Why moderators aren’t the best option for fact-checking debates
Columbia Journalism Review - 09/12/2016
“There is a journalistic component to what the moderator does. But there’s so little time—that’s the problem—and that time really belongs to the candidates,” says Alan Schroeder, a Northeastern University journalism professor and presidential debate historian. “I’d rather trust PolitiFact or The Washington Post, which have done their homework and written [fact-checks] in a nuanced way, than rely on a moderatormaking a decision in real-time.”
Indeed, the pros at PolitiFact will have about 10 staff on hand during debates, says Editor Angie Drobnic Holan. The fact-checking organization has analyzed many of the campaigns’ most familiar claims already, so it will largely be reframing and resharing those on social media when the candidates take the stage.