Politifact Okla. announced in series of small meetings

In a series of intimate gatherings used to spread the news, a team from Politifact, a popular online fact-checking service, announced their plan to launch Politifact Oklahoma in an effort to garner respect in the red-er states of the union.
Wednesday at noon, 14 people gathered for lunch in the conference room outside of the media studies department in Oliphant Hall.
Around the table sat Politifact Executive Director Aaron Sharockman, Amy Hollyfield, the associated editor of Politifact and the deputy managing editor of the Tampa Bay Times, and Jon Greenberg, a Politifact staff writer.
As students and professors gobbled up pizza, Sharockman explained Politifact’s goals, and why they are coming to Tulsa.
Politifact was launched in 2007 with the goal of fact-checking politicians leading up to the 2008 election. Since that time the site has published more than 13,500 fact-checks.
Before joining Politifact, Sharockman was a local politics writer.
“Politifact was such an amazing opportunity to get out of the he said, she said, horserace, somebody’s always winning, somebody’s always losing type of journalism,” Sharockman explained.
Sharockman announced the launch of Politifact Oklahoma.
Starting soon Politifact will begin fact-checking Oklahoma politicians, and will publish those fact-checks in the Tulsa World.
For now the project is a year-long experiment.
“After the election we all kind of sat back and thought about what happened,” Sharockman said. “What we noticed is that we were not trusted nearly at the same level among Republicans and Trump voters as we were among Clinton supporters.”
Sharockman cited a poll which indicated that 88 percent of Trump voters thought media fact-checking was skewed or biased. For Democrats that number was in the 40s.
In order to improve credibility and trust with Republicans, Politifact is setting up branches in three cities: Tulsa, Mobile, Alabama, and Charleston, West Virginia.
Part of building that connection is setting up many small meetings with different groups across the city.
Before Wednesday’s campus meeting, the team had already sat down with members of the Republican Party in Tulsa, and had another team-member canvas potential readers at the Guthrie Green during food-truck Wednesday.
Wednesday night the Tulsa World hosted a panel at the Central Library for citizens to attend.
Then Thursday, the Politifact team set up shop and a local brewery, which they heavily advertised on Facebook.
“You’ll start seeing our fact-checks in the Tulsa World as soon as next week,” Sharockman said.

Post Author: Kayleigh Thesenvitz