Journalists covering elections today face multiple converging reporting challenges. In the U.S., the COVID-19 pandemic and the president’s own diagnosis are shaping the current political news cycle, against a backdrop of a year defined by police brutality, thousands of preventable deaths, the future of the Supreme Court, historic wildfires and vaccines in development. Covering just one of these topics would be a challenge in itself—but newsrooms are faced with juggling all of them.
This isn’t the first time a nation of reporters has had to balance many major, rapidly evolving stories. Journalists and fact-checkers from India, Taiwan, Zimbabwe and the Philippines have all recently covered elections amid massive social and political change. This event is an effort to learn from them.
How can U.S. journalists cover such a challenging presidential race and combat viral election misinformation in a way that innovates, but does not strain newsroom coverage timelines and staffing resources?
Join our panelists and our moderator:
Monika Bauerlein is Mother Jones’ chief executive officer and previously served as co-editor (with Clara Jeffery) for nine years. Under her tenure, Mother Jones has grown its audience twentyfold, doubled the size of its staff, established bureaus in Washington and New York, won multiple awards, and launched a campaign to establish a new media business model centered on reader support for investigative and in-depth reporting.
Ellen T.Tordesillas is trustee and writer of VERA Files, a group that undertakes in-depth reporting on current issues. VERA Files is a signatory of the International Fact Checking Network and a third-party fact checker of Facebook in the Philippines. As reporter, Ellen covered major beats including the Presidency. She has covered all Philippine elections since 1986.
Jency Jacob is the managing editor of BOOM, India’s premier fact checking digital initiative based out of Mumbai. Jency manages a newsroom of enterprising fact checkers who are striving to keep our social media and public space clear of misinformation and communally sensitive disinformation that can result in real-life implications. The fact checking initiative that began as a small team of 3 reporters has now grown to 25 people, covering English and 3 Indian languages and also neighbouring countries like Bangladesh. Jency is also a regular speaker at various national and international conferences, speaking about the importance of battling misinformation and the media’s role in countering them with credible and factual news stories.
Summer Chen is the Chief Editor of Taiwan FactCheck Center (TFC). Summer leads the TFC team to fight two battles against min/disinformation in Taiwan. One was the Presidential Election, the other was the infodemic at the outbreak of COVID-19. She has worked as a reporter for a daily newspaper before starting TFC. She loves to join the International Fact Check Network community.
Sean Ndlovu is the co-founder and innovation and research manager at [CITE], a Zimbabwean community space and incubator for innovators, technologists and journalists. Since the 2018 harmonised elections in Zimbabwe, Sean has led FactcheckZW, a team of fact checkers at CITE that works to combat information disorder, fact-checking claims made by elected officials and those in positions of influence, and speaking truth to power in the process.
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