Trinity Mirror and The Economist have joined 75 news organisations around the world by including new “Trust Indicators” on their websites which could help Google and Facebook identify quality journalism.
Between them the two web giants account for most traffic to news websites.
They have both pledged their support to help promote the news industry, but at the same time they are also starving publishers of revenue by hoovering most online advertising.
The Trust Project could be one way of helping tech platforms distinguish professionally-produced content from other material online.
The Trust Indicators have been developed by Sally Lerhman at US-based Santa Clara University’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.
Lehrman said: “In today’s digitised and socially networked world, it’s harder than ever to tell what’s accurate reporting, advertising, or even misinformation.
“An increasingly skeptical public wants to know the expertise, enterprise and ethics behind a news story. The Trust Indicators put tools into people’s hands, giving them the means to assess whether news comes from a credible source they can depend on.”
The Trust Indicators are expandable information buttons on stories which reveal information such as:
- Standards: Who funds the outlet, what is its ‘mission’
- Author expertise: Details about the journalist who wrote the stotry
- Type of work: Labels to distinguish opinion from analysis and advertiser content
- Citations and references
- Details about methods used
- Locally sourced?
- Haymarket Media and the BBC are also said to be involved in the Trust
- Project which has funding from Google and the Craig Newmark
- Philanthropic Fund.
Google, Facebook, Bing and Twitter have all agreed to use the indicators and
are said to be “investigating and piloting ideas about how to best to use them to surface and display quality journalism”.
Publishers interested in adopting Trust Indicators should email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information