Fact-checking: Making Sure Nonfiction is Truly Nonfiction - Windsor Terrace

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Taught by Brooke Borel

Brooke Borel is a journalist and author. She's a contributing editor at Popular Science and she has also written for the Guardian, the Atlantic, BuzzFeed News, Aeon, and PBS's NOVA Next, among others. Her books include Infested and The Chicago Guide to Fact-Checking. Check out her work at brookeborel.com or follow her on Twitter @brookeborel

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So you’ve written an article, blog post, book, or other piece of nonfiction and you’re ready to publish. Before you foist it on the public: is it factually accurate? How do you know? And what steps should you take to be absolutely sure you know what you think you know?

Fact-checking is vital to nonfiction writing. Yet budget cuts and an increased pressure to publish—and publish fast—have colluded to drop it from many magazines and other publications. Books? Forget about it: publishers typically don’t invest in independent fact-checking, so authors either do it themselves or skip it entirely. And blogs, of course, are always at the whim of the writer. This class will teach you the fact-checking steps that are common in the newsrooms of national magazines. We’ll also cover tips on how you can apply these steps to your own writing if you don’t have the luxury of working with a fact-checker.

This class is for you if you are: a writer, journalist, fact-checker or are interested in nonfiction writing. In addition to fact-checking, we’ll also cover how to spot iffy viral stories that probably aren’t true, how to find good sources, and the delicate balance of working with editors, writers, and sources.

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