The Trust Project begins with the user. Listening to the people who love, hate or ignore the news allows us to break through old ways of thinking and truly address user needs. Here’s what we’ve been hearing:

“How did this story get built? Who did it come from? Who are your readers?”
Rodale, 29

“I like transparency. With a cat video now and then.”
Hossannah, 38

“I’m suspicious. I curate my own news.”
Alexandria, 39

Based on in-depth interviews with users, senior news executives in the Trust Project consortium built a list of indicators of trustworthy news.

Collaborators from 20 news organizations reviewed these indicators and selected a priority set of eight Trust Indicators, which we call the Trust Protocol, at our Trust Project Summit in New York. Dozens more senior executives then worked together to create editorial definitions and build an international industry standard for transparency.

Here’s the report:


We invite your comments on the full set of candidate Trust Indicators and the core set of eight now in use.


Just click on the card showing each need or indicator to offer your ideas about:

The menu on the right of the open card also allows you to vote your approval of the indicator or tool.

The indicators and related tools are coded by potential application: Corporate or site-wide, article-level or journalist-level.

You can also comment via email to Thanks for contributing.

Behind the Scenes

We continue to refine the Trust Protocol, as you can see in these Behind the Scenes slideshows.

Citations and References Design Sprint (Washington Post, 2017)

Users repeatedly told us that they wanted to know more about the sources behind a given news story. Plain links weren’t enough. At a design sprint hosted by The Washington Post, our news partners played with easy-to-spot, easy-to-implement designs to show more.


Trust Project Prototypes (London, November 2016)

We knew we wanted to build trust through our Trust Indicators, but what would that look like? At our Design Day with the Society for News Design at CUNY (now the Craig Newmark School of Journalism), collaborators gathered from around the world to test concepts that responded to specific user wants and needs.

Open Trust Protocol

The Trust Project Badge

Trust Project System
Live Prototype
English Translation

Transparency Widgets

Crowd Trust



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Presentation and Prototype