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Fact Checking the News: DIY: Fact Checking Claims and Statements

 

If you can't find a reliable fact checking website that covers your question, fact check it yourself using nonpartisan, trust-worthy sources.  A few are listed below, in these subject areas:

Politics & Elections, Economy & Labor, Health, International Issues, Immigration, Crime

You can find more in:  Verification Handbook and  Annenberg Classroom - Critical Thinking Sources

Sources for Fact Checking: US Politics and Elections

Nonprofit, nonpartisan investigative journalism organizations are excellent sources for corroborating statements and claims. BUT beware of sites created by special interest groups that try to pass themselves off as nonpartisan. For example,  Political Action Committees (PAC's) or 527's may pose as watchdogs, but in reality are pushing their own agenda.  What is a PAC?   What is a 527?

Pew Research Center - This nonpartisan organization calls itself a 'fact tank' because it gathers data through public opinion polling, demographic research, content analysis and other data-driven social science research. They report the facts, but do not take policy positions. Their areas of coverage are: U.S. politics and policy; journalism and media; internet, science and technology; religion and public life; Hispanic trends; global attitudes and trends; and U.S. social and demographic trends.You can browse their data and reports by topic or keyword search their database of polling questions.

OpenSecrets.org - Tracks money in U.S. politics - who's getting it, and who's giving it, They also provide analysis of current political issues in blog posts and reports, often compiling them into "Issue Profiles", on a wide range of topics, such as Net Neutrality, Immigration, Toxic Chemicals, Banking, Defense, etc.  Their data is drawn from original sources such as the Federal Election Commission, the IRS, the Senate Office of Public Records, and other congressional information collectors.

Center for Public Integrity - Investigates money and politics, government waste/fraud/abuse, the environment, healthcare reform, national security and state government transparency.
 
Vote Smart - Information on candidates and for political office. including their public voting record, public statements, biographical information,and ratings given by more than 100 competing special-interest groups,

More relevant sources in box at right, "Sources for Fact Checking: US Economy & Labor".

Sources for Fact Checking: Crime

Bureau of Justice Statistics - Statistics and analysis related to crime, criminal offenders, victims of crime, and the operation of criminal justice systems at all levels of government.  Mouse over the 'Topics' link to get a full picture of the issues covered, and links to statistics on those issues.

Death Penalty Information Center - A national non-profit organization serving the media and the public with analysis and information on issues concerning capital punishment.

Uniform Crime Reporting - compiled by the FBI from data voluntarily provided by nearly 18,000 city, university and college, county, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies.  Your can search their statistical data and compile custom tables and/or explore their annual publication, Crime in the United States.  The FBI has separate reports that cover data on Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted, and Hate Crimes. Note that investigative journalism has called into question the accuracy of hate crime statistics.  

Innocence Project - The IP is a nonprofit legal clinic that seeks to exonerate the wrongly convicted and reform the criminal justice system.  The website contains information on factors in false convictions and ideas for reform.  It also features specific cases it has worked on.

Southern Poverty Law Center - Monitors hate groups

Sources for Fact Checking: Immigration

Sources for Fact Checking: Economy and Labor

US Census Data -  Includes data on US business, economy (fed, state, and local), education, employment, population & familieis, health, housing, income & poverty, international trade, and more.  Try the "Guided Search" option if you don't know exactly what you're looking for.

Bureau of Labor Statistics - the principal Federal agency responsible for measuring labor market activity, working conditions, and price changes in the economy.

Congressional Budget Office (CBO) An independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress. Produces independent analyses of budgetary and economic issues to support the Congressional budget process.  List of topics covered.

Government Accountability Office (GAO) - An independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress, the GAO investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars. Their "Key Issues" page indexes reports by topic or by government agency.

Current Population Survey - Sponsored jointly by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), is the primary source of labor force statistics for the population of the United States

Sources for Fact Checking: Health Issues

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - Protects the "health security" of the US through research and education relating to individual health and public health issues. You can keyword search the website or use their Data & Statistics page, which is organized by topic.

Health News Review -  Provides information to consumers by critically analyzing claims about health care interventions.

National Center for Health Statistics - NCHS is the federal government's principal source for health data.  The NCHS compiles Fact Sheets on vital statistics such as births and deaths, health status and disease, health behaviors, access to medical services and to health insurance.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services - A U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agency, it administers Medicare and works in partnership with the states to administer Medicaid. CMS Program Statistics "...includes detailed summary statistics on national health care, Medicare populations, utilization, and expenditures, as well as counts for Medicare-certified institutional and non-institutional providers."

Kaiser Family Foundation - a non-partisan organization focusing on national health issues, as well as the U.S. role in global health policy.

Sources for Factchecking: International/Transnational Issues

International Consortium of Investigative Journalists - "a global network of more than 190 investigative journalists in more than 65 countries who collaborate on in-depth investigative stories".  Their most well known investigation is the Panama Papers, which won a Pulitzer prize.

CIA World Factbook - basic information on the history, people, government, economy energy, georgraphy, communications, transportation, military and transnational issues for 267 countries and territories.

Eurostat - Indicators for EU Member States and candidate countries, submitted by the governments of those entities.

International Monetary Fund:- A consortium of 189 countries, the IMF was created to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world. You can create your own tables from IMF data, or view the full text of their major publications, World Economic Outlook Report and DatabaseGlobal Financial Stability Report, and Fiscal Monitor.

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) - International research on conflict, armaments, global arms trading, arms control, and disarmament.