We read magazine articles and newspaper stories as truth. But how can we be sure the information within them is correct? That's the job of a fact checker! These people work at television, magazine and newspaper companies to ensure that every element of a story contains the right facts. It's meticulous work that requires a lot of independent research. But it's a necessary job that provides validity to a reporter's work, and gives average Americans the peace of mind that what they're reading is correct. If this sounds like a job you'd be good at, here are some tips to help you find a successful career as a fact checker.
Get your education. Any reputable career in the media starts with a solid education. So after high school, attend college or university. Take classes in journalism, media, research and public relations. There isn't a defined program to take for someone who wants to be a fact checker, but courses that have to do with the media and journalism are a good start.
Have the right skills. During and after school, you should be developing skills that will help you as a fact checker. You'll need to be good at doing independent research, since a large portion of your job involves searching out and proving information in articles and stories. You'll need to be comfortable calling people to confirm facts (no "Googling" here, folks!). First-hand confirmation is necessary for a fact checker to properly do his job. So along with good people skills, you'll also need to know where to find sources to confirm facts so that no lawsuits or legal battles ensue because of untrue facts that may have been released for public knowledge.
Work in journalism. To begin your career as a fact checker, you need to have some experience working in the media and journalism. Take an internship with a newspaper or television news station. Absorb as much as you can about reporting, getting the facts and presenting a story to the public. After you have some experience, you should look for jobs in journalism. Try your hand as a reporter. Interview sources and get an appreciation for gathering "true" facts for your stories. Once you work as a reporter or a journalist, you'll have a better understanding of the importance of having a fact checker behind you to back you up and check your facts.
Apply for a job as a fact checker. Once you feel like you have a good idea of the requirements of a good journalist, you should be prepared for a job as a fact checker. Check within your current company for available jobs, but also check media job boards and other websites. Network with anyone you might know in the industry that can help you find a job as a fact checker. Apply to as many as you can and in time, you'll score a job as a fact checker.