The Truth-O-Meter is coming to Florida.
The St. Petersburg Times and the Miami Herald are launching PolitiFact Florida, a partnership that uses the Times' Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking approach to examine the 2010 campaigns in the Sunshine State.
PolitiFact Florida has the same journalistic approach and reader-friendly design as PolitiFact.com, the Times' national fact-checking site. The Florida edition, accessed online at politifact.com/florida, is integrated with the national site and uses the Truth-O-Meter to rate the accuracy of statements by candidates, elected officials and political parties.
Initially, PolitiFact Florida will focus on the 2010 campaigns, but editors also plan to examine statements by state and local officials as they govern. PolitiFact editor Bill Adair, also the Times' Washington bureau chief, will lead the Florida team.
PolitiFact Florida is an expansion of the partnership between the Times and Herald, which merged Tallahassee bureaus in December 2008. Both newspapers publish the work of the combined, six-person team.
Neil Brown, executive editor of the Times, said the PolitiFact Florida partnership may eventually be expanded to include other newspapers and television and radio stations in the state.
"PolitiFact provides a great public service by holding elected officials accountable for what they say," said Brown. "We'd like to see it in every corner of the state."
Said Anders Gyllenhaal, executive editor of the Herald: "Readers can expect a regular supply of straight-shooting, fact-check stories."
The Florida site is PolitiFact's second move into state and local politics. PolitiFact Texas, a partnership with the Austin American-Statesman, launched in January.
"We believe every public official in America should have to face the Truth-O-Meter," Brown said.
PolitiFact, launched in 2007, won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting.