An Ounce of Prevention

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A presentation for student journalists on how to verify information before stories are published.

A presentation for student journalists on how to verify information before stories are published.

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Transcript

  • 1. AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION … By Marina Hendricks November 2011
  • 2. How do we avoid mistakes … and the corrections that follow?
  • 3. VERIFY, VERIFY, VERIFY
  • 4. Verification
    • Is the lead sufficiently supported?
    • Is the background material required to understand the story complete?
    • Are all the stakeholders identified?
    • Have representatives of all sides been contacted and given a chance to talk?
    • Does the story take sides? Will some like it more than they should?
    “ The Elements of Journalism: What Newspeople Should Know and the Public Should Expect” by Bill Kovach & Tom Rosensteil
  • 5. Verification
    • Has everything in the story been attributed, documented and/or independently confirmed to make sure it is correct?
    • Do the facts back up the premise of the story? Are there multiple sources for controversial facts?
    • Have all quotes been double-checked for accuracy and context?
    “ The Elements of Journalism: What Newspeople Should Know and the Public Should Expect” by Bill Kovach & Tom Rosensteil
  • 6. Verification
    • Have websites, phone numbers and names been checked?
    • Do all first references have first and last names? Spelled correctly?
    • Have ages, addresses and titles been checked?
    • Do time references include day and date?
    “ The Elements of Journalism: What Newspeople Should Know and the Public Should Expect” by Bill Kovach & Tom Rosensteil
  • 7. WHEN YOU ASSUME …
  • 8. Assume Nothing
    • Don’t rely on officials, news accounts or social media reports.
    • Get as close as you can to primary sources.
    • Be systematic and methodical. Check – and check again.
    • Corroborate. Who can back the source’s story?
    “ The Elements of Journalism: What Newspeople Should Know and the Public Should Expect” by Bill Kovach & Tom Rosensteil