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Fact-Checking 101

In today’s “fake news” digital age, it’s more important than ever to make sure we broadcast correct information to build credibility, gain trust from our audience, and deliver fairness to our sources who shared with us a piece of their lives. If a media organization can afford it, the simple solution to reducing errors in content would be to hire a fact-checker or a research editor. In reality, most smaller production teams or freelancers often have to fact-check their own work, which can be a daunting process. 

This week we are going to put on our Sherlock hats (or as the fact-checkers call it, "deerstalker hats") and dive into the world of responsible journalism! We compiled a list of resources that can help you sleuth for the truth because we can't all have a Dr. Watson pointing out our mistakes.


Audio/Podcast Episodes

  • The Fact-Checker | Christopher Swetala for Third Coast Audio Festival
    • Yes, another Swetala resource, but to be fair, he's a fantastic researcher! For the audio learners, Swetala shares advice for triple-checking your reporting and ask us to question the truth in everything, even our mother's love. 
  • 'The Pub' #107: Accuracy matters more than ever — so check your facts | Annie Russell and Erica Peterson for Current
    • AIR's Project Editor, Annie Russell, reviews tips newsrooms can follow to avoid mistakes big and small with WFPL News Director, Erica Peterson.


Free Webinars

  • Hands-on Fact-checking: A Short Course | Alexios Mantzarlis and Jane Elizabeth for Poynter
    • IFCN, The American Press Institute, and Google News Initiative. The most ambitious crossover in journalism history brings you a 90-minute online course on debunking viral misinformation. 
  • Fact-Check It: Digital Tools to Verify Everything Online | Ren LaForme and Daniel Funke for Poynter
    • Daniel Funke, fact-checking reporter, and Ren LaForme, digital tools reporter, have scoured the internet to present you tools to help investigate the truth.

Upcoming Fellowships/Workshops

  • KSJ Fact-Checking Workshop | The Knight Science Journalism
    • The Knight Science Journalism has tagged teamed with MIT to bring you a workshop that will gather about two-dozen copy editors and early-career journalists to learn about fact-checking, with a focus on science journalism. Applications are due September 9, 2019.

Fellowships/Workshops to Look for in 2020

  • IFCN’s Fellowship Program | Poynter 
    • Are you an up-in-coming fact-checker seeking to hone your skills? The IFCN grants new coming fact-checkers the ability to spend time researching another organization outside their own country.
  • The Ben Bagdikian Fellowship Program: Editorial Fellowship | Mother Jones
    • Mother Jones offers an editorial fellowship which teaches fellows a mix of fact-checking, web production, research, and blogging. It's an excellent opportunity for those wanting to learn many skills, not just fact-checking. 

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