My criteria for promising online news sites

As a fellow at the Reynolds Journalism Institute this year, I am working on a list of promising sites. The idea is to identify and work with the best – to learn from them and to figure out ways RJI might help them. Here are my criteria:

  1. Content: The site is devoted primarily to original news. It may include aggregation and opinion.
  2. Practices: The content demonstrates a desire and an effort to practice accuracy, transparency and fair play.
  3. Engagement: The site demonstrates a desire and an effort to promote civic engagement or an ethic of participation. 
  4. Frequency: The news report is updated at least three times a week. 
  5. Sustainability: Site owners are making a serious effort to develop a revenue model.

(Thank you to Jay Rosen for helping me to refine these criteria.) You’ll find our list of sites here.


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