PolitiFact, the Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking website of the Tampa Bay Times, has released Settle It!, a free app designed to resolve political disagreements.
The app is known as “PolitiFact’s Argument Ender” because it allows users to type names, keywords and subjects and instantly find relevant Truth-O-Meter™ ratings. Users can then share the results through email, Facebook and Twitter.
Also included in the app is the PolitiFact Challenge, which tests players’ knowledge of fact-checked statements. It presents players with a series of factual claims, and they must guess whether the claim was rated True, False or Pants on Fire. Players earn points for each correct answer and can work their way up through five playing levels, from “Intern” to “Aide,” “Lobbyist,” “Pundit” and then the highest level, “Wonk.”
“We often hear from readers that they use our fact checking to settle arguments at the dinner table, so we created an app to make that easier,” said Bill Adair, PolitiFact’s creator and editor. “They can just pull out their smartphone, type in a few keywords and see the results.”
PolitiFact’s Settle It! is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, as part of a series of grants aimed at deepening Americans’ engagement in democracy. The app is a project of PolitiFact Lab – PolitiFact’s partnership with The Poynter Institute, a training center for professional and citizen journalism in St. Petersburg, Fla. and owner of the Tampa Bay Times.
The app was created by 3Advance, an Arlington, Va. company that builds websites and mobile apps. The project was managed by Jeff Sonderman, the digital media fellow at Poynter.
Last year, PolitiFact® created the nation’s first fact-checking app, PolitiFact Mobile. The full-featured app provides access to recent Truth-O-Meter ratings, report cards for politicians and campaign promise features such as the Obameter and GOP Pledge-O-Meter.
The new app offers features not available in the original app, including free-text searching of PolitiFact sites, the PolitiFact Challenge and a list of fact-checks that are “trending.”
“PolitiFact is committed to finding new ways to help people get our fact-checking when they need it,” said Adair. “Settle It! not only helps you resolve arguments at the dinner-table, it’s also very handy when you see campaign ads or watch presidential debates.”
Founded in August 2007, PolitiFact is now the largest political fact-checking effort in history. In addition to the main national site, PolitiFact.com, it has 11 state sites that are run by newspapers in Ohio, Texas, Florida, New Jersey, Virginia, New Hampshire, Georgia, Rhode Island, Oregon, Tennessee and Wisconsin.
PolitiFact has won many awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting in 2009 and two Knight-Batten Awards for Innovation in Journalism.
About the Tampa Bay Times
The Tampa Bay Times is widely considered one of the Top Ten newspapers in America and has won eight Pulitzer Prizes. It is Florida’s largest newspaper, with an average circulation of 432,202 Sunday and 299,497 daily (ABC FAS-FAX March 2012). The Times is produced by the Times Publishing Company, which also publishes TampaBay.com – Tampa Bay’s largest local news Web site with 2.2 million unique visitors each month (Nielsen NetView six-month average for 11/11-04/12). Additionally, the company publishes the free daily tbt*, an edition of the Tampa Bay Times, and produces special events, specialty publications, and targeted advertising programs. For more, visit tampabay.com.
Founded in 1975 in St. Petersburg, Fla., The Poynter Institute is one of the nation’s top schools for professional journalists and news media leaders, as well as future journalists and journalism teachers. Poynter offers training throughout the year in the areas of online and multimedia, leadership and management, reporting, writing and editing, TV and radio, ethics and diversity, journalism education and visual journalism. Poynter’s News University (www.newsu.org) offers journalism training to the public through more than 200 interactive modules and other forms of e-learning. It has more than 200,000 registered users in 225 countries. Poynter’s Web site, (www.poynter.org) is the dominant provider of journalism news, with a focus on business analysis and the opportunities and implications of technology.
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit KnightFoundation.org.