In 2005, former journalist and digital media pioneer Fabrice Florin founded NewsTrust, a nonprofit online news service that aims to restore public trust in journalism. NewsTrust creates a daily feed of top-rated news stories and opinions drawn from mainstream and independent media. Readers and staff review these stories for accuracy, fairness, sourcing, and context. Reviewers themselves are also scored based on their performance, experience, and transparency.
The NewsTrust website features several online tools, including Truthsquad, a community fact-checking project, and MyNews, a filter that helps readers find the news stories that interest them. NewsTrust also engages in regular News Hunts, a scavenger hunt of sorts for the best—and the worst—reporting in a given area or on a particular issue. For these News Hunts, NewsTrust has partnered with news organizations and universities, including the Washington Post, PBS NewsHour, PolitiFact, Huffington Post, Scientific American, and Stanford University. Topics for News Hunts have ranged from Pakistan to education to John McCain. For a News Hunt on immigration, for example, hosted with USA Today, NewsTrust reviewed more than 170 stories related to immigration and posted 684 reviews. On its blog, NewsTrust posted its top-rated immigration stories and also highlighted news and opinion that it found to be “particularly superficial, biased or irresponsible on this topic.”
Says Florin, “The explosion of new media outlets on the web, along with the consolidation of big media and the decline of public trust, have created a range of problems for democracy: information overload, misinformation, mistrust and civic apathy. NewsTrust offers a practical solution to these problems, by providing the public with online tools to filter news reporting, evaluate information quality and share trusted content with other citizens.”