The Stream

US 2020: Can fact-checking change minds?

On Tuesday, October 20 at 19:30 GMT:
The US presidential race has been one of fierce debates, lively town halls and intense social-media battles. But what are the facts? And do they matter?

The art of fact-checking those in power came to the forefront in 2016 alongside the rise of then-Republican candidate Donald Trump. This year, it is back in full force, with newsrooms dedicating entire teams of reporters to diligently check the claims of President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

A recent study by the Brookings Institution said that, even when presented with the facts, some voters are unwilling to change their opinion. The study highlighted issues with even labelling an article a “fact-check” instead of giving it a traditional news headline.

“While calling a story a fact-check helps people get the facts right, it simultaneously leads people to become more likely to report that the fact-check was biased,” Brookings said.

In this episode of The Stream, we discuss the value and effectiveness of fact-checking in an age where facts can be disputed.

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with: 
Alan Duke, @AlanDukeNews
Editor-in-Chief and Co-founder, Lead Stories

Katie Sanders, @KatieLSanders
Managing Editor, PolitiFact

Michael W. Wagner, @prowag
Professor of Journalism, University of Wisconsin-Madison