When we first got involved in this project, we looked to the Governor’s race. However, after some preliminary searching, we found that many news sources, online and television, were fact checking ads and claims made by the Gubernatorial race, for example:
- Mynorthwest.com on the candidates’ claims on budget and taxes
- The Seattle Times on Rossi’s Lowering the Minimum Wage
- The Seattle Times on the candidates’ environmental policy
- The Olympian on Rossi’s attack ads on Gregoire’s budget
We wanted to offer information that was in short supply–information on state initiatives. There are three initiatives on the ballot this election that, if approved, will legalize physician assisted suicide in certain instances, will dramatically change the road system in the Puget Sound, and will increase the training required of long-term caregivers.
With these issues on the ballot, it is important that voters don’t rely on road signs, television ads, or pamphlets as their primary source of information. Our goal is that Fact Check WA will be an unbiased source for voters when they look for information on state initiatives.
Who are the contributors?
Rebekah Peterson is a master’s candidate in the University of Washington’s Master of Communication in Digital Media program. She currently works at the University of Washington in a department that helps students with disabilities achieve their educational goals by providing information to students and educators as to how classes can be accessible to all students, including those with disabilities.
She is interested in learning more about how social media tools can help increase access to information and believes that this new accessibility will empower people to become more engaged in the world and the people around them.
Maury Webber is completing a master’s degree from the Digital Media program at the University of Washington. Currently he works at Central Washington University as a distance education technician.
He is fascinated by the rhetoric of Politics and how it is changing with the technology of the internet and social media.
Ian Porter began coursework in September for a Master of Communication in Digital Media at the University of Washington. In addition to his studies, he is a library assistant at Garfield High School in Seattle.
Among the many changes digital and social media have wrought in American politics, Ian is especially interested in how political “truths” are arrived at through a recursive process, comprised of a claim, followed by fact check and, perhaps a counter claim. This process has shifted into warp speed due to instantaneous and low cost communication technologies.