Home | Sources Directory | News Releases | Calendar | Articles | RSS Sources Select News RSS Feed | Contact |  

Fact checker

A fact checker is the person who checks factual assertions in non-fictional text, usually intended for publication in a periodical, to determine their veracity and correctness. The job requires general knowledge, but more important it requires the ability to conduct quick and accurate research.

The resources and time needed for fact-checking mean that this work is not done at most newspapers, where reporters' timely ability to correct and verify their own data and information is chief among their qualifications. Publications issued on weekly, monthly, or infrequent bases are more likely to employ fact-checkers.

Fact-checking, known as "research" at many publications, is most critical for those publishing material written by authors who are not trained reporters â such writers being more likely to make professional, ethical, or mere factual mistakes. Fact-checking methods vary; some publications have neither the staff nor the budget needed for verifying every claim in a given article. Others will attempt just that, going so far as communicating with the authors' sources to review the content of quotations.

According to the Columbia Journalism Review, German weekly Der Spiegel runs "most likely the worldâs largest fact checking operation", employing the equivalent of eighty full-time fact checkers as of 2010. [1]


Typically, fact-checking is an entry-level publishing job at major magazines; fact-checker jobs at The New Yorker are considered prestigious and can lead to higher-level positions, usually at other magazines.[citation needed]

Among the benefits of printing only checked copy is that it averts serious, sometimes costly, problems, e.g. lawsuits and discreditation. Fact checkers are primarily useful in catching accidental mistakes; they are not guaranteed safeguards against those who wish to commit journalistic frauds, such as Stephen Glass (who began his journalism career as a fact-checker). The fact checkers at The New Republic and other weeklies never flagged the numerous fictions in Glass's reportage. Michael Kelly, who edited some of Glass's concocted stories, blamed himself, rather than the fact-checkers:

"Any fact-checking system is built on trust. . . . If a reporter is willing to fake notes, it defeats the system. Anyway, the real vetting system is not fact-checking but the editor."[2]

Contents

[edit] Prominent former fact-checkers

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ Craig Silverman: Inside the Worldâs Largest Fact Checking Operation. A conversation with two staffers at Der Spiegel Columbia Journalism Review, April 9, 2010
  2. ^ Dowd, Ann Reilly (1998). Columbia Journalism Review. http://archives.cjr.org/year/98/4/glass.asp. 

[edit] External links



Related Articles & Resources

Sources Subject Index - Experts, Sources, Spokespersons

Sources Select Resources Articles







This article is based on one or more articles in Wikipedia, with modifications and additional content by SOURCES editors. This article is covered by a Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 License (CC-BY-SA) and the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL). The remainder of the content of this website, except where otherwise indicated, is copyright SOURCES and may not be reproduced without written permission. (For information call 416-964-7799 or use the Contact form.)

SOURCES.COM is an online portal and directory for journalists, news media, researchers and anyone seeking experts, spokespersons, and reliable information resources. Use SOURCES.COM to find experts, media contacts, news releases, background information, scientists, officials, speakers, newsmakers, spokespeople, talk show guests, story ideas, research studies, databases, universities, associations and NGOs, businesses, government spokespeople. Indexing and search applications by Ulli Diemer and Chris DeFreitas.

For information about being included in SOURCES as a expert or spokesperson see the FAQ or use the online membership form. Check here for information about becoming an affiliate. For partnerships, content and applications, and domain name opportunities contact us.


Sources home page