Can You Trust NewsTrust?Posted: April 8, 2011
Last Friday, my Reinventing the News class heard from Mike LaBonte, editor of NewsTrust.net.
He gave us a brief overview of what NewsTrust does, as well as how individuals can use it to evaluate the content of news articles.
NewsTrust.net, headlining with the tag “Your Guide to Good Journalism,” is a website that allows readers to analyze and evaluate news stories, rating them based on content, depth, investigative reporting, facts, context, fairness and more.
I chose to rate and review five different stories that focused on a variety of different topics, from the cracks in Southwest planes to unemployment. It was an interesting experience because typically when I read a story, I am just reading for my own general curiosity. With NewsTrust, I had to dig deeper, pay more attention and analyze the article in context, which made me think that perhaps I should always read articles this way rather than just skimming through and taking all the information to heart immediately.
Something I found myself doing a lot more was questioning the accuracy of a “source.” If they were not named specifically, or just listed as a “representative” it made me a lot more skeptical about what they were saying, even though usually I take what any “source” says in a news article without a doubt.
Although I think NewsTrust is a cool and valuable tool, I don’t know how often I would freely go to the website to evaluate news stories. I think it’s a great way to keep tabs on news and push journalists to strive for better journalism, however it really depends on who uses the site, and how often. I’m not sure how many people actually use NewsTrust, but with so much news out on the Internet, I don’t think people have the time to go analyzing stories when there is so much content to read and take in.