Hi! Thanks for visiting my portfolio. My name is Emily Berch, and I'm a freelance fact-checker. Last year, I graduated from Iowa State University, where I was a national merit scholar and a peer mentor in the journalism school. I also served as the editor in chief of our campus newspaper, the Iowa State Daily, where I received two awards from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association for breaking news coverage.
I'm passionate about holding government officials accountable, specifically regarding issues affecting the impoverished and the houseless. I'm experienced with FOIA requests, and I try to ground my work in public records whenever possible to ensure total accuracy. I also strive to make my reporting accessible to all affected communities so it can bring real change.
On this website, you'll find some examples of how I've done that in the past by breaking down City Council decisions and contextualizing breaking news. You'll also find some of my favorite fact-checking, multi-media, and editing projects. I'm always searching for new, creative ways to inform my community, and if you think I could do that with your organization, I hope you reach out!
- While at the Iowa State Daily, I received a golden circle award from the Columbia Scholastic Press Assocation for leading a team of reporters to cover a white supremacist's visit to our campus. I also received a certificate of merit for my coverage of Student Senate attempting to remove a Student Government official.
- I have done general news reporting both at the Iowa State Daily and The Nation. I've highlighted the relationship between energy infrastructure and disaster responses, investigated student-tenant relationships, and contextualized why the secretary of state made a "recruiting trip" to Iowa.
- I have also been able to use this reporting to write columns and editorials about issues such as student housing and health care.
- During my term as editor in chief of the Iowa State Daily, I redesigned our campus newsletter, which I packaged and sent to all Iowa State students, faculty, and staff every weekday.
- While serving as politics editor, I initiated a project with the student life desk about sexuality and intimacy. The series, for which I was the lead editor, is now used by campus counseling services.
- For The Nation, I have fact checked every section of our print magazine, including features on foreign policy and housing, investigations about the Department of Education and Bill Gates's philanthropy, book reviews, and columns.
- As a freelancer, I've checked pieces for Vox and The Intercept.
- I also check mini-documenatries for Field of Vision and have worked on one feature-length documentary for hbomberguy.