Scripps boosts 2016 elections coverage with PolitiFact agreement

Posted at 1:44 PM, Oct 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-20 14:49:31-04

The E.W. Scripps Company has formed an exclusive partnership with PolitiFact, a division of the Tampa Bay Times.

The deal will allow Scripps television stations to provide valuable fact-checking resources for election and government coverage leading up to the 2016 elections.

Scripps has an enviable footprint in key presidential election swing states with television stations in Ohio (WEWS in Cleveland and WCPO in Cincinnati), Colorado (KMGH in Denver), Arizona (KNXV in Phoenix and KGUN in Tucson) and Nevada (KTNV in Las Vegas).

The agreement includes development of a content-specific website for each of those Scripps stations, training, access to PolitiFact’s database of thousands of Truth-O-Meter fact-checks and advertising opportunities on both the local market sites and PolitiFact’s national website.

“Covering the political landscape with factual, relevant information is a core commitment we make in each of our local markets,” said Sean McLaughlin, vice president of news for Scripps. “PolitiFact relentlessly pursues the truth and provides added context when it comes to verifying claims made by politicians. In partnership with PolitiFact, we will deliver the authentic and transparent reporting our audiences want and deserve.”

PolitiFact's reporters and editors fact-check statements from the White House, Congress, candidates, advocacy groups and more, rating claims for accuracy on its Truth-O-Meter. The meter rates statements as true, mostly true, half true, mostly false, false and even ‘pants on fire’ for what PolitiFact deems are big lies. Every fact-check includes analysis of the claim, an explanation of its reasoning and a list of links to all sources used for research.

PolitiFact’s national editors provide onsite training for reporters, producers and editors in each Scripps market on the creation of fact-checking reports. In addition to new opportunities for advertising on the PolitiFact national site and the local sites, Scripps also can tap into national content provided by PolitiFact national reporters for other key swing states where Scripps has other stations including Wisconsin (WTMJ in Milwaukee and WGBA in Green Bay), Florida (WFTS in Tampa and WPTV in West Palm Beach) and Nebraska (KMTV in Omaha – shares designated market area with Iowa). Scripps also could have access to content created by other PolitiFact state partners in Florida and Wisconsin.

The Times, Florida's largest newspaper, is independently owned by the Poynter Institute, a school for journalists in St. Petersburg, Florida.