Despite what some might say, facts matter. If you inadvertently publish inaccurate information, it may tarnish your reputation as a reliable resource. Which is why you should use only the most trusted and accurate sources when researching the material for your content. Here are some of the sources our writers use for researching articles and verifying the details
For authoritative and detailed information on all aspects of Canadians’ lives, Stats Canada is the place to turn to. The searchable site has current and historic data on our demographics, the economy, healthcare and much, much more.
Canadian Geographical Names Database
If you’re not sure if there’s an uppercase T in MacTier, Ontario’s name (there is) or if Alberta’s Headed-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump is a real place name with two hyphens (it is and there are), you can search on Natural Resources Canada’s database for the official spelling of the names of municipalities, waterbodies, mountains and more.
Pro tip: Whether you’re looking for details on the economy or healthcare, the environment or tourism, Canada.ca is the portal that will lead you to the sites for the various federal departments and agencies where you’ll find trustworthy, fact-check information.
CIA World Fact Book
For statistics and other information on every other place on the planet, the CIA maintains a detailed encyclopedia of regularly updated information on 266 countries and territories.
Not sure if something’s a fact, rumour or urban legend? For nearly 30 years, Snopes has been debunking classic urban legends and the latest viral misinformation, rating each as true or false, or nuanced if it’s not a black-and-white issue. The Duke Reporters’ Lab also maintains a list of fact-checking sites from around the world.
Wikipedia can be a good place to start when trying to research a new subject. But be aware that it’s not fact-checked, and its open-platform system leaves it open to mischievous or malevolent hacking.
In one infamous – and humorous – example: prior to airing an episode of the TV show 30 Rock, series staff altered the Janis Joplin bio page to say that the singer “speed walked everywhere and was afraid of toilets,” so when that plot point came up in the episode, it was live on the site.
Feel free to use Wikipedia as a lead for ideas and material, then, use other reputable sources to confirm any details you plan to include in your content.
The Canadian Press Stylebook
If you want to speak the language of the editors and broadcasters whose eyes you’re trying to catch, the Canadian Press Stylebook is the encyclopaedia for media outlets in terms of spelling, form and grammar. It’s available in print and digital editions.
2022 State of the Media
In December, communications platform Cision released its 13th annual State of the Media report (free registration required to download). The number one issue facing the 3,800 journalists polled: The fight against fake news. See above.
The number two issue: “Challenges around staffing and resources.” Journalists are being asked to write more stories – nearly 30 per cent write 10 or more stories a week – and 43 per cent of them cover five or more beats at a time.
That is why 3,000+ editors and producers who are looking for quality resources and content, turn to one simple solution every month: News Canada’s copyright-free articles.
Don’t forget your deadlines
While you’re putting together your fact-checked material, here are the upcoming deadlines for April content with News Canada:
- Topic briefs: March 1, 2023
- Article drafts: March 13, 2023
- Radio production briefs: April 3, 2023
- Video production briefs: March 1, 2023