The Publisher's Desk

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Register Citizen improves ‘Fact Check’ program

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Last year, we got some attention in the newspaper industry for taking a relatively simple step toward improving accuracy. We added a “Fact Check” form at the bottom of every story on RegisterCitizen.Com.

While we were not the first or only news outlet or website to do this or something similar, we’ve felt the concept is an extremely important statement of accountability to our readers and sources.

So we were thrilled when a “top 10” major U.S. newspaper, The Washington Post, implemented something similar about a month ago.

They invented a better version of what we were doing, and so we’ve learned from that, and overhauled our “Fact Check” program to incorporate a lot of what they’ve done.

Now when you click on the “Fact Check” box at the bottom of a story where you notice an error or omission, you will be directed to this page. It gives readers more opportunity to point out what was wrong, to tell us what should have been written, and to even suggest other sources we could speak to who would help us improve the story.

The new system also provides readers the (completely optional) opportunity to provide contact information and an opt-in to be contacted in the future if we write about the same topic or similar topics, so that we can avoid similar mistakes down the road on which the reader might have insight.

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Written by mattderienzo

March 5, 2011 at 1:34 pm

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