At PublicSource, we’re big fans of facts. No matter the issue — affordable housing, education, environmental sustainability — there’s nothing more important to us than giving residents information they can rely on when making crucial decisions.

We work hard every day to provide just that, and in the nearly six years I’ve been at PublicSource, I’ve come to see our fact-checking process as both unique and invaluable. It’s something we believe sets us apart, and we hope you’ll help support our commitment to the facts.

In plain terms, fact-checking is our process for taking each story apart, line by line, and scrutinizing everything — big and small — before publication. It’s a bit like balancing a checkbook. Each sentence is entered into a spreadsheet, and then the reporter lists every fact and context needed to support its accuracy. After that, an independent fact-checker combs through to ensure that each and every line is verifiable. If not, the story isn’t ready for you to read.

It can be time-consuming and frustrating, but always worthwhile.

Unfortunately, fact-checking is all too rare, a casualty of shrinking newsrooms and breakneck news/reporting cycles. Before coming to PublicSource in May 2014, I’d written plenty of stories I was proud of (and some less so), but only rarely did I have someone independently vet my reporting. Once I’d been through the PublicSource fact-checking process, I felt a bit of a sinking feeling, thinking about all of the potential errors that might have slipped through before.

The fact-checking process always proves its value — whether we find a typo in a name or additional context needed to fully consider the nuance of a complex topic.

We’re committed to getting things right for you. Because you’re a PublicSource reader, we know that’s important to you.

Do you feel more informed?

Help us inform people in the Pittsburgh region with more stories like this — support our nonprofit newsroom with a donation.

Jeff has been serving as assistant editor for PublicSource since October 2018, helping to guide coverage across the newsroom and overseeing economic development coverage for Develop PGH. Jeff previously...