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#TrustedJournalism Trust Indicators

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trusted journalism.

“I pledge to support democracy, fight disinformation and check who and what is behind a news story before sharing it on social media.”

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    Learn the 8 Trust Indicators

    Los 8 Indicadores de Confianza Descargar

    How do you know which news stories you can trust? The 8 Trust Indicators below will help you decide. Click the plus sign (+) below to learn more about each indicator.

    Expertise: The journalist is an expert
    We receive news from other people – we are rarely there to see events in the news for ourselves. So we rely on the journalist to give us accurate information about what happened. It is important for the journalist to base what they say on solid evidence, careful reporting and strict standards.

    Questions to Ask:
    Who made this? Do they have a good professional reputation? Are they reporting on an area they normally focus on?
    Labels: The purpose of the story is clear
    It’s important to know the purpose – why this was written – so we can see whether it is affected by bias. For example, if it is an advertisement, or if it was paid for by an organization that’s trying to communicate a particular message, then it is supposed to persuade us to have a certain opinion. If it’s journalism, it’s meant to help us develop our own opinions.

    Questions to Ask:
    Why has this been created? Does this have a clear opinion, or is it impartial? Is this sponsored, or is it advertising something? Is the purpose clearly indicated?
    References: You can find and access the sources
    When a journalist is writing a news story, they might use information from lots of different places, such as people’s personal accounts of what happened, or official reports. The places where a journalist gets their information are called sources. When a journalist shows their sources, we can check for ourselves whether they are reliable and accurate.

    Questions to Ask
    What’s the source? For investigative, in-depth, or controversial stories, do we have access to the sources behind the claims? Can you find another source to back up what is being said?
    Local: The journalist uses local knowledge
    If a journalist knows and lives in the community they are reporting on, they can explain an event or issue more accurately. If they were there and speak to others who were there too, they will get the most up-to-date knowledge and learn how the event or issue is affecting people. This results in a more accurate report about what happened.

    Questions to Ask
    Was the reporting done with deep knowledge about the local situation or community? Was the journalist on the scene? Does the story let you know when the news sources are local?
    Diversity: The story brings in many kinds of people
    If certain voices or experiences are missing from the news, then we are unlikely to get the full picture. Voices less commonly heard in society due to their race, class, generation, gender, sexual orientation or the region they live in may be left out of the news so it’s important that journalists seek them out.

    Questions to Ask
    What are the newsroom’s efforts and commitments to bring in diverse perspectives? Are some communities included only in stereotypical ways, or even completely missing?
    Actionable Feedback: The news organization allows readers to participate
    Sometimes the journalist might have it wrong or have an incomplete picture. Inviting and listening to public feedback means that journalists can make sure their work is accurate and up to date. The public might also help them find important news worth talking about.

    Questions to Ask
    Can we participate? Can we give feedback? Does the news site invite and acknowledge contributions from the public?
    Methods: We can tell the process used to make the story
    Knowing why a journalist chose to research a particular story and how they went about reporting it can help us to understand how a news story came together. It might reveal how important, well-researched, or balanced a story is.

    Questions to Ask
    How was it made? How long did it take to make? Who else was involved in the process?
    Best Practices: The journalist or news organization explains their ownership and standards
    The journalist or organization might have rules they follow to ensure the news they publish is accurate, or they might have no rules at all, or even purposefully publish false news. If a journalist or organization has a set of rules that they stick to in order to make sure they are being accurate, then their news will be more trustworthy.

    Questions to Ask
    Does the journalist or organization have a list of rules that they have to follow? How do they check their facts? Who funds them? What is the organization’s mission and priorities? Does the journalist or organization make corrections if they are wrong? Do they have a commitment to ethical/diverse/accurate reporting and how do they show they are sticking to the rules?

    Share the Campaign

    Here’s a 15-second video to share with your friends, plus more videos, images and a Social Media Toolkit. Remember to post with our campaign hashtag, #TrustedJournalism!

    Download the :15 second video

    Our thanks to The Economist Educational Foundation for their work on making the Trust Project Indicators accessible to young people. You can find their news literacy toolkit here.

    Learn more about the 8 Trust Indicators and The Trust Project.

    The Trust Project