President Barack Obama told the American people during the 2008 campaign, “I want you to hold our government accountable. I want you to hold me accountable.” A couple of months later, the St. Petersburg Times responded with, “Okay, we will” and created PolitiFact.com, a website that checks the legitimacy of claims made by politicians.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning site rates claims made by politicians based on accuracy and validity into one of six categories from true all the way to pants-on-fire.
PolitiFact gives students a great opportunity to quickly check the truth of statements made by politicians, which is especially important during an election year. In January, the Austin American-Statesman partnered with the site to display content from Texas.
November 2 is coming soon and students should use every tool at their disposal to make an informed decision at the polls. There is no reason why PolitiFact should not be one of those tools.
Students should be paying extra attention to statements made by politicians with the November election looming. PolitiFact gives us an extra tool to cut through the spin and false claims. The website represents the heart of journalism, keeping a check on government officials and providing information and truth to the people.
Associate/Opinion editor Mark Bell for the editorial board.