• Reaching larger audiences through fact-based journalism •

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CHAPTER 2

QUIZZES &
GAMES

«Quizzes are one of the best ways to engage audiences and attract new readers. They can make hard-to-consume fact-checking contents more digestible»

Koray Kaplıca, Managing editor at Doğruluk Payı (Turkey)

Although less widespread than the other formats we have explored in this handbook, quizzes and games can be effective tools when it comes to increasing audience engagement levels.

Let’s see how the international fact-checking community has been taking advantage of them.

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Great tools for engaging readers

Due to their interactive nature, quizzes and games can attract the attention of readers and lead them to spend more time on a website, as they play and wait for the final results to be delivered.

On the other hand, they can also encourage visitors to learn more about other content published by fact-checkers. Quizzes and games are in fact generally based on topics that have been explained or addressed in other articles, videos, or podcasts published by an outlet: by taking a quiz or playing a game, readers can discover new facts or get curious about something they had never heard before, encouraging them to want to know more.

Therefore, quizzes and games can be used as great referral tools to inspire readers to engage with more content prepared by the same outlet: for example, every question in the quiz can be linked to a particular fact-checking analysis that motivates the answer and explains it in depth.

This is the model adopted by ColombiaCheck (Colombia), which included a special “Coronaquiz” (Figure 1) in a specific landing page that gathers all materials about coronavirus. The quiz entertains readers with 13 questions about dubious claims that circulated during the pandemic. After answering “Yes” or “No”, they are presented with the correct solution and the link to a fact-checking article about that specific topic.

Figure 1. ColombiaCheck Coronaquiz start screen – Click to enlarge

Quizzes and games
on social media

Each platform has its own formats

Social media platforms offer several features that can be used to easily create interactive quizzes and games.

Fact-checkers can therefore take advantage of their social media accounts and use these tools to enlarge their reach, engaging a segment of the audience which might follow them on Instagram or Facebook, but doesn’t frequently visit their website, where quizzes and games are generally published.

As we also mentioned in the Stories section of this website, a recurrent format in this context consists of creating a Story with a poll or quiz, and then providing the correct answer and a short explanation in the following one.

In order to understand more about how fact-checkers use quizzes and games, and which are their main advantages, we looked into the strategy adopted by Doğruluk Payı (Turkey).

CASE STUDY

Doğruluk Payı’s strategy for quizzes and games

Launched in August 2014, just before the Turkish presidential elections, Doğruluk Payı is a Turkish fact-checking project part of the IFCN and managed by the NGO Izlemedeyiz Association (On Watch Association).

Its website offers fact-checking analyses, informative articles, infographics about various political and social issues and, of course, quizzes and games (Figure 2). Managing Editor Koray Kaplıca explained Doğruluk Payı’s strategy to us, focusing on these last two formats.

Figure 2. Dogruluk Payı quiz post 

The outlet currently offers almost 50 quizzes which are grouped together in a specific section of the website. «Doğruluk Payı’s publicity strategy has always been open to new ways and formats to attract wider audiences», said Kaplıca, highlighting how fact-checking analyses can sometimes be hard to digest for readers.

In October 2017, the outlet started a partnership with Poltio Turkey, a «Turkish branch of interactive content producer», and thus started using their platform to prepare quizzes about issues Doğruluk Payı had previously touched upon in other content. The quizzes are then shared on Doğruluk Payı’s Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram channels through the Poltio platform.

According to Kaplıca, the topics covered by quizzes largely depend on Turkey’s political agenda, just like most of the other published content. However, some particular events (such as the International Women’s Day and the World Refugee Day), or the publication of special reports by reliable organizations could also be a «source of inspiration in deciding topics for new quizzes».

The Managing Editor explained to us that, in 2020, Doğruluk Payı published 10 quizzes on its website, which in terms of traffic resulted in about 60k additional visitors. The resulting time visitors spent on the website also increased, therefore positively impacting the general traffic across different types of  content.

In December 2020, the outlet published its first quiz designed specifically for Instagram Stories (Figure 3), and it got almost 15k responses.

Figure 3. Dogruluk Payı quiz Stories – Click to enlarge

According to Kaplıca, objective traffic metrics indicate that «quizzes are one of the best ways to engage audiences and attract new readers», also because «quizzes can make hard-to-consume fact-checking content more digestible for different audiences».

Furthermore, since quizzes are generally based on articles and analyses that have already been published, they are easy to produce and could be «the cheapest way to engage large audiences».

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