Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Who Exactly is a Fact-Checker

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?

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'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 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 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.

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