Tuesday, November 25, 2008

News Trust

News Trust is an interesting site that is looking to capitalize on the current trend of social networking sites. While you can meet people and make contacts through the site, the main purpose of News Trust is to take a serious look at news reports, stories, and information and rate them on their quality of journalism. The site contains a wide number of topics where stories are submitted by users and subsequently analyzed by other members of the site.

Stories are judged based on their factuality, fairness, and its level of informity. You can also say whether you reccomend the article and whether you trust the pubication.

It is a project that is apparentally getting a wide amount of attention and praise, as been backed by many grants and formed partnerships with instuittions such as Northeastern, PBS, and the Huffington Post.

Last week, my Reinventing the News class was treated to a presentation of the site by Editor Mike LaBonte. LaBonte explained the purpose and goals of the site, in addition to allowing students the opportunity to form groups and analyze a news story with the intent of seeing how each group interpreted the quality of the journalism of a story on the global economy.

This blog post furthers that concept, as I have submitted three sepreate global economy stories and analyzed them on what News Trust has decided classifies "good journalism."

China, Peru sign free-trade pact

In this anaylisis of a CNN story on the signing of a free trade pact between China and Peru, I decided the amount of information in the piece wasn't enough to make the article seem like anything more than a watered down summation. Overall Rating:3.6

APEC aims to restore confidence in world economy

This anaylisis was on a Yahoo story by Joseph Coleman on the APEC summit in Lima. Yo Joe, where are your sources? Overall Rating: 3.2

WTO Ministers May Meet Next Month, Officials Say

Finally, my final review revolved around this report from the Dow Jones newswires which focused on an upcoming WTO ministerial meeting. I liked the piece because it provided a nice context of the upcoming event, while being sourced in a way that made would could be speculation into fact. Overall Rating:3.6

Following this analytical process, it occured to me why I don't think News Trust will ever work. Most Americans just want their news given to them quickly and in small doses, therefore the thought of spending a lot of extra time and effort that it takes to analyze the journalism of a story won't appeal to the masses. Hell, I'm supposed to have a desire to analyze stories based on their quality since I'm a journalism student, but I just don't have the time to deal with it.

Furthermore, a topic touced on in class, the site has taken a very liberal lean, thus meaning News Trust's overall interpretation on what journalism is good journalism will heavily be influenced by the ideological tone of the story and it's author.

News Trust is a neat site that serves a great purpose for those who spend hours pouring over the news and consuming media, but I don't think it will ever make a big impact because most people just don't care enough.

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