Friday, October 24th, 2014

Fact-checkers call out in London to a "candid world"

The Poynter Institute hosted the first Global Fact-checking Summit in London.
The Poynter Institute hosted the first Global Fact-checking Summit in London.

Neil Brown, editor of the Tampa Bay Times, which originated PolitiFact in 2007, had a global moment the other day, delivering remarks at the inaugural gathering of fact-checkers from around the planet--in London.

We like how he wrapped up, by quoting the chairman of this year's Pulitzer board, Professor Danielle Allen, a political theorist, who brought up the Declaration of Independence in exhorting journalists to keep at it. In her remarks, Allen noted the authors presented their bill of particulars against the King of Britain with these words: "To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world."

Brown said in his speech: "In ways that I think have resonance to all of you at this summit, Professor Allen, speaking to the Pulitzer gathering, elaborated on this lovely and little-discussed phrase, 'a candid world':

"So what is a candid world? This is the core idea of democracy. Anybody and everybody can take part in analyzing and interpreting the shape and meaning of our world, divining the currents that are evident in the course of events. Anybody and everybody can use their findings together with good arguments to forge the collective decisions that will provide our best bridge to a decent future.

"The power of your work, an article, an essay, a photograph, a poem or a book, emanates from your philanthropic stance toward your audience, indeed toward humankind.

"You believe that we, your readers, have the capacity to assimilate, to respond to, and to judge a picture of the world. You too call out to a candid world."

Read Brown’s full speech here.

In all candor, what else?