Signing Up As A Spin Detector For False or Misleading Campaign Materials
We received the following request for help from one of our favorite resources, FactCheck.org, a site we've used that investigated the accuracy of politicians's statements. We thought that you might like to consider helping Spin Detectors' monitor the candidates for Election 2012's races and their campaigns.
"We are a nonpartisan, nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. We monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases. Our goal is to apply the best practices of both journalism and scholarship, and to increase public knowledge and understanding."
FactCheck.org is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. The APPC was established by publisher and philanthropist Walter Annenberg to create a community of scholars within the University of Pennsylvania that would address public policy issues at the local, state and federal levels. (*Note: See below for FactCheck.org's funding explained from their site)
Dear FactCheck.org reader,
The 2012 campaign season is well under way, and we could use your help monitoring the candidates and potential candidates running for president, Congress and governor.
We are asking you to consider becoming a “Spin Detector” for FactCheck.org. We want you to send us campaign materials — videos, robocalls, campaign fliers — that you suspect may contain false or misleading information, and we’ll check it out. We may even write about it.
For instance, we’re looking for videos of candidates making dubious claims at campaign appearances in your area. What events could you videotape? Candidate forums, stump speeches, campaign events or even casual conversations the candidates have with you and your neighbors as they walk about town shaking hands and kissing babies.
We also want to know about questionable claims made in campaign fliers mailed to your home, fundraising solicitations emailed to you, or robocalls left on your voice mail.
Please visit the Spin Detectors website for information on how you can upload these videos and campaign materials to allow us to review them. You can follow Spin Detectors at Twitter.com/Spin_Detectors.
Our staff regularly monitors the major public affairs programs, nationally televised speeches, debates and interviews, as well as the TV ads run by presidential, House and Senate candidates. Where we need your help is in covering local campaign events, and gathering targeted fundraising solicitations or voter persuasion messages that go unnoticed by the national press corps.
Spin Detectors is supported with subscriber contributions we received during our year-end donation drive to raise money for our coverage of the 2012 elections.
If you have any questions, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and put “Spin Detectors” in the subject field.
— Brooks Jackson
— Ben Finley
Staff Writer, FactCheck.org
Project Coordinator, Spin Detectors
Prior to fiscal 2010, we were supported entirely by three sources: funds from the APPC’s own resources (specifically an endowment created in 1993 by the Annenberg Foundation at the direction of the late Walter Annenberg, and a 1995 grant by the Annenberg Foundation to fund APPC’s Washington, D.C., base); additional funds from the Annenberg Foundation; and grants from the Flora Family Foundation. We do not seek and have never accepted, directly or indirectly, any funds from corporations, unions, partisan organizations or advocacy groups.
In 2010, we began accepting donations from individual members of the public for the first time, responding to many unsolicited offers of support from our subscribers. We launched our first public appeal for donations in April 2010.
At that time we also decided to disclose our finances in greater detail, so that our readers may judge for themselves whether or not any of those individual donations could influence us.
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