Until the Trump era, there was a pretty broad consensus in America around free speech. If you didn’t like something someone said, you could debate them and prove their point was not worthy. The solution to bad arguments was to use our free speech rights to win an argument. The notion of censoring political debate does not have deep roots in our system. The Trump era changed all that. The left views Trump as an existential threat. Quaint notions such as free speech are no longer in vogue when compared to the broader moral calling to drive him from office.
Running a news company in this environment is, to say the least, challenging. The newest challenge we are facing at my company, the Daily Caller, is an attack on our fact-check site, CheckYourFact.com. The Daily Caller has millions of readers, many of whom do not trust the traditional corporate media. Supplying these readers with reliable, accurate information to counter some of the bogus information on the web is a service we were excited to perform. Our goal on fact checks was simple: Tell the truth, no matter where it leads. This means calling out politicians or other influencers when they get things wrong. We knew going in that addressing these misstatements with a fair, thorough and nonpartisan approach was key to our success. It’s the only way we can develop a trusted relationship with our readers. And that trusted relationship, the faith people have in your desire and ability to call it straight, is the only real asset of any news organization.
To do our job well, we committed to:
No. 1: Transparency in our fact checks so readers could see as much of the information we rely on as possible.
No. 2: A strong corrections policy so we can correct mistakes when we make them.
No. 3: Obtaining a commitment of fairness from each author, including an agreement to refrain from partisan political activity.
No. 4: Posting our methodology with details on our selection, writing and research process. With all this in place, we applied and were accepted to the International Fact-Checking Network operated by the Poynter Institute, the world’s leading organization for ethics in journalism.