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Join seasoned fact-checkers, Christopher Swetala (This American Life) and Natalie Meade (The New Yorker, ESPN, Marvel) for a candid discussion and insider tips on how to fact-check longform audio journalism to within an inch of its beautifully-mixed life.
They’ll share tips on how to verify elusive details, what to do when the facts threaten to mess up the narrative arc, and how independent journalists can verify their journalism with the same rigor as a professional fact-checker. They’ll share specific examples from their past work and reveal some of the behind-the-scenes labor that goes into verifying every line of great longform audio journalism.
Moderator: Kalli Anderson, Director of Audio Journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY
Natalie Meade is a fact-checker at The New Yorker where she works on the print magazine, website, and occasionally the New Yorker Radio Hour. In 2017, she worked with Ronan Farrow on his feature about Harvey Weinstein’s egregious use of non-disclosure agreements, which was one of three pieces that earned The New Yorker a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. Natalie has moonlighted for ESPN’s 30 for 30 podcast series called “The Sterling Affairs,” and she most recently fact-checked Marvel’s “Declassified” documentary podcast, which airs exclusively on SiriusXM. Natalie is a freelance journalist who—in her own reporting and writing— covers Caribbean affairs, mental health, and culture.
Christopher Swetala is the head of fact-checking at This American Life. He first started fact-checking in 2003 as an intern at The Nation and then started freelancing for a number of publications, including GQ and the Op-Ed desk of The New York Times. He found a home with the staff of This American Life in 2015. He’s written about fact-checking for Transom and Slate and led a session on fact-checking for audio at the Third Coast International Audio Festival.