Many Americans have become accustomed to President Trump’s lies. But as regular as they have become, the country should not allow itself to become numb to them. So we catalogued nearly every outright lie he has told publicly since taking the oath of office.
What makes this project innovative?
This was one of the first projects produced by new graphics department at The New York Times Opinion. This is somewhat new territory for data journalism: a project that combines rigorous fact-checking, data gathering, and traditional data journalism techniques, with a measure of personal judgement and opinion. The visualization is also non-traditional: rather than writing a piece and describing the findings with a chart, we wanted to readers to engage directly with the entirety of lies themselves. The choice to use a \"wall of text\" (rather than a list, which would have been easier to read) was intentional; we wanted readers to feel overwhelmed by the data. We needed an entire page to publish the list in print. The result was a first-ever complete accounting of Trump’s outright lies and untruths since taking office.
What was the impact of your project? How did you measure it?
The project went viral, becoming the most trafficked internally-produced piece within The New York Times Opinion in 2017. The project was discussed on major news networks and television programs, and across the internet. The authors discussed the project on MSNBC’s “The Last Word.” The project continues to receive high traffic, becoming an integral part of the conversation for citizens engaging with the president’s statements on a daily basis. Tweets for the project were retweeted tens of thousands of times. The project won a gold medal from the Society for News Design.
Source and methodology
We started by collecting every falsehood and untruth uttered by the president since his inauguration. Our primary sources were fact-checking services like Politifact, Factcheck.org, The Washington Post Fact Checker, alongside work by Daniel Dale at The Toronto Star. We also scoured reporting from The New York Times. From there, we spent several weeks whittling the list down to include only lies and outright untruths.