Well, well, well. Set our pants on fire. Researchers have found that having fact-checkers on the case tends to keep politicians from, shall we say, taking liberties with the truth.
The Washington Post reports:
The report, from political scientists at Dartmouth and Georgia State University, found that legislators who were reminded that fact-checkers were keeping an eye on their statements were less likely to receive a negative rating from those fact-checkers. That suggests, the report’s authors conclude, that the legislators were more careful to present accurate information.
“When you remind people about the threat that fact-checking might pose to their political career, there’s less indication of their being inaccurate,” said Brendan Nyhan, the Dartmouth political scientist. “The threat of fact-checking probably matters.”
Let's also recall that "fact-checking" is just another name for journalism, something all news outlets should be doing.