Pristina, Kosovo - After a wide-ranging investigation one of our undercover reporters found out that most mainstream news websites in Kosovo are in fact being run out of the basement of Chief Horner's Indian Restaurant and Casino in St. Paul, right in the middle of one of America's oldest Native American reservations.
By using a combination of geolocation tools, domain name records and comparing advertising tags the real location of the websites was revealed and our reporter was able to visit the headquarters of the operation by pretending to be a real journalist.
"Yeah, I've heard those stories", said Chief Horner when we asked him about rumors many Native American themed sites are actually run out of Kosovo. "They are true, but only half. We used to run these sites by ourselves but got really bored by them. I mean, who wants to write yet another article about how to build a dreamcatcher or what it means if you often dream about a particular animal? So we went looking for ways to outsource that work and that is how we came to partner up with our friends in Kosovo."
When our reporter asked to elaborate on the partnership Horner said: "You know, life in Kosovo is pretty boring. Nothing much ever happens there. So we offered to spruce things up a little by running their news sites for them. Surprisingly many Native American languages are quite close to the Albanian spoken in Kosovo. Just throw in a couple of ë's here and there and remove some vowels and many of our traditional songs and myths can go straight into the newspaper as reports about sports and politics in Kosovo."
We later confirmed all of this was true by visiting Alex Ios, the director of the International Federation of Cheap Natives (IFCN), an organisation headquartered in Pristina that defends the interests of alternatively tribal writers. Here's what he told us:
"We live in a post-ethnic era anyway, you know, who cares where you were really born, right? As long as your articles sound like they could be true that's good enough. Or are you one of those annoying fact checkers? In that case: who let you into my office? Security!"
Yeah, no, that didn't really happen as you probably guessed by now.
If this is your first time visiting this website: welcome! Usually at Lead Stories we write exclusively about trending hoaxes, fake news and satirical stories that people confuse for real news. And we're quite fast about it too, often being the first site on the scene when fake news strikes. You can read more about how we work here.
But today is April Fools' day so we're letting our hair down a little. Instead of ruining other people's jokes we decided to write a few of our own on this special day. We do hope you enjoyed this little bit of satire (if you did, check out our other April Fools' stories). Tomorrow it is back to fact checking for us.
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In honor of the day, Poynter is launching a website with a lesson plan, tip sheets and other resources to help people learn basic fact-checking skillsST. PETERSBURG, Florida - To raise awareness of fact-checking around the world, Poynter's International Fact Checking Networ...