Election 2012 Resources: an Update

A few weeks ago, I blogged about how the election can aid with information literacy. With all three presidential debates finally finished and a mere 14 days left until Election Day, I wanted to share some new resources that you might find useful.

In my last blog post about the election, I wrote:

The election season is a great opportunity to introduce the importance of evaluation skills to students. Specifically, we can stress the importance of understanding facts, propaganda and bias… and how all three play a huge role in advertising (and sometimes reporting) of the campaigns. Beyond the political sphere, these skills can be utilized in everyday learning and research, whether it’s in school or reading an article a friend shared on Facebook.

Are you or your fellow educators introducing election-related projects or assignments? If so, these resources might be a good place to start:

  • Politifact: This Pulitzer Prize-winning website “examine[s] statements by members of Congress, state legislators, governors, mayors, the president, cabinet secretaries, lobbyists, people who testify before Congress and anyone else who speaks up in American politics.” The statements are rated on a scale of, dare I say, truthiness–true, mostly true, half true, mostly false, false and the much-dreaded Pants On Fire. Read more about Politifact’s truth scale here.
  • Project Vote Smart: This organization “is a non-partisan, nonprofit educational organization funded exclusively through individual contributions and philanthropic foundations.” It contains information on public statements, special interest groups, legislative committees, as well as contact information about dozens of political parties (even the controversial ones).
  • FactCheck.org: A project organized by UPenn’s Annenberg Public Policy Center, FactCheck.org is another resource to research and compare “the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases.” There’s already information about the final debate, so the information is quite timely.
  • C-SPAN: The TV channel most people seemingly skip over provides live streams from its website. This could be great to check out on Election Day itself. In the meantime, check out the video library for on-demand viewing.

We took a look to see what sources our users have been citing lately, too. Here are some of the more popular political resources our users are citing: OpenSecrets.org, Politico, Political Ticker and NBC Politics.

You can also see a sharp increase in politically-themed sources over the past two months. The orange represents citations from August-September, and the blue from September-October. As you can see, there’s been a 66% increase:

Many thanks to the amazing participants of LM_Net for sharing these resources over the past few weeks. Don’t forget to check to my older post with links to Infotopia, iSideWith and ProCon.org.

Emily Gover is the in-house librarian for EasyBib. Right now she is devouring Neil Gaiman’s M is for Magic with great excitement. What about you? You can find her on Twitter, @Emily_EasyBib, or posting news you can use at the EasyBib Librarians Facebook page.


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