Friday, October 31st, 2014

Announcing PolitiFact Texas!

PolitiFact Texas is produced by the staff of the Austin American-Statesman
PolitiFact Texas is produced by the staff of the Austin American-Statesman

Starting today, politicians in Texas will have to face the Truth-O-Meter.

We are proud to announce the launch of PolitiFact Texas, a partnership with the Austin American-Statesman to fact-check the 2010 campaigns in the Lone Star State.

PolitiFact Texas uses the same journalistic approach and reader-friendly design as our main site. It is integrated with PolitiFact.com and uses our Truth-O-Meter to rate the accuracy of statements by candidates, elected officials and political parties.

You'll find it has the same spirit and distinctive voice as the national site. Check the Texas home page today and you'll find a lively mix of items ranging from Gov. Rick Perry's claim that the state accounted for 70 percent of the nation's new jobs in 2007-08 (False), to Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison's claim that she quadrupled the number of border patrol agents (Barely True).

Initially, PolitiFact Texas will focus on the 2010 elections, but we expect it will expand to fact-checking state and local officials as they govern.

The Statesman, a highly regarded newspaper in the Texas capital, has assembled a top-notch group of journalists for the PolitiFact Texas team. It is led by veteran political writer W. Gardner Selby and includes writers Ciara O'Rourke and Meghan Ashford-Grooms. The site will be edited by John Bridges and Brenda Bell. Much of the work that you see on PolitiFact Texas will also be published in the Statesman's newsprint editions.

The Texas site is the first of PolitiFact's planned expansion to the state and local level. Our parent, the St. Petersburg Times, already is publishing Truth-O-Meter items on Florida races in the newspaper and on PolitiFact.com.

"Our expansion in Texas continues the St. Petersburg Times’ commitment to PolitiFact as a promising new form of journalism that marries old-fashioned reporting with the power of the Web," said Neil Brown, executive editor of the Times.

We'll be seeking partner news organizations in other states that are willing to make the same commitment as the Statesman. Eventually, we hope to have a national network of PolitiFact sites checking officials at all levels.

Said Brown, "We believe every public official in America should have to face the Truth-O-Meter."