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March 01, 2012 11:34 AM New America Report on Countering Misperceptions

By Brendan Nyhan

Earlier this week, the New America Foundation Media Policy Initiative released a report (PDF) that I co-authored with Jason Reifler titled “Misinformation and Fact-checking: Research Findings from Social Science.” The report reviews academic research on misperceptions and makes recommendations for how to most effectively correct them.

Reifler and I summarize the report and our recommendations in a new post for Columbia Journalism Review titled “Countering Misinformation: Tips for Journalists.” Here’s how it begins:

With eight months to go before Election Day, the political misinformation cycle is already in full swing as misleading super PAC ads flood the airwaves.
Citizens and journalists alike are concerned that the prevalence of misinformation in our politics may pollute democratic discourse, make it more difficult for citizens to cast informed votes, and limit their ability to participate meaningfully in public debate. In particular, we know that many political myths are difficult to correct once they become established. So how can journalists most effectively counter the misleading claims that are made in the 2012 campaign?

Please read the post or the full report (PDF) for more.

Related resources:

-The webcast of the release event at New America in Washington

-Accompanying New America Foundation reports on the rise of fact-checking by Michael Dobbs and the state of fact-checking in 2012 by Lucas Graves and Tom Glaisyer (PDFs)

[Cross-posted at Brendan-Nyhan-com]

Brendan Nyhan is an assistant professor of government at Dartmouth College.
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