Fact Checker

Make sure printed books and magazines are free from factual errors.

What does a Fact Checker do?

Anytime a fact is printed, be it in a non-fiction book, a magazine, or any other periodical, it has gone through the hands and eyes of a Fact Checker. (With newspapers though, fact-checking is a Reporter ‘s job.) Just like the title says, Fact Checkers check every fact, verifying information before it gets printed.

This is an entry-level job, but it is an important one. As a Fact Checker, you keep mistakes like misspellings, wrong dates, or false information out of a publication. This keeps Publishers and Authors out of trouble with their readers-trouble that can range from letters to the Editor to lawsuits.

Your job starts with an article or chapter that needs to be checked. You go over the piece with a fine-tooth comb (really just a highlighter), and look for any piece of information that can be considered a fact. The things you check up on range from the concrete-say, a person’s birthdate-to the obscure-if a restaurant has ever served a certain dish, for instance. This job can be fast-paced, since often you’re working under tight deadlines.

You check facts by doing research, and lots of it. This research can range from calling a person in order to verify the spelling of a name or the correct wording of a quote, all the way to looking up old photographs or documents. So prepare to spend a lot of time on the internet, in a library, and on the phone, tracking down the information you need in any way you can.