“Political TV Ad Archive”

Donald Trump Ad

Duke Ad Watch: We view the campaign ads so fact-checkers don’t have to

Reporters' Lab students will watch the campaign ads this fall in an effort to assist fact-checkers nationwide

By Rebecca Iannucci – September 8, 2016 | Print this article

With the fall political campaign underway, students in the Duke Reporters’ Lab are involved in an unusual project to help the nation’s fact-checkers. The students spend hours every day watching campaign commercials.

The goal of the Duke Ad Watch is simple: We watch the ads so fact-checkers don’t have to.

The project is a partnership with the Political TV Ad Archive, which is compiling a database of campaign ads airing nationwide. Students in the Reporters’ Lab are watching each ad to find the most interesting, provocative and important claims that are worth fact-checking. The Lab then alerts fact-checkers every day with a list of claims that could be checked.

Reporters’ Lab students will also be writing occasional articles about the trends and themes they see in the campaign ads. Are candidates using the same grainy news footage in cookie-cutter ads? Are many campaigns using the same ominous narrator? Duke students will spot those trends because they’ll be seeing so many ads.

The Duke Ad Watch officially began in January, but the project became dormant during the summer months. Now that classes have resumed, students will be working with the campaign ads through Election Day, Nov. 8.

You can see a running list of the claims we find in our open database. And watch for articles about trends and themes here in the Reporters’ Lab blog. For more information, contact Rebecca Iannucci at rebecca.iannucci@duke.edu.

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Reporters’ Lab launches campaign ad project for fact-checkers

We're using the new Political TV Ad Archive to analyze campaign commercials for fact-checkers

By Alex Griffith – January 25, 2016 | Print this article

To help fact-checkers in the United States sift through the avalanche of campaign ads, the Reporters’ Lab will be compiling factual claims from the Political TV Ad Archive, a new database created by the Internet Archive.

Reporters’ Lab student researchers will watch the political commercials, transcribe them, and distill them into factual claims. The students will then put them in a database that can be accessed by fact-checkers from around the U.S.

The Ad Archive is compiling thousands of political ads that are airing around the country. The database includes ads from candidates, super PACs and other political groups.

The archive includes metadata on the target of the ad and the location and dates the ad aired.  The ads are being collected from 20 key markets in eight early primary states.

The Political TV Ad Archive has partnered with fact-checkers and many other journalism and public interest groups, including the Reporters' Lab.
The Political TV Ad Archive has partnered with fact-checkers and many other journalism and public interest groups, including the Reporters’ Lab.

The Reporters’ Lab database is intended to help U.S. fact-checkers, said Lab director Bill Adair.

“Our goal is to use Duke students to do the time-consuming work of watching ads and identifying the claims,” Adair said. “That should free the fact-checkers to spend more time doing research and writing their articles.”


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