First Job

News Trust | April 4, 2011

In today’s media market, it is hard for people to verify good news from bad news, tabloid from credible, and reporter from random blogger. News Trust hopes to change all that through crowd-sourcing tools. News Trust allows readers of articles to rate articles on their credibility, fairness, how in-depth the article is and readers can even post comments on why they felt the article deserved a high or low rating. The system gives readers the power to seek out articles that have been verified by their peers and find news based on how good it is not how popular.

News Trust depends on many levels to function and ensure quality; from the thousands of people who rate articles to the editors to the admins. The basic concept behind News Trust is great, people can choose articles and be able to trust them before they even begin to read based on others comments. This is also its flaw though. Everyone should read articles critically and not rely on someone elses rating of the article as whether or not it is valuable. Why I do not think News Trust will be viable down the road is it bases too much on readers taking the time to rate the articles fairly and carefully. Peoples days are time crushed and they often don’t even have time to read the whole newspaper article, none the less rate it. Unless it is built into every article that someone clicks on and they have some schooling on what makes an article fair or balanced, articles will only be rated and read by a particular audience. This audience already knows what makes a good and trustworthy news article and probably would find those pieces on their own without the help of News Trust.

When I used News Trust to read and critique five articles, I did appreciate the fact that reviewing the articles helped me slow down and really focus on the content of the articles. I found myself questioning the use of each source and which angle the journalist took when approaching the story. I do not think I would do this with every article though due to time, usually I skim articles in-between homework assignments unless one really captures my attention. The little bit of extra time it takes to read carefully and transfer my thoughts into ratings does not seem worth it to me.

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1 Comment »

  1. Thanks for your review, Sarah. I’m glad you find the tools useful.

    You’ve touched on one of the key challenges we have to address, which is the battle for readers’ time and attention. This is a problem for any site that wants people to read their content at all let alone one like ours, which asks you to read carefully and then answer questions. In this phase, all we really want to do is fine-tune the review process by letting people who are motivated play with the tools. We’re learning what kinds of feedback news readers like to give, and we’re tuning the tools based on what we find.

    Someday, we hope this way of talking back to the news should be an integrated part of reading. In the meantime, NewsTrust is an experiment in learning how best to do that.

    Comment by Jon Mitchell — April 5, 2011 @ 6:21 pm


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About author

I am a senior journalism major at Northeastern University and starting in May need to find a career that will keep me out of my parents basement.

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