The St. Petersburg Times and the Austin American-Statesman today are launching PolitiFact Texas, a partnership that will use the Times' Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking approach to examine the 2010 campaigns in the Lone Star State.
PolitiFact Texas uses the same journalistic approach and reader-friendly design as PolitiFact.com, the Times' national fact-checking site. The Texas edition 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 Texas will focus on the 2010 campaigns, but Statesman editors also plan to examine statements by state and local officials as they govern.
The Statesman, a highly regarded newspaper in the Texas capital, has assembled a PolitiFact Texas team led by veteran political writer W. Gardner Selby. Many items from the PolitiFact Texas site — which will be at politifact.com/texas — will also be published in the Statesman's newsprint editions.
The Texas site is the first in PolitiFact's planned expansion to the state and local level. The Times already is publishing Truth-O-Meter items on Florida races in the newspaper and on PolitiFact.com.
"Our expansion in Texas continues the St. Petersburg Times' commitment to PolitiFact as a promising new form of journalism that harnesses the power of the Web," said Neil Brown, the Times' executive editor. "We believe every public official in America should have to face the Truth-O-Meter."
The Times will be seeking news organizations in other states that want to form similar partnerships.
PolitiFact, launched in 2007, won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting.