THE TRUTH IN POLITICAL ADVERTISING PROJECT FORMALLY LAUNCHES ITS WEB SITE -- WWW.TIPAP.ORG. MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC ARE INVITED TO PARTICIPATE.
The nonpartisan Truth In Political Advertising Project ("TIPA") is being formally launched this week via a new Web site -- www.TIPAP.org -- in an effort to bring integrity, fairness, and relevance to the political process. The TIPA is both a clearinghouse and central source of information related to political advertising as well as an unbiased source of evaluating political advertisements. The following list details how the TIPA differs from other efforts to review political advertisements.
1. The TIPA goes beyond traditional or standard "fact checking" efforts and arrives at specific conclusions about the accuracy of each advertisement. Furthermore, the TIPA has developed an accuracy rating scale. Most AdWatch efforts are tepid, at best, when it comes to articulating conclusions as Press entities are reluctant to specifically conclude an advertisement intentionally was false or misleading. If the TIPA believes an advertisement is false and misleading, it will say so unequivocally.
2. The TIPA goes beyond evaluating the accuracy of an advertisement and also evaluates its fairness and relevance. Fairness, in particular, is a key concern of voters but most members of the Press shy away from publishing fairness-related conclusions due to the difficulty of determining what is "fair" and what is "unfair." This conflict occurs because the conclusion is coming from the Press source rather than a news source. The TIPA, on the other hand, becomes the nonpartisan source for the Press which, in turn, can report the TIPA's conclusions rather than its own. This restores the Press's function of reporting news rather than making or manufacturing it.
3. The TIPA utilizes a highly partisan Advisory Panel whose members work in a nonpartisan manner to rate political advertisements. By getting so many partisan opinions and evaluations, the partisanship is a "wash" and both fair and accurate evaluations are produced. The TIPA recognizes the pretense of any politically active individual attempting always to be neutral is subject to criticism and often fails any reasonable standards or test. By welcoming -- rather than rejecting -- partisan participation and recognizing most evaluators have political biases, the TIPA is more realistic and pragmatic -- and the outcome is superior.
4. Rather than simply release its ratings and analyses, the TIPA will aggressively distribute its information to the Press. Some other efforts to fact-check or rate advertisements simply post or, at best, issue their findings. The TIPA is committed to getting its analyses to the Press and making its staff and evaluators available for further comment.
The TIPA also is pleased to note it has the cooperation of the two major party United States Senate candidates and campaigns in Colorado -- Republican Pete Coors and Democrat Ken Salazar. Both campaigns have provided advertisements for the TIPA Web site, have given their permission for the TIPA to use any of the campaign's advertisements, have committed to timely providing their advertisements, have made recommendations for possible members of the TIPA Advisory Panel (now numbering over 50 prominent Republicans, Democrats, and independent citizens -- many of whom were recommended by supporters of the candidates), and have agreed to provide additional information on an ongoing basis for the TIPA Project.
The TIPA expects to complete its first set of ratings in the next week or so and will release the results within 24 hours of the completion of its analysis. In addition to the ratings made by the Advisory Panel, members of the public are invited to visit the Web site -- www.TIPAP.org -- to the TIPA Project at no charge and to rate the advertisements themselves. For further information, please go to the TIPA Web site or call Aaron Harber, the Executive Director of the TIPA Project, at (303) 666-6161.