Hands-on Fact-Checking: A Short Course

Course Overview

Hands-on Fact-Checking: A Short Course
Self-Directed Course
This $29.95 course is available at no charge thanks to a grant from Google News Initiative.
Time Estimate:
This course will take less than two 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.

"Hands-On Fact-Checking: A Short Course" was created by the International Fact-Checking Network at the Poynter Institute and the American Press Institute, and funded by the Google News Initiative. Designed for college students as a self-directed course or as a resource for classroom instructors, the approximately 90-minute course includes lessons on identifying reliable sources in fact-checking, debunking viral misinformation, and deciding whether a statement is really checkable.

The course opened on April 2, 2018, the date of the second International Fact-Checking Day which highlights journalistic and research fact-checking efforts around the world. This course demonstrates best practices developed and tested by today's fact-checking journalists, who face particular challenges posed by misleading rhetoric from politicians and government officials and the use of social media platforms as launching sites for viral misinformation.

An earlier course from Poynter and API focuses on the fundamental skills and knowledge needed to begin or improve a high-quality fact-checking program, and advancing and enhancing those efforts. 

We'd like to thank fact-checkers and other journalists and researchers across the globe for their work on the stories, videos, studies and advice included in this course.We hope you enjoy it and we look forward to your feedback. For more news and information about fact-checking and accountability journalism, subscribe to our newsletter, follow Poynter's;International Fact-Checking Network, and find resources at API's BetterNews.org.

What Will I Learn:
  • What types of statements can be fact-checked
  • Questions to ask when verifying content
  • What tools are available to help validate photos
Who should take this course:
  • Individuals interested in learning more about fact-checking
  • Journalism students responsible for researching and verifying sources in their reporting
  • Professional journalists responsible for researching and verifying sources in their reporting
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.

Training Partner:

Google News Initiative

The Google News Initiative (GNI) is Google’s effort to help journalism thrive in the digital age. Its first focus is to elevate and strengthen quality journalism. For more than four years Google has worked to enable and grow the fact-check ecosystem in collaboration with hundreds of publishers and fact-checking organizations around the world.