Fact Checking for Librarians
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Fact Checking for Librarians Presented by Librarians of Radical Reference www.radicalreference.info January 2005 PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Fact Checking for Librarians Presented by Librarians of Radical Reference www.radicalreference.info January 2005. fact checking 101. Someone other than the reporter filing the story verifies all factual material prior to publication so that:

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Fact Checking for Librarians Presented by Librarians of Radical Reference www.radicalreference.info January 2005

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Fact checking for librarians presented by librarians of radical reference radicalreference january 2005

Fact Checking for Librarians

Presented by

Librarians of Radical Reference

www.radicalreference.info

January 2005


Fact checking 101

fact checking 101

Someone other than the reporter filing the story verifies all factual material prior to publication so that:

  • The work can’t be dismissed as propaganda or rumor

  • Legal risks associated with printing inaccuracies can be avoided

  • An even more interesting story might be discovered

  • Sources are kept happy

  • Embarrassment—or worse—can be avoided

  • Determine and highlight all facts in a story

  • Go beyond spelling and dates—look for causal links, attributions, reporter assumptions, facts contained within quotes, and memories

  • Evaluate sources used by the reporter

  • Confirm everything, using multiple sources for controversial facts


Getting started

getting started

  • Read through the story once to get a sense of the content

  • Read the story again, using a highlighter to indicate all facts that must be checked

    • Names

    • Dates

    • Attributions

    • Causal links

    • Facts within quotes

    • Reporter assumptions

    • Memories


Meeting with the journalist

meeting with the journalist

  • Discuss sources and potential areas of concern

  • Identify which sources were used for which part of the story

  • Go fact by fact through the story, using additional sources when possible

  • Quotes—checked or not?

  • Note changes so that they're easily identifiable


Post check

post-check

  • Discuss the story a final time.

  • Pay particular attention to substantive changes

  • You are concerned with accuracy. Suggestions about reworking the story will relate solely to factual issues.

  • Unless the editorial policy dictates otherwise, it's the reporter's name on the story, and his/her final call.

  • Save a copy of the article and source materials.


Critical thinking evaluating different types of resources

Critical thinking: evaluating different types of resources

  • Books

  • Serials

    • magazines (Newsweek, the Nation, World Press Review)

    • [scholarly] journals (Third World Journal, American Political Science Review)

    • trade publications (Library Journal, Pig International)

    • Newspapers (The New York Times, the Daily News)

  • Websites

    • Advocacy (FAIR, Prison Activist Resource Center)

    • Business (Monsanto, The New York Times Company)

    • News (IndyMedia, Fox News)

    • Informational (American Heritage Dictionary, Critical Mass)

    • Personal (Makezine, Street Librarian)

  • Databases

    • Subscription

      • Commercial (Academic Universe, MasterFILE Premier—Use NYPL for local access nypl.org/databases

      • Scholarly (PAIS International, Alternative Press Index)

    • Free(ish)

      • Commercial (New York Times, the Guardian)

      • Government (American Factfinder, Library of Congress American Memory)


Evaluation criteria

evaluation criteria

  • Authority (auspices)

  • Accuracy

  • Objectivity (perspective, bias)

  • Currency (time, not money)

  • Coverage (scope, mission)

Much of the evaluation section was inspired by or taken directly from Evaluating Web Resourcesby Jan Alexander and Marsha Ann Tatewhich can be found at http://www2.widener.edu/Wolfgram-Memorial-Library/webevaluation/webeval.htm


Alternative resources

alternative resources

  • Commercial subscription databases are freely available and accessible from home to many public library card holders and at branch and research libraries to anyone who walks in

  • Access government and legal information, newspapers and magazine, statistical and business information, and alternative indexes

  • Use materials that will be provided in the next two skill shares:

    • 1:30-2 Alternative Resources. Presented by the world renowned Jessamyn West.

    • 2-2:30 Alternative Libraries and Infoshops. Presented by Shinjoung Yeo.


Accessing the databases

accessing the databases

  • Arranged alphabetically, by subject, and by document type (e.g., full-text)

  • Icons indicate from where databases can be accessed

  • Check other area public libraries and their database collections:

    • www.brooklynpubliclibrary.org

    • www.queenspublic.org

  • Ask a reference librarian


Radical reference

radical reference

  • www.radicalreference.info

    --Ask a reference question

    --Links to radical information sources

    --Search archive of questions

  • fact_IMC.ppt, factchk.doc on Radical Reference site under files on the left of the page.


Integrating fact checking into your production schedule

Integrating fact checking into your production schedule

  • While investigating—post research queries to Radical Reference, but try to give us enough time to come up with a quality response. Follow up, if necessary.

  • Rout stories to fact checking or "research" during the editorial process.

  • Arrange to have one or more librarians in-house or offsite, but dedicated to the project during production.


Contact us

contact us

[email protected]

this presentation on the web:

http://radicalreference.info/node/479

Look for us in the streets during demonstrations. We’ll be wearing hats with the Radical Reference logo.


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