Originally published on Medium
More than 30 newsrooms are making an investment in discovering how best to demonstrate credibility and earn trust by coming on board the Trusting News project. For four months, they’ll commit to regular experimentation across seven trust-building strateiges.
A handful of newsrooms have been testing since November, and many more are coming on board today. They cover communities of all sizes throughout North America, and they publish across a variety of mediums. I’m so excited to see how their very different audiences respond to their efforts to earn trust.
We’re thrilled to welcome these new partners:
- Annenberg Media, Los Angeles
- CALmatters, Sacramento
- Christian Science Monitor, Boston
- Cincinnati Enquirer, Ohio
- Discourse Media, Canada
- Ft. Worth Star Telegram, Texas
- Hutchinson News, Kansas
- Iowa Gazette, Cedar Rapids
- Kansas City Star, Missouri
- KCRG, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
- KOMU, Columbia, Missouri
- KVRR, Fargo, North Dakota
- Standard-Examiner, Ogden, Utah
- Tennessean, Nashville
- The State, Columbia, South Carolina
- Topeka Capital-Journal, Kansas
- USA TODAY, Arlington, Virginia
- Virginian-Pilot, Norfolk
- WBIR, Knoxville, Tennessee
- WCNC, Charlotte, North Carolina
- WLRN, Miami
- WLUC — TV6 & FOX UP, Michigan Upper Peninsula
- WUSA, Washington DC
They join seven newsrooms that began testing strategies in November:
- Coloradoan, Fort Collins
- Community Impact Newspaper group, Austin, Texas
- Enid News & Eagle, Oklahoma
- Jefferson City News Tribune, Missouri
- The Day, New London, Connecticut
- WCPO, Cincinnati
- WIFT Public Media, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Still to join are some newsrooms from the Solutions Journalism Network, who will be testing ways to explain and label their solutions focus.
Many of our newsroom partners are using forms to actively invite feedback on their trustworthiness. This one is from the Virginian Pilot, and it’s embedded with this column by Erica Smith.
The newsrooms each looked through the seven strategies we’re working on in this round of testing and picked those that best fit their individual goals and communities. They’ll be working across several platforms to experiment with the strategies they picked and will be injecting trust-building language into existing content and creating new content focused on demonstrating credibility.
Anywhere they communicate with their audience, there’s a chance to earn trust. They’ll work with traditional products like print and broadcast and with inherently conversational platforms like social media, podcasts and newsletters. They’ll earn trust in comments and in person. The measurement approach we take will vary depending on the mediums and strategies. Take a look at our metrics here.
The seven strategies being tested this round include:
- Show how you are distinct from “the media”
- Describe your ethics and funding
- Explain your process
- Label your stories
- Demonstrate balance
- Show individual personality and credibility
- Be accessible and responsive
Feel free to give the strategies a whirl! And if you do, please let us know how your audience responds.
The Trusting News project is designed to demystify the issue of trust in news. We research how people decide what news is credible, then turn that knowledge into actionable strategies for journalists. We’re funded by the Reynolds Journalism Institute, the Knight Foundation and Democracy Fund.