Lesson #1: People finding and backgrounding

August 29th, 2008 by Jack Styczynski

Points of emphasis for critical thinking:

  1. People—whether witnesses to an incident or experts on a subject—should be one of your first thoughts as a source of information on ANYTHING.
  2. Why do you need to talk to experts?  Authority, accuracy, balance and CREDIBILITY.
  3. That said, never trust any person—no matter who it is—as your sole source of information, even about him or her self…and sometimes ESPECIALLY about him or her self (e.g. people lying about their age).  Always verify!
  4. Backgrounding people is crucial.  For example, you never want to write a friendly story about someone, only to be burned by not doing proper backgrounding.
  5. Last but not least: there’s some information generated about people that won’t be available.  As an example, consider Presidential candidates.  What information about them is released only at their discretion?

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