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We had one in April, another in May and we are set for one more in June, and that's all -- before the big one in November -- elections are everywhere.

With all these elections comes the barrage of political ads -- some claiming that their candidate is the best choice for a handful of reasons. Others pointing out all the reasons not to vote for their opponent.

Trying to make sense of all the political ads and claims may seem overwhelming, but there's help.

The River Falls Public Library is hosting a Fact Check 101 workshop at p.m. Monday, May 14.

Adam Schrager of Wisconsin Public Television will be on hand to show voters how to " the knowledge they want, to become a more educated voter."

Schrager added, "We're not coming to change minds, to tell people this claim is true or this other one is false. We're coming to help people discover the information they want to make up their own minds."

"We should be able to find out if someone voted for or against legislation," he said. "We should be able to find out who's funding the messages trying to influence our vote. We should understand the code phrases consultants and candidates are using to get our vote."

Schrager's goal is to give people the tools to analyze the various political ads out there, saying: "We'll show folks the websites we (journalists) visit, share with them the questions we ask campaigns, give them some tools that they can use at home themselves."

The workshop will also be interactive in the sense that issues and questions posed by attendees will be fact checked.

Schrager has been covering politics in Wisconsin and in Colorado for the last 20 years.

He works at Wisconsin Public Television as a reporter and producer. Before that he covered politics for KUSA-TV in Denver for more than a decade.

For the past two decades he has spoken with "...literally thousands of people over that period of time."

Schrager concludes, "One theme has emerged as it relates to political advertising: People just don't know what to believe."

For more information on the Fact Check 101 website visit

For the complete story, please see the May 10 print edition of the River Falls Journal.

Fact-checking web sites:

  • www.

  • Jillian Dexheimer
    Jillian Dexheimer has been a copy editor and reporter for the River Falls Journal since 2011. She previously worked for the River Falls Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau. Dexheimer holds a sociology degree from UW-River Falls.
    (715) 426-1046