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Our Mission

We are a nonpartisan, nonprofit, "consumer advocate" for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. We monitor 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. Our goal is to apply the best practices of both journalism and scholarship, and to increase public knowledge and understanding.

The Annenberg Political Fact Check is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. The APPC was established by publisher and philanthropist Walter Annenberg in 1994 to create a community of scholars within the University of Pennsylvania that would address public policy issues at the local, state, and federal levels.

The APPC accepts NO funding from business corporations, labor unions, political parties, lobbying organizations or individuals. It is funded primarily by the Annenberg Foundation.

Brooks Jackson
Director, Annenberg Political Fact Check

Brooks Jackson is a journalist who covered Washington and national politics for 34 years, reporting in turn for The Associated Press, the Wall Street Journal and CNN. At CNN he pioneered the "adwatch" and "factcheck" form of stories debunking false and misleading political statements starting with the Presidential election of 1992. His investigative reporting for The AP and the Journal won several national awards. He is the author of two books: Honest Graft: Big Money and the American Political Process (Knopf, 1988) and Broken Promise: Why the Federal Election Commission Failed (Twentieth Century Fund: 1990).


Viveca Novak
Deputy Director, Annenberg Political Fact Check

Viveca Novak is a journalist who covered politics and government in Washington for nearly 20 years, reporting in turn for Common Cause Magazine,  National Journal, the Wall Street Journal and Time magazine. AtTime she was a co-winner of Harvard University's Goldsmith Prize as well as the Clarion Award for investigative reporting into the campaign finance scandals of President Clinton's 1996 re-election campaign. She is co-author of  Inside the Wire , about the Guantanamo Bay detention center (Penguin Press: 2005). She holds an M.S. in journalism from Columbia University and an M.S.L. from Yale Law School.


Kathleen Hall Jamieson, PhD
Director, Annenberg  Public Policy Center

Dr. Kathleen Jamieson, Elizabeth Ware Packard Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, has written extensively on the press, politics, and presidential campaigns. Her research into deceptive political TV ads produced techniques that are now in common use in TV "adwatch" stories. Among the many books she has authored are: Dirty Politics: Deception, Distraction, and Democracy (Oxford University Press, 1992) and Everything You Think You Know About Politics...and Why You're Wrong (Basic Books, 2000).

Current Staff

Emi Kolawole
Staff Writer, Annenberg Political Fact Check

Emi Kolawole earned her B.A. in international relations and theater studies from Wellesley College and studied abroad at both the Panthéon-Sorbonne and the National Theater Institute.  She joined the Annenberg Public Policy Center in November, 2005 after working as a news researcher at Congressional Quarterly on issues of defense, foreign policy, intelligence and homeland security. Previously, she was a production assistant at PBS's "NOW With Bill Moyers," and worked in the Washington area office of a defense contractor.


Justin Bank
Researcher, Annenberg Political Fact Check

Justin Bank earned both his B.A in Political Science and Public Communication and his M.A in Applied Politics at American University.  He joined the Annenberg Public Policy Center in October, 2005 with various experiences across the public affairs spectrum.  He has worked in the newsroom at the New York Post, assisted the Director of Communications for the AFL-CIO affiliated seniors advocacy group the Alliance for Retired Americans, and has worked for a boutique public relations firm specializing in health care policy.


Brigitte Y. Tapp
D.C. Office Manager, Annenberg Public Policy Center

Brigitte Y. Tapp worked previously as office administrator for a subcontractor on the $3-billion Woodrow Wilson Bridge project. She also has been an executive administrative assistant in the D.C. government's Office of Prevention and Youth Services, and at the National Association of Broadcasters and the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council. She is a member of the National Association of Executive Secretaries and Administrative Assistants (NAESAA), the National Association of Female Executives (NAFE), the National Association of Office Managers, and the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP), Capital Chapter.


James Ficaro
Researcher, Annenberg Political Fact Check

James Ficaro earned his B.B.A. in Finance at the University of Texas in 2003. After finishing his undergraduate work, James moved to D.C. and received his Masters in Public Policy from the George Mason University School of Public Policy in 2005. He joined the Annenberg Public Policy Center in September 2005 with previous experience on Capitol Hill and as a Professor in the Communication Department of George Mason University. James left FactCheck in January 2007 to pursue a law degree.


Matthew Barge
Researcher, Annenberg Political Fact Check (March - November 2005)

Matthew Barge earned his B.A. in Government at Georgetown University. He joined the Annenberg Public Policy Center in March, 2005 with previous experience at the National Republican Senatorial Committee and as a volunteer for the Democratic presidential campaign of Gen. Wesley Clark. He has worked on several congressional campaigns and at a public opinion research firm in Washington, DC. Matthew left FactCheck to accept a job with a New York polling firm in November, 2005


Jennifer Ernst
Staff Writer, Annenberg Political Fact Check (June 2004 - October 2005)

Jennifer Ernst earned her B.A. in political science at American University in Washington, DC.  She joined the Annenberg Public Policy Center in June, 2004 with previous experience in the office of US Sen. Chuck Hagel, as well as the non-profit sector.  After working in the Communications Department of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, she spent time in Brussels, Belgium working as a policy researcher for NGO Voice, a network of humanitarian aid organizations. Jennifer left FactCheck to accept a job as a nonpartisan legislative analyst with the Colorado state legislature in October, 2005.


Kevin Collins
Research Intern (Summer, 2005)

Kevin Collins is a Political Science major at the University of Pennsylvania. He is President of the Annenberg Undergraduate Political Communication Society and an editor of the associated research journal.

Jordan Grossman
Research Intern (Summer, 2005)

Jordan Grossman, of Potomac, Maryland, is a University of Pennsylvania student, class of 2008, majoring in American History and Communication and Public Service. He is an editor of the Annenberg Undergraduate Political Communication Society research journal, PoliComm, and a member of the Benjamin Franklin Scholars program.

Nathan Hake
Research Intern (Summer, 2005)

Nathan Hake of Jourdanton, Texas, is a University of Pennsylvania student, class of 2008 majoring in Communication and Public Service. He is Vice President of the University of Pennsylvania Democrats and has worked in several political campaigns.