Support your favorite fact checker
With the ongoing plague of fabricated news and a new effort to pretend that real news you don’t like is fake, GG would like to encourage all to support non-partisan organizations that actually verify the facts of different claims made by politicians and government officials. (Support can be monetary for some, simply bookmarking, subscribing or linking for others). Once we lose our grip on reality, the ability of the public to make any kind of an informed choice is gone. Here are a few GG has found helpful because they will usually guide you to the most primary sources for each topic. Sometimes they will parse language differently than you might, but the detailed summaries give you enough information to decide if you agree with their summary judgement.
Factcheck.org, which also has a specific part (Scicheck.org) dedicated to fact checking scientific claims, they are also quite transparent about their funding sources. FactCheck.org is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.
Politifact.com is the home of the “Pants on Fire” evaluation of some claims. This site is also distinguished by having separate pages for individual states (with contributions from local fact checking sources), pages keeping track of campaign promises, and pages on individual politicians. A rather unusual organization with a diverse set of partnerships and financial support, they don’t take individual donations, but you can follow them or subscribe to their findings.
Snopes.com is a more broad-based site that has a focus more on urban legends and internet rumors as well as recent news stories and so is the place to go when you hear from some relative that Elvis is alive, that Nigerian royalty needs their help, or that they have to pass on some email to prevent their computer from being hacked. Snopes is ad-supported and unaffiliated with any political organization. (As an aside, Norton.com has generally been a clearinghouse for new flavors of cyberattacks like phishing, trojan horses, and various viruses. So sometimes this is where you look when some relative wants to respond to a strange email. The site is supported by the sale of their anti-virus software, presumably).
Retraction watch is focused tightly on problems in the scientific literature itself; sometimes their findings reflect issues of concern beyond just the scientific community. The site does seek financial contributions while continuing to keep its work public.
Washington Post fact checker is the home of the multiple Pinocchio summary evaluation. Based in the nation’s capital, this column/website focuses on political statements at the national level. Access to stories can be limited by a paywall, so you can support by subscribing (many papers, like the Denver Post, actually offer an online subscription as a benefit).
Many newspapers and television now support some fact-checker type position; some of these are probably very good, some others might well be partisan hacks. What you want to see is a trail that leads you back to the most primary sources. Of course ideally journalism in general should be built upon facts that are verified.