Some degree of perfectionism turns out to be good for business, and absolute perfectionism can prevent great journalism from ever happening at all. (…) And the audience remains uncertain about what standards to apply: Twitter addicts are far more forgiving of mistakes than, say, subscribers to print newspapers, or readers of The New Yorker. In every newsroom I visited, The New Yorker’s iconic fact-checking system was mentioned, not so much as an ideal, but more like an impossible standard that no mere mortals could reach. Despite the difficult advertising climate, The New Yorker still employs full-time staff checkers to verify every assertion in each piece. For an article I wrote last year, the magazine assigned two checkers who devoted much of their time to the story for more than five months. Each set of checks opened new avenues for reporting, immensely strengthening the story. From the perspective of a newspaper guy, the experience seemed to take place on a different planet from where I ordinarily live.