To become a fact checker with a professional organization, a person is usually required to have a bachelor's degree in journalism, communication or a related field. Fact checkers must also have highly developed skills in interviewing and researching. Successful fact checkers must also be skilled communicators with a high level of discretion.
Fact checkers confirm each fact, quote and figure in a story, ensuring that the publication does not open itself up to legal problems when the piece is published online or in print. Because of the high level of responsibility, professional publications often look for fact checkers with relevant degrees, internships with newspapers or past experience as a journalist.
Communication is one of the most important skills for a fact checker, particularly when it comes to confirming quotes from a source. The fact checker must verify the quote without causing the source to recant or change his story, a process that requires adaptability, delicacy and discretion.
In highly technical or specialized fields, fact checkers are required to have expert knowledge of the relevant terminology and subject matter. People who fact-check health stories for newspapers and TV shows must understand the correct use of medical terms while legal fact checkers might need to understand the law, governmental regulation or judicial process.