A fact checker is an employee in the publishing industry who proofreads news articles and other pieces and looks for factual errors. A fact checker works closely with editors and writers to ensure articles are factual before they are published. Fact checkers are commonly entry-level employees with writing, English or communications degrees. Entry-level fact checker salaries may vary depending on employers and markets; however, most fall within a common range.
A fact checker is commonly required to cross-reference reported facts written by an author. By doing so, a publisher's risk of being held accountable for incorrect information is great reduced. Depending on the written piece, a fact checker may calculate math problems to verify their accuracy, cross-reference study and survey statistics and historical facts, and ensure names, addresses and other information about subjects are correct.
Who Hires Fact Checkers?
Fact checkers are often employed by publishers that produce large amounts of written copy and material written for radio and television. Newspapers, magazines, book publishers and broadcast media outlets often employ fact checkers on a part-time and full-time basis. It is not uncommon for a copy editor to also double as a fact checker.
Some fact checkers are paid by the hour on a full- or part-time basis. Part-time employees are sometimes needed when a publisher takes on large projects containing pieces needing cross-referencing. Full-time fact checkers are often paid annual salaries with a variety of employee benefits. These are employees needed on a daily basis to help check each piece a publisher produces.
While entry-level fact checker salaries vary based on experience, employer and market, the average annual salary falls into the range of $25,000 to $45,000, as of 2011. According to Brandon Reid, Assistant Editor of the Rock River Times, hourly wages for fact checkers range from $10 to $15 per hour for entry-level positions.