ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Aug. 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The St.
Petersburg Times of Florida and Congressional Quarterly of Washington, D.C.
-- two of America's most trusted, independent newsrooms -- are launching a
unique Web site to help voters separate fact from falsehood in the claims
made during the 2008 presidential campaign. The official launch date is
Tuesday, Sept. 4th.
The site, called PolitiFact.com, features a "truth-o-meter" that scores
the truthfulness of specific claims by the presidential candidates. New
findings will be published every weekday on http://www.PolitiFact.com, and
sources will be listed for all to see.
"Each election year, citizens across the country suffer a barrage of
campaign rhetoric and lament: 'just gimme the truth'," said Neil Brown,
Executive Editor and Vice President of the St. Petersburg Times. "Now we'll
have a site that separates fact from fiction."
Journalists and researchers from the Times and CQ will fact-check the
accuracy of many speeches, TV ads, interviews and other campaign claims and
PolitiFact is bolder than previous journalistic fact-checking efforts
because the editors will make a call, declaring whether a claim is True,
Mostly True, Half True, Barely True, or False. There is a special category
for the most ridiculous claims called "Pants on Fire."
That may seem risky to many editors, but the independence and
reputation for journalistic excellence of both the St. Petersburg Times and
Congressional Quarterly make this ambitious effort possible.
"PolitiFact will offer readers the choice of quick scorecards or longer
stories explaining the issues and rulings," said Mike Riley, senior vice
president and editor of CQ Publications. "It will be driven by an extensive
database that allows users to search for candidates' records of accuracy
based on their names, issues, or the rulings of the 'truth-o-meter'."
PolitiFact journalists will also publish an "attack file" -- a home for
fact-checking the attacks candidates make against each other. In a world of
political bloggers and "independent" political action committees, attacks
don't just come from the candidates themselves. So PolitiFact will also
check out many of the claims that enter the public discourse via a talk
show host, a blogger, or even a fictional character in a YouTube video.
PolitiFact's lead writer and editor is Bill Adair, Washington Bureau
Chief of the Times. He will work under the direction of Times
government/politics editor Scott Montgomery, himself a CQ veteran. Items
will be researched and written by more than a dozen members of the
award-winning staffs of the Times and CQ.
About the Publishers
The St. Petersburg Times is Florida's largest newspaper with
circulation of 324,899 daily and 430,893 Sunday (ABC publisher's statement
3/31/07). Considered one of the top ten newspapers in the country with six
Pulitzer Prizes to its name, the Times is one of the nation's last and
With more than 130 reporters, editors and researchers covering Capitol
Hill and Washington, Congressional Quarterly keeps its readers updated in
print and online on a weekly, daily and real-time basis. CQ's readership
includes nearly every member of Congress as well as Executive Branch
officials, leaders in business and associations, top academic institutions
and important media outlets.
Both CQ and the Times are affiliates of the Times Publishing Company,
which is owned by the Poynter Institute, a center for journalism education.
SOURCE Congressional Quarterly