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What goes into a PolitiFact Wisconsin fact-check?

Posted at 6:58 PM, Sep 19, 2018
and last updated 2019-01-22 17:44:07-05

Every week here we fact-check the candidates and politicians with the help of PolitiFact Wisconsin.

But how does PolitiFact Wisconsin decide what's "True" or "Pants On Fire"?

Tom Kertscher is the lead reporter for PolitiFact Wisconsin. he says, "We try to pick statements that make you stop and say really."

It's a busy time of year with Election Day fast approaching.

"We start with choosing a very precise statement," said Kertcher, "We zero in on something very specific a politician has said."

There's no shortage of statements to fact check. It starts with asking the candidate or politician for evidence to back up the claim.

Kertscher does his own fact-finding and research with independent on the record sources.

"Research organizations, professionals, think tanks, whatever it might be," said Kertscher.

Kertscher writes the story with a rating recommendation.

Greg Borowski oversees the PolitiFact Wisconsin team and meets weekly with reporters to talk about topics.

"We are at nine that we have to get to a final rating before the election," Borowski tells the team.

The Truth-O-Meter ranges from "True" to "Pants on Fire". A panel of three editors determine a final rating.

Each rating is defined on the web page as well as the paper's sources.

"We list everybody we interviewed, who we talked too and every document we've looked up and cited," said Borowski. "All our sources are on the record."

Agree or disagree, PolitiFact Wisconsin has done 1,400 plus fact checks since starting in 2010.

"Even if you don't agree with that rating at the end of the item - if you have read it you are probably going to learn something," said Borowski.

If you have any questions about PolitiFact Wisconsin, join TODAY'S TMJ4's Charles Benson Thursday at 1 p.m. on TODAY'S TMJ4's Facebook page for a longer conversation with Tom Kertscher and Greg Borowski.