What do they say it is?
“NewsTrust.net helps people find good journalism online.
Our non-profit, non-partisan project provides quality news feeds, news literacy tools and a trust network to help citizens make informed decisions about democracy.
The free NewsTrust.net website features daily feeds of quality news and opinions, which are carefully rated by our members, using our unique review tools. We rate the news based on quality, not just popularity. NewsTrust reviewers evaluate each article against core journalistic principles such as fairness, evidence, sourcing and context.”
What do I say it is?
It is a social news website. NewsTrust gathers news feeds that are evaluated and ranked by its users, to establish the credibility of those sources. It features blogs, magazines, tvs, radios, all of them scrutinized by regular readers, that assess if Is this good journalism?”
A sort of Michelin guide for news media.
What’s great about it?
Users get the chance to review their news sources, and compare their quality. They input their analysis through a very complete form: it includes rating parameters like trust, fairness, sources and context; there’s also a space to cross reference the news stories with other sources, and users can even leave their suggestions to improve articles, as long they support their ideas with facts.
One of their goals is to fight civic apathy, and making people question what they are being fed to is a good way to do that. The moral principles of NewsTrust are high, and they present themselves as a part of the solution for resolving media/users trust issues.
People in charge of NewsTrust are experienced, reputable professionals, which gives extra credibility to the project.
What could be better?
Not much, but it’s very USA oriented, and that may not be even a downside. It’s still a beta version, though bugs were not found. It all seems transparent and rather simple, really.
How is it going to make money?
In their own words: “Founded in 2005 and based in Mill Valley, California, NewsTrust is a non-profit, non-partisan project funded through grants and private donations and sponsored by The Global Center, an educational foundation based in Manhattan. So far, we have received support from foundations such as the Sunshine Foundation, Ayrshire, Mitch Kapor and Tides Foundations, as well as private donors such as Craig Newmark (Craigslist) and Doug Carlston (Public Radio International). We’re also discussing multi-year funding with several major foundations – as well as partnerships with national news providers. Though we are nonprofit and initially funded through donations, we plan to run the venture as a sustainable business, and to generate revenue in the online market to support this project. Revenue streams include advertising, memberships, licensing and ecommerce.”
Should I pay it any attention?
NewsTrust is a solid project that works both ways: users challenge the quality of journalism being made, and news companies and journalists have a reference to improve and become more trustworthy. It asks both for better readers and better news.