Thursday, December 17, 2009

Fact-checking Trend 

The blogger at "Regret the Error," Craig Silverman, says he sees a new trend in the media and online -- fact checking. That should have been a trend all along but here is a hope that it is true. The internet allows for more crowd-source verification of facts and picks up on "howlers" that get into the media, such as the "Correction of the Year" which is farther down the blog column. As for PR practitioners, checking facts should be an integral part of what they do. Mistakes happen, but they should be rare and when they occur, embarrassment is in order. Most arise because of inattention or someone making an assumption without challenging it. I've erred often enough to know that it is dangerous to trust memory or conventional wisdom. The internet is a blessing in that it allows one to check facts that in the past were lost in the recesses of libraries. But, the internet isn't perfect so multi-source fact-checking is in order online as well.


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