Accuracy does not equal truth, I tell my students. I can give you a perfectly accurate fact but still leave you with less than the truth.
I then pick on some unsuspecting kid who has come to class with a water bottle and approach her with “that look” on my face.
“I see you’re drinking this morning,” I say in a concerned tone.
“Yes,” she replies.
“Wow. You’re drinking in class. Do you drink in class a lot?”
“All the time.”
I turn to the students, feigning shock. “Did you hear that? She drinks in this class and other classes all the time.”
Completely accurate. But the impression left is totally untrue. Why?
Because the accuracy has been stripped from its context. So no, accuracy doesn’t equal truth. Accuracy plus context equals truth.
In this EdShift series, we’ll dig into fact-checking and verification in search of truth in journalism. Come along for the ride and learn everything from pinocchios to pants-on-fire.
How the Global Fact-Checking Movement is Changing How We Train Journalists, by Michael Wagner and Lucas Graves
How to Use Real-Life Scenarios to Train Social Newsgathering and Verification, by Claire Wardle
Taking on the Challenge of Verification at the J-School Hackathon at Georgia, by Kathleen Bartzen Culver
How Mizzou Journalism Students Help Fact-Check for PolitFact, by Mike Jenner
Remix: Lessons Learned in the Launching of a Student Fact-Checking Unit, by Michael Wagner
Fact-Checking in the News Editing Class, by Thom Lieb
How Our University Site Brings Diversity to Fact-Checking, by Fredric Kendrick
Fact-Checking Political Ads: There are Apps for That, by Kathy Gill
EdShift Chat: Fact-Checking and Verification for Online Media, by Stacy Forster
MediaShift Podcast #203: BuzzFeed Splits Into Two; Vice and Disney Pairing Up and Duke’s Bill Adair on the Rise of Fact-Checking
Fast Fact-Checking and Nonprofit Partnerships, by Reuben Stern
Verification Handbook Mixes Tools, Tips and Culture for Fact-Checking, by Josh Stearns