On Friday afternoon, the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs will host a panel of journalists to discuss political fact checking as the 2010 campaigns heat up in the Gopher State.

The panel includes Pat Kessler from WCCO-TV, Eric Black from MinnPost, and Tom Scheck and Catherine Richert from Minnesota Public Radio, and is moderated by the Star Tribune’s Lori Sturdevant.

The event will be held from 12:00 to 1:30 pm at Cowles Auditorium at the Humphrey Institute on August 6th.

Here is the event summary from the Institute’s Center for the Study of Politics and Governance:

“Voters rely on campaigns to learn where candidates stand and how they will tackle today’s most pressing challenges. But too often campaigns are fast and loose with facts. This forum brings together four of the most accomplished fact-hounds who are sniffing out the lies, distortions, or half-truths in Minnesota politics. The group will discuss the importance of political fact-checking and preview key issues in the upcoming election – and how they may be distorted.”

Panel Presenters:

Eric Black pens the Black Ink column for MinnPost. He is a former reporter for the Star Tribune and Twin Cities blogger. He writes about politics and government of Minnesota and the United States, the historical background of topics and other issues.

Pat Kessler is a reporter for WCCO-TV and has covered state government, politics, campaigns and conventions since 1984. Kessler is also known for his ‘Reality Check’ segments that separate fact from fiction in the political world. Before joining WCCO-TV, Kessler was a reporter for Minnesota Public Radio, and a technical assistant for ‘A Prairie Home Companion’ with Garrison Keillor. Kessler studied English and journalism at Macalester College.

Catharine Richert is the lead reporter for PoliGraph, a fact-checking project of The Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs and Minnesota Public Radio. Before moving to Minnesota, she lived in Washington, D.C. where she worked for Congressional Quarterly and PolitiFact.com. She is earning her Master of Public Policy at the Humphrey Institute and completed her undergraduate education at Oberlin College.

Tom Scheck covers politics and state government for Minnesota Public Radio News. He moved to Minnesota in 2000. Scheck went to Syracuse University and grew up in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Moderator: Lori Sturdevant, Editorial Writer/Columnist for the Star Tribune