election Season Puts a Focus on Fact-Checking

Posted on 08-23-2016 by Janelle Coates

 Do you have a fact-checking obsession? In today’s hyperbolic media landscape, it seems, fact-checking is de rigueur. That’s good news, according to the Poynter Institute—an organization dedicated to “the elevation of journalism.”  In a recent article, Poynter pointed out that “More than 100 outlets now check the statements of politicians, which is up more than 50 percent in the past year.”  Moreover, as we noted in a recent blog, fact-checking is taking place in near real time, with news broadcasters like CNN, CNBC and others scrolling fact-checking statements at the bottom of the screen.  It’s not just the political scene that warrants this type of attention.  Regardless of the topic you’re investigating, you need a trusted, reliable source for news and public records. And it’s not the open web. Find out why in our new white paper, “Beyond the Open Web: Why Journalists Need More Reliable Tools for News Research."


Not All Sources—or Search Engines—are Created Equal

 According to Pew’s Internet usage surveys, 91 percent of online users leverage search engines—especially Google®— to conduct research. But when it comes to journalistic integrity, searching the open web for the authoritative sources you need often lures you into a maze of dead-ends and paywalls. In addition, many sources on the open web offer questionable ‘facts’ themselves, whether it’s the tongue-in-cheek news stories found on The Onion or sites that serve up their own subjective take on news-worthy (and not-so-newsworthy) events. That explains why users also reported in the Pew that:

  • 41 percent frequently see conflicting information in search results
  • 38 percent find the quantity of results returned overwhelming
  • 34 percent worry that their search results miss critical information


In addition, you have to consider how the search engine you use discovers content. On the open web, search engine optimization (SEO) reigns supreme—but it’s a marketing tool, not a relevance engine. Keyword-stuffed content moves to the top of results list, often forcing you to scroll through pages of results to find the information you need.  And what about when you need more obscure or difficult-to-access information like company or executive information, industry reports or public records?


Instead of relying on an inefficient—and frustrating—tool for conducting research, look for a robust solution that offers optimized search results, broad global content (because trends happening elsewhere move quickly in the digital age) and tools that help you stay alert to breaking news, track topics of interest or find the people you need to connect with for your next story.


3 Ways to Apply This Information Now

  1. Check out our series on journalism on the Biz Blog.
  2. Request a free trial of Nexis® to explore some of the 26,000 content sources available.
  3. Share this blog on LinkedIn to keep the dialogue going with your colleagues and contacts.

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