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Trust Project Insights

What’s New at the Trust Project

We aim to restore the trusted role of the press in civic life.

Trust Project Insights

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1) Our design sprint yielded intriguing prototypes. The Trust Project teamed up with the Society for News Design and our consortium members for a two-day, user-interface design sprint in New York. Our goal: Make the concept of enhancing reader trust real.

Participants created several provocative models for displaying multiple Trust Indicators in eye-catching locations. One set of widgets allowed users to ask a question and dispute a claim instantly, inline. In another vision, users could apply indicators to create their own trusted news stream.

In Europe, Mario Calabresi of La Repubblica and Massimo Russo and Anna Masera of La Stampa led a prototype design. Click on the live prototype in our slideshow to inspect the source and look at the tag types used.

We need your take: Please respond to our survey on journalism’s core values and you’ll be entered into a drawing for one $100 and one $75 gift card. We also             invite your comments as we consider which prototypes and indicators to test.

2) We’ve identified five news user types based on news engagement. Researcher Christine Kurjan continues with our in-depth interviews. She suggests that news outlets consider these ways to meet each user type’s needs.

  • Activated: Help them share their news passion. 
  • Informed: Make their job easier (e.g, map the stances on an issue, show where the sources for a particular news piece fit in).
  • Occasional: Offer quick access to the person’s preferences at that moment (local news, alternate views, breaking news).
  • Disengaged: Prove that a constructive, unbiased approach is possible.
  • Repelled: Acknowledge loss of trust and the reasons behind it.

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3) People are looking for news that is accurate, up-to-date, and clear. Can’t complain about these priorities! Don’t miss this rich survey on trust in the news by the American Press Institute. The results of this 2,000-person poll match nicely with our in-depth interviews.

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Next up. We’ll define and deepen our top ten indicators at an upcoming Global Trust Project Summit. Watch for our upcoming hack event with the University of Central Lancashire, Southampton Solent University and Haymarket Media Group. Participants will wrestle with the best ways to structure and evidence these indicators.

Thanks for being part of our effort!

Sally Lehrman
Trust Project and Journalism Program Director, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics


The Trust Project develops tools and technologies to signal trustworthy news to audiences and news distribution systems. We are a project of the Markkula Center’s       Executive Roundtable for Digital Journalism Ethics.

In appreciation to our funders:, Google, and the Markkula Family Foundation.

This archived newsletter clarifies the collaborators in the La Repubblica/La Stampa prototype, adding two names.

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