Misinformation continues to threaten our democracy. As a journalism organization dedicated to serving as a trusted guide for Minnesotans exploring critical issues facing our state, MinnPost is excited to launch a new fact-checking service to further that mission.
Gigafact, a nonprofit organization and member of the Institute for Nonprofit News, is already working with two other nonprofit newsrooms — Wisconsin Watch and the Nevada Independent — to research and respond to claims on social media and other digital platforms through fact briefs.
You’ll see these bite-sized, fact-checking stories start showing up on MinnPost starting today, and I wanted to share with you why we’re doing this and how you can help us.
MinnPost has earned a strong reputation for in-depth enterprise and explanatory reporting. Adding fact briefs to our portfolio of journalism will allow us to reach and serve readers in new ways and become a go-to guide for them as they seek information and context in an increasingly noisy digital information environment.
Through our partnership with Gigafact, MinnPost readers can now submit tips on claims they see on social media or in other digital spaces that might benefit from additional clarity and context. Our fact brief team will look at those tips along with posts they’ve flagged. These journalists, which include our summer intern Alberto Gomez and two freelancers, will work with editors to determine which questions would work best for the fact brief format. MinnPost will publish these fact briefs alongside Gigafact and share them in the original social media thread where the claim was made.
Besides the brief format and a requirement that the questions have yes or no answers, the other thing that sets fact briefs apart from other fact checking you might have seen on other news sites is that they don’t cover exclusively false claims or look to point fingers at those spreading misinformation. While some of the fact briefs we publish will prove a claim false, other fact briefs will corroborate information with additional evidence and context.
How can you help? Send us tips when you see claims online and have questions. Did you see questionable stats in a Facebook meme? A fringe theory in a TikTok video? A politician tweeting a claim about what they accomplished? Let us know! We are especially interested in claims directly related to Minnesota.
And please take a moment to read some of these fact briefs when you see them on social media, on our site or in a newsletter link. We’d love to hear your feedback on these stories and will be watching closely to see how this service performs with our audience.