In a world where any form of a news story is the largest attention grabber for consumers, fact checking is very important when writing pieces on any topic. It seems like everywhere you look, there is some type of news headline, a story being covered or new article written about a famous person or event that has taken place recently. You have to wonder, how much of what they are reporting and writing on is real and actually has truth behind it? How much of it is fake to promote sales and views on the TV? Fake news constantly surrounds us. In this blog post, I will go over why it is so important to fact check when writing, and even reading, different articles or listening to the news.
“52% of Americans who think online news websites report fake news regularly.” This is a huge problem. Pretty often, readers can tell what is true news and what is fake news. Unfortunately, there is so much fake news that overwhelms us through listening to the radio, watching TV and reading different articles online or in newspapers.
Writing newsworthy articles is about finding facts on your topic, interpreting how important they are, and sharing that information with the audience. Reading that last sentence seems easy enough; observing, asking questions, finding facts and then sharing the information you have found with the audience. But, it may not be that simple. It is so easy to take the information you have found, and twist it, even the slightest bit, and it will give you a whole new story, within the original story. Statistics say that
Here are a few fact-checking items that are necessary to run through when writing a piece. First, is your investigating standing in the way of presenting the real, truthful facts? Do you have a specific outcome in mind that will cause you to write the story in a different light? If these answers are a yes, it will be very difficult to write a piece that is nothing but facts and none of your opinions on the topic.
Second, all the facts that you find must be confirmed by at least two reliable sources. This just helps ensure that the information you have found is correct. Third, do not trust all the information you read or hear, because it could be biased or just plain incorrect. Everything that is read or heard must be looked at and analyzed before it is put into anything you are writing. Do not just trust people because they have not let you down in the past. Instead, take the information you have been given, and like step two, confirm it with at least two reliable sources just to protect yourself and your writing.
Following these three guidelines on fact checking will make your job and life that much easier. Fact checking before publishing a piece of writing on any topic develops you as a more credible source. This is very important if you are trying to make a name for yourself in the journalism, or even just writing, career field.
© 2018, Hailey Popovich. All rights reserved.
Hailey is a vibrant writer based out of the Colorado area. She is currently going to school and studying to become an English Teacher while helping out The Writers Thread from time to time with her dynamic and conversational writing style. To learn more about her, be sure to check out her portfolio page.