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 communications. 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 largest independents. 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