Casey O’Brien – Washington 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.