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Depending on the size of the magazine we print each month, there can be anywhere from roughly 19,000 to 33,000 words in our editorial pages. We, of course, labor over our language, hoping to craft stories you’ll enjoy reading. But a lot of painstaking work goes into something we hope you don’t notice at all: getting the facts right.
Magazine journalism has a long history of being singular in its efforts to confirm every verifiable truth before publication. As opposed to newspaper editors and TV news producers, who don’t have time to do an independent review for each story they run, magazine editors have by and large taken advantage of their longer lead times to ensure their product, often displayed for weeks or months, gets the facts straight.
Over the past several years, decreasing revenues among magazines across the country have, in many cases, led to the downgrade—or total disbandment—of research departments that have historically been responsible for fact-checking. At 5280, however, we have maintained our commitment to confirming every detail in every issue, and that is due in no small part to the watchful eye of research editor Barbara Urzua. Urzua not only spends many of her days making calls to ensure we’ve accurately described someone’s business or provided crucial context or been sensitive to nuance, but she also manages a team of three interns who do the same. Fact-checking is an exercise in stamina and patience—and Urzua displays plenty of both. I have a friend, a longtime and sage magazine-maker, who once said “a magazine is a handmade product,” and, as everyone knows, handmade products are not always perfect. As such, when we make mistakes, we print corrections on this page and update stories online (with an attendant notification).
Our goals are—and always have been—accuracy, fairness, and transparency, especially at a time when these things can feel in short supply. We truly hope to never fall shy of those intentions, but if something seems wrong to you, let us know so we can make it right.