Factual Claim

A factual claim deals with provable information, and not with personal interpretation or theories. Reporters are required to back up their stories with factual claims, the result of research and checking the information given them by a source.

Types of factual claims by reporters include their own eyewitness accounts of an event, quoting witnesses to an event, or citing information from police reports. Because of journalistic standards, as well as the fear of lawsuits, most media outlets avoid publishing information if they are in doubt about its truth. 

Because so many individuals publish blogs and other information online, there are more instances of false claims being presented as factual. Both individuals and media outlets face potential legal liability if the information presented as fact proves not to be false or misleading.

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