Discover the policies, practices, and people behind the news

What is the Newsroom Transparency Tracker?

A tool that equips you to assess the transparency of leading national and regional media outlets by surfacing the policies, practices, and people behind the news. The Tracker encourages media outlets to be accountable to the public and empowers the public to make informed choices about the news they watch, listen to, and read.

The Newsroom Transparency Tracker shares the information published by media outlets with respect to four Trust Indicators, transparency standards that provide clarity on a media outlet’s ethics codes and related commitments, how it does its work, and the expertise of its journalists. Developed collaboratively by over 100 senior news executives within the Trust Project network, Trust Indicators are rooted in core journalistic values and based on in-depth research capturing what the public trusts and wants in news.

You can learn more about these four Trust Indicators – and each of their attributes – below.

Best Practices

What are the news outlet’s standards and mission? Who funds it? Commitments to ethics, diverse voices, accuracy, corrections, and other best practices.

Ethics Policy

A policy that states a commitment to journalism that is accurate, fair, and complete, and to act with honesty, transparency, and independence, including from conflicts of interest.

Ownership Structure/Funding Disclosure

A clear description of ownership and funding sources (including grants), along with a statement about editorial independence and potential conflicts of interest.

Mission/Coverage Priorities

A statement that describes the vision and goals behind a news outlet, whom it aims to serve, and whether it is involved in social impact or advocacy campaigns. The mission statement may also highlight the news outlet’s demographic or local expertise and its target audience.

Verification/Fact-checking Standards

An explanation of how the organization investigates claims, corroborates information, and verifies content to ensure accuracy.

Corrections Policy

A clear policy to disclose and correct errors, including providing an easy route for audiences to report errors. This includes a commitment to making corrections quickly and showing them on the relevant article page.

Unnamed Sources Policy

A general policy that explains whether or not the news outlet permits the use of anonymous sources, and if so, describes the decision-making process required when a journalist would like to use anonymous sources in a particular news story.

Masthead/Leadership

A list of the top editors and other decision-makers behind the journalism.

Founding Date

The date the news organization was founded.

Newsroom Contact Info

Contact information for members of the public to report corrections, suggest stories, or contact the news outlet for any other reason.

Diverse Voices is considered part of the Best Practices Trust Indicator, and it also stands independently on its own (see below).

Journalist Expertise

Who made this? Details about the journalist, their expertise, and other published work.

Byline Attribution

News should be accompanied by a byline – i.e., the name of the journalist(s) who created the story. Some news outlets can meet this Trust Indicator by providing adequate information about who is responsible for the story and standing by its accuracy.

Journalist Bio & Info

News outlets should provide biographical information for each journalist, including: name, location, languages spoken, areas of expertise, biography, contact details, job title/role, and links to previously published work. For the purposes of this Tracker, news outlets receive full marks if their journalist pages include at least four of the aforementioned components.

Type of Work

What am I looking at? Labels to distinguish opinion, analysis, and advertiser (or sponsored) content from news reports.

“Type of Work” Label

News sites should clearly label content other than news as “opinion,” “analysis,” “paid content,” “sponsored content,” or “underwritten or supported content.” News is strictly based on facts either observed firsthand by the reporter or gathered and verified from reliable sources who represent multiple viewpoints on an event or issue. News does not include a journalist’s opinion.

Diverse Voices

What are the news outlet’s efforts and commitments to including diverse perspectives? Readers notice when certain voices, ethnicities, or political persuasions are missing in news reports.

Diverse Voices Statement

News outlets should state their commitment to including a diversity of voices and perspectives in every aspect of newsgathering and production.

Diverse Staffing Report

News outlets should provide a link to their most recent staff diversity report, using self-report or reports to agencies or associations.

Trust Project News Partner: This outlet is a partner of the Trust Project and is implementing the Trust Indicators. If they have met the minimum requirements, they reference their participation in the Trust Project on their websites, with a link to thetrustproject.org and usually, the Trust Mark logo.

Explore the Tracker

Discover the policies, practices, and people behind the news you watch, listen to, and read.

Note: The blue circles are clickable!

Trust Indicators

The Legend

Full

News outlet has fully provided information for attribute. Click on the blue circles for more.

 Partial

News outlet has partially provided information for attribute. Click on the blue half-circles for more.

 None

News outlet has not provided information for attribute.

Explore the Tracker

Discover the policies, practices, and people behind the news you watch, listen to, and read.

Note: The blue circles are clickable!

Trust Indicators

The Legend

Full

News outlet has fully provided information for attribute. Click on the blue circles for more.

 Partial

News outlet has partially provided information for attribute. Click on the blue half-circles for more.

 None

News outlet has not provided information for attribute.

1The Economist, fulfills this indicator by clearly explaining that it does not use bylines as a matter of principle, in order to allow its “many writers to speak with a collective voice,” and providing a full staff directory.

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