9 approaches to fact-checking and verification

Tools and technologies play a key role in verification. But traditional journalistic approaches remain essential. Be skeptical of everything that crosses your path, guard against assumptions and work with colleagues to bring fresh eyes to what you find.

Here are some verification practices to apply:

  • Develop human sources
  • Be skeptical when something sounds too good to be true
  • Consult credible sources
  • Be familiar with search and research methods
  • Communicate and work with other professionals
  • Corroborate key facts
  • Do the math; double-check all numbers and make sure they add up
  • Call or email sources to check information before you publish
  • Check names (Does the person have a verifiable personal history? Is the name real or is it  drawn from history or literature?)

Taken from Getting It Right: Accuracy and Verification in the Digital Age, a self-directed course by Craig Silverman at Poynter NewsU.

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    Vicki Krueger

    Vicki Krueger has worked with The Poynter Institute for more than 20 years in roles from editor to director of interactive learning and her current position as marketing communications manager.

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