Posts tagged with ‘magazines’
“It felt like for the past 10 years, the magazine was just trying to stay afloat,” he said. “There were real limits on our ambitions.”
Sitting in the K Street offices that The New Republic is renting until it relocates to a space above the International Spy Museum, Mr. Foer said that Mr. Hughes had energized the magazine. “He really thinks of it as a start-up, and that’s exhilarating,” he said. On Monday, readers will be able to see the fruits of Mr. Hughes’s investment for the first time when The New Republic unveils its redesigned print magazine, Web site and app.
To start checking a nonfiction piece, you begin by consulting the writer about how the piece was put together and using the writer’s sources as well as our own departmental sources. We then essentially take the piece apart and put it back together again. You make sure that the names and dates are right, but then if it is a John McPhee piece, you make sure that the USGS report that he read, he read correctly; or if it is a John le Carré piece, when he says his con man father ran for Parliament in 1950, you make sure that it wasn’t 1949 or 1951.
Or if we describe the basis on which the FDA approved or disapproved the medical tests that ImClone used for Erbitux, then you need to find out what the complexities of that whole situation were. And of course, this kind of thing has consequences, because if you get it wrong, it matters. We also work on complicated pieces such as the ones we’ve been running this fall about the Pentagon’s top-secret team that is trained to snatch nukes away from belligerent countries, or the piece about the Predator drone that had a clear shot at Mullah Omar, for better or for worse, and didn’t take the shot because the CENTCOM attorneys were not clear on the legality of that operation.
Back in 2002, New Yorker fact-checking director Peter Canby gave a lecture at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism about… fact-checking The New Yorker. The lecture is now a chapter in The Art of Making Magazines: On Being an Editor and Other Views from the Industry, an anthology released this September from this and similar Columbia lectures given over the years.
Peter Canby, Columbia Journalism Review. Fact-checking at The New Yorker.
I work on and off as a fact-checker at the most accurate magazine in America. I think so, at least. The checker assigned to this piece may come up with a list of competitors for that title—and in that case I’ll say that, having either been fact-checked by or been a fact-checker at most of them, she can count this fact as my own original reporting. My editor will probably agree and, if she pushes it, tell her that anyway “most accurate” is a qualitative evaluation, like “best defensive shortstop,” or “hottest freshman.” He won’t say, though it’ll be implicit, that the whole idea of The Oxford American assigning an essay about fact-checking works better if the guy they got to write it works as part of the best research department in the country—which makes me seem like an authority—and that it’d be a shame to lose the superlative when the magazine in question isn’t even going to be named. Superlatives, if you pay attention, are how magazines make stories seem worth reading, and not even the checkers at the most accurate magazine in America can fight off all the spurious ones.
Bringing this to my news reporting class Tuesday.
FJP: Genius. Read On.