The Fun of Checking Facts

This piece at Slate titled “Orgasm Guaranteed: What I learned while freelancing at Cosmopolitan” was great on many levels. First off, it was hilarious. Second, I think a lot of us can identify with the author’s naivety at her “big break” in the magazine industry—I know I can. Third, it brings to light a part of the industry that few people know about and even fewer seem to really care about.

When I started as a department editor at Vox magazine in the summer of 2008, I remember groaning along with the rest of the new editors when our Editor outlined the procedure for fact-checking. We were to underline every fact in a story—including quotes—and verify them with a primary or secondary source. Those documents would then be filed away until the statute of limitations expired. Essentially, if we got sued, our butts were on the line. What started off as a daunting task actually become a procedure I enjoyed. Continue reading “The Fun of Checking Facts”