Fact-Checking 101

This Webinar was originally broadcast on:
March 24, 2017 Enroll Now
Watch and listen to the original one-hour Webinar in its entirety. This Webinar recording features the full presentation led by Poynter faculty and visiting faculty including Q&A from the audience and resources from the presenter.

Course Overview

Fact-Checking 101
Originally Broadcast On:
March 24, 2017
Time Estimate:
One hour for the main presentation and questions. Sometimes presenters stay longer to answer additional questions from participants.

Save 20-25 percent on this course and more by becoming a Poynter Prepared Member. Learn more and join now. This webinar is $11.95 for members of the American Copy Editors Society (ACES). Watch your member email to get details about the discount.

About Webinars

In this virtual classroom, participants can join in a seminar led by Poynter faculty and visiting faculty. This screencast includes live audio and a slideshow presentation in which participants can post questions and respond to poll questions posed by the host.

Editorial fact-checking can be an important step in journalism. A fact-checker is usually a third party who wasn’t involved in a story’s creation, who can kick the tires to make sure the sourcing and narrative hold up. But fact-checking is a skill that isn’t typically taught in detail in journalism school. Instead, checkers learn apprenticeship-style on the job, if they are lucky enough to land an internship or entry-level editorial job at an institution with a fact-checking team.

This webinar will clarify the fact-checking process for the uninitiated and provide new tips for seasoned checkers. Knowing how this process works behind the scenes can help reporters anticipate what their editors and fact-checkers expect—from annotated copy to back-up materials. And for journalists who don’t have the luxury of working with a fact-checker, adapting the process to your own stories can help you catch embarrassing or libelous mistakes.

In today’s news ecosystem—with its 24-hour news cycles, social media platforms, and flood of fake news—getting the facts right is more important than ever. Your guide, Brooke Borel, will pull from her own experience as a fact-checker, as well as from the 90-plus interviews she conducted for her book The Chicago Guide to Fact-Checking.

What Will I Learn:
  • Why fact-checking is important in the publication process
  • How editorial fact-checking differs from political fact-checking
  • Step-by-step processes to keep sources and facts straight
  • How to fact-check tricky pieces of information, from quotes to conflicting claims
  • How to negotiate changes with editors and writers
  • Tips for fact-checking your own work
Who Should Take this Course:

Journalists, journalism students, editors, fact-checkers, copy editors, journalism professors and anyone who wants to ensure that their work is error-free.

Course Instructor:

Brooke Borel

Brooke Borel is an independent journalist and author. She has written for the Atlantic, the Guardian, FiveThirtyEight, BuzzFeed News, Audubon, Popular Science, the Verge and PBS’s Nova Next, among others, and her work has received support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Alicia Patterson Foundation. Her books are Infested: How the Bed Bug Infiltrated Our Bedrooms and Took Over the World and The Chicago Guide to Fact-Checking.

Training Partner:

ACES: The Society for Editing

ACES: The Society for Editing is a nonprofit education and membership organization working toward the advancement of copy editors. Its aim is to provide solutions to editing problems, training and a place to discuss common issues.

The organization is an international members’ alliance of editors working at newspapers, magazines, websites, traditional media outlets and Fortune 500 companies, as well as freelance editors, students and professors. It is an organization built on the advocacy of editing as a craft vital to clear writing and reader advocacy.

Technical Requirements:

1.4GHz Intel® Pentium® 4 or faster processor (or equivalent) for Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1
512MB of RAM (1GB recommended) for Windows 7 or Windows 8
Microsoft Internet Explorer 8, 9, 10, 11; Mozilla Firefox; Google Chrome
Adobe® Flash® Player 11.2+

1.83GHz Intel Core™ Duo or faster processor
512MB of RAM (1GB recommended)
Mac OS X 10.7.4, 10.8, 10.9
Mozilla Firefox; Apple Safari; Google Chrome
Adobe Flash Player 11.2+

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