USC Annenberg Media Resources

Fairness and Accuracy Checklist

AS A REPORTER YOUR NUMBER ONE JOB IS TO BE FAIR AND ACCURATE.

BE SURE YOU HAVE: 

  • At least three sources in your story
  • Original reporting in your story that is supported by facts you have checked 
  • Correct pronunciation (for broadcast) and spelling of an interviewee’s name and title.
  • Information that is spelled correctly and grammatically correct.
  • Double and triple checked the facts and figures in your story and used terms correctly.
  • Checked the accuracy of a source’s statements with other sources.  Your story shouldn’t sound like an advertisement or a news release.
  • Attributed all your information  
  • Taken extra care not to plagiarize sentences from other sources.
  • Given context and helped readers/listeners understand  
  • Given opponents enough time to respond to allegations made in your story
  • Gone beyond your own bias, cultural norms and knowledge to understand the story.   
  • Used words and phrases that are politically neutral in a way that doesn’t make it look like you are taking sides.
  • Your story is fair to the people who have an interest in the story  
  • Been transparent in your reporting process, i.e. be upfront about how you did the reporting.
  • Edited quotes to keep the speaker’s words in the proper context and accurately reflect what the person said and was asked to respond to.

About This Site

This is a resource hub to help student reporters at the Annenberg Media Center.

If you’re new to the Media Center, check out this one-page guide to see what it’s all about.

Need Technical Support?

If you are having trouble with the Media Center main website (uscannenbergmedia.com) or need web support for the Media Center, submit a support ticket.

Contact the Media Center

Media Center Director, Professor Christina Bellantoni
bellanto@usc.edu
(213) 740-3874

Annenberg Media Executive Editor, Kaidi "Ruby" Yuan ('20)
kaidiyua@usc.edu

Annenberg Media Assignment Desk:
(213) 740-3847

For equipment-related issues:
(213) 740-5739
ascequip@usc.edu
annenbergtechops.com