Perspectives

Bloomberg’s White House Correspondent Says Fact-Checking is Important


Posted on:

< < Back to

While White House reporters often are given releases and official statements by the President or his staff, it is more important than ever to vet the facts and go through a rather thorough fact checking process before publishing the material, says Toluse Olorunnipa, one of Bloomberg News’ six White House correspondents.
In the competitive White House journalism environment, Olorunnipa says it is important to be first with a story and beat other news organizations but it is more important to be accurate.
Bloomberg often will quote what the President says and then also note the facts as determined from other official sources.
Many of his media colleagues often quote unidentified sources or anonymous sources as a result of leaks. However, at Bloomberg, Olorunnipa is not permitted to quote an unidentified source.
Therefore, all of his material that is quoted must be “on the record” comments from officials. A similar policy is in place at the Associated Press but not so at the Washington Post or the New York Times.
In addition to regular reporting from the West Wing, Bloomberg correspondents have the additional responsibility to be one of three permanent members of the press pool that covers all of the President’s activities. They join Reuters and the Associated Press and provide extensive pool coverage of all the President’s moves and comments.
Olorunnipa believes that the news media would have greater credibility if the public actually knew how the news process operates and the myriad of checks, balances, and ethical considerations reporters and editors go through to produce the news.
In short, he is an advocate for more transparency in the news process.
In addition to his regular reporting duties, Olorunnipa also says it is part of his responsibility to appear on various television, cable and radio news programs to discuss the news of the day or a particular story. He says Bloomberg News expects its reporters to participate in those other media options.
Olorunnipa has covered the White House for Bloomberg since 2015 under both President Barack Obama and President Trump. Before that he was stationed in Florida covering breaking news in the South for Bloomberg.