Fact-checking at the AP
Getting the facts right has been core to AP’s mission since our founding in 1846. When a public figure says something questionable, it is our job to investigate it and offer the facts. You’ll find some of those stories here.
In addition, when a false story gains traction online, we create a separate fact-checking item that tells the true story. This is where you’ll find those stories and our weekly roundup of untrue headlines that have been shared widely on social media.
Want to learn more about AP fact-checking? Read a memo Vice President for Standards John Daniszewski wrote to the AP staff about what we fact check, and why.
As with all AP staff, AP fact checkers must adhere to the company’s Statement of News Values, which states: “AP employees must avoid behavior or activities - political, social or financial - that create a conflict of interest or compromise our ability to report the news fairly and accurately, uninfluenced by any person or action.”
More information about AP’s policy can be found here: https://www.ap.org/about/news-values-and-principles/
AP FACT CHECK TEAM:
The AP Fact Check team includes the staffers listed below. However, fact-checking is deeply integrated into our whole global operation and we rely on the expertise of our journalists on a wide variety of topics to inform our fact-checking work. Therefore, it is not uncommon to see two bylines, or contributor lines, on a fact check. In addition, any staffer may choose to do a fact check in text or visuals with reporting help and guidance from the Fact Check team.
BEATRICE DUPUY is a fact check reporter based in New York City. She has worked for Teen Vogue, Newsweek and The Star Tribune in Minneapolis. At the Star Tribune, Dupuy reported on county government and education. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism with a minor in French from the University of Florida.
KAREN MAHABIR oversees fact-checking at The Associated Press. She has worked as a reporter, editor and producer for the AP in its Mexico City, Washington and New York offices. Mahabir also served as Managing Editor of News for The Huffington Post for two years and has spent many years working as a reporter and columnist at several newspapers in New York City and New Jersey. Karen holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature, with a concentration in African, Asian and Caribbean Studies, from the University of Sussex in England. She also has a master’s degree in International Journalism from City University of London.
AMANDA SEITZ is a fact check reporter based in Chicago who has focused on investigative reporting and government and political coverage. Her work has taken her from Wausau, Wisconsin, where Seitz spent a night in minus-8-degree weather documenting the city’s homeless population, to Cincinnati, Ohio, where she interviewed hundreds of voters ahead of the 2016 election in one of the country’s most crucial swing states.
BARBARA WHITAKER is a fact check editor based in New York. During her 30 years in journalism, she’s worked nationally and internationally for publications including The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, New York Newsday and The Dallas Morning News. Whitaker also taught a lifestyle journalism class while editing for the AP on contract in Warsaw, Poland.
CAL WOODWARD has been fact-checking public figures for more than 20 years under an AP initiative that took form in the 1996 election, advanced in 2000 and became a key component of our accountability journalism through that decade. A national writer, editor and essayist, he has been writing and coordinating Washington-based fact checks as his primary work since before the 2012 election. In this time, AP’s effort has greatly expanded beyond campaign and top presidential rhetoric to include statements from all manner of public figures. In the lead-up to the Iraq war, Woodward’s fact checks stood as a rare voice calling attention to the unverified rationales for the invasion. In the 2008 campaign, he worked with our health policy reporter to inform voters that Barack Obama’s proposed health overhaul did not substantiate his claims that people would see lower premiums and maintain the right to choose their own doctors. Woodward came to AP from The Canadian Press, where he covered U.S. politics, the United Nations, culture and sports from New York and Washington, after serving as a regional news editor and reporter in Canada.
HOPE YEN is a national reporter based in Washington, D.C. She regularly contributes fact check stories in tandem with senior writer and editor Calvin Woodward. In her 15 years in Washington, she has reported on the Supreme Court, demographics, veterans affairs and politics. Her methodical count of the Democratic delegates in the 2016 presidential election was cited by Politico as “one of the 16 stories that changed the 2016 race,” confirming before every other news outlet that Hillary Clinton would win her party’s nomination. Yen previously covered business and the courts for the AP in New York City, Philadelphia and Harrisburg, Pa.
We produce fact checks when we are presented with a claim from a newsmaker – in any format – that deserves further explanation or scrutiny. The AP Fact Check team, along with our experts in the field, investigates and reports out that claim to present the facts around it. These claims can come from newsmakers from any news department, and they are fact-checked by our AP experts, with oversight, guidance and reporting help from the AP Fact Check team.
The AP Fact Check team also works to debunk misleading or false information in text or visuals through an item known as Not Real News.
COMMENTS/SUGGESTIONS/CLAIMS TO SUBMIT
Want to reach out with a comment or fact-checking suggestion? Do you see something that needs a correction? Email us at FactCheck@ap.org.
ABOUT THE AP
The AP is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative composed of newspapers and broadcasters. The vast majority of AP’s revenue comes from licensing content to news outlets and other organizations. The AP Fact Check team is funded by AP’s general news budget and has previously received funding from the Knight Foundation.
Read more about the AP here: https://www.ap.org/about/
Our 2017 financial report is available to the public: https://www.ap.org/about/annual-report/2017/ap-financials-2017.pdf
For more information about the AP’s grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, please visit: https://www.ap.org/press-releases/2017/ap-to-enhance-fact-checks-with-245-000-from-knight