Organisation: The Drum (United Kingdom)
Publication Date: 07/17/2014
DescriptionThe problem: “I want to know more about the Scottish independence referendum, but I don’t know where to start. Which news source can I trust? How can I know how reliable their information is?” “I want to know more about the crisis in Ukraine, but the news just seems to be like a battle between East and West propaganda. Where can I just get the facts?” “I’m sick of reading articles that claim to be objective but are completely skewed. How can my opinion be counted?” The solution: News Newt is a content quality assurance tool that provides web users with a confidence rating for the content they are viewing. The application is a browser plugin that will work cross platform - mobile and desktop - and will help users decide how much faith they have in the content they are reading. It will appear as an overlay on any news article from any source on the user’s screen. The tool works by calculating ratings from other users across a number of criteria including how objective an article is, how well researched, how useful and how trustworthy it is. Depending on the category and topic, there will be specifically relevant criteria to score on. For example, for articles tagged with the Scottish independence referendum, users will be asked whether the article leans more favourably towards a Yes vote or a No vote. For articles tagged in a politics category, users will be asked whether it leans more favourably towards the left or right. This helps provide users with a wider context on their news source. The ratings will then be used to recommend articles and prompt users to try reading other similar articles rated highly against the criteria. They will also be prompted to read an article from an alternative view point that is rated highly. The benefits: Users have a central system through which they can access the best quality articles across all news sources. They have the opportunity to have their say on the quality of news. For journalists, editors and news sources, the tool will highlight strengths and weakness in content, or areas in which they are lacking entirely. The tool will store the data, meaning it can be used to provide wider overall ratings on a rolling basis on news sources, and reflect the public’s perception of the state of the media.
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