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Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Markkula Center for Applied Ethics Spins off Consortium Focused on Building Trust in the Media

SANTA CLARA, Calif., May 30, 2019 – The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University today announced that the Trust Project, a global effort to help readers identify reliable news, is spinning off as an independent nonprofit. Incubated by the Ethics Center, the Trust Project created the first journalism transparency standard that helps people assess the authority and integrity of online news.  

“We’re proud to have helped get the initiative off the ground,” said Don Heider, executive director of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics. “The Trust Project will continue to be an important ally in our ongoing effort to support a more informed public.” 

“I want to thank the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics for the warm welcome it gave to my idea and for providing valuable administrative support, encouragement and enthusiasm,” said Sally Lehrman, CEO of the Trust Project.

The Ethics Center is also expanding its Journalism & Media Ethics program and has developed a range of projects that advance the following three aims:

  • Giving journalists the crucial background and ethical framework needed for better journalism.
  • Giving the public a voice in shaping and understanding journalism.
  • Using ethical principles to frame the design and delivery of news, social media, and search products.

“Misinformation, disinformation, and extremism online have intensified, and the public, news industry, and technology sector continue to grapple with how to resolve these problems,” Heider added. “Simple answers will not suffice when tackling these thorny ethical questions, and we are excited to supply a more comprehensive approach to applied journalism and media ethics.”

About the Trust Project

The Trust Project is a global network of news organizations working to restore trust in the news. The project created the Trust Indicators, the first transparency standards for news that help people easily assess the authority and integrity of news, and works with technology platforms to affirm and amplify journalism’s commitment to transparency, accuracy, and inclusion. For more information:

About the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Founded in 1986 with a seed grant and initial endowment from Linda and A.C. “Mike” Markkula Jr., the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University brings the traditions of ethical thinking to bear on real-world problems. Beyond a full range of programs for the SCU community, the Center also serves professionals in fields from business to health care, from government to the social sector, providing innovative approaches to problems from fake news to privacy protection. Through its website and international collaborations, the Center brings ethical decision-making resources to a global audience. For more information:

May 30, 2019