A fact checker is responsible for combing through a nonfiction work before publication, searching for information that is not true or could subject the author or publisher to a lawsuit. Whether the job responsibilities cover a newspaper, television program or upcoming book, a fact checker plays a valuable role. As a journalism professional, a fact checker is responsible for upholding the tenets of journalistic practice.
- Skill level:
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Get the proper certification. An educational background in journalism or communications at the undergraduate level is most appropriate. Get experience in research-related fields, such as newspaper reporting, to hone those skills. Establish your record of reporting the facts with a strong portfolio of investigative pieces.
Be well-versed in all of the latest standards in search engine tools, such as LexisNexis and Westlaw. Add them to the skills section of your resume.
Assemble a list of prospective companies, authors, organisations or publishers where you would like to work. Use this as a basis for your job search.
Create a search agent---a daily (or weekly) e-mail sent to you including job matches based on your preferences---at a company site that you frequent. Be able to recognise availabilities in research departments that may not necessarily be called "fact checker" but will fulfil all of the responsibilities traditionally associated with the role.
Tips and warnings
- Watch for other positions that focus on fact checking. These jobs may not be easily recognisable---research directors and research assistants are also fact checkers.
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