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

About This Course

This course, a joint effort by Poynter's NewsU and the American Press Institute, is deisgned 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, this 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 responsibilidad 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)
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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

Alexios Mantzarlis joined Poynter to lead the International Fact-Checking Network in September of 2015. He previously served as Managing Editor of Pagella Politica and FactCheckEU, respectively Italy's main political fact-checking website and the EU's first multilingual crowd-checking project. He presented fact-checking segments on a weekly basis on Italian national broadcaster RAI, for the 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 seasons of prime time TV show "Virus".

Jane Elizabeth

Jane Elizabeth

Jane leads the American Press Institute's project to improve and expand political fact-checking and accountability journalism. She is The Washington Post's former deputy local editor; and has taught journalism at Old Dominion University, the University of Pittsburgh and Park Point Uiversity. Jane's work at five metropolitan U.S. newspapers has focused largely on politics, regional news and education.


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 (NED)

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

The 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.

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 conducts research and training, convenes thought leaders and creates tools to help chart a path for journalism in the 21st century. The organization was founded in 1946 with the mission to help the news industry fulfill the purpose of the First Amendment, sustaining a free press in the public interest. That mission continues today.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

What web browser should I use?

The Open edX platform works best with current versions of Chrome, Firefox or Safari, or with Internet Explorer version 9 and above.

See our list of supported browsers for the most up-to-date information.