What if there was a news website that featured only the “highest quality” journalism available online? The common news consumer could arrive at the website and be sure that the news they saw on the front page was important, credible and impartial.
This may be unrealistic, but NewsTrust attempts to do just that.
This news aggregation website invites users to rate articles based on different criteria and those with the most favorable reviews would be prominently featured on the main page.
Casual news readers may not be aware that sometimes they are reading poor quality journalism, whether it be biased reporting or simple fact-checking errors. By allowing the mass media to critique and provide feedback on various news articles, it allows them to separate the “good news sources” from the bad. It also allows exceptional news reporting to be elevated above the mediocre stories and given a special placement.
The biggest problem with any website like this is the lack of participation from the general audience. There just does not seem to be enough traffic on a daily basis to make this a truly useful tool at this point in time.
This hypothetical scenario is what would make NewsTrust a fantastic website:
Glenn Beck announces he is ending his television show on Fox News. This news gets widespread media coverage. The story in covered in several different publications and some of them are submitted to NewsTrust. Dozens of people rate each story, allowing the person visiting the website to compare and contrast how each news source covered this particular story.
Mike LaBonte touched on this idea when he spoke to our Reinventing the News class about the website.
While currently web traffic is not where it needs to be, I would not give up on this site just yet. The interface is easy to use and the system they have in place would be effective if they had more people logging on.
Look at how Wikipedia started. That site is as comprehensive and large as it is because of an expansive group of volunteers that put their time and effort into it. Even a small fraction of that help would elevate NewsTrust to the next level.
I spent a good deal of time on the website reviewing existing stories and also adding a few of my own. It is a great model and as readership grows, so will its relevance in today’s news landscape.