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Voting - News Analysis

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News Analysis and Fact Checking


News Analysis


Eagleton Institute of Politics


"The Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University explores state and national politics through research, education, and public service, linking the study of politics with its day-to-day practice."  See the news and lecture series pages.  Informative about all aspects of New Jersey and national politics, the Institute is renowned for its research into women and youth in politics.



Credible Sources


Generally, when discussing credibility of sources, we are discussing work that presents factually correct, relevant information on an issue, with their sources listed and easily accessible to check their information. In addition, credible sources generally state plainly or make clear their biases and the distinction between information and their position on what that information means.


When evaluating whether a source is credible, it is helpful to consider these aspects of the source: 

  • Proximity to original source
  • Expertise 
  • Rigor (in evidence or data collection)
  • Transparency (about their sources, biases, and involvement in the issue)
  • Reliability (is there a track record to evaluate?)
  • Conflict of interest



Evaluating Bias


Everyone has bias, and our biases contribute to the way we portray, shape, include, or exclude information in our analyses. Even sources aiming to present an "unbiased" or "neutral" position have bias. These pieces usually include multiple political perspectives, but only within the current Overton window of political thought.


The Overton window refers to the range of political ideas which are either current policy or are regarded as mainstream, popular, acceptable while excluding political ideas viewed as radical, extremist, or unthinkable. The shifting trends in popular opinion mean that something which is outside the Overton window of one generation is within it in the next, or visa versa. For example, abolishing chattel slavery in the United States was once considered radical and extremist, but is now policy. 


When evaluating information, there are important factors to consider, such as

  • Who is this information coming from, and how to they stand to benefit from their sharing it? 
  • What political values does the author hold and how do those views shape the information?
  • What details are included and what details are left out? How does that differ from other writing on the same topic? 
  • How do historical and contemporary power structures of oppression play a role in the situation and the portrayal of the information?
  • Can you verify this information anywhere else?





News issues and opinions from different perspectives. "AllSides exposes bias and provides multiple angles on the same story so you can quickly get the full picture, not just one slant."




The latest polls from different TV stations and other organizations on trends in American public opinion.




"ProCon.org is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit nonpartisan public charity that provides well-sourced pro, con, and related research on more than 50 controversial issues, from gun control and death penalty to illegal immigration and alternative energy."




Fact Checking


While evaluating bias has to do with the way information is presented, included, or withheld according to someone's political views or values, fact checking has to do with verifying the information itself. Opinions are not true or false, but information is. Therefore it's important to understand which elements of a statement are able to be verified, and which are not.


Fact checking usually involves verifying:

  • Direct quotes (Is this quote both accurately transcribed and presented with context?)
  • Names (of people and organizations)
  • Group Affiliation
  • Dates and Timelines
  • Numbers and statistics
  • Video, audio, and photographic depictions (Is this depiction doctored? Is it from the location or date it is claimed to be from? Is it taken out of context?)


Fact checking does not apply to:

  • Broader arguments
  • Trends
  • Characterization of arguments or positions


For example, say a politician claims that 400 people engaged in an activity on a certain date, and argues that this event is rationale to pass a particular policy. The claim of 400 people engaging in the activity, and the claim that this activity took place on the stated date, are pieces of information which can be fact-checked. However, their argument to pass the policy is an opinion, to which fact-checking does not apply.

Free Fact-Checking Webinar


Fact-Check It: Digital Tools to Verify Everything Online





This course shows you time-saving methods to help verify the authenticity and accuracy of images, videos and reports that you find in social media and elsewhere online.



Fact-Checking Websites


Africa Check


Africa Check is a non-profit organisation set up in 2012 to promote accuracy in public debate and the media in Africa. We work to raise the quality of information available to society across the continent.




"We monitor the factual accuracy of what of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews, and news releases."  


FactCheck.org | How To Spot Fake News

Read beyond the headline. Check the author. What’s the support (does the cited source back up the claim)? Check the date. Is this some kind of joke (or satire)? Check your biases. Consult the experts.  


Fact Checker - The Washington Post

"The truth behind the rhetoric" Analysis of politicians' statements by the Washington Post.  


First Draft News


Bring together a global network of journalists to investigate and verify emerging stories.


Google Fact Check Explorer


Search fact check results from the web about a topic or person




Editors of Congressional Quarterly and the St. Petersburg Times rate the truthfulness of statements made by the presidential and vice-presidential candidates; also measured are "flip-flops."




This news website is designed for people looking to fact check real and fake news.



Fact-Checking Tools


Internet Archive Wayback Machine


The Internet Archive began in 1996 by archiving the Internet itself, a medium that was just beginning to grow in use. Today we have 20+ years of web history accessible through the Wayback Machine and we work with 625+ library and other partners through our Archive-It program to identify important web pages.


Map Checking


This tool helps you estimate (and fact-check) the maximum number of people standing in a given area


TinEye Reverse Image Search


Search by image and find out where that image appears online


Wolfram Alpha


We work to accept completely free-form input, and to serve as a knowledge engine that generates powerful results and presents them with maximum clarity.





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