Time again for our Website of the Week, when we showcase interesting and innovative online destinations. Our web guide is VOA's Art Chimes.
It's still about a year until the presidential election in the United States, but the campaign has been going on for months. As candidates run advertisements and make other public statements, it's hard to evaluate the truth of what they're saying. Our Website of the Week can help.
At FactCheck.org, an independent team of journalists and researchers dissect statements made by politicians and try to separate fact from fiction.
JACKSON: "We think of ourselves as kind of a consumer advocate for citizens and voters, and we try to give a sort of neutral assessment of the accuracy of factual claims made in political campaigns and in politics generally."
Veteran journalist Brooks Jackson is the director of FactCheck.org. He said they try to review all the advertising run by presidential candidates, plus statements made in debates and other forums, and then research the claims that are testable. For example, one candidate compared the survival rate of cancer patients in the United States with those in Britain.
JACKSON: "We can check the most reliable information available there. We'll check the experts. We'll check, in this case, an official statistical agency in Britain that keeps track of this sort of stuff. And when we find those that are suspect or false or someway misleading, then we write an article."
In this case, the FactCheck.org researchers concluded that the candidate had gotten his numbers wrong, undercutting the point he was trying to make.
FactCheck.org is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. It is non-partisan; the two most recent posts were critical of Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate Rudolph Giuliani.
The focus is on presidential politics, but FactCheck.org looks for untruths in other corners of public discourse, too, and not just on the federal level.
JACKSON: "In many states here, people actually elect judges to the supreme court of the state. I think 22 of our 50 states elect their supreme court justices. And we're seeing lots of advertising - in some cases false and misleading advertising, believe it or not - run by candidates who want to be judges. You'd think if anybody, they would have a respect for accuracy in fact, but it's not always the case."
An independent look at what politicians and interest groups claim to be true at FactCheck.org, or get the link from our site, voanews.com.