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Instant, objective analysis from winners of the Pulitzer Prize. Be the first to find out who's telling the truth, and who is not.
Instant, objective analysis from winners of the Pulitzer Prize. Be the first to find out who's telling the truth, and who is not.
785 backers pledged $20,058 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$20,058

785

THREE HOURS TO GO

Hear about the plan for State of the Union night.

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JUMPSTART THE TRUTH-O-METER

We started PolitiFact in 2007 with the promise of separating fact from fiction in the spin offered by politicians. We were honored to win journalism's highest honor, the Pulitzer Prize, for our work covering the 2008 presidential election.

Since then, we’ve published nearly 10,000 fact-checks and brought our independent accountability journalism to nearly a dozen states. Last year, we launched PunditFact with the help of grants to try to keep TV’s talking heads honest.

We have built apps and redesigned our website so you can see our fact-checks better on your iPhone, Android or tablet. We want to keep finding ways to innovate, and for the first time, we’re asking for your help.

Our Truth-O-Meter.
Our Truth-O-Meter.

 WHAT WE’RE ASKING FOR

UPDATE, JAN. 14: Since we met our original $15,000 goal, we came up with two additional ideas to kickstart our 2016 presidential coverage (sorry for the pun). 

If we raise an additional $3,000 by Jan. 20, so at least $18,000 total, we'll send one of our fact-checkers to Iowa for a week to follow around the prospective presidential crop. If we get to $20,000 before our Kickstarter closes, we'll send a fact-checker from our national staff to New Hampshire for a week as well. (We can't tell you when exactly because a lot depends on when the candidates will be there -- but we will keep you updated through this Kickstarter campaign.)

We’re hoping to raise $15,000 to cover the 2015 State of the Union and Republican response. Our work can be time intensive (we once spent six weeks on a fact-check about Marco Rubio’s time in the Florida House) and on a night like the State of the Union, it requires all hands on deck. Specifically, we want to attempt two things we’ve never tried before. 

First, we want to provide instant, live fact-checking for President Barack Obama’s 2015 State of the Union and the Republican response. By funding a team of 10 journalists, you’ll get rapid-fire, objective, authoritative analysis of Obama’s address. The fact-checks will come through a live blog that will include video and text of Obama’s speech.

Second, you’ll also get an annotated version of the speech by the next morning. It will go into even deeper detail on Obama’s every word. 

And we’ll do the same for the Republicans. Wondering if something Obama said was true, or if the criticism from Republicans is warranted? 

With your funding, we can provide you answers in near real-time. 

Here’s what your contributions will go toward:

  • Funding a team of 10 journalists to work around the clock until Obama’s speech and the Republican response is fully fact-checked. 
  • Live blogging and annotation technology so that you can follow along with Obama’s speech in real time. 
  • A full annotation by 5 a.m. EST the day after Obama’s speech.
  • Kickstarter fees and the cost of rewards. 

 Here’s what money beyond that will go toward: 

  • Video-recording software that allows us to track speeches by politicians and appearances on cable TV. 
  • Supporting our fact-checking of the 2016 election. 

Here’s what this Kickstarter is not paying for: 

  • Rent. Travel. 

If this works, we plan on using the technology to provide near-instant fact-checking to the 2016 presidential debates. 

IN CASE YOU DON’T KNOW US

Some of us at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.
Some of us at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.

PolitiFact is a project of the Tampa Bay Times and the Poynter Institute, a not-for-profit school for journalists. We’ve been subsidized by the newspaper for years but are looking for ways to expand our financial support. (Don't worry, we're not going anywhere.)

Our ultimate financial model looks a little bit like the one offered by the Texas Tribune, in that we envision finding lots of different places for little bits of money. We have 10 full-time staffers split between Washington, D.C., and St. Petersburg, Fla., and have partnerships currently with news organizations in eight additional states, who publish local PolitiFact content.

Our goal is to have a PolitiFact operation in every state, so that every politicians and pundit is held accountable for their claims and statements.

Even if you can’t give to this campaign, we want you to be our first line of fact-checkers. So if you hear something that doesn’t sound quite right, please email us at truthometer@politifact.com.

You can read a lot more about us, and how we do what we do, by clicking here.  

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REWARDS

Contributors of at least $50 get our Pants on Fire coffee mug.

Contributors of $500 or more get a limited edition Pants on Fire button. 

Our mug, left, and Pants on Fire button, right, could be yours.
Our mug, left, and Pants on Fire button, right, could be yours.

Risks and challenges

We don't anticipate any setbacks if our project is funded. Our staff is in place and ready to go.

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A priority email with the State of the Union speech annotated.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A follow and a Twitter shout out to our 180,000 followers (or a mention on Facebook) + the priority email.

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    72 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    A PolitiFact Pants on Fire coffee mug, the shout out and the priority email.

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    103 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Pick the fact-check. We’ll send you a list of four fact-checks we’re thinking of working on. You decide which one we do. Plus the coffee mug, the shout out and the mail.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    You receive one of our limited edition Pants on Fire buttons (literally a button you can press when someone’s fibbing). Plus the chance to pick a fact-check, the coffee mug, the shout out and the email.

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Funding period

- (20 days)