2016 Explanatory Reporting, Medium Newsroom finalist

Check 2016


Zach Toombs, Andrew Lawler, Ted Noelker


Explanatory Reporting, Medium Newsroom


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About the Project

Check 2016 is a first-of-its-kind interactive fact-check feature that lets viewers explore the facts and data behind political rhetoric. For this project, we combine compelling digital video with all the tools of online storytelling and fact-checking.

It’s a bit like “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” but with more charts and graphs. Watch a candidate give their stump speech or spout something in a debate and get a real-time interactive graphic, or video, or text explainer that dismantles the sound bite and gets down to the facts.

We’ve focused mainly on candidates in the 2016 race for the White House, fact-checking Republican and Democratic debates as well as stump speeches for Hillary Clinton, Marco Rubio, Donald Trump and more. We also gave President Obama the Check 2016 treatment for his final State of the Union address.

The idea came from a newsroom discussion we had about the need to incorporate different media into political fact-checking (particularly in real time as a viewer watched a candidate speak). We then developed the technology with TimeKit, an interactivity company we contracted to build the Check 2016 framework. New entries are posted within an hour or two of big events on the campaign trail. The project has been redesigned and expanded upon since its early release in 2015.

Viewers across the industry want more substantive and engaging content, and our interactive storytelling is built to deliver on the value we promise: well-researched, easily accessible information that allows you to draw your own conclusions. As we head into the 2016 elections, that promise is more important than ever.