Despite the influx of technology-based editing tools in recent years, the simple fact still remains: If you want your work to be taken seriously, it is important to hire a fact checker.
In this day and age, almost everyone from busy college students to freelance writers to even those in the corporate world are relying way too much on the convenience of their spellcheckers. This computer tool is made available to children early on so even elementary learners are taught to depend on the software for their own work.
The underlying problem with the tool is that it has allowed writers to become both lazy and irresponsible in their work. They are relying too much on the convenience factor and not focusing enough on the quality of the work that they are putting their name on.
Many people may think, “Why bother spending the extra money on a person to check over your work when you could easily just use your computer to do the same job free of charge?”
Yes, spell check is a great tool. There is no denying that. But is it enough? Most certainly not.
Fact checkers: A Modern Necessity
Enter the fact checker and copy editor.
Over the past couple decades, technology was introduced and has continued to grow and progress to where it has taken over in almost every industry. Several years ago, writers depended on their fact checkers to help bring their work from a rough draft to the best that it can be. Without the fast-growing technology of computers and smartphones, it was up to that person to help find the mistakes and edit the overall structure of the piece, making it both authentic and proficient.
As computers began to make their big break, technology began to take over in the editing field. Editing software has become so commonly used in one’s writing routine that people may feel like they no longer need an actual editor to view their work anymore. And it has certainly made the interaction less personable, as you do not need to even meet face-to-face to get the job done.
So why should you consider hiring a fact checker? The deciding factor really is just determined by how much you truly care about the overall quality of your work.
Let’s begin by considering some of the benefits you will receive by having a copy editor that you do not get with simple computer software.
The definition of copyediting is taking the raw version of a writing material and improving the format, style and accuracy of the work. A copyeditor is going to take their time and view your work not only thoroughly, but also passionately. This is what they love to do. It’s not just a routine job for them. Sure, technology is going to go through and catch the misspellings and potential grammatical errors but it is not going to suggest better ways to phrase something. It is not going to let you know that you are using a word too frequently and suggest synonyms. It is not going to tell you that a certain sentence is going to make a much stronger impact on your reader if you move it up a few sections.
If you want a simple edit, then sure. Use spellcheck. But if you want a quality edit that will help you grow as a writer, hire a copyeditor. And if you want to ensure that everything you write is accurate, then you will also need a fact checker.
The Future of Fact Checking
Predicting the future of fact checking can be a challenging feat. According to an article from copyediting.org, one trend that seems to be on the rise in the fact checking world the changing of the title itself.
Many businesses are still hiring copy editors and fact checkers to do the same job that they always have but with a different title and more work responsibilities. These days, copyeditors are in many cases required to be knowledgeable in not only just the editing of text but also in layout and design. This helps them save money by molding what in the past might have been two separate jobs into one position.
Other businesses are simply doing away with copy editing and fact checking positions and providing those job responsibilities to others already on staff, such as reporters.
There are both pros and cons to copy editors now being tasked with other responsibilities, like fact checking. On one hand, when you look to how things were done in the past, more responsibilities means there will be less time for the copy editors to spend actually editing a piece. On the other hand, copyeditors will never really lose their value. Writers will forever benefit from an extra set on eyes on their work.
For those in the copy editing field, one thing is evident: change is coming and it won’t be stopped. At the end of the day, the best thing to do is keep up with the technological advances and stay ahead of the game.