Friday, September 21, 2007


What can help stop the misconceptions that result in the lack of civic understanding that causes the test results shown in the previous posting?

As a news researcher, my policy was to never answer a question without checking the facts first. (Difficult at the times when someone yells a question across a desk and you're sure you know the answer, but necessary anyway.)

Who's replacing -- or using -- the news researchers in the public discourse these days?

There's a sudden proliferation of web sites that are doing just that, especially as this election seasons approaches. First around was, of course, , which is funded by Annenberg Public Policy Center and says its goal is 'Holding Politicians Accountable'.

Says FactCheck: Maybe It's a Trend, referring to the emergence of Politfact (mentioned here earlier), from Poynter's CQ and St. Pete Times, and the new FactChecker blog from (which I cited Wednesday).

Now may have help for the education problem:, which offers help to students and professors on how to determine truth. Check out Straight from the Source, for example, which tells how to trust web sites; and Don't be fooled: Tools of the Trade, for more guidance.

On this topic, I've received a copy of a new book, Consider the Source, by two young journalists whose website is The Reporters' Well. This looks like a very useful exercise in determining the value of news and information sites, and I'll have more to say on this once I've read it.



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