What is the Non Partisan Effort Called “The Trust Project?”

In the old world, fake news was a thing that was unheard of but as the world ushers in the digital era, deceptive news and misinformation are fast becoming the norm, and with each dawn, the war against fabricated content continues to face more obstacles. Reason being, the 21st century is one that is full of technological advances, and thus new social media and public websites continue to rise to fame every day. As a result, it offers the fake newsmakers a platform to spread their malicious content. Moreover, nowadays creating a website no longer requires a person to be tech savvy, and all it takes is a little money, and some people will do it for you in a heartbeat not to mention that people who spread fake news make a lot of money from it.

When you consider all these facts, fighting against online propaganda or any other form of misinformation is not a bed of roses, and it requires the efforts of more than one person or organization to succeed. It will take the collective efforts of members of the community and the online companies as they are the ones whose platforms get used to spreading fake news. Additionally, all the people involved in such a mission need to be non-biased, or in other words, they need to be non-partisan. In order to address all these issues and still meet the requirement of being non-biased, the non-partisan effort called the Trust Project was formed. If you are wondering what that is, hold still because below is all the information you need regarding the project.

The Trust project is a worldwide conglomerate which was formed by various media companies in order to try and bring more transparency to this controversial sector. By doing so, it will not only help retain the trust of the people and uphold a better name for the press but also help more people attain justice and equality. That is the primary reason why the Trust Project had to be non-partisan. The conglomerate is led by Sally Lehrman who is an award-winning journalist, and it includes various prominent media houses which represent myriads of news sites across the world.

Before its formation, Sally and other members of the Santa Clara University did interviews around the globe in an aim to try and find out what people want and also their opinions on what makes news publishers trustworthy. Some of the media companies in the Trust Project include the Globe and mail, the independent journal review, Trinity Mirror, The German Press agency DPA, Washington post, the economist among many others. Also, essential search engines such as Google and Bing and widely used social media platforms such as Facebook are external members of the Trust Project because they also play a significant role in news distribution.

Through them, the non-partisan effort is able to put its Trust Indicators into play. For instance, Facebook users now have access to transparent information regarding a particular organization or any news article that they come across by pressing an icon which appears next to it. In this case, the icon represents the trust indicator and once any user touches it, the information regarding the ethics, background and also the operations of the company or the individual whose article appeared on their newsfeed. For Google users, the outlook of the trust indicator is yet to be determined, but the company says it will be present in all its products such as Google search and Google news. Its trust indicators are based on eight core values.

These include the standards of the said company which you as the user has found on your newsfeed or search results, the expertise of the author, the kind of work it does, references and citations, methods it used to get the information posted, its sources. Also whether the info written is based on the public perspective or is it simply the voice of one person speaking and lastly actionable feedback.

The Nonpartisan effort called the Trust project is hosted by Markkula center for applied ethics at Santa Clara University and was initially started by the well-known philanthropist and founder of the Craigslist, Craig Newmark. There were several media outlets which were involved in defining the core values such as Hearst television and BBC and each year; the Trust Project continues to attract more and more news organizations which want to work towards attaining a transparent and more trustworthy media for future generations.


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