Fact-Checking: How to Improve Your Skills in Accountability Journalism

Course Overview

Fact-Checking: How to Improve Your Skills in Accountability Journalism
Self-Directed Course
This $29.95 course is offered free of charge thanks to the support of the Democracy Fund, the National Endowment for Democracy, the Omidyar Network, the Rita Allen Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
Time Estimate:
This course will take two to four hours to complete.

About Self-Directed Courses

In a self-directed course, you can start and stop whenever you like, progressing entirely at your own pace and going back as many times as you want to review the material.

This course, a joint effort by Poynter's NewsU and the American Press Institute, is designed to help you gain the fundamental skills and knowledge needed to begin or improve a high-quality fact-checking program — independently or in an organization. For those already involved in fact-checking, the course offers instruction on advancing and enhancing those efforts.

Our goal is to Increase fact-checking efforts around the world, especially in emerging democracies or countries where data might not be readily available and government policies or regulations hinder fact-checking efforts.

We also offer a free Spanish-language edition of this course, Verificación de información: Cómo mejorar sus habilidades en el periodismo de responsabilidad on NewsU International.

What Will I Learn:
  • Why fact-checking matters.
  • What to fact-check.
  • The process of fact-checking.
  • Common mistakes and how to avoid them.
  • Identifying and assessing credible sources.
  • Finding funding sources for your fact-checking product.
  • Reaching and responding to audiences.
  • Best practices for live fact-checking.
  • Adapting your fact-checking to the medium/platform (web, broadcast, print, social media).
Who should take this course:
  • Journalists from all types of news organizations whose jobs include reporting on the the accountability of decision-makers, government officials and any leaders with the power to impact civic life.

  • Non-journalists with a passion for the truth who want to learn basic fact-checking skills and best practices.

  • Journalists and non-journalists who want to establish fact-checking organizations and seek funding.

Course Instructors:

Alexios Mantzarlis

Alexios Mantzarlis joined Poynter to lead the International Fact-Checking Network in September of 2015. In this capacity he writes about and advocates for fact-checking. He also trains and convenes fact-checkers around the world.

As Director of the IFCN, Alexios has helped draft the fact-checkers' code of principles, shepherded a partnership between third-party fact-checkers and Facebook, testified to the Italian Chamber of Deputies on the "fake news" phenomenon and helped launch International Fact-Checking Day.

Jane Elizabeth

Jane is the director of accountability journalism at the American Press Institute. She is The Washington Post's former deputy local editor/digital; and has taught journalism at Old Dominion University, the University of Pittsburgh and Point Park University. A 2017 Knight-Nieman fellow at Harvard University, Jane’s work at five metropolitan U.S. newspapers has focused largely on politics and government.

She holds a master's degree in mass communications from Virginia Commonwealth University.


Democracy Fund

The Democracy Fund aspires to the highest ideals of the American republic — government of, by, and for the people. We invest in organizations working to ensure that our political system is responsive to the priorities of the American public and has the capacity to meet the greatest challenges facing our country.

Nonpartisanship is a cornerstone of the Democracy Fund’s work.

National Endowment for Democracy

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is a private, nonprofit foundation dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world. Each year, NED makes more than 1,000 grants to support the projects of non-governmental groups abroad who are working for democratic goals in more than 90 countries.

Omidyar Network

Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm. We create opportunity for people to improve their lives by investing in market-based efforts that catalyze economic and social change.

William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has been making grants since 1967 to solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world.

Rita Allen Foundation

The Rita Allen Foundation invests in transformative ideas in their earliest stages to leverage their growth and promote breakthrough solutions to significant problems.

Training Partner:

American Press Institute

The American Press Institute advances an innovative and sustainable news industry by helping publishers understand and engage audiences, grow revenue, improve public-service journalism, and succeed at organizational change.