2017 General Excellence in Online Journalism, Large Newsroom finalist


About the Project

In a year that included Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, fake news and conspiracy theories, PolitiFact was there. We fact-checked all three presidential debates and the DNC and RNC political conventions, as well as other campaign events, speeches and interviews throughout 2016. As President Barack Obama left office in early 2017, we finished our comprehensive coverage of how well he kept his campaign promises from both 2008 and 2012.

Our PolitiFact team tested each claim on our “Truth-O-Meter,” a graphic device that has become the icon for our findings. These findings are based on thoroughly sourced, on-the-record reporting that allows us to authoritatively rate the veracity of statements and claims.

For our Obameter project, we tracked more than 500 of Obama’s campaign promises, evaluating them Promise Kept, Promise Broken and Compromise. Our final look at his presidency, published in January 2017, was a comprehensive evaluation of his agenda and how effectively he enacted it.

By deploying reporters and editors in an intelligent and heartfelt pursuit of separating fact from fiction, we have pushed ourselves, our peers and even the candidates and pundits themselves to a new level of accountability. Our fact-checking efforts and the popularity of fact-checking generally have inspired other media outlets to pursue their own reports, making 2016 one of the most fact-checked elections ever.

By melding muscular, old-school reporting with the vitality of the Web, PolitiFact was able to bring accurate, reliable information to citizens around the country. Other news organizations imitate PolitiFact’s fact-checking reports, but PolitiFact has demonstrated an unprecedented and continuing commitment to this new form of accountability journalism, while setting the standard for quality and thoroughness in fact-checking.