News with integrity

We all think we can tell the difference
between opinion, advertising and accurate news.
But how do we really know?

Who we are

The Trust Project, a consortium of top news companies led by award-winning journalist Sally Lehrman, is developing transparency standards that help you easily assess the quality and credibility of journalism.

Our launch partners include the The Economist, The Globe and Mail, the Independent Journal Review, Mic, Italy’s La Repubblica and La Stampa, and The Washington Post.

Search engines and social media companies are external partners.

Our Trust Indicators are based on interviews with real people who told us what they value in news and when they trust it. We’re hosted by Santa Clara University’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics in Silicon Valley.

What we do

Over two years, Trust Project researchers interviewed people in the U.S. and Europe to find out what’s important to them when it comes to news.

It turns out they don’t just want to weed out imposters.They want to know who wrote or produced a story, what expertise they have, and whether the publisher has an agenda. Transparency matters.

Lehrman took the research and invited top news leaders around the world to build a digital standard that meets people’s needs: the Trust Indicators.

What are the Trust Indicators?

The Trust Indicators are standardized disclosures that provide clarity on a news organization’s ethics
and other standards for fairness and accuracy, a journalist’s background, and the work behind a news story.
More than 75 news organizations collaborated to create them.

They are the first to give search engines and social media platforms the consistent technical standards
they need to surface quality news.

Our tech partners, who are investigating ways to use the Trust Indicators to surface and display
quality journalism, include Google, Facebook, Bing and Twitter.

These sites are the first to display
and test the Trust Indicators.
We aim to restore the trusted
role of the press in civic life.
We will strive to provide:

Truthful, verified news and information
in a context that gives
them meaning.

Stories, information and ideas
that reflect diverse types of communities
and their interests and views.

Forums for civil exchanges and
greater understanding of various viewpoints,
with fairness in mind.

And a platform to uphold the
public’s interest, which includes holding
the powerful accountable and shining
a light in unexpected places.

The Trust Project’s initial funder was Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist, as part of the Trustworthy Journalism Initiative of Craig Newmark Philanthropies. Google was an early financial supporter as well. The project is also funded by the Democracy Fund, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the Markkula Foundation.