Fact-checking 101 and “show, not tell”

Dear Readers,

It’s been brought to my attention that the publisher of the Veterinary Information Network’s News Service (VIN News), Paul Pion, has asked that his reporters check reporting we did months ago. Specifically, we confirmed with both the California and New York licensing boards that Dodds did not obtain a license to practice veterinary medicine at any point. We also confirmed that Dodds obtained a degree in veterinary medicine with the college on her CV.

When we talk about “show, not tell”  journalism, we mean it. And fact-checking is what we mean. Every fact we report, we can back up by showing you how we know what we know. We never tell facts. Dr. Pion knows what we’re talking about. This is standard fact/cross-checking — as Dr. Pion knows.

TCR checks knowable, checkable facts whether others have reported such facts and/or claim to have checked them, or not. If you say that you won a prestigious award, The Canine Review will call the entity that supposedly gave the award to cross-check. This process, to be sure, can be effective at generating news in and of itself. Sometimes, it can be awkward, especially because only a handful of reporters, unfortunately, believe that this kind of careful checking is what’s required of any good reporter.

So,  everyone, to save Dr. Pion and his staff the trouble, here’s the requisite fact-checking we did three months ago. It says “1864” but we made a leap of faith and assumed a typo.  We hope this helps and, perhaps even encourages Dr. Pion to reconsider that discussion he keeps declining. You can read more about that here and here.