Election season in Washington Reply

Casey O’BrienWashington Correspondent

It comes every four years, and now, for a limited time, it’s back: election sea­son. It’s time for snarky advertisements about the other opponent, debates, and last-minute campaigning. No one is off lim­its, not even Big Bird.

Being in Washington, D.C. for election season is an experience that I am happy to be able to live out. Public figures are flocking to the city as many political superstars were re­cently in the area to analyze the debates, and more will come in November.

One important factor in Washington, and the election in general, is fact check­ing. I’ve noticed fact checking more since I’ve been in Washington D.C. Many of the major fact checking websites and organiza­tions usually quoted in articles are located in D.C.: FactCheck.org, PolitiFact, and the Washington Post’s “The Fact Checker.”

I was given the opportunity to attend a conference on fact checking at the Na­tional Press Club, which was enlighten­ing on how it relates to the election. Fact checking is making strides in this election like never before; the public often hopes to discover the correct facts as soon as a speech or debate is complete.

With new technologies like Twitter, we can fact check during the event, instead of waiting days after. During the debates, Politi­Fact was updating their Twitter constantly, so I was able to know what facts were incorrect or partly true.

At the conference, I was surrounded by so many journalists from big publica­tions; a man at the table next to me was from “The L.A. Times,” and at my table, tak­ing up way too much space, was a journal­ist from “Time Magazine.” The panel that spoke was full of fact checkers too, includ­ing the director of FactCheck.org, and the creator and editor of PolitiFact.

This is definitely a great opportunity to be in D.C. for the election season. All the cam­paign ads, the debate viewing events, and not knowing who you may run into on the street is so exciting. My only complaint is the Presi­dent is out campaigning, so I haven’t been able to see the motorcade yet.

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