Friday, May 21, 2010

Fact Checking: Isn't This One of the Reasons We Need News Librarians?

Link to newsletter of the
Special Libraries Association News Division

Link to Greg Sargent's "The Plum Line" column in the May 19 Washington Post, "Who woulda thunk it: Fact-checking is popular!"  (via Techdirt)

Excerpt: "What we tend to forget in journalism is that we got in the business to check facts," Fournier says. "Not just to tell people what Obama said and what Gingrich said. It is groundless to say that Kagan is anti-military. So why not call it groundless? This is badly needed when people are being flooded with information."


Fournier says these pieces require real newsroom resources*, often taking up more than one staffer for more than a day. But it's also good business. With so much information available at any given time, people seek out efforts to cut through the noise and to take a stand with authority.

*As in at least one full-time news librarian?

(Unfortunately) related article:
Endangered Species:  News Librarians are a Dying Breed.  Columbia Journalism Review, January 29, 2010.

Amy Disch, Chair of the SLA News Division and News Librarian at the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch, responds in her "Notes from the Chair" column, "Perception is Everything" in the Spring 2010 issue of News Library News.

1 comment:

Amy said...

Thanks very much for posting a link to the News Division's newsletter on your blog Paul. It's great to meet a fellow librarian residing in my home state and I really appreciate the e-mail you sent to me this morning.

It's definitely a tough time to be a news librarian, but I'm so happy to be doing what I love. Fortunately I'm at a newspaper that values our library and knows what we contribute to the newsroom on a daily basis. I'm very, very fortunate.