What is the O.J.: Veritas Project?
A Fact-Based Examination of the O.J. Simpson Case. No Conspiracies, No Theories; Just the Facts.
In June 2014, the 20th anniversary of the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Lyle Goldman was the event which rekindled the American media’s love affair with all things O.J. Simpson.
Many who did not live through the O.J. Simpson saga don’t fully understand how or why it captivated a nation for over a year.
Immediately prior to the morning of June 13, 1994, O.J. Simpson was, arguably, the most famous and beloved Black man in America.
For over 25 years O.J. had permeated every facet of America:
When America celebrated our bicentennial in 1976, it was O.J. Simpson who delivered a keynote at the official commemoration event.
When Los Angeles hosted the Summer Olympic Games in 1984, it was O.J. Simpson triumphantly carrying the torch near the end of the torch relay.
O.J. was featured in major Hollywood films, guest starred on numerous television shows. Before the murders everyone knew and almost everyone loved O.J. Simpson.
In one’s opinion, David Shaw of the Los Angeles Times perfectly described the reasons for American’s connection to all things O.J.:
In the words of columnist Frank Rich, then a columnist for the New York Times, the O.J. Simpson saga was an event that “hijacked our culture.”
2014: US Media Rekindles It’s Love Affair With All Things O.J.
With the ratings success of television specials broadcast by NBC, CNN and Discovery in 2014, Hollywood realized that even today O.J. still equals ratings and additional O.J.-related projects were ordered by the networks.
Four major O.J.-centric projects premiered in 2015, 2016 and 2017: A&E’s The Lost Tapes of the O.J. Case, FX’s American Crime Story: The People vs O.J. Simpson, ESPN’s O.J.: Made In America and Discovery ID’s Is O.J. Innocent?
The publicity effort for each of these projects included: Network television prime-time newsmagazine specials and interviews with men and women who were key players in the O.J. Simpson trial which were broadcast on seemingly every network, cable and syndicated news or talk show.
The recent renaissance of the media’s obsession with the O.J. Simpson saga was riddled with a most troubling element: misinformation.
The major difference between the news media in 1995 and today is accountability. Although the media coverage of the “trial of the century” in 1994 and 1995 was riddled with false reports, the plethora of media outlets who published or broadcast false information media were held accountable for their errors as David Shaw detailed in the Los Angeles Times in 1995:
The media’s coverage of all things O.J. between 2014-2017 was factually flawed — the American public was fed a steady stream of false information about the case.
Most appalling was, despite the fact that many of these stories could be debunked through a search of the trial transcripts or credible news sources, it seemed that no one was fact checking the content that they were presenting.
Any statement made by someone peripherally associated with O.J. Simpson or the case was presented by the media as fact (as long as it fit the narrative they were pushing).
The O.J.: Veritas Project was born from the news media operating with a reckless disregard for the truth.
Our commitment to excellence in fact-checking is rooted in our brand identity; Veritas:
This commitment is also reflected in the Project’s mission statement/motto “No Conspiracies, No Theories; Just the Facts.”
The O.J.: Veritas Project’s only commitment is to providing accurate, factual information in a completely transparent manner.
All of the articles we publish include a comprehensive list of works cited; we are so confident in the accuracy of our content that we provide the reader a roadmap to make it easy for them to verify our findings. All of our short documentaries utilize on-screen graphics which are used throughout the film to note content sources. The O.J.: Veritas project is not pro-O.J. Simpson or anti-O.J. Simpson.
The O.J.: Veritas Project Code of Principles
- A COMMITMENT TO NONPARTISANSHIP AND FAIRNESS We fact-check claims using the same standard for every fact check. We do not concentrate our fact-checking on any one side. We follow the same process for every fact check and let the evidence dictate our conclusions. We do not advocate or take policy positions on the issues we fact-check.
- A COMMITMENT TO TRANSPARENCY OF SOURCES We want our readers to be able to verify our findings themselves. We provide all sources in enough detail that readers can replicate our work, except in cases where a source’s personal security could be compromised. In such cases, we provide as much detail as possible.
- A COMMITMENT TO TRANSPARENCY OF FUNDING & ORGANIZATION The O.J.: Veritas Project does not accept any funding or advertising. We do not allow advertising on the short documentaries we publish on Vimeo and YouTube. If, at any time, we decide to accept advertising or funding we will be completely transparent and inform our readers/viewers. We clearly indicate a way for readers to communicate with us.
- A COMMITMENT TO TRANSPARENCY OF METHODOLOGY We explain the methodology we use to select, research, write, edit, publish and correct our fact checks. We encourage readers to send us claims to fact-check and are transparent on why and how we fact-check.
- A COMMITMENT TO OPEN AND HONEST CORRECTIONS If we make an error or anything we publish is later determined to be flawed, we will immediately publish a correction and promote the correction in a manner that is equal to the promotion of the originally published material.