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
______ 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