The rise of fake news and disinformation campaigns have transformed the political battleground into a war of narratives. Confronted with relentless attacks and misinformation, mainstream political parties often turn to fact-checking as a means of debunking falsehoods and setting the record straight. But can fact-checking truly repair a tarnished image?
The truth is, while fact-checking serves an essential role in upholding the standards of accuracy and accountability, it often falls short in rebuilding a party’s image. A defensive stance centred around fact-checking puts parties in a perpetual cycle of reacting to attacks, effectively ceding control of the narrative to their opponents. Instead of playing catch-up with fact-checking, political actors are increasingly realising the power of narrative framing and agenda setting in shaping the political landscape.