I read some piece today....where people seem to state that they are 'professional' fact-checkers. I sat there for about ten minutes.....trying to imagine this status, and how you got to this position.
Is there some college-degree for fact-checking? No.
Is there some paid job with IBM or the NFL, for fact-checking? Well.....no.
Is there some job with the CIA for fact-checking? I've never heard of them employing folks to be fact-checkers.
So I looked it up...for qualifications. What folks say is that you need a degree in library-science, or possibly journalism. Then they say that you ought to have had several years (hint: a decade) in some field of information. Some folks even said if your degree was in English-language....you'd be Ok.
Then you'd get hired by someone, and that's all you do....fact-check.
Is there much work in this? That's the part that bothers me. I can find no real commentary that you'd be hard at work for forty hours a week. You'd just get handed some news piece, and someone from the head-office would ask....is this a fact? And then you'd go and read for several hours, and come to some balanced decision that yes, it is, or no, it's not. Beyond that, you might be sitting there a good bit each day.
I worked in a job once (for three years) where I basically came in....did about an hour's worth of work, and then sat there for five hours a day just reading newspapers, or trying to just act busy. I get the impression that these fact-checkers kinda fall into that category.
An occupation that you could spend thirty years in? NO, I just don't see that much value.
What bothers me is that you also now have....fact-checkers to the fact-checkers....meaning that the first crew might be lying a bit or just not capable of fact-checking. And if there is a group of fact-checkers checking fact-checkers.....you can assume that there is also a group of fact-checkers who countering the fact-checkers, who are checking the fact-checkers.
Way too much facts, if you ask me.