About us

Trust matters. In a confusing world flooded with misinformation, principled journalism must step forward and earn the public trust.

Our Mission

To amplify journalism’s commitment to transparency, accuracy, inclusion and fairness so that the public can make informed news choices.

Our History

Our journey started when Sally Lehrman began asking why technology couldn’t support news trustworthiness and integrity instead of driving it down. But what does “trustworthy” really mean? The Trust Project set off on in-depth interviews asking people what they valued in news, when they trusted it, and when they didn’t. Now, with hundreds of news partners and alignment with leading digital platforms, The Trust Project leads the way in news transparency with our globally recognized Trust Indicators.

The Trust Project’s guiding principles stem from those developed in 1947 by the Hutchins Commission. During that era, just as in our time, the public held a deep suspicion of the press. The Hutchins Principles spell out the commitments a free and responsible press must live by.

Trust Project News Partners strive to provide:

  • Truthful, verified news and information in a context that gives them meaning
  • Forums for civil exchanges and greater understanding of various viewpoints, with fairness in mind
  • Stories, information and ideas that reflect diverse types of communities and their interests and views

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

Trust Project News Partners abide by the above principles and display the 8 Trust Indicators, which incorporate a commitment to:

  • Fairness and accuracy. Publishing corrections or clarifications as promptly as possible.
  • Disclosures that explain our mission, source(s) of funding and the organization behind us.
  • Insight into our methods and where we get our information.
  • A diversity of voices and perspectives.
  • Opportunities for public engagement.

Together and individually, the 8 Trust Indicators show who and what is behind a news story so people can easily assess for themselves whether it comes from a credible source.

Sally Lehrman speaking at scoopcamp 2018, Hamburg, Germany.
Credit: Laura Mueller Photography for next Media.Hamburg

Our Values

  • Authority: We base our work on research, evidence and the core ideals of journalism.
  • Authenticity: We are truthful and follow strict standards.
  • Transparency: We are open, honest and accessible. We Illuminate, not obfuscate, and admit our mistakes.
  • Inclusivity: Our work keeps a diverse public at its center.
  • Fairness: Our work is impartial and respectful of differences.
  • Reliability: We are consistent — and can be counted on.

Our Impact

Research, both live and in experimental settings, has found that the Trust Indicators earn trust and meet user needs. Across two surveys, Reach Plc (UK) found that trust in its flagship outlet, The Mirror, jumped eight percent after it added the Trust Indicators to its site. An experiment at UT-Austin’s Center for Media Engagement found higher evaluations of a news organization’s reputation, including trustworthiness and reliability, when the Trust Indicators were present. In both of these studies, confidence in the individual journalist was higher as well.

For more information, see our FAQs

Our People

Our Team / The Trust Project Team
Leadership / Sally Lehrman
Board / The Trust Project Board
Our Network Council / News Leadership Council
Our Advisors / The Trust Project Advisors
Volunteers / The Trust Project Working Groups

Our Financials

Form 990 / 2021 / 2020 / 2019 / 2018

Together and individually, the 8 Trust Indicators show who and what is behind a news story so people can easily assess for themselves whether it comes from a credible source.

Join our Cause

If you’re a news organization and want to join the Trust Project, use this form to let us know. Learn our requirements in our Resources section.

If you are not a member of the media and appreciate the work we are doing at The Trust Project, follow us on social and share #TheTrustProject with your peers.

Join The Trust Project / #TheTrustProject

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