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Announcing PolitiFact Virginia!

By Bill Adair
Published on Tuesday, October 26th, 2010 at 9:30 a.m.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch today launches PolitiFact Virginia in partnership with the St. Petersburg Times.

Virginia is the eighth state site for PolitiFact, joining Florida, Texas, Georgia, Rhode Island, Ohio, Wisconsin and Oregon.

"PolitiFact has created the most extensive fact-checking effort in history," said Neil Brown, editor of the Times. "Millions of voters know what's true and what's not in this election thanks to our Truth-O-Meter."

Like the other state sites, PolitiFact Virginia is integrated with the national site and uses the Truth-O-Meter to rate the accuracy of statements from True to the lowest rating, Pants on Fire. PolitiFact rates statements by elected officials, party leaders, pundits, talk show hosts and others driving the political discourse.

Warren Fiske, a veteran political writer who worked 25 years for the Virginian-Pilot, will lead the Times-Dispatch team.

"We are very pleased to be part of the national PolitiFact family," said Glenn Proctor, executive editor and vice president/news of the Richmond Times-Dispatch. "With PolitiFact Virginia, we enter a new and exciting era of watchdog journalism and political accountability on the web."

The Virginia partnership is unusual because the Times-Dispatch is the flagship newspaper of Media General, the Richmond-based company that owns the Tampa Tribune, the Times' main competition in the Tampa Bay area. The Tribune is not involved in PolitiFact Virginia.

Brown said the Virginia partnership made sense for both companies.

"We're happy to see our PolitiFact brand in Virgina and we're glad the Times-Dispatch is partnering with us," Brown said.

Since the St. Petersburg Times launched PolitiFact three years ago, the national site and its state partners have rated more than 1,600 claims.

The national site also has the Obameter, which tracks and rates more than 500 of President Barack Obama's campaign promises. PolitiFact has won many awards, including the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting.

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Researchers: Bill Adair

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