Post-truth, adj., relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief: “in this era of post-truth politics, it’s easy to cherry-pick data and come to whatever conclusion you desire.”
We have been writing about politicians cherry-picking data since we first started FactCheck.org in December 2003. But we have never seen anything like the 2016 campaign.
Still, we believe facts matter, and we know that you do, too. The evidence shows that you want to hold politicians accountable as much as we do.
We set a record for page views in 2015, and then easily shattered it in 2016. Our articles received more than 100 million page views on our website and the sites of others, including MSN.com and USA Today, that publish our work.
Millions more were exposed to our election coverage through weekly fact-checking videos that we produced in partnership with CNN’s Jake Tapper of “State of the Union” and NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations. And millions more viewed our own videos on the general election debates that we posted to our Facebook page.
In 2017, we expect to continue working with Tapper and NBCUniversal, as well as help Facebook combat fake news — a partnership that was announced last week.
Our work in 2016 was funded in large part through the generous support of the Annenberg Foundation, which provided a founding grant for FactCheck.org, and the Stanton Foundation, which provided funding specifically for SciCheck and the FactCheck.org undergraduate fellowship program. The Stanton funds also allowed us to attend both conventions and all four general election debates, as well as to produce debate videos and launch an annotated transcript website.
But the fact is that there would be no FactCheck.org without individual donations from people like you. Your support has helped us extend the life of FactCheck.org, and we need you now more than ever.
As our founding grant from the Annenberg Foundation dwindles, we increasingly rely on individual donations to continue our work. Our goal is to have enough funding on hand to assure that FactCheck.org will continue operating for at least two years. That is not the case right now for the first time since I’ve been the director.
We don’t accept advertising. We don’t accept money from labor unions, corporations or anyone active in politics. We disclose the names and hometowns of any donors who give us $1,000 or more. All of those restrictions are designed to ensure our independence and provide transparency. We are here for you, and we are asking now that you be there for us.
So please consider a donation to FactCheck.org.
Credit card donations may be made through our “Donate” page. If you prefer to give by check, send to: FactCheck.org, Annenberg Public Policy Center, 202 S. 36th St., Philadelphia, PA 19104-3806. Checks can be made payable to “The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania” with a note in the memo field indicating the donation is for FactCheck.org.
FactCheck.org is a project of the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center. The University of Pennsylvania is a 501(c)(3) organization, and your contribution is deductible from U.S. federal income taxes to the full extent allowed by law.
Thank you for your past support. We look forward to working on your behalf in 2017 and beyond. Have a happy holiday, and a safe and healthy new year.
Update, Jan. 2: We have received $67,554 in individual online contributions since Dec. 20, 2016. That does not include checks mailed to us during our annual fundraising drive. Those will be processed in the days to come. Thanks to all who made year-end donations. Have a happy and healthy new year.