Do you know the answers to the following facts of geography, history, civics and science? Or would you double-check to make sure you are right?

 By Kathy English, public editor of the Toronto Star

It's time for another round of my periodic Public Editor readers’ quiz : “Are you smarter than a Star journalist working on pressing deadlines?”

Do you know the answers to the following facts of geography, history, civics and science? Or would you double-check what you think you know to make certain you are right?

In this game, as in 24/7 journalism, there is no harm in consulting a source to make certain you are right. For journalists, double-checking to get it right is imperative. But as the Star’s nearly 300 corrections to date this year make all too clear, in the rush to constant daily deadlines journalists sometimes assume they have it right and don’t double-check. That is the most common reason for factual errors.

If you were the journalist working on deadline, how many of these facts would you know with the certainty required for publication? Remember, any time you opt to double-check that counts as a win for journalists and readers both.

To try your hand at the quiz, go thestar.com where this was originally published.


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Tamara Baluja is an award-winning journalist with CBC Vancouver and the 2018 Michener-Deacon fellow for journalism education. She was the associate editor for J-Source from 2013-2014.