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.

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Contact the Media Center

General inquiries:
mediacentereditors@gmail.com

News / TV inquiries:
213 740 3847
213 821 8477
213 821 8888

Radio inquiries:
213 740 1079
213 740 8008

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