The Chicago Guide To Fact-checking by Brooke BorelThe Chicago Guide To Fact-checking by Brooke Borel

The Chicago Guide To Fact-checking

byBrooke Borel

Paperback | September 30, 2016

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“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.
Brooke Borel is a contributing editor to Popular Science and a freelance science journalist. She teaches fact-checking at the Brooklyn Brainery. Borel is the author of Infested: How the Bed Bug Infiltrated Our Bedrooms and Took Over the World, also from the University of Chicago Press.
Title:The Chicago Guide To Fact-checkingFormat:PaperbackDimensions:192 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.7 inPublished:September 30, 2016Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022629093X

ISBN - 13:9780226290935

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Table of Contents


Chapter One: Why We Fact-Check
Chapter Two: What We Fact-Check
Chapter Three: How We Fact-Check
Fact-Checking Magazine Articles
Fact-Checking Other Media
Navigating Relationships with Editors, Writers, and Producers
Fact-Checking on a Budget
Fact-Checking Your Own Writing
Chapter Four: Checking Different Types of Facts
Basic Facts
Physical Descriptions
Historical Quotes and Stories
Product Claims
Foreign Languages
Foreign Outlets
“Common Knowledge”
Headlines and Cover Lines
Facts from Anonymous or Sensitive Sources
Conflicting Facts
Gray Areas
Litigious Material
Plagiarism and Fabrication
Chapter Five: Sourcing
Interview Recordings and Transcripts
The Internet
Maps and Atlases
Press Releases
Academic Literature
Chapter Six: Record Keeping
Paper Backup
Electronic Backup
Chapter Seven: Test Your Skills

Appendix One: “Test Your Skills” Answer Key
Appendix Two: Suggested Reading and Listening

Editorial Reviews

“An indispensable resource in the age of ‘fake news,’ this slim but informative title offers writers, researchers, and journalists best practices for fact-checking in a wide variety of media.”