Major Effort to Increase Trust in News Achieves Widespread Adoption

October 9, 2018

SANTA CLARA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct 9, 2018--In a concerted fight against online misinformation, 20 leading news organizations have joined the Trust Project’s efforts to increase transparency and trust in the news media, extending the reach of the global network’s Trust Indicators to 217 million people a month.

As the result of this major expansion, today more than 120 news sites around the world are showing the public the Project’s Trust Indicators – the first transparency standard for news that helps people easily recognize the commitments and expertise behind trustworthy journalism. Like nutritional labels, the Trust Indicators are offered by newsrooms to provide clarity on who and what is behind a news story so that people can easily assess whether it comes from a credible source.

Research, both live and in experimental settings, has found that the Trust Indicators meet user needs. Across two surveys, Reach Plc (UK) found that trust in its flagship outlet, The Mirror, jumped eight percent after it added the Trust Indicators to its site. An experiment at UT-Austin’s Center for Media Engagement found higher evaluations of a news organization’s reputation, including its trustworthiness and reliability, when the Trust Indicators were present.

“Today’s internet readers get their information from a multitude of sources, often without knowing anything about the provider. News organizations need to make it as easy as possible for readers to understand their values and credibility,” said Ann Gripper, executive editor of The Mirror. “Our research shows that readers do care about the people and brand providing their news – and giving them that information increases their trust. We are proud of our journalism and the Trust Indicators have helped our readers understand why.”

Adding to Trust Project’s momentum are new uses of the Trust Indicators by partners in the technology sector. Google, Bing, Facebook, Nuzzel, PEN America and NewsGuard are using them to surface, display or better label journalism on their platforms.

Founded by award-winning journalist Sally Lehrman, the Trust Project is hosted by Santa Clara University’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics. It is funded by Craig Newmark Philanthropies, Google, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Democracy Fund and the Markkula Foundation.

“The Trust Indicators are gaining traction as the global industry standard for transparency among newsrooms and beyond,” Lehrman said. “The U.S. elections draw into sharp relief a global issue: the need for credible, honest and accurate news is more urgent than ever. Now, with the Trust Project’s growth, millions of people can use the Trust Indicators and feel secure they can recognize the trustworthy stories that journalists produce every day.”

While each Indicator is visible to users on the pages of the Project’s news partners, it is also embedded in the article and site code for machines to read – providing the first, standardized technical language that offers contextual information about news sites’ commitments to transparency.

“We’re pleased to see hundreds of news sites move forward with the Trust Indicators. Transparency is important to building trust and trust is important to building engagement. It is gratifying to see the research by Reach prove those points,” said Richard Gingras, vice president of News at Google. “The Trust Indicators are valuable to assess the relative authoritativeness of news organizations and authors. We’re looking forward to developing new ways to use the indicators.”

When Facebook launched its process to index news Pages, they worked with the Trust Project to make it easy for any publisher to add optional information about their Page, such as links to fact-checking, ethics and corrections policies, which are all part of the “Best Practices” Trust Indicator.

“We turned to the Trust Project as a resource to help inform our approach,” said Mollie Vandor, product manager at Facebook. “The research that went into the Trust Indicators gave us a solid starting point for this work. We plan to continue working with the Trust Project to explore different ways of displaying this information, so people can have a better understanding of the news they see on Facebook.”

The additional news partners more than double the number of existing news organizations implementing the Trust Indicators. In the United States and Canada, the Trust Indicators can now be seen on sites hosted by the Bay Area News Group, CBC News, Heavy.com, The Toronto Star, TEGNA, Voice of Orange County, The Walrus and the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism; and in Europe, on those of Corriere della Sera (Italy), El Pais (Spain), Il Sole 24 Ore. (Italy), Kathimerini (Greece), Orb Media (International), SciDev.Net (International), and SkyNews (United Kingdom). Companies in the process of showing Trust Indicators include Canadian Press, FRONTLINE PBS (U.S.), El Mundo (Spain), Star Tribune (U.S.) and Zeit Online (Germany).

For more information, visit thetrustproject.org/news18

View source version on businesswire.com:https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20181009005720/en/

CONTACT: Santa Clara University

Deborah Lohse, 408-554-5121




SOURCE: Santa Clara University

Copyright Business Wire 2018.

PUB: 10/09/2018 09:28 AM/DISC: 10/09/2018 09:28 AM


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