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The facts on fact-checking: Viewers question Scripps News' fact-checking efforts

This week viewers called into the Scripps News hotline with questions about a hot topic as we get closer to the presidential election: fact-checking.
Scripps News Viewer Hotline
Posted at 1:37 PM, Jun 14, 2024

Each week the teams here at Scripps News pore over messages from our toll-free Viewer Hotline. The Viewer Spotlight gives us a chance to reply to some of your concerns directly.

A hot topic lately surrounds our procedures for fact-checking.

Margie said, "I am really disappointed in Scripps News. I thought you were for the truth, but apparently what you're basically doing is helping Trump win the election, because you do not fact-check him on air after he's been interviewed. It's irresponsible."

John from Arizona stated, "I watch your channel, and I promote your channel with everybody I talk to, specifically because you guys are, in fact, right up the middle. You don't favor one side or the other, and you bring highly factual reporting. I would, however, like to see you do more fact checks on all of the politicians, Democrat, Republican, everybody."

A view from inside the Scripps News control room.

Viewer Spotlight

Viewer Spotlight: Our effort to present fact-based, unbiased news

Christina Hartman
12:32 PM, Mar 15, 2024

Different networks take different approaches to fact-checking. Some have hired designated fact-checkers, some cut away from speeches early to correct mistruths.

That last one is something we've had to balance. In the past, viewers told us they found cutting away early disrespectful and unfair to the speaker and viewer.

During one-on-one interviews, however, our anchors and reporters do work to respectfully push back with facts.

Scripps News does have a stated goal of correcting inaccuracies and misinformation, but it's true: We don't always catch everything in real time.

Media Rebellious Journalists

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Steve Schmidt's 2-minute warning: The truth matters in media

Steve Schmidt
11:49 AM, May 07, 2024

Some of you have come up with your own suggestions on what we can do better in the future.

Mary from Ohio offered this advice: "What I'm really thinking about lately is the presidential debates coming up later this month and how I wish that you could pass along to the powers that be that there has to be a real-time fact-checker there."

We'll continue to fine tune our fact-checking procedures.

Additionally, the teams behind the scenes are working to stay ahead of some of the frequent mistruths heard from our mainstream politicians, particularly as we head deeper into the campaign season.

You can expect more fact-checking of all the candidates, in the same nuanced and thoughtful manner we hope to bring every day.

If you have something on your mind about our coverage or a story suggestion, please feel free to let us know via our toll-free Scripps News Viewer Hotline at 1-833-4-SCRIPPS.