Nothing does more to damage a media organization’s credibility than publishing inaccurate information as if it were fact! Yet errors occur. Journalists are taken in by unverified stories that are too good to pass up (who can forget Manti Te’o’s fictional girlfriend!), or they repeat statistics without checking on their accuracy. In the rush to be first with a great story, some journalists cut corners, and inaccurate information slips past them.
This self-directed course is designed to help you avoid these traps. You’ll get the knowledge and tools necessary to become more accurate in what you publish in print, over the airwaves or online. You’ll learn the fundamentals of verification and error prevention. You will also learn something even more basic — how and why errors occur in journalism. By the end of the course, you will gain an appreciation for the challenges of verifying information in a networked world and an understanding of how best to do so.
What will I learn
- Why errors occur
- How to prevent errors
- How to use facts to support a story
- Which tools to use for verification
- Best practices for a newsroom, team or yourself
- Common misconceptions about errors
Who should take this course
All journalists, regardless of experience or medium. Anyone who uses, curates or aggregates social media or user-generated content. Newsroom leaders who want to develop best practices for error prevention
About self-directed courses
In a self-directed course, you can start and stop whenever you like, progressing entirely at your own pace and going back as many times as you want to review the material.
Craig Silverman (@craigsilverman) is the founding editor of BuzzFeed Canada and a leading expert on media errors, accuracy and verification. He previously was a fellow with the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, and founded Emergent.info, a real-time rumor tracker. Craig edited the Verification Handbook from the European Journalism Centre and is the founder and editor of Regret the Error, a Poynter blog about media accuracy and the discipline of verification.
He previously served as director of content for Spundge and helped launch OpenFile, an online local news startup that delivered community-driven reporting in six Canadian cities. Craig is also the former managing editor of PBS MediaShift and has been a columnist for The Globe And Mail, Toronto Star and Columbia Journalism Review. He is the author of two award-winning non-fiction books, Regret The Error: How Media Mistakes Pollute the Press and Imperil Free Speech and Mafiaboy: A Portrait of the Hacker as a Young Man.