The Chicago Guide to Fact-checking

The Chicago Guide to Fact-checking

Book - 2016
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Fact-checking is a complex and underappreciated stage in the writing and publishing process, one that is needed more than ever in the digital age yet increasingly absent from the training of journalists and other nonfiction writers. This book is the first in more than a decade to cover the why, what, and how of fact-checking as it’s practiced in a variety of media settings. Fact-checker and freelance writer Brooke Borel has drawn on her own experience as well as interviews with nearly 100 industry professionals and a survey of more than 200 to describe best practices for checking everything from names and numbers to product claims and scientific analogies. She also offers advice on navigating relationships with writers, editors, and sources; considers the realities of fact-checking on a budget and checking one’s own work; and reflects on the place of fact-checking in today’s media landscape.

“A column by Glenn Garvin on Dec. 20 stated that the National Science Foundation ‘funded a study on Jell-O wrestling at the South Pole.’ That is incorrect. The event took place during off-duty hours without NSF permission and did not involve taxpayer funds.” 

Corrections such as this one from the Miami Herald have become a familiar sight for readers, especially as news cycles demand faster and faster publication. While some factual errors can be humorous, they nonetheless erode the credibility of the writer and the organization. And the pressure for accuracy and accountability is increasing at the same time as in-house resources for fact-checking are dwindling. Anyone who needs or wants to learn how to verify names, numbers, quotations, and facts is largely on their own.

Enter The Chicago Guide to Fact-Checking, an accessible, one-stop guide to the why, what, and how of contemporary fact-checking. Brooke Borel, an experienced fact-checker, draws on the expertise of more than 200 writers, editors, and fellow checkers representing the New Yorker, Popular Science, This American Life, Vogue, and many other outlets. She covers best practices for fact-checking in a variety of media—from magazine articles, both print and online, to books and documentaries—and from the perspective of both in-house and freelance checkers. She also offers advice on navigating relationships with writers, editors, and sources; considers the realities of fact-checking on a budget and checking one’s own work; and reflects on the place of fact-checking in today’s media landscape.

“If journalism is a cornerstone of democracy, then fact-checking is its building inspector,” Borel writes. The Chicago Guide to Fact-Checking is the practical—and thoroughly vetted—guide that writers, editors, and publishers need to maintain their credibility and solidify their readers’ trust.


Publisher: Chicago ;, London :, The University of Chicago Press,, [2016]
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9780226290935
022629093X
9780226290768
022629076X
Characteristics: 174 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: Fact-checking

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