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Tom Meagher

News nerd.

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Accuracy checklist

The accuracy checklist is intended primarily for beginning reporters on daily stories, but its reminders can be useful for journalists of all experience levels.
- Jaci Smith, Herald News, Jan. 2007


Slug: Reporter:

______ All names verified in common sources (phone books, voter registration, Internet, etc.) and double-checked for spelling, titles, addresses and CQ’d

______ Numbers double-checked and CQ’d; math double-checked by calculation and CQ’d

______ All phone numbers double checked by dialing and CQ’d; Web addresses double-checked by browser and CQ’d

______ All quotes double-checked from notes; uncertain quotes read back to source for verification

_____ All information gathered from common sources (e.g. Internet) verified with human sources

______ All quotes verified with editor for accuracy of meaning and context, and non-distortion

______ Transparency: reader informed to greatest extent possible how we got facts?

______ Fair comment rule followed

______ Disclaimer (not reaching sources) accurately and thoroughly described

______ Unclear phrases removed in rewrite and editing

______ Story vetted for potential libel

______ Nothing based on memory

______ If you are not certain about accuracy, did you ask editor to hold story?

______ Will you be available by phone for Copy Desk questions? If not, tell editor when you will be available