In this moment of uncertainty across the world, the public is especially vulnerable to misleading and inflammatory information posing as news. Today, 33 top news sites run by seven news companies join the Trust Project to help people easily recognize the real thing.
The incoming news partners extend the Trust Project’s reach in the United States, Canada, Spain and Hong Kong, making its transparency standard, the Trust Indicators, available on more than 200 news sites to hundreds of millions of people a month. Participating news sites offer standardized disclosures about who and what is behind a news story, enabling people to cut through the noise and make informed decisions about what to read and share.
“We are proud of the hard work and commitment to the public shown by our incoming news partners,” said Sally Lehrman, founder and chief executive of the Trust Project. “As the Trust Project expands and more news sites adopt the Trust Indicators, now a globally accepted standard, we can slow the spread of false and misleading news and amplify the valuable journalism produced by reputable news organizations across the world.”
The Trust Indicators are implemented by news sites that go through a rigorous approval and compliance process. The March 2020 launch includes major international, regional, local and independent organizations.
The South China Morning Post is the first Trust Project news partner in Asia. FRONTLINE, the flagship investigative documentary series of the Public Broadcasting Service, produced at WGBH, is the first public broadcast program to feature the Trust Indicators.
CTV News and the National Observer extend the Trust Indicators to every province in Canada. Cambio 16, a current affairs magazine published in Madrid, strengthens the Trust Indicators’ presence in Europe – home to one quarter of the Trust Project’s news partners. Additional newcomers include the Southern California News Group and the Denver Post, which reach important local U.S. markets.
Search engines and social media companies extend the Trust Project’s benefits to the public and news sites by using the Trust Indicators to surface reliable news. As part of its expansion, the Trust Project is announcing $325,000 in a new round of funding from Google. Google joins Trust Project funders Craig Newmark Philanthropies, the Democracy Fund, Facebook, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
“We are grateful to Google for its continued support of the Trust Project as the need for facts and accurate information becomes more critical than ever,” Lehrman said. “Without reliable news and information, democracy is at risk.” Lehrman, an award-winning journalist, founded the Trust Project to help news sites with integrity flourish and fulfill their vital role as the engine of civil society and democracy.
The Project’s Trust Indicators, easily recognized anywhere, are both public-facing and the technical standard for quality journalism. “We’re pleased to continue our support of the Trust Project and its ethically-grounded standard for transparency in news,” said Richard Gingras, vice president for news at Google. “The Trust Project’s required disclosures and clear definitions should help the public – and Google’s systems – recognize and value quality journalism. Google appreciates the work of the Trust Project as a knowledgeable advisor to the news and tech industries on the topic of surfacing reliable news across many dimensions.”
Gingras says the Trust Indicators can be helpful in guiding Google’s own internal evaluations of the quality of search results. They are a component in Facebook’s context button, which helps people see who and what is behind a story shared with them. Bing also uses the Trust Indicators to differentiate between news and opinion and display these to users. The three technology companies use Lehrman and the Trust Project consortium as an expert advisor in their effort to elevate accurate, dependable news in search and social media.
The Trust Indicators were created by listening closely to the public and then inviting senior news executives from more than 100 organizations to collaborate on connecting user needs and wants to the underpinnings of journalistic integrity. The Trust Indicators include: Best Practices. Journalist Expertise, Type of Work Labels, References, Methods, Locally Sourced, Diverse Voices, and Actionable Feedback.
For more information on each Trust Indicator, visit the Trust Project FAQ.