Posts tagged with ‘new yorker’
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.
— Jonah Lehrer, staff writer for The New Yorker, resigned from the magazine after a story in Tablet Magazine exposed fabricated Bob Dylan quotes in his book, Imagine. The above quotation is excerpted from this Slate article discussing an earlier exposition of his self-plagiarizing habits in a number of New Yorker articles.
Françoise Mouly, Art Editor, the New Yorker, on how she works with artists on the magazine’s covers. Secrets of the New Yorker cover.
Mouly’s just published a book called Blown Covers: New Yorker Covers You Were Never Meant to See, that shows rejected work and the sketches made in the process of arriving at the covers that ended being used.