PolitiFact to fact-check politicians' claims on Medium

Published Dec. 17, 2015

PolitiFact, the Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking website of the Tampa Bay Times, will provide new context to political posts on the publishing platform Medium through a $140,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

In the 2016 presidential campaign, candidates Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton and Marco Rubio are among the U.S. politicians using Medium, a simple-to-use online publishing platform that allows anyone to generate content with a few clicks of a button.

Medium's platform also allows users to provide additional context and analysis through in-line annotation.

That's where PolitiFact comes in.

The Knight grant will enable PolitiFact reporters and editors to fact-check politicians for the first time in the same forum where they make their claims.

"Typically, a candidate says something that ends up broadcast on TV or radio or published in a print or online publication. Fact-checkers then analyze that claim and post their findings in a separate print or online space. With Medium, we can do one better," said PolitiFact executive director Aaron Sharockman. "We're excited to get started and see how the candidates react."

PolitiFact will post complete stories on and highlighting what it uncovers, as well as nonpartisan annotations or vetting of a particular claim.

"As Medium becomes more prominent in political discourse, we believe fact-checkers can play a crucial role to bring more accountability to political speech and improve conversations around elections," said Jennifer Preston, Knight Foundation vice president for journalism. "Through this project, PolitiFact will help fact-check politicians, from all political parties, in the same space where they make their claims and yield lessons for journalists and others looking to verify and ensure their coverage is accurate."

PolitiFact recently announced partnerships with NBC News and E.W. Scripps to air PolitiFact content in local television markets across the country.