Tags: new york times | fact-checker | washington | bureau

New York Times Adds Fact-Checker for DC Bureau

New York Times Adds Fact-Checker for DC Bureau
(AP)

By    |   Thursday, 14 December 2017 09:02 AM

The New York Times added a fact-checker position to its bureau in Washington, D.C., according to Politico. 

"Given how much copy we're moving these days, given how intense the atmosphere is, we're just doubling down on making sure everything is as airtight as it can be," said Peter Baker, the Times' lead correspondent for the White House, in Politico.

While fact-checkers are common at magazines, newspapers and sites that feature breaking news rarely have them. Baker said in his 30-year newspaper career, he had never met one, according to Politico.

Elisabeth Bumiller, the Times' bureau chief in Washington, said she hired intern Emily Cochrane for the job in August. Cochrane would not deal with sources; that task is up to reporters.

Bumiller said that having a fact-checker on staff providing "fact-checking on deadline" has helped minimize mistakes, Politico reported.

"I think we learned very early on (in President Donald Trump's administration) that even honest mistakes, things that are certainly not intended to take on a political cast have been twisted and interpreted into the most sinister possible version that could be used against a reporter," Baker told Politico.

"When I'm writing a story for deadline, she's looking over my shoulder electronically in the computer. I can only be three or four paragraphs in and she's already found three or four mistakes," Baker said.

"It's the kind of backstop we all need right now," Baker said, referring to Cochrane's work.

The stakes are high on getting facts right in the current environment, said Tim Franklin, a senior associate dean at the Medill School of Journalism, said in Politico. "What's happening is that these mistakes are being weaponized," Franklin said in Politico's report.

"I think a news organization's credibility is always being tested. You have to sweat the small stuff as well as the big stuff," said Columbia journalism professor Bill Grueskin in the report.

Fact-checking projects ramped up around the world in 2017, but not in the U.S., according to a Wednesday report in Poynters.

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The New York Times added a fact-checker position to its bureau in Washington, D.C., according to Politico.
new york times, fact-checker, washington, bureau
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2017-02-14
Thursday, 14 December 2017 09:02 AM
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