Lucas Graves

Deciding What's True

The Rise of Political Fact-Checking in American Journalism

Columbia University Press 2016

New Books in American StudiesNew Books in CommunicationsNew Books in JournalismNew Books in Political ScienceNew Books in PoliticsNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books Network October 14, 2016 James Kates

In a fragmented media world where anyone can speak, professional journalists are no longer the “gatekeepers” who decide what the public will see and...

In a fragmented media world where anyone can speak, professional journalists are no longer the “gatekeepers” who decide what the public will see and hear. Instead, citizens are barraged with claims, assertions and innuendo that have not been subjected to the journalistic discipline of verification. Fact-checking, pioneered by bloggers and developed by professional news organizations, attempts to get at the elusive truth by subjecting political figures’ words to careful scrutiny. In Deciding What’s True: The Rise of Political Fact-Checking in American Journalism (Columbia University Press, 2016) Lucas Graves examines the fact-checkers’ work and plumbs its potential, its limits and its hazards. He concludes that fact-checking, while imperfect, is a genuine reform movement that is reshaping American journalism and the long-cherished ideal of objectivity.


James Kates is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. He has worked as an editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and other publications.

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