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Medill students launch ‘COVID-19 Analyzer’ to fight misinformation

The daily fact-checking tool was created in partnership with The Fulcrum

a screenshot of the covid-19 analyzer
The COVID-19 Analyzer

A team of Northwestern University graduate students at the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications is providing daily fact-checks on public statements about the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 Analyzer includes an interactive database that allows users to research stories, public statements and social media reports for accuracy, listing them as “true,” “mixed” or “false,” accompanied by an explanation and links to further information. 

“The students are generating an impressive daily news report across multiple mediums examining the pandemic’s substantial impact on national security and election preparedness,” said Matthew Orr, an assistant professor at Medill. “We are thrilled to be producing this ambitious project in partnership with The Fulcrum.”

The Fulcrum is a nonprofit news platform launched in June 2019 to cover the democracy reform movement, reporting on topics such as voting rights, election security, civic education and gerrymandering.

“Medill’s fact-checker is a brilliant addition to the media landscape, providing much-needed analysis of the pandemic’s impact on voting rights and the 2020 elections,” said David Meyers, The Fulcrum’s publisher and executive editor. “We are honored to partner with the school’s students and faculty to showcase their critical contributions.”

The 13-member team is also producing an updated national scorecard on voting practices called the 2020 Election Tracker, with a clickable, interactive 50-state map of practices for procedures and regulations about in-person and mail-in balloting, filing and voting deadlines prior to the November election.

The fact checking project is being conducted under the auspices of the National Security Journalism Initiative, which is part of Medill’s Washington Program. Medill, long a national leader in journalism education, greatly expanded that leadership role to include national security journalism education with the assistance of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

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