Billy Penn is expanding … sort of.
No, we’re not announcing a slew of new hires, or launching in another city. At least not yet. But, beginning in February, we will be able cast our gaze a bit wider, thanks to a partnership with PolitiFact that will create PolitiFact Pennsylvania.
Per the terms of the partnership, Billy Penn will produce two political fact checks per week, using PolitiFact’s methodology and “Truth-O-Meter.” Mirroring PolitiFact’s mission, we will rate the accuracy of claims made by elected officials and others who speak publicly on political issues.
Despite Billy Penn’s Philadelphia roots, our fact checks won’t be limited to the city. We will also grade statements coming out of Harrisburg, Pittsburgh or any other part of Pennsylvania where we feel we can be of service to voters.
Billy Penn will be PolitiFact’s first digital-only state partner. PolitiFact, which has media partners in 14 other states as well, won a Pulitzer Prize in 2009 for its fact-checking during the 2008 presidential campaign.
“We’re obviously thrilled to finally bring PolitiFact to Pennsylvania after eight years. But the real coup here is getting a partner like Billy Penn,” said PolitiFact Executive Director Aaron Sharockman. “Billy Penn‘s commitment to reach a younger audience through innovation and new forms of storytelling makes it an awesome edition to the PolitiFact family. We can’t wait to see where it takes the Truth-O-Meter.”
This is a significant milestone for us. Billy Penn is still less than 15 months old, so to be in a position to partner with a Pulitzer Prize-winning organization is a major point of pride. We’re also excited to expand our range a bit and serve voters all throughout the state of Pennsylvania. And we look forward to our audience helping us surface statements for us to fact-check.