Last week, in the midst of major magazine turmoil, my boss asked me to venture out of my usual tasks and overtake a fact-checking assignment. Earning to momentarily rid myself of the monotony of the daily tasks that I had been assigned until then, I gladly accepted the offer.
Personally, I don’t view fact checking as an extremely difficult job. Tedious, yes. Crucial, yes. Possibly boring, yes. But hard? I don’t think so. It usually involves three parts (and this is for you aspiring fact-checkers):
1. Highlight parts of the text that need to be checked (names, events, dates, subtle details that might cause lawsuits)
2. Find official web pages, or call specific people, that can confirm or deny the previously-highlighted facts
3. Write down where you got your information from
I finished the assignment rather rapidly. Luckily, I found people immediately willing to help me over the phone (once they hear that they’ll be featured in a magazine, everyone is suddenly extremely gracious over the phone). After submitting the project to my boss, I went along with my business… writing little pieces here, and fixing up the website there.
A couple of days passed and I was summoned to my boss. I thought I was going to get a new project, which I did, but, in addition to that, or, rather, as a precursor to that, I got major, major, and I mean major props.
I got complimented on my fact-checking skills. Again, this might seem rather bland and not too much cause of excitement. But picture me: young 21-year-old aspiring writer, with six internships and seemingly endless coffee runs under her belt, slowly losing hope of ever finding a full-time job suitable to her passions and skills… finally being acknowledged for something.
I don’t want to be a fact-checker, and, trust me, I’m not one of those who gets excited over every little thing. But let’s be honest, we all need some form of recognition – we all need to know that we are actually needed, that we actually made a difference. And, as my editor told me, “This piece would have never gone up without your help. We really needed you in a time of major catastrophe and you were so quick and precise in what you did. Great job!”
And so here I am, my fellow Edsters, assuring you that, once in a while, you actually will be acknowledged as something more than a mere intern… and you will realize that, hopefully, this whole thing is actually worth it.
Do you guys have your own success stories to share? Leave them in the comments!
Until next time!
Ed's Web Intern