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The Chicago Guide to Fact-Checking, Second Edition

Second Edition

This book will help you:
  • Recognize what information to fact-check
  • Identify the quality and ranking of source materials
  • Learn to fact-check a variety of media types: newspaper; magazine; social media; public and commercial radio and television, books, films, etc.
  • Navigate relationships with editors, writers, and producers
  • Recognize plagiarism and fabrication
  • Discern conflicting facts, gray areas, and litigious materials
  • Learn record keeping best practices for tracking sources
  • Test your own fact-checking skills
An accessible, one-stop guide to the why, what, and how of contemporary editorial fact-checking.
Over the past few years, fact-checking has been widely touted as a corrective to the spread of misinformation, disinformation, conspiracy theories, and propaganda through the media. “If journalism is a cornerstone of democracy,” says author Brooke Borel, “then fact-checking is its building inspector.”
In The Chicago Guide to Fact-Checking, Borel, an experienced fact-checker, draws on the expertise of more than 200 writers, editors, and fellow checkers representing the New YorkerPopular ScienceThis American LifeVogue, and many other outlets. She covers best practices for editorial fact-checking in a variety of media—from magazine and news articles, both print and online, to books and podcasts—and the perspectives of both in-house and freelance checkers.
In this second edition, Borel covers the evolving media landscape, with new guidance on checking audio and video sources, polling data, and sensitive subjects such as trauma and abuse. The sections on working with writers, editors, and producers have been expanded, and new material includes fresh exercises and advice on getting fact-checking gigs. Borel also addresses the challenges of fact-checking in a world where social media, artificial intelligence, and the metaverse may make it increasingly difficult for everyone—including fact-checkers—to identify false information. The answer, she says, is for everyone to approach information with skepticism—to learn to think like a fact-checker. 
The Chicago Guide to Fact-Checking is the practical—and thoroughly vetted—guide that writers, editors, and publishers continue to consult to maintain their credibility and solidify their readers’ trust.

256 pages | 5 halftones, 3 line drawings | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2023

Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing

Library Science and Publishing: Publishing

Reference and Bibliography

Table of Contents


Chapter One: Why We Fact-Check

Chapter Two: What We Fact-Check

Chapter Three: How We Fact-Check

The Magazine Model

The Newspaper Model

The Hybrid Model

Fact-Checking Other Media

Navigating Relationships with Editors, Writers, and Producers

Fact-Checking on a Budget

Fact-Checking Your Own Writing

How to Get a Fact-Checking Job

Chapter Four: Checking Different Types of Facts

Basic Facts

Numbers and Measurements






Physical Descriptions


Historical Quotes and Stories

Product Claims

Languages Other than English

Outlets outside the United States

“Common Knowledge”

Headlines and Cover Lines

Facts from Anonymous or Sensitive Sources

Sensitive Subjects: Trauma, Abuse, and More

Conflicting Facts

Gray Areas

Litigious Material

Plagiarism and Fabrication

Chapter Five: Sourcing


Interview Recordings and Transcripts

Search Engines and Wikis

Maps and Atlases

Press Releases



Other Publications

Academic Literature

Chapter Six: Record Keeping

Paper Backup

Electronic Backup

Chapter Seven: Test Your Skills



Appendix One: “Test Your Skills” Answer Keys

Appendix Two: Suggested Reading and Listening



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