The Future of Journalism

News Trust is a project in grassroots news aggregation and evaluation. Here’s how they describe themselves:

NewsTrust helps people find and share good journalism online.

Our nonprofit news network promotes quality journalism, to help people make more informed decisions as citizens. We offer an integrated online service, including an information credibility filter, news literacy tools and a civic engagement network.

The NewsTrust.net website features quality news and opinions, which are carefully rated by our members, based on quality, not just popularity. NewsTrust reviewers evaluate each story against core principles of journalism, such as fairness, accuracy, context and sourcing — using our unique review tools. Our research studies confirm the effectiveness of our review process — and we’ve received great press coverage from around the world.

Membership is free, and open to anyone. I’m a member, and have submitted a number of articles– mostly blogs, including blogs from FDL, Emptywheel, Glenn Greenwald and others. There’s a quick review process, and a more thorough review process. When a particular article attracts sufficient interest and high ratings, it is included in the daily report of top rated stories sent to subscribers and posted on their main web page.

Here in the FireDogLake community of websites, and elsewhere in the progressive blogosphere, we have often complained about the quality of journalism in the mainstream media. News Trust is a project to identify and publicize the best work.

Each week, News Trust picks a particular focus, although it continues to evaluate and list articles of many kinds. For the past week, they’ve had a focus that should be especially of interest to us:

This week, we’re focusing on the Future of Journalism. How will news organizations evolve, in light of recent newspaper shutdowns, newsroom cutbacks, the rise of opinion news and amateur journalism? What are the news media doing to engage a new generation of readers through social networks and other online tools? What innovations in new media are pushing the envelope and changing how we consume news?

The results of this week’s focus are on-going here. Of course, the most popular opinion piece of the week was Alessandra Stanley’s "High Noon on the Set: Cramer vs. Stewart," which appeared in New York Times – on Mar. 14, 2009. In the independent media, the top opinion piece was Clay Shirky’s "Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable," Mar. 14, 2009. Rather than give you the link to each article, you can find all the links at the website linked above, so you can become more familiar with this important website.

I want to emphasize here that the News Trust reviews are not based simply on popularity polls, but on individual journalistic criteria. It can be an educational process for us, too, focusing our attention on what really makes for good journalism, i.e.,:

Our Rating (overall)

Quality
Context
Enterprise
Expertise
Information
Insight
Originality
Relevance
Style
Popularity
Recommendation
Credibility

If you don’t have an opinion on a particular criterion, you can skip it.
The more who participate in this web project, the better the results. You can participate by reviewing articles already submitted, or by submitting your favorite articles with your own review. If we want better journalism, projects like this help push the profession to improve.

Bob in HI

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