inewsource has become the first news organization in the San Diego region to join The Trust Project, a global network of newsrooms working to increase transparency in the news and help the public assess credible journalism.

Today the project can be found on more than 200 news sites, including the BBC, FRONTLINE, The Washington Post and The Economist.

Across inewsource’s redesigned website, which launched last month, readers will see a set of standards showing our newsroom’s ethics policies, a journalist’s background, the type of content and information behind our reporting.

What is The Trust Project?

The Trust Project is an international consortium of news organizations promoting  standards of transparency and working with technology platforms to affirm and amplify journalism’s commitment to transparency, accuracy, inclusion and fairness so that the public can make informed news choices. Led by founder and award-winning journalist Sally Lehrman, The Trust Project is dedicated to restoring the trusted role of the press in serving the public good.

inewsource is the only media organization in the San Diego region participating in The Trust Project. We distinguish ourselves by our commitment to the project’s principles of accuracy and transparency. Our stories are branded with the trademark “T” and an explanation of why you can be confident in our work.

How The Trust Project came about

The journey started in 2014 when Sally Lehrman began asking why technology couldn’t support news trustworthiness and integrity instead of driving it down. The Trust Project set off to discover how people defined trustworthiness through in-depth interviews, asking people what they valued in news, when they trusted it and when they didn’t. 

The result was the project’s 8 Trust Indicators.

What The Trust Project partners stand for

The Trust Project’s guiding principles stem from those developed in 1947 by the Hutchins Commission. During that era, as today, the public held a deep suspicion of the press. The Hutchins Principles spell out the commitments a free and responsible press must live by.

The Trust Project News Partners, including inewsource, strive to provide:

  • Truthful, verified news and information in a context that gives them meaning.
  • Forums for civil exchanges and greater understanding of various viewpoints, with fairness in mind.
  • Stories, information and ideas that reflect diverse types of communities and their interests and views.

The Trust Project news partners abide by the above principles and display the 8 Trust Indicators, which incorporate a commitment to:

  • Fairness and accuracy. Publishing corrections or clarifications as promptly as possible.
  • Disclosures that explain our mission, sources of funding and the organization behind us.
  • Insight into our methods and where we get our information.
  • A diversity of voices and perspectives.
  • Opportunities for public engagement.

Together and individually, the 8 Trust Indicators show who and what is behind a news story so people can easily assess for themselves whether it comes from a credible source.

Digital platforms, including Google, Facebook and Bing, use the Trust Indicators and the machine-readable signals associated with them to more easily surface, display or label trustworthy news to their users.

Combating misinformation

Misinformation isn’t necessarily intentional — it could be rumor or poorly researched claims. Disinformation is deliberately misleading. The Trust Project addresses both by helping people get more access to the real thing — journalism with integrity — and know when they’re looking at it. People then can make informed decisions about the news they decide to read and share. The indicators provide transparency around features that people have said matter to them and that clearly distinguish trustworthy news from all the other kinds of information out there.

Focusing on reading and sharing news with integrity lessens the power of misinformation and stops its spread.

Lorie Hearn is the chief executive officer and editor of inewsource. She is a lifelong news-aholic who started her reporting career writing her Girl Scout newsletter at age 12. High school and college were filled with school newspaper work, and after graduation, she worked as a reporter for newspapers...