Media Matters for America analyzes news media’s claims

By NICKY DIAZ

During this year’s debates, political conventions and speeches, there are bound to be a few questionable “facts” thrown out there by both parties. So how are journalists and their audiences supposed to distinguish the facts from the lies?

Founded in 2004, Media Matters for America (MMfA) has become a “media watchdog group” and is a great tool for journalists who need to double-check facts and claims. The site analyzes and corrects erroneous information that is presented in American media. Journalist David Brock founded the site as a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization.

Considering that Election Day is fast approaching, most of the stories on the site at the moment are in regards to claims made by President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney. This week, it’s pretty obvious what the major story has been Romney’s remarks about the 47 percent who support Obama. However, the site goes the extra mile and compares it to Obama’s “bitter clinger” tape in 2008.

MMfA evaluates claims and quotations made in American news sources including NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, PBS, and Fox News. Not only does it analyze the content of the news presented through these media, but they also fact-check and compare quotes to documents such as Pentagon and Government Accountability Office reports.

And of course, you can’t forget the site’s annual feature: Misinformer of the Year. The award is presented to a journalist, commentator, or network that is responsible for the most or worst factual errors of the year. Last year, Rupert Murdoch and News Corporation were recognized for their mistakes. Past winners include Chris Matthews, ABC, Bill O’Reilly and Sarah Palin.

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