It wasn’t exactly Bright Lights, Big City. Jay McInerney’s well-known book about a fact checker at a major magazine at least succeeded in injecting a note of glamour, albeit dissolute glamour, into the job. My first job in journalism was as a fact checker at Fortune — we were called “reporters” — and there was nothing remotely glamorous about it. You’d have to get well known people on the phone and ask them questions like, “Is your car blue? Can we call it sky blue?” But that was the way in the door. Prove yourself there, and maybe you’d be allowed to start writing.
State of Journalism: The Lost Art of Fact Checking
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