USA TODAY

Organization: USA TODAY
Applicant: Mizell Stewart III
Assessor: Julie Homchick Crowe

Background

USA Today is a widely known news and lifestyle source in the US. It is not generally associated with hard investigative journalism but is still considered a trustworthy source by many Americans.

Assessment Conclusion

In general, USA Today demonstrates rigor in their fact checking work and uphold standards for evidence equally across the claims they evaluate. They do not appear ideologically-motivated in their work and their attempts to remain neutral and transparent are clear in how they use sources and share their work with readers.

on 28-Jun-2021 (3 months ago)

Julie Homchick Crowe assesses application as Compliant

A short summary in native publishing language

In sum, USA Today meets the criteria to be endorsed by the IFCN.

Section 1: Eligibility to be a signatory

To be eligible to be a signatory, applicants must meet these six criteria

  • 1.1 The applicant is a legally registered organization, or a distinct team or unit within a legally registered organization, and details of this are easily found on its website.
  • 1.2 The team, unit or organization is set up exclusively for the purpose of fact-checking.
  • 1.3 The applicant has published an average of at least one fact check a week over the course of the six months prior to the date of application. For applicants from countries with at least 5 or more verified signatories need to have at least a fact check a week over the twelve months of publishing track. Consult to factchecknet@poynter.org for confirmation.
  • 1.4 On average, at least 75% of the applicant’s fact checks focus on claims related to issues that, in the view of the IFCN, relate to or could have an impact on the welfare or well-being of individuals, the general public or society.
  • 1.5 The applicant’s editorial output is not, in the view of the IFCN, controlled by the state, a political party or politician.
  • 1.6 If the organization receives funding from local or foreign state or political sources, it provides a statement on its site setting out to the satisfaction of the IFCN, how it ensures its funders do not influence the findings of its reports.

Criteria 1.1
Proof you meet criteria
Please explain where on your website you set out information about your organization’s legal status and how this complies with criteria. Attach a link to the relevant page of your website.

USA TODAY
10-Mar-2021 (7 months ago) Updated: 7 months ago

USA TODAY is a subsidiary of Gannett Co., Inc., a subscription-led and digitally focused media and marketing solutions company committed to empowering communities to thrive. With unmatched reach at the national and local level, Gannett touches the lives of millions with our Pulitzer-Prize winning content consumer experiences and benefits, and advertiser products and services.

The company's portfolio includes USA TODAY, local media organizations in 46 states in the U.S., and Newsquest, a wholly owned subsidiary with over 120 local media brands operating in the United Kingdom.

USA TODAY's main website can be found here: https://www.usatoday.com

A complete company profile can be found here: https://investors.gannett.com/corporate-profile/default.aspx

The Fact Check team is attached to the USA TODAY Washington Bureau, and is supported by journalists throughout the USA TODAY Network, comprised of local newsrooms in 46 U.S. states.

The work of the Fact Check team is accessible via the News section of USA TODAY's website https://www.usatoday.com/news at this URL: https://www.usatoday.com/factcheck

Julie Homchick Crowe Assessor
11-Apr-2021 (6 months ago)

USA TODAY is a subsidiary of Gannett Co., Inc, a private media conglomerate that is traded on the NYSE - all information listed in their submission is easily accessible on their site.


done_all 1.1 marked as Compliant by Julie Homchick Crowe.

Criteria 1.2
Proof you meet criteria
Please answer the following questions – (see notes in Guidelines for Application on how to answer)

 1. When and why was your fact-checking operation started?
 2. How many people work or volunteer in the organization and what are their roles?
 3. What different activities does your organization carry out?
 4. What are the goals of your fact-checking operation over the coming year?

USA TODAY
10-Mar-2021 (7 months ago) Updated: 7 months ago

The USA TODAY fact-checking team was formally established in late 2020, building on fact checks performed by journalists at USA TODAY and the 200+ local newsrooms that comprise the USA TODAY Network. It began in response to an increasing number of false claims from political operatives and elected officials that, in turn, were amplified by social media platforms. Early partnerships in local communities including Milwaukee, Wis. and Phoenix, Ariz., combined with partnerships with organizations such as Politifact reinforced the need to establish fact-checking in a more formal structure. 

Today, the core fact-checking team is comprised of the following journalists at the USA TODAY Washington Bureau:

Martina Stewart, Senior Editor, Fact Check & Supreme Court https://www.usatoday.com/staff/2646783001/martina-stewart/

Mike Gottschamer, Fact Check Editor https://www.usatoday.com/staff/2646921001/mike-gottschamer/

Chelsey Cox, Fact Check Fellow https://www.usatoday.com/staff/4553285002/chelsey-cox/

Miriam Fauzia, Fact Check Reporter https://www.usatoday.com/staff/5325854002/miriam-fauzia/

Devon Link, Fact Check Fellow https://www.usatoday.com/staff/2907237001/devon-link/

McKenzie Sadeghi, Fact Check Fellow https://www.usatoday.com/staff/2947575001/mckenzie-sadeghi/

The core team is supported by more than a dozen reporters in the USA TODAY Washington Bureau as well as local reporters throughout the USA TODAY Network. 



 

Julie Homchick Crowe Assessor
11-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Based in the United States with headquarters in Washington D.C., USA Today functions as a broad-reaching media outlet that covers news and lifestyle information.  USA Today formalized its fact-checking work in late 2020 as an extension of the work already being completed in their newsrooms around the country.

USA Today operates within a highly polarized political climate in the US. Their intentions in focusing on their fact checking work was largely driven by the spike in misinformation spreading via social media, particularly in the realm of politics. The US has two primary political parties - Democrats and Republicans - that are highly oppositional to each other in terms of policies and values. Issues that have been particularly susceptible to misinformation in the last year are: the COVID-19 pandemic and political claims about candidates (particularly when those candidates are Democrats, like recently elected Joe Biden or former candidate Hilary Clinton). Former president Donald Trump would regularly share misinformation online and many believe he contributed to the increase in misinformation sharing among the public.

In an effort to centralize their fact checking work, USA Today appears to have committed a set of journalists exclusively to the task of fact checking.



done_all 1.2 marked as Compliant by Julie Homchick Crowe.

Criteria 1.3
Proof you meet criteria
- The applicant has published an average of at least one fact check a week over the course of the six months prior to the date of application.
- For applicants from countries with at least 5 or more verified signatories need to have at least a fact check a week over the twelve months of publishing track.
- Consult to factchecknet@poynter.org for confirmation.

USA TODAY
10-Mar-2021 (7 months ago)

Week of March 8, 2021: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2021/03/09/fact-check-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-net-worth-not-1-m/6924378002/

Week of March 1, 2021: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2021/03/03/fact-check-photo-evangelicals-praying-over-trump-statue-fake/6903436002/

Week of Feb. 22, 2021: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2021/02/24/fact-check-usps-investigation-disproved-claim-backdated-ballots/6806928002/

Week of Feb. 15, 2021: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2021/02/16/fact-check-mcconnell-said-trump-was-responsible-for-capitol-riot/6767311002/

Week of Feb. 8, 2021: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2021/02/10/fact-check-pandemic-made-some-state-unemployment-rates-soar/4413121001/

Week of Feb. 1, 2021: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2021/02/03/fact-check-myanmar-coup-dominion-voting-systems-falsely-connected/4373489001/

Week of Jan. 25, 2021: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2021/01/26/fact-check-ted-nugent-didnt-write-viral-letter-joe-biden/4260499001/

Week of Jan. 18, 2021: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2021/01/12/fact-check-image-simpsons-character-horned-hat-doctored/6641490002/

Week of Jan. 11, 2021: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2021/01/12/fact-check-image-simpsons-character-horned-hat-doctored/6641490002/

Week of Jan. 4, 2021: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2021/01/06/fact-check-california-pro-trump-rally-photo-passed-off-dc-protest/6562379002/

Week of Dec. 28, 2020: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/12/30/fact-check-fals-president-than-were-registered-u-s/4010087001/

Week of Dec. 21, 2020: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/12/22/fact-check-false-claim-generator-charging-electric-car-image/3982298001/

Week of Dec. 14, 2020: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/12/15/fact-check-covid-19-tests-real-and-masks-do-work/3824781001/

Week of Dec. 7, 2020: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/12/08/fact-check-sen-kelly-loeffler-wasnt-wearing-wire-recent-debate/6486703002/

Week of Nov. 30, 2020: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/12/01/fact-check-biden-won-several-battleground-states/6413973002/

Week of Nov. 23, 2020: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/11/25/fact-check-rittenhouse-unemployment-funds-buy-gun/6428851002/

Week of Nov. 16, 2020: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/11/19/fact-check-fec-commissioner-has-no-role-election-integrity/6332242002/

Week of Nov. 9, 2020: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/11/11/fact-check-post-stolen-arizona-ballots-lacks-context/6239372002/

Week of Nov. 2, 2020: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/11/03/fact-check-bricks-detroit-construction-not-violence/6149443002/

Week of Oct. 26, 2020: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/10/27/fact-check-post-partly-false-biden-1977-racial-jungle-remark/6045749002/

Week of Oct. 19, 2020: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/10/21/fact-check-viral-image-swiss-festival-not-trump-rally-florida/3704618001/

Week of Oct. 12, 2020: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/10/16/fact-check-joe-biden-okd-social-security-taxes-wants-savings-reform/5896512002/

Week of Oct. 5, 2020: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/10/08/fact-check-trump-quote-virus-his-body-fake/5925710002/

Week of Sept. 28, 2020: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/09/29/fact-check-rbg-cared-sick-husband-and-daughter-during-law-school/3564015001/

Week of Sept. 21, 2020: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/09/23/fact-check-mcdonalds-us-flags-not-removed-blm-antifa/3506584001/

Week of Sept. 14, 2020: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/09/16/fact-check-steve-jobs-last-words-werent-commentary-wealth/5781676002/

Week of Sept. 7, 2020: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/09/08/fact-check-ads-nepotism-claim-against-gov-steve-bullock-false/5681269002/

Week of Aug. 31, 2020: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/09/01/fact-check-altered-video-purports-show-biden-asleep-live-tv/3451810001/

Week of Aug. 24, 2020: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/08/25/fact-check-white-house-rose-garden-redo-didnt-pull-cherry-trees-historic-roses/5631760002/

Week of Aug. 17, 2020: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/08/19/fact-check-fauci-did-not-approve-hydroxychloroquine-cure-2005/5559347002/

Week of Aug. 10, 2020: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/08/12/fact-check-kamala-harris-quote-vengeance-fake/3352931001/

Week of Aug. 3, 2020: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/08/05/fact-check-posts-online-misquote-barack-obama-john-lewis-funeral/5571979002/

Week of July 27, 2020: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/07/28/fact-check-covid-19-tests-reveal-cases-dont-cause-higher-positivity/3286895001/

Week of July 20, 2020: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/07/21/fact-check-hydroxychloroquine-hasnt-helped-covid-19-studies-show/5407547002/

Week of July 13, 2020: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/07/16/fact-check-man-kicked-portland-blm-protesters-not-killed/5417078002/

Week of July 6, 2020: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/07/08/fact-check-melania-trumps-dress-didnt-feature-victims-drawings/5396784002/

Week of June 29, 2020: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/06/30/fact-check-nascar-not-stop-prayer-national-anthem-before-events/3266542001/

Week of June 22, 2020: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/06/28/fact-check-confusion-cdcs-covid-19-death-count/3254404001/

Week of June 15, 2020: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/06/16/fact-check-restaurant-chains-dont-directly-donate-trump-campaign/3126204001/

Week of June 8, 2020: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/06/09/fact-check-unprecedented-arctic-ozone-hole-has-healed-itself/5321422002/

Week of June 1, 2020: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/06/05/fact-check-cdc-estimates-covid-19-death-rate-0-26/5269331002/

Week of May 25, 2020: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/05/29/fact-check-republican-party-founding-rooted-geography-more-than-slavery/5278166002/

Week of May 18, 2020: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/05/23/fact-check-houses-heroes-act-changes-state-voter-id-requirements/5203381002/

Week of May 11, 2020: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/05/15/fact-check-dairy-farmer-payments-drop-even-retail-milk-prices-rise/5199050002/

Week of May 4, 2020: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/05/07/fact-check-optical-illusion-does-not-measure-your-stress-levels/5177555002/

Week of April 27, 2020: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/04/30/fact-check-cdc-still-tracking-flu-deaths-2019-20-typical/3044888001/

Week of April 20, 2020: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/04/20/fact-check-can-banks-keep-covid-19-stimulus-checks-collect-debts/5156033002/

Week of April 13, 2020: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/04/13/coronavirus-fact-check-ky-police-recorded-info-easter-churchgoers/2980574001/

Week of April 6, 2020: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/04/06/fact-check-covid-19-responders-required-sign-anti-lgbtq-statement/2955105001/

Week of March 30, 2020: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/04/01/fact-check-does-new-york-have-stockpile-unneeded-ventilators/5097170002/

Week of March 23, 2020: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/03/24/coronavirus-fact-check-could-vitamin-c-cure-covid-19/2904303001/

Week of March 16, 2020: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/03/18/coronavirus-fact-check-covid-19-caused-eating-animals/5073094002/

Julie Homchick Crowe Assessor
11-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

USA Today has published at minimum one fact check/week over the course of the last 12 months. 



done_all 1.3 marked as Compliant by Julie Homchick Crowe.

Criteria 1.4
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will assess compliance through a review of the fact checks published over the previous three months. No additional information required.

USA TODAY
10-Mar-2021 (7 months ago) Updated: 7 months ago
Julie Homchick Crowe Assessor
11-Apr-2021 (6 months ago)

In general, USA Today's fact checks focus on issues related to public welfare, including, public health, economics, politics and other important issues. Many fact checks related specifically to the current pandemic. In spite of a few examples of claims that might not have much impact on public welfare (e.g., fact check on whether or not bell peppers have a gender), USA Today meets the 75% minimum for fact checks on topics that could relate to or impact public welfare.


done_all 1.4 marked as Compliant by Julie Homchick Crowe.

Criteria 1.5
Proof you meet criteria
Please explain any commercial, financial and/or institutional relationship your organization has to the state, politicians or political parties in the country or countries you cover. Also explain funding or support received from foreign as well as local state or political actors over the previous financial year.

USA TODAY
10-Mar-2021 (7 months ago) Updated: 7 months ago

USA TODAY and Gannett Media do not have any commercial, financial or institutional relationships to the state, elected officials or political parties other than through the sale of political advertising, where candidates purchase advertising space in a similar fashion to ordinary retail clients. We maintain a strict separation between the editorial and business operations of our enterprise. 

Julie Homchick Crowe Assessor
11-Apr-2021 (6 months ago)

USA Today does not appear to have any political ties of this nature.



done_all 1.5 marked as Compliant by Julie Homchick Crowe.

Criteria 1.6
Proof you meet criteria
If you confirmed the organization receives funding from local or foreign state or political sources, provide a link to where on your website you set out how you ensure the editorial independence of your work.

USA TODAY
10-Mar-2021 (7 months ago) Updated: 7 months ago

The Principles of Ethical Conduct for USA TODAY and the USA TODAY Network can be found here: https://cm.usatoday.com/ethical-conduct/

Details on how Gannett ensures ethical business practices can be found here: https://www.gannett.com/people/


Julie Homchick Crowe Assessor
11-Apr-2021 (6 months ago)

USA Today explicitly notes on their site that they "will remain free of outside interests" and go on to discuss how they maintain their independence from any financially or politically motived entities.


done_all 1.6 marked as Compliant by Julie Homchick Crowe.

Section 2: A commitment to Non-partisanship and Fairness

To be compliant on nonpartisanship and fairness, applicants must meet these five criteria

  • 2.1 The applicant fact-checks using the same high standards of evidence and judgement for equivalent claims regardless of who made the claim.
  • 2.2 The applicant does not unduly concentrate its fact-checking on any one side, considers the reach and importance of claims it selects to check and publishes a short statement on its website to set out how it selects claims to check.
  • 2.3 The applicant discloses in its fact checks relevant interests of the sources it quotes where the reader might reasonably conclude those interests could influence the accuracy of the evidence provided. It also discloses in its fact checks any commercial or other such relationships it has that a member of the public might reasonably conclude could influence the findings of the fact check.
  • 2.4 The applicant is not as an organization affiliated with nor declares or shows support for any party, any politician or political candidate, nor does it advocate for or against any policy positions on any issues save for transparency and accuracy in public debate.
  • 2.5 The applicant sets out its policy on non-partisanship for staff on its site. Save for the issues of accuracy and transparency, the applicant’s staff do not get involved in advocacy or publicise their views on policy issues the organization might fact check in such a way as might lead a reasonable member of the public to see the organization’s work as biased.

Criteria 2.1
Proof you meet criteria
Please share links to 10 fact checks published over the past year that you believe demonstrate your non-partisanship.
Please briefly explain how the fact checks selected show that (I) you use the same high standards of evidence for equivalent claims, (II) follow the same essential process for every fact check and (III) let the evidence dictate your conclusions.

USA TODAY
10-Mar-2021 (7 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Each of the examples provided below, as a body of work, show our commitment to truth-seeking, truth-telling and truth-surfacing even when claims are political in nature in the hyper-partisan informational environment that has dominated social media in the past year.

Each file exemplifies our commitment to deep and fair-minded reporting, research and analysis no matter where those might lead. Indeed, many of these examples reflect assessments on our part that go against a prevailing political orthodoxy or narrative at the time.

For each file, our process is the same from the beginning with claim selection to the end with editing and publication: 

1) We primarily use Facebook’s fact-checking product to help surface claims that might be good fact check assignments

2) An editor then makes a decision to approve the assignment (usually after some preliminary research)

3) Once the fact check is drafted, (typically with editors conferring during the research and reporting process) at least two USA TODAY fact check editors scrutinize the work product in every respect. This includes screens for fairness, balance and adherence to the ratings scheme that USA TODAY uses and the publicly available ratings guidance Facebook has also provided.


We believe these files demonstrate that we use the same high and exacting standards of evidence when assessing claims no matter what side of the partisan divide the originate from and that we are unafraid to rate claims based on that evidence even if our assessment might shock some readers by undermining a dominant narrative. These files also show that we can and do handle nuance and subtlety even when claims are very partisan in nature.

Fact check: Photo shows Biden with Byrd, who once had ties to KKK, but wasn't a grand wizard (6/14/2020): https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/06/14/fact-check-biden-isnt-kkk-grand-wizard-photo/3183887001/

Fact check: Yes, Kente cloths were historically worn by empire involved in West African slave trade (6/16/2020): https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/06/16/fact-check-kente-cloths-have-ties-west-african-slave-trade/5345941002/

Fact check: Devastating 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre wasn't worst U.S. riot, isn't ignored in books (6/17/2020): https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/06/17/fact-check-tulsa-race-massacre-worst-u-s-riot-isnt-ignored-history-books/5341812002/

Fact check: Yes, historians do teach that first Black members of Congress were Republicans (6/18/2020): https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/06/18/fact-check-democrats-republicans-and-complicated-history-race/3208378001/

Fact check: Federal agents in Portland are not mercenaries provided by Erik Prince (7/29/2020): https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/07/29/fact-check-federal-agents-portland-not-mercenaries-zti/5519877002/

Fact check: Steve Daines worked for P&G in China, but wasn't responsible for its US cuts (8/5/2020; we later checked a GOP ad about the Dem in this Senate race): https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/08/05/fact-check-gop-sen-steve-daines-track-record-china/5544635002/

Fact check: Melania Trump did not remove cherry trees, historic roses from Rose Garden (8/25/2020): https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/08/25/fact-check-white-house-rose-garden-redo-didnt-pull-cherry-trees-historic-roses/5631760002/

Fact check: Obama administration approved, built temporary holding enclosures at southern border (8/26/2020): https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/08/26/fact-check-obama-administration-built-migrant-cages-meme-true/3413683001/

Fact check: False nepotism claim against Montana's governor in GOP ad (9/8/2020; this is the companion to the earlier file about another ad in this Senate race): https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/09/08/fact-check-ads-nepotism-claim-against-gov-steve-bullock-false/5681269002/

Fact check: In 2016, Ginsburg said president is 'elected for four years not three years' (9/21/2020): https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/09/21/fact-check-ruth-bader-ginsburg-said-president-elected-four-years/5852413002/

Fact check: 'Kingdom of God' comment by SCOTUS contender Amy Coney Barrett lacks context in meme (9/24/2020): https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/09/24/fact-check-amy-coney-barrett-quote-missing-context-viral-meme/3496107001/

Fact check: It's true, Ginsburg and Scalia were close friends despite ideological differences (9/27/2020): https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/09/27/fact-check-ruth-bader-ginsburg-antonin-scalia-were-close-friends/3518592001/

Fact check: In early 1970s, RBG represented woman discharged from military because she wouldn't get an abortion (9/29/2020): https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/09/29/fact-check-ruth-bader-ginsburg-susan-struck-air-force-case/3555141001/

Fact check: Post online satirizes Judge Amy Coney Barrett in 'yearbook' photo with fake quote (9/30/2020): https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/09/30/fact-check-post-satirizes-amy-coney-barrett-yearbook-photo/3555828001/

Fact check: Claim that Trump's positive COVID-19 test result is a 'con' has no basis in fact (10/3/2020): https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/10/03/fact-check-false-claim-trumps-covid-19-test-result-con/5894945002/

Fact check: In 1977, Biden said without orderly integration, his kids would grow up in 'racial jungle' (10/27/2020): https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/10/27/fact-check-post-partly-false-biden-1977-racial-jungle-remark/6045749002/

Fact check: Estimated taxpayer burden for Trump's golf outings is hard to pin down (10/31/2020): https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/10/31/fact-check-taxpayer-burden-trumps-golfing-hard-pin-down/3718413001/

Fact check: Post online about Stacey Abrams' 2018 run for Georgia governor is partly false (11/18/2020; this link and the next were assignments conceived of and completed to be companion ratings on related claims about the same subject): https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/11/18/fact-check-partly-false-claim-stacey-abrams-2018-race/6318836002/

Fact check: Post online about Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp's 2018 win is partly false (11/18/2020): https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/11/18/fact-check-partly-false-claim-gov-brian-kemp-and-2018-election/6327447002/

Fact check: Amy Coney Barrett ruled that police did not knowingly violate Black teen's rights (11/19/2020): https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/11/19/fact-check-false-claim-amy-coney-barrett-ruling-teens-death/6280751002/

Fact check: Claim about Sen. Lindsey Graham's calls to state officials is misleading (11/20/2020): https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/11/20/fact-check-claim-lindsey-graham-calls-georgia-arizona-nevada-misleading/6341301002/

Fact check: Viral images compare handling of Black Lives Matter protests and Capitol riot (1/7/2020): https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2021/01/07/fact-check-photos-compare-handling-of-blm-protest-capitol-riot/6578562002/

Fact check: Image claiming to show 2016 Ted Cruz tweet on climate change and Texas is fabricated (2/21/2020): https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2021/02/21/fact-check-ted-cruz-didnt-post-fake-tweet-climate-change-texas/4532747001/

Fact check: Altered photo shows religious leaders praying over golden Trump statue (3/3/2020): https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2021/03/03/fact-check-photo-evangelicals-praying-over-trump-statue-fake/6903436002/

Fact check: Sen. Ted Cruz's 2018 senatorial campaign mailers complied with FEC standards (3/10/2020): https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2021/03/10/fact-check-ted-cruzs-campaign-mailers-complied-fec-standards/6925569002/

Fact check: Some states with GOP governors did have mask mandates (3/15/2020): https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2021/03/15/fact-check-republican-governors-have-mixed-record-mask-mandates/6946193002/ 

Julie Homchick Crowe Assessor
11-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

In general, USA Today demonstrates non-partisanship through their process of selecting and evaluating claims in an evidence-driven way. The examples provided by USA Today do not reveal any bias and thoroughly supported by evidence.


In the assessor's collection of 10 additional fact checks, there was one that seemed anomalous with the application of these standards. Specifically, in the fact check on a study on COVID-19 and prion disease, it seemed odd that the original research article was not linked to and that the writers were mostly (but not fully) certain that the journal was not peer-reviewed. If I were a skeptic reading this fact check, I may suspect that the conclusion had already been reached. That said, this example does seem like an anomaly and given the fairness represented across other cases, there doesn't seem to be cause for concern.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2021/03/31/fact-check-covid-19-vaccine-not-associated-prion-disease/7053007002/ 


done_all 2.1 marked as Compliant by Julie Homchick Crowe.

Criteria 2.2
Proof you meet criteria
Please share a link to a place on your website where you explain how you select claims to check, explaining how you ensure you do not unduly concentrate your fact-checking on any one side, and how you consider the reach and importance of the claims you select to check.

USA TODAY
10-Mar-2021 (7 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

We look for material from elected and appointed officials, those running for office, those who represent public officials and other public figures. We monitor speeches, debates, events, TV appearances, news stories, social media, campaign ads, news releases and more for material.

In selecting the items to fact check – because we can’t check them all – we try to focus on topics that are in the news or that could be confusing to people. Though we don’t keep count, we do strive for balance – ideologically and geographically – in our fact checks.

Our full criteria can be found here: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/02/12/fact-check-guidelines-usa-today/4735217002/


Julie Homchick Crowe Assessor
11-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

USA Today states on their site that they focus broadly on topics that might be confusing to people. They specifically keep track of claims by political figures and candidates. They rely on their reporters who are equipped to act as "subject matter expects" and are able to evaluate claims based on their expertise. USA Today notes that they don't keep count of how the claims they check fall on the political spectrum, but they do "strive for balance."


done_all 2.2 marked as Compliant by Julie Homchick Crowe.

Criteria 2.3
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will assess compliance through a review of the fact checks published over the previous year. No additional information required.

Julie Homchick Crowe Assessor
11-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Within the sample of fact checks, there were no cases where USA Today disclosed the relevant interests of its sources but the assessor believes that's because there were no cases that merited such disclosure. The one possible exception is the use of USA Today as a source in the USA Today fact checks as in the two cases here. This self-referential sourcing does not exactly reveal an interest on the part of the source, but a reader still might think that the findings of the fact checkers might be influenced by using sources from their same organization. In general, this did not seem like a trend across other fact checks, though.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/09/27/fact-check-ruth-bader-ginsburg-antonin-scalia-were-close-friends/3518592001/

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2021/03/15/fact-check-republican-governors-have-mixed-record-mask-mandates/6946193002/ 



done_all 2.3 marked as Compliant by Julie Homchick Crowe.

Criteria 2.4
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will assess compliance through a review of the fact checks published over the previous year. No additional information required.

Julie Homchick Crowe Assessor
11-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

USA Today does not show any political affiliation or advocacy of policy positions in their content or social media.


done_all 2.4 marked as Compliant by Julie Homchick Crowe.

Criteria 2.5
Proof you meet criteria
Please share a link to a place on your website where you publish a statement setting out your policy on non-partisanship for staff and how it ensures the organization meets this criteria.

USA TODAY
10-Mar-2021 (7 months ago) Updated: 7 months ago

The Principles of Ethical Conduct for USA TODAY and the USA TODAY Network can be found here: https://cm.usatoday.com/ethical-conduct/

Julie Homchick Crowe Assessor
11-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

USA Today's Principles of Ethical Conduct ask staff to maintain independence (item 4). To do so, staff are expected to remain free of outside interests, not support political campaigns, keep individual viewpoints private, among other obligations.


done_all 2.5 marked as Compliant by Julie Homchick Crowe.

Section 3: A commitment to Standards and Transparency of Sources

To be compliant on sources, applicants must meet these four criteria

  • 3.1 The applicant identifies the source of all significant evidence used in their fact checks, providing relevant links where the source is available online, in such a way that users can replicate their work if they wish. In cases where identifying the source would compromise the source’s personal security, the applicant provides as much detail as compatible with the source’s safety.
  • 3.2 The applicant uses the best available primary, not secondary, sources of evidence wherever suitable primary sources are available. Where suitable primary sources are not available, the applicant explains the use of a secondary source.
  • 3.3 The applicant checks all key elements of claims against more than one named source of evidence save where the one source is the only source relevant on the topic.
  • 3.4 The applicant identifies in its fact checks the relevant interests of the sources it uses where the reader might reasonably conclude those interests could influence the accuracy of the evidence provided.

Criteria 3.1
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the applicant’s use of sources in a randomised sample of its fact checks to assess compliance. No additional evidence is required.

Julie Homchick Crowe Assessor
11-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

USA Today offers extensive evidence in their fact checks and provides links for the readers to access their sources online. The sources are conveniently listed at the end of each fact check as well.


done_all 3.1 marked as Compliant by Julie Homchick Crowe.

Criteria 3.2
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the applicant’s use of sources in a randomised sample of its fact checks to assess compliance. No additional evidence is required.

Julie Homchick Crowe Assessor
11-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

USA Today demonstrates thorough attempts to contact primary sources in their articles and tells readers the results of those attempts. They also regularly use government documents or other original documents, except in some cases where an expert opinion would likely result in more clarity on a claim (e.g., reading a specialized scientific paper would require expert interpretation from a scientists).


done_all 3.2 marked as Compliant by Julie Homchick Crowe.

Criteria 3.3
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the applicant’s use of sources in a randomised sample of its fact checks to assess compliance. No additional evidence is required.

Julie Homchick Crowe Assessor
11-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

USA Today seeks out multiple sources in their fact checks when available - sometimes this includes references to existing interviews or documents online and other times they conduct their own interviews and report on those for the reader.



done_all 3.3 marked as Compliant by Julie Homchick Crowe.

Criteria 3.4
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the applicant’s use of sources in a randomised sample of its fact checks to assess compliance. No additional evidence is required.

Julie Homchick Crowe Assessor
11-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

This was noted above in 2.3, but is worth reiterating here. In two cases in the sample, USA Today was used as a source in the USA Today fact checks. This could make some readers question the accuracy of evidence provided since its somewhat self-referential. This did not appear to be a trend, though.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/09/27/fact-check-ruth-bader-ginsburg-antonin-scalia-were-close-friends/3518592001/

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2021/03/15/fact-check-republican-governors-have-mixed-record-mask-mandates/6946193002/ 


done_all 3.4 marked as Compliant by Julie Homchick Crowe.

Section 4: A commitment to Transparency of Funding & Organization

To be compliant on funding and organization, applicants must meet these five criteria

  • 4.1 Applicants that are independent organizations have a page on their website detailing each source of funding accounting for 5% or more of total revenue for its previous financial year. This page also sets out the legal form in which the organization is registered (e.g. as a non-profit, as a company etc).
  • 4.2 Applicants that are the fact-checking section or unit of a media house or other parent organization make a statement on ownership.
  • 4.3 A statement on the applicant’s website sets out the applicant’s organizational structure and makes clear how and by whom editorial control is exercised.
  • 4.4 A page on the applicant’s website details the professional biography of all those who, according to the organizational structure and play a significant part in its editorial output.
  • 4.5 The applicant provides easy means on its website and/or via social media for users to communicate with the editorial team.

Criteria 4.1
Proof you meet criteria
Please confirm whether you are an ‘independent organization’
or ‘the fact-checking section or unit of a media house or other parent organization’ and share proof of this organizational status.

USA TODAY
10-Mar-2021 (7 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

The USA TODAY Fact Check team is a section or unit USA TODAY, which is a part of Gannett Co., Inc. 

A complete company profile can be found here: https://investors.gannett.com/corporate-profile/default.aspx

Julie Homchick Crowe Assessor
11-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

The sources of funding and quarterly earnings are all clearly stated on the site along with NYSE information and other earnings information.


done_all 4.1 marked as Compliant by Julie Homchick Crowe.

Criteria 4.2
Proof you meet criteria
If your organization is an “independent organization”, please share a link to the page on your website where you detail your funding and indicate the legal form in which the organization is registered (e.g. as a non-profit, as a company etc).
If your organization is “the fact-checking section or unit of a media house or other parent organization”, please share a link to the statement on your website about your ownership.

USA TODAY
10-Mar-2021 (7 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

The parent company's latest required financial disclosure form, which includes a statement of ownership, can be found here: https://investors.gannett.com/financials/sec-filings/sec-filings-details/default.aspx?FilingId=14753779


Julie Homchick Crowe Assessor
11-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

The relationship between the fact checking team at USA Today as a unit of USA Today is clear, as is their relationship to their parent organization, Gannett Co. who write on their site: "Our portfolio includes the USA TODAY..."



done_all 4.2 marked as Compliant by Julie Homchick Crowe.

Criteria 4.3
Proof you meet criteria
Please share a link to where on your website you set out your organizational structure, making clear how and by whom editorial control is exercised.

USA TODAY
10-Mar-2021 (7 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

USA TODAY's organizational structure can be found here: https://www.usatoday.com/contact/staff/


Julie Homchick Crowe Assessor
11-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Both the editorial leadership team and other staff are clearly identified on the site.



done_all 4.3 marked as Compliant by Julie Homchick Crowe.

Criteria 4.4
Proof you meet criteria
Please share a link to where on your website you set out the professional biographies of those who play a significant part in your organization’s editorial output.

USA TODAY
10-Mar-2021 (7 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Professional biographies of our leadership team and individual journalists can be found here: https://www.usatoday.com/contact/staff/


Julie Homchick Crowe Assessor
11-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

The site offers clear professional biographies of leadership and staff on the site.


done_all 4.4 marked as Compliant by Julie Homchick Crowe.

Criteria 4.5
Proof you meet criteria
Please share a link to where on your website you encourage users to communicate with your editorial team.

USA TODAY
10-Mar-2021 (7 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Our editorial staff list includes direct contact information for each team member: https://www.usatoday.com/contact/staff/

We also maintain a separate contact page and form for inquiries: https://marketing.usatoday.com/contact-us/


Julie Homchick Crowe Assessor
11-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

USA Today's directory page includes direct contact information for each member of their staff. They also have a contact page for marketing and other inquiries on their site.


done_all 4.5 marked as Compliant by Julie Homchick Crowe.

Section 5: A commitment to Standards and Transparency of Methodology

To be compliant on methodology, applicants must meet these six criteria

  • 5.1 The applicant publishes on its website a statement about the methodology it uses to select, research, write and publish its fact checks.
  • 5.2 The applicant selects claims to check based primarily on the reach and importance of the claims, and where possible explains the reason for choosing the claim to check.
  • 5.3 The applicant sets out in its fact checks relevant evidence that appears to support the claim as well as relevant evidence that appears to undermine it.
  • 5.4 The applicant in its fact checks assesses the merits of the evidence found using the same high standards applied to evidence on equivalent claims, regardless of who made the claim.
  • 5.5 The applicant seeks where possible to contact those who made the claim to seek supporting evidence, noting that (I) this is often not possible with online claims, (II) if the person who makes the claim fails to reply in a timely way this should not impede the fact check, (III) if a speaker adds caveats to the claim, the fact-checker should be free to continue with checking the original claim, (IV) fact-checkers may not wish to contact the person who made the claim for safety or other legitimate reasons.
  • 5.6 The applicant encourages users to send in claims to check, while making it clear what readers can legitimately expect will be fact-checked and what isn’t fact-checkable.

Criteria 5.1
Proof you meet criteria
Please provide a link to the statement on your website that explains the methodology you use to select, research, write and publish your fact checks.

USA TODAY
10-Mar-2021 (7 months ago) Updated: 7 months ago
Julie Homchick Crowe Assessor
11-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

USA Today offers a clear description of how they select their claims:

"We look for material from elected and appointed officials, those running for office, those who represent public officials and other public figures. We monitor speeches, debates, events, TV appearances, news stories, social media, campaign ads, news releases and more for material."


They also outline their process for research and writing - that reporting might involve:

"Asking the person who made the claim for evidence to back up the assertion, then researching that material.

Interviewing topic experts, including those with varying perspectives.

Reviewing primary source documents related to the claim.

Seeking official, nonpartisan sources such as city halls, statehouses and Congress for bills, voting records and budget information; state and federal records for corporate information, and agencies such as the IRS and FEC for relevant data."


And they include their editing process:

"First, before a fact check is undertaken, a reporter reviews the claim with an editor and discusses the approach.

Once the story is written, an editor carefully reviews the fact check for tone and to ensure the sourcing is transparent, relevant and trustworthy. The editor and reporter work together to confirm that every statement in the story is accurate and the wording used is fair. They then choose a rating.

After that, another fact check editor reviews their work. If there are any concerns, they will enlist the guidance of a senior editor.

A copy editor will read the story before it is published."


done_all 5.1 marked as Compliant by Julie Homchick Crowe.

Criteria 5.2
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the methodology used in a randomised sample of your fact checks to assess compliance with these criteria. No additional evidence is required.

Julie Homchick Crowe Assessor
11-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

USA Today generally selects claims with broad reach and importance in terms of the public. USA Today explains the reasons for choosing a claim usually at the top of the piece - this will often invoke a reference to the recency of a claim or some context that tells the reader why the topic is important or relevant to the current time.



done_all 5.2 marked as Compliant by Julie Homchick Crowe.

Criteria 5.3
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the methodology used in a randomised sample of your fact checks to assess compliance with these criteria. No additional evidence is required.

Julie Homchick Crowe Assessor
11-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

USA Today is thorough in providing links and evidence for and against claims they evaluate. In cases where the claim is shown to be false or out of context, they first offer a description of where the claim came from and what evidence was offered for it. In such cases, the evidence against the claim is much more substantial because there is often little to substantiate the false claims to begin with.


done_all 5.3 marked as Compliant by Julie Homchick Crowe.

Criteria 5.4
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the methodology used in a randomised sample of your fact checks to assess compliance with these criteria. No additional evidence is required.

Julie Homchick Crowe Assessor
11-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

The assessor found no circumstances where these standards seem to vary in any significant way.


done_all 5.4 marked as Compliant by Julie Homchick Crowe.

Criteria 5.5
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the methodology used in a randomised sample of your fact checks to assess compliance with these criteria. No additional evidence is required.

Julie Homchick Crowe Assessor
11-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

USA Today demonstrates clear efforts to contact persons who made original claims in the sample of fact checks evaluated. There is a discrepancy in how this is represented in fact checks, though. In some cases, it is clearly stated that USA Today reached out and then they explain the result of that attempt, as in this case:

"The user behind the post did not respond to a request from USA TODAY for comment." https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/09/21/fact-check-ruth-bader-ginsburg-said-president-elected-four-years/5852413002/

In other cases, though, readers are not told what the result of the attempt was, as in this case:

"USA TODAY reached out to the user for a comment." https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2021/04/05/fact-check-irs-moved-2020-tax-filing-deadline-may-17/4840997001/  

USA Today clearly meets this criteria, but the language used in the second example may leave readers unsure about the result and unsure as to whether or not the content that follows is tied to source who may or may not have responded.



done_all 5.5 marked as Compliant by Julie Homchick Crowe.

Criteria 5.6
Proof you meet criteria
Please describe how you encourage users to send in claims to check, while making it clear what readers can legitimately expect will be fact-checked and what isn’t fact-checkable. Include links where appropriate. If you do not allow this, explain why.

USA TODAY
10-Mar-2021 (7 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

We include an invitation for readers to submit information to be fact-checked on our Fact Check Guidelines page: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/02/12/fact-check-guidelines-usa-today/4735217002/

Our dedicated e-mail address for this purpose is factcheck@usatoday.com 


USA TODAY
22-Jun-2021 (3 months ago) Updated: 3 months ago

We include an invitation for readers to submit information to be fact-checked on our Fact Check Guidelines page: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/02/12/fact-check-guidelines-usa-today/4735217002/

Appropriate topics for USA TODAY fact checks include politics, health, science, and current national issues.

Our dedicated e-mail address for this purpose is factcheck@usatoday.com 


Julie Homchick Crowe Assessor
11-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Their is a clear invitation to readers to in their discussion of how they find material to fact check:

"We also want to hear from you. Email us at factcheck@usatoday.com."

USA Today does not, though, explain what readers can expect to be fact-checked or what isn't fact-checkable. The language is pretty minimal so further content here would help meet this criteria.


cancel 5.6 marked as Request change by Julie Homchick Crowe.
Julie Homchick Crowe Assessor
28-Jun-2021 (3 months ago)

There is a clear invitation to readers to in their discussion of how they find material to fact check:

"We also want to hear from you. Email us at factcheck@usatoday.com."

USA Today indicates what topics they fact check but doesn't explicitly state what isn't fact-checkable but their criteria for evaluation implies a definition that is useful.


done_all 5.6 marked as Compliant by Julie Homchick Crowe.

Section 6: A commitment to an Open & Honest Corrections Policy

To be compliant on corrections policy, applicants must meet these five criteria

  • 6.1 The applicant has a corrections or complaints policy that is easily visible and accessible on the organization’s website or frequently referenced in broadcasts.
  • 6.2 The policy sets out clear definitions of what it does and does not cover, how major mistakes, especially those requiring revised conclusions of a fact check, are handled, and the fact that some complaints may justify no response. This policy is adhered to scrupulously.
  • 6.3 Where credible evidence is provided that the applicant has made a mistake worthy of correction, the applicant makes a correction openly and transparently, seeking as far as possible to ensure that users of the original see the correction and the corrected version.
  • 6.4 The applicant, if an existing signatory, should either on its corrections/complaints page or on the page where it declares itself an IFCN signatory inform users that if they believe the signatory is violating the IFCN Code, they may inform the IFCN, with a link to the IFCN site.
  • 6.5 If the applicant is the fact-checking unit of a media company, it is a requirement of signatory status that the parent media company has and adheres to an open and honest corrections policy.

Criteria 6.1
Proof you meet criteria
Please provide a link to where you publish on your website your corrections or complaints policy. If you are primarily a broadcaster, please provide evidence you frequently reference your corrections policy in broadcasts.

USA TODAY
10-Mar-2021 (7 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Our corrections policy is linked from the homepage at https://www.usatoday.com and can be found here: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2021/01/11/corrections-clarifications-2021/6629259002/ 

USA TODAY
22-Jun-2021 (3 months ago)

As the USA TODAY fact-checking operation is a subsidiary of our entire news organization, redesigning the page to move the corrections policy in the top banner is not part of our current roadmap. We believe having that in the bottom navigation is sufficient, as the link appears not only on the home page, but on every story-level page and associated fact check.

Julie Homchick Crowe Assessor
11-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

The corrections policy is easy to access on the organization's website but does require readers to scroll down quite a bit to the bottom banner for the links in the "About" section - the home page is the kind that populates more and more content as you scroll, including ads, and this may function to discourage readers from locating the policy. If it's possible, it would be useful to readers to have a link to the "about" contents (which include the corrections policy) in the top banner.


cancel 6.1 marked as Request change by Julie Homchick Crowe.
Julie Homchick Crowe Assessor
28-Jun-2021 (3 months ago)

The corrections policy is easy to access on the organization's website but does require readers to scroll down quite a bit to the bottom banner for the links in the "About" section - the home page is the kind that populates more and more content as you scroll, including ads, and this may function to discourage readers from locating the policy. If it's possible, it would be useful to readers to have a link to the "about" contents (which include the corrections policy) in the top banner, but USA Today replied that their site design will remain as is.


done_all 6.1 marked as Compliant by Julie Homchick Crowe.

Criteria 6.2
Proof you meet criteria
The assessor will review the corrections policy to verify it meets critera. No additional information needed.

USA TODAY
22-Jun-2021 (3 months ago)

USA TODAY reviews all requests for corrections and issues corrections on any item that is determined to be an error of fact or interpretation. We have not seen a need to further define what this means in our normal course of operations and believe defining this information in more detail may have the opposite effect than which is intended.

Julie Homchick Crowe Assessor
11-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

USA Today explains how mistakes are addressed in their policy with the following language: "If a correction or clarification is warranted, we will highlight that in the original file and explain to readers why the change was made. Any correction or clarification would also be published on our corrections log." It does not appear to offer definitions of what it does and does not cover so the assessor recommends adding that content to this page.


cancel 6.2 marked as Request change by Julie Homchick Crowe.
Julie Homchick Crowe Assessor
28-Jun-2021 (3 months ago)

USA Today explains how mistakes are addressed in their policy with the following language: "If a correction or clarification is warranted, we will highlight that in the original file and explain to readers why the change was made. Any correction or clarification would also be published on our corrections log." 


done_all 6.2 marked as Compliant by Julie Homchick Crowe.

Criteria 6.3
Proof you meet criteria
Please provide a short statement about how the policy was adhered to over the previous year (or six months if this is the first application) including evidence of two examples of the responses provided by the applicant to a correction request over the previous year. Where no correction request has been made in the previous year, you must state this in your application, which will be publicly available in the assessment if your application is successful.

USA TODAY
10-Mar-2021 (7 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

USA TODAY routinely investigates reports of inaccuracies and publishes corrections once verified. An archive of all published corrections can be found here: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2021/01/11/corrections-clarifications-2021/6629259002/ 

Julie Homchick Crowe Assessor
11-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

USA Today offers a public archive of substantial corrections on the provided page that confirms their claim of routinely investigating inaccuracies and making relevant corrections.


done_all 6.3 marked as Compliant by Julie Homchick Crowe.

Criteria 6.4
Proof you meet criteria
If you are an existing signatory, please provide a link to show where on your site you inform users that if they believe you are violating the IFCN Code, they may inform the IFCN of this, with a link to the complaints page on the IFCN site.

USA TODAY
10-Mar-2021 (7 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

The link to the complaints page on the IFCN site can be found in the last section, "What if we need to correct something," of this page:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/02/12/fact-check-guidelines-usa-today/4735217002/


Julie Homchick Crowe Assessor
11-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

Under a section entitled, "What if we need to correct something," USA Today writes: "We are a signatory to the International Fact-Checking Network's Code of Principles. If you believe we have violated these principles, you can inform the IFCN using this form" and includes appropriate links.


done_all 6.4 marked as Compliant by Julie Homchick Crowe.

Criteria 6.5
Proof you meet criteria
If you are the fact-checking unit of a media company, please provide a link to the parent media company’s honest and open corrections policy and provide evidence that it adheres to this.

USA TODAY
10-Mar-2021 (7 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

USA TODAY routinely investigates reports of inaccuracies and publishes corrections once verified. An archive of all published corrections can be found here: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2021/01/11/corrections-clarifications-2021/6629259002/ 

Julie Homchick Crowe Assessor
11-Apr-2021 (6 months ago) Updated: 6 months ago

USA Today's corrections policy offers a transparent look at their process - they have on their page a series of corrected stories that serve as evidence that they adhere to this policy.


done_all 6.5 marked as Compliant by Julie Homchick Crowe.