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Several news organizations began to use accuracy checklists to remind their journalists of the importance of verification.

Some of the checklists we collected are more conceptual and ask questions like:
• Is the lead of the story sufficiently supported?
• Is the background material required to understand the story complete?
• Are all the stakeholders in the story identified, and have representatives from that side been contacted and given a chance to talk?
• Does the story pick sides or make subtle value judgments? Will some people like this story more than they should?
• Have you attributed and/or documented all the information in your story to make sure it is correct?
• Do those facts back up the premise of your story? Do you have multiple sources for controversial facts?
• Did you double-check the quotes to make sure they are accurate and in context?

Others we have seen are more factual and concrete:
• Did you double-check the quotes to make sure they are accurate and in context?
• Have you checked websites, phone numbers, and unusual names?
• Did you check that all first references in your story have a first and last name?
• Have you checked ages, addresses, and titles to make sure they are correct? If so, have you written "everything else cq" above your byline to signal those things are correct? Do time references in your story include day and date?

Some editors consider such checklists too mechanistic, and if they are handled badly, we agree they can erode the confidence of reporters by seeming to quash the creative element of storytelling. But properly handled, such questions can bring reporters and editors together to make their work more accurate and credible.