FactCheck.org Adds Veteran Journalists to Boost 2020 Campaign Coverage

FactCheck.org, the Annenberg Public Policy Center’s fact-checking website, has brought on two veteran journalists to increase its campaign coverage and debunk online viral deception during the 2020 presidential campaign.

The expansion will enable the nonpartisan FactCheck.org to provide voters with broader and deeper coverage of political misinformation and deception through this election year.

Rem Rieder, one of two journalists hired for FactCheck.org's campaign coverage
Rem Rieder

Rem Rieder, formerly editor at large and media columnist for USA Today and editor of American Journalism Review, will join FactCheck.org as a senior writer/editor at large. He will write about political messaging and misinformation targeted at voters in swing states, including Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Rieder has been an editor and reporter at numerous publications, including the Miami Herald, Washington Post, Milwaukee Journal, Philadelphia Inquirer, and Trenton Times.

Alan Jaffe, formerly an editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer and a writer for WHYY NewsWorks, will join FactCheck.org as assignment editor/project manager of its collaboration with Facebook to debunk viral deceptions on the social media platform. FactCheck.org has two full-time reporters assigned to this project, which was announced in 2016, and is continuing to expand its efforts for the campaign.

Alan Jaffe, a journalist hired for FactCheck.org's campaign coverage
Alan Jaffe

“We are excited to be able to increase our 2020 campaign coverage with the expertise of two experienced journalists,” said FactCheck.org Director Eugene Kiely. “Adding Rem and Alan will allow us to expand our coverage of misinformation directed at swing-state voters and be even more vigilant in debunking viral deceptions, which have been steadily increasing in recent months.”

FactCheck.org, a nonpartisan, nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters, was founded in 2003 by journalist Brooks Jackson and APPC Director Kathleen Hall Jamieson. At the time, during the 2004 presidential campaign, the internet was barely a dozen years old and fact-checking as a standalone journalistic practice was in its infancy.

In addition to its project to fact-check viral deception on social media, FactCheck.org has a dedicated initiative, SciCheck, to examine the misuse of science in public policy. Reporters for both initiatives have contributed to a series of articles by FactCheck.org debunking myths about the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

FactCheck.org has won 10 Webby Awards from the International Academy of Digital Arts and Science for excellence on the internet, including the 2019 award for best News and Politics website. FactCheck.org also has won the People’s Voice Award, by popular vote, on 10 occasions.

For the 2020 campaign season, FactCheck.org has partnered with Hearst Television Inc. to work with Hearst’s television and radio stations and websites. Hearst reaches broadcast audiences in 39 states. FactCheck.org is also engaged in an ongoing, four-year collaboration with CNN’s “State of the Union,” producing online fact-checking videos featuring CNN anchor Jake Tapper.

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