What’s with the rise of 'fact-based journalism'?


Here’s a term you may be hearing with increasing frequency: “Fact-based journalism.” The Associated Press uses it in fund-raising appeals, as does ProPublica, and our local NPR affiliate. The National Association of Broadcasters and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting both describe themselves as purveyors of “fact-based journalism” in their public relations materials.

Even news outlets with an overtly partisan bent employ some variation of the term. The right-leaning The Dispatch, for instance, describes itself as a source of “fact-based conservative news.” The U.S. Agency for International Development uses the term as a guiding concept for its media development work.

When and why did this term rise to prominence?

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