This week, a reader encouraged us to use neutral headlines on our articles.
In the FactCheck Mailbag, we feature some of the email we receive. Readers can send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters may be edited for length.
Keep It Neutral
I applaud the goals of FactCheck.org, but the delivery leaves much to be desired. The problem is that the delivery of each clarification reads as though composed by the opposing side.
Consider postings from your most recent “Weekly Update” for the week of June 1: “Gillespie Twists the Facts on Bain Capital, [May 29]” and “Mandel’s Deceptive Defense Against Sen. Brown, [May 29].” And then FactCheck itself presents itself as political in leading with “Finally! Obama and Romney Campaigns Agree [May 30],” making FactCheck seem as if from a disgusted Tea Party side.
Come on, FactCheck. Assume a neutral posture so readers can have confidence in you and not be turned off by yet more political spin. Why not just state the topic and present the facts? Quit the spinning and see what happens among readers. My bet is that they will increase and that so will donations for your efforts. The value words are getting in the way of the facts by creating mistrust — and for some, revulsion among those who are sick to death of constant spin.
FactCheck.org responds: To clarify, “Finally! Obama and Romney Campaigns Agree” is the title of a video produced by FlackCheck.org, another project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center, and a sister site to FactCheck.org