NewsTrust helps people find good journalism online, so they can make more informed decisions as citizens. 

We're nonprofit, nonpartisan, and committed to news literacy and civic engagement. Our social news network features a daily feed of quality news and opinions from mainstream and independent sources, based on ratings from our reviewers. Our web review tools enable the public to evaluate accuracy, fairness, context and other core journalistic principles -- and help people become more discriminating news consumers in the process. We also rate our reviewers based on performance, to increase the reliability of our reviews and help them grow their own news literacy. To find out more, check our site:

NewsTrust has attracted a growing community of journalists, educators and citizens, who share a passion for quality news and information, serving over a million visitors last year. Our media partners include The Washington Post, PBS NewsHour, the Huffington Post and Scientific American -- and our educational partners include Stanford University, Stony Brook and the University of Nevada, to name but a few.

NewsTrust's Executive Director is Fabrice Florin, a former journalist and a digital media pioneer at Apple and Macromedia. Our team includes a select group of award-winning journalists, technologists and community organizers -- with advisors such as Dan Gillmor, Craig Newmark, Howard Rheingold and other media innovators from organizations like the Associated Press, Google, the Poynter Institute and Stanford University.

Founded in 2005 and based in Mill Valley, California, NewsTrust is funded through grants and private donations. The MacArthur Foundation is our main funder and has awarded two multi-year grants to support NewsTrust's online credibility service. Other funding sources include Ashoka, Ayrshire Foundation, Mitch Kapor Foundation, Sunlight Foundation and Tides Foundation, as well as Google and private donors such as Craig Newmark (Craigslist) and Doug Carlston (Public Radio International). Though we are nonprofit, we aim to run a sustainable business, and plan to generate revenue from online sponsorships, memberships, licensing and partner services to support this project in coming years.

For more information about NewsTrust, view our About page:



Our collaborative evaluation system is more effective for evaluating quality information than other social news sites like Digg.

Here are some key differences between our services:
* we rate journalistic quality, not just popularity
* we track ratings for each publication in our source reputation database
* we feature stories from our most trusted sources in our daily listings
* citizens using our tools can assess news quality as well as professionals
* our multiple-rating evaluations are more reliable than single ratings

To discourage gaming, we offer these preventive measures:
* reviewers are identified by their real names
* we rate our reviewers based on the quality of their work
* our reviewers' ratings are weighted based on their own member level
* member levels are based on activity, experience, ratings and transparency


NewsTrust organizes regular News Hunts for good journalism on important public issues, in partnership with leading news providers and journalism schools. Our partners so far include leading media organizations like the Washington Post, PBS's NewsHourScientific AmericanHuffington Post and the Council on Foreign Relations -- as well as educational organizations like Stanford UniversityNortheasternUniversity of Nevada and Arizona State University

A News Hunt is a bit like a scavenger hunt for quality information. For each News Hunt, we invite our partner communities to join forces with us, and review hundreds of stories in weeklong searches for good journalism on topics like the Economy, the Environment, the Middle East, and Education. Participants typically include news professionals, content experts, concerned citizens, educators and students, all using the NewsTrust review tools for this common quest. At the end of each News Hunt, we collectively recommend the best news coverage on that topic, based on ratings from your community and ours. 

Our News Hunts have helped hundreds of thousands of people become more discriminating news consumers this year -- empowering them to make more informed decisions as citizens. By focusing on factual evidence and constructive dialog, we hope NewsTrust can bring Americans closer together -- and broaden their perspective about journalism and democracy.  

Partnering with NewsTrust can help the public develop a better appreciation for quality news and opinion -- and support the core journalistic and civic values we stand for. 

Here are some of the News Hunts we have organized recently:
Climate Change (Link TV)
Lobbyists (Washington Post's WhoRunsGov)
Psychology (Miller-McCune)
Health Care (Huffington Post's Eyes & Ears)
Afghanistan (WNET's WorldFocus)
Pakistan (Huffington Post and Eyes & Ears)
Obama's First Hundred Days (PolitiFact and U. of Nevada)
Black Experience (PBS, Tavis Smiley and U. of Santa-Clara)
Money (Consumers Union + Stanford
Bush Legacy (Washington Post)
Economy (NewsHourPBS and University of Nevada)
Immigration (New America Media)
Presidential Election (PBS Engage and P.O.V.)
Media and Politics (Poynter Institute and PolitiFact)
John McCain (Huffington Post and OffTheBus)
Internet/Digital Natives (Frontline and Stanford University)
Middle East (CFR.orgGlobal Voices, and LinkTV)
Environment (Scientific American and University of Nevada)

We are discussing more partnerships with major new providers and journalism schools in 2009. We work with our partners to find the best coverage on important issues like Energy, Health Care, Human Rights, or about any topic that they think will interest their community. We also invite them to add our top-rated news widgets on their sites, where they can act as a scoreboard for our joint News Hunts. We have widgets for dozens of hot news topics (e.g.: Barack Obama, Global Warming, War in Iraq), as well as for hundreds of sources and members featured on our site, and they're a great way to strengthen our partnerships:

Our partners typically promote our News Hunts to their communities -- and announce them prominently on their sites, blogs and email newsletters, at the start of each week. Many of them also participate actively as a reviewers, submitters and creators of quality journalism on the News Hunt's chosen topic. NewsTrust manages the projects and provides most of the legwork for these News Hunts. 

You can find more about previous News Hunts on our blog:

On Dec 12, 2009, at 6:54 AM, Brian McNeil wrote:

Okay, I've set up an account on NewsTrust[1], reviewed a couple of
articles they've selected, and tested Bawolff's addition to the social
bookmarks template

[1] http://newstrust.net/members/brian-mcneil
[2] http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Template:Social_bookmarks

On Fri, 2009-12-11 at 23:41 -0400, bawolff wrote:
Interesting stuff. As an initial first step, I added a newstrust
button to the {{Social bookmarks}} template. Its somewhat in the
background right now. We might perhaps consider a bigger, "review this
article" button later if we really want to push this. (Their review a
story button also has the option to add what categories the article
falls in, but I haven't added that part as its not used in their basic
button, and its unclear if its really used (And its somewhat more
complicated to do, as i can't do it directly via template) If we want
that i can do it later.)

If someone else has signed up on NewsTrust I would be interested to see
what they get if they click the review button on the article I submitted
for review (protest against Lockheed Marten). Will this cause duplicate
submissions or match up with my prior submission? I did find getting a
submission in a little tricky; had to fiddle a few forms to get the
article in categories. As disclosure, I put myself as co-author on the
article because of extensive copyedit before I reviewed and published.

Thanks, bawolff, that's wonderful!

Brian, to answer your question above, clicking on our NT review button on a story that has already been submitted will take you directly to our review form.

So if you click on our NT button below this story:

... you are taken directly to our review form:

For having credibility ratings next to the source, sounds like a cool
idea (at the very least for a gadget, having it global would require
some careful consideration + potential privacy issues would need to be
looked at), but I can't see anyway of getting such information off
their site. The best i could find was a way of getting the last couple
articles that a specific source published, and the ratings for those,
but i did not see any way of getting the overall rating of a source,
or the specific rating of an article.

Amusingly, it seems NewsTrust relies a lot on Wikipedia for the basic
description of their sources, well, at least they did for Wikinews. That
*should* be good news as sources are likely to be listed with the same

Yeah, we figured we might as well leverage all the good work that's being done at Wikipedia, rather than reinvent the wheel ;o)

Before we start trying to do that there's a few points to raise.
I've CC'd Cary for input on the big question; privacy policy
repercussions. Here's what we've got to work with [3], and NewsTrust's
in-development policy[4].

[3] http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Privacy_policy
[4] http://newstrust.net/about/privacy

Considering you explicitly have to sign up to NewsTrust to identify
yourself this seems much better than your average news site with loads
of embedded adverts.

What else. I think we should re-model the flagged revisions reader
feedback into some better design, perhaps inspired by newstrust.
(flagged revs reader feedback module in its current form, sucks. a

You'll get zero argument from me on that; is the review element getting
any flack on the Strategy wiki? It would be far, far better if users
were asked to review in a friendlier form (say a collapsed "Review this
article"). Better yet if that can actually be moved around the article
with a {{flagged review}} template. Within that it would be great if we
can pull up any NewsTrust rating, as well as readers submit a review to

My general concern is the idea ending up shot down because we could have
to share readers' IP details with NewsTrust. As it stands, use in
{{social bookmarking}} requires the user actively click on the NewsTrust
logo. As I understand it, quite a few projects have been very happy to
steal that template from us.

I've had encouraging feedback off-list about tying into NewsTrust's
source rating system. Here's how I see us using this:

{{source}}[5] is modified to have an optional "|NT" parameter. Where
present, the URL for the cited source is checked for on NewsTrust, the
story rating is retrieved, and a (likely smaller than NT uses) graphic
of their trust level for the story is displayed somewhere. If NewsTrust
doesn't have the story, the ideal is to fall back to their trust level
for the source that published the story. Here we're going to run into
the usual headaches with wire reports that are everywhere and end up
cited as published by Ya-who?

This is where I need Cary, or some other Foundation person's input. If
trust metrics are retrieved and displayed on-the-fly we either need to
make the reader's browser fetch them, or retrieve them periodically and
store locally. The latter has issues with keeping data current and
reflecting someone's review if they go over to NewsTrust and apply one.

We would be very happy to support any efforts along these lines, and are delighted that you find them worthwhile.

[5] http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Template:Source

What's likely to be most interesting about having a play with NewsTrust
is how the "levels" of their reputation system go. As Fabrice explained
to me, the entry level only asks simple questions on how you rate an
article. As you build your personal reputation as a news reviewer you
are asked for more details. What this led me to conclude is that
whatever segment of their reviewer populace has an interest in writing
might be enticed to try doing so on Wikinews; they'll certainly be the
sort of critical thinkers we could benefit from.

Now, I pointed Fabrice at the writing contest[6]. I would be very
interested in getting the NewsTrust community to review the rules we're
running by (the ever-popular "anyone can edit" including, at the moment,
the competition rules). It may be possible to do some collaboration on
that. NewsTrust could feature our competition a few days before the
start, Wikinews invites readers not in the competition to look at
ratings on NewsTrust and possibly contribute their own.

We are very happy to support your contest in any way we can, using the current NewsTrust review tools.

But we will let you guys decide how you want to calculate the final scores and award the prizes, as this is a bit outside of our area of expertise. 

[6] http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/WN:WWC-2010

NewsTrust, I think, would be an ideal group to bring in on the
post-competition Featured Article section. That is, all competition
entries scanned for FA candidates on Wikinews, and in some way
highlighted for review on NewsTrust. At the moment my penned-in idea
there is to invite some of the WMF Trustees (a few have journo
backgrounds) to get involved in that. The big question is, will offering
just five points for an article that gets promoted be enough of a
game-changer at that stage? Should it be higher - say 20 points?

I didn't ask Fabrice if they could help out with sponsorship for prizes,
so we're still begging for that. Anyone think it would be worth asking
on the Wikipedia rewards board if a few of the people who put cash up
there might chip together to have a netbook for the outright winner?

Our financial resources are limited, but we could perhaps give away NewsTrust mugs to the winners, if they were selected using our review tools.

The mugs have a list of the core principles of journalism on the back, so they offer more value than just promoting us  ;o)

As far as the competition goes, few things seem needed first. A
{{WWC-2010 entry}} template with associated categories. I think we need
to start having [[Category:Writer <username>]] hidden categories, and a
userpage template to display them. I suspect if collaborating with
NewsTrust we could get them to add a category for comp. entries so
people can track it on their site.

Brian McNeil <brian.mcneil@wikinewsie.org>|http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Brian_McNeil
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