Reporters and sources input will help inform creation of verification manual for longform journalism

Over the next year, Allison Baker and Viviane Fairbank, recipients of the 2021 Michener-L. Richard O’Hagan Fellowship for Journalism Education, will be conducting research on inclusive approaches to fact-checking in longform journalism, culminating in a guide for students and journalists. Their aim is to establish clear guidelines for verification, including for challenging topics that are typically excluded from training material — for example, how a fact-checker might navigate verifying a story touching on sexual violence, based in a marginalized community, or dealing with complex power structures.

As part of this research, Allison and Viviane are hoping to hear from working journalists (reporters, editors, and fact-checkers) and journalistic sources about their experiences with fact-checking. Here are some of the questions they’re looking to answer:

Journalists:  

  1. What are the most common fact-checking errors or methodological disagreements you notice in the field?
  2. What are some challenges you have faced (as a reporter, editor, or fact-checker) during the fact-checking process?
  3. Have you read or published a correction (in a magazine, podcast, or elsewhere) due to fact-checking complications that you think we should know about?

Sources:  

  1. In what ways did your experience with fact-checking make you feel included (or excluded) from the journalistic process?
  2. How informed do you generally feel about fact-checking methodologies in longform journalism?

If you’re interested in participating by sharing your experience or pointing to a case study in the industry, please send a note to allisonbaker@cunet.carleton.ca or vivianefairbank@cunet.carleton.ca, or send them a DM on Twitter: @allybake or @vivianefairbank.  They will not share your name or story publicly without your explicit approval.

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