It is not news to tell you we are in the midst of a global crisis in media trust.
While I find some consolation in the fact that recent studies tell us that Canadians trust their news more than do news consumers in other parts of the world, the overall data on trust in journalism in Canada and beyond makes clear that serious news organizations such as the Star should not underestimate public skepticism about journalism.
Increasingly, in this time when misinformation can go viral across the internet and that vile f-word epithet (f— news) has been weaponized against journalists and news organizations, those of us who take journalistic responsibility seriously must take steps to show that we are real news.
To that end, the Star announced the good news this week that it is a partner in the Trust Project, a global consortium of news organizations working together to improve trust in journalism.
This project, led by award-winning journalist Sally Lehrman and hosted by Santa Clara University’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, aims to foster reader trust by helping to guide digital news audiences to reliable, credible news sources and making it clear to readers when they have found trusted sources amidst the noise and nonsense that can be found across the Internet and especially on social media. The project is funded by Craig Newmark Philanthropies, Google, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Democracy Fund and the Markkula Foundation.
In becoming part of this initiative, the Star joins a group of global news organizations committed to incorporating “Trust Indicators” into all digital content. These indicators are key transparency standards for news and information that help readers recognize the commitments and expertise behind trustworthy journalism.