Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Newmark J-School Research Center
Hours FAQ Research Help

Fact Checking & Verification for Reporting: Be Skeptical, It's Your Job.

Our Media Ethics

The Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics states that journalists must "seek truth and report it."

There's "no other job where you get paid to tell the truth...we are detectives for the people." The late, great investigative reporter Wayne Barrett, in his last column for the Village Voice. 

Because “journalism is a discipline of verification,”[1] that journalists consider the commitment to verification and accuracy a “strategic ritual” and part of their “professional identity,” which is “something that legitimizes a journalist’s social role as being demonstrably different from other communicators.”[2] A devotion to accuracy is the value that journalists add to issues and stories in the information ecosystem. Barbara Gray, Newmark J-SchoolThe Emerald Handbook of Modern Information Management, p 421 [1] Kovach & Rosenstiel (2014). The elements of journalism. [2] Shapiro, Brin, Bédard-Brûlé, & Mychajlowycz (2013). Verification as a Strategic Ritual. Journalism Practice.

Be Skeptical, It's Your Job.

As a journalist skepticism is your job. As a citizen skepticism is a survival skill.

Check out this ad campaign created by Mark Graham (CD, Art Director) with Josh Tavlin (CD) and John McNeil (CD) for Brill's Content: Skepticism is a Virtue. [Thanks to Mr. Graham for granting us permission to use this brilliant graphic].