Thursday, May 12, 2022

Several rural news outlets join the Trust Project, a campaign to identify and elevate news sources that are trustworthy

Several rural news outlets, or small-metro outlets serving large rural audiences, are among the latest additions to The Trust Project, a campaign to identify and elevate trustworthy news sources.

"They clearly stand out from pay-to-play and hyper-partisan sites that distort facts to serve their agendas," the project said in a news release. The list includes Montana Free Press and Buffalo's Fire, published by the Indigenous Media Freedom Alliance from the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota.

Twenty of the 27 additions are part of Forum Communications, of Fargo, N.D., including AgWeek, the Alexandria Echo Press, the Bemidji Pioneer, the Brainerd Dispatch, the Park Rapids Enterprise,
the Perham Focus, the Pine and Lakes Echo Journal, the Pine Journal in Carlton County, the Superior Telegram, the Wadena Pioneer Journal and the West Central Tribune.

"With war, pandemic and economic hardship creating fertile ground for falsehood and uncertainty, we are proud that so many sites are strengthening their commitment to the public," said Sally Lehrman, founder and CEO of the Trust Project. "These organizations go beyond lip service to accountability. They have put hard work into building integrity, honesty and inclusion into their daily practices."

The project uses eight categorical indicators that members agree to follow: best practices (such as funding and standards), journalists' expertise, type of work (is it clearly defined?), source citations and access, use of local sources, investigative methods, diversity and "actionable feedback." A Trust Mark logo indicates implementation of the indicators.

The Trust Project is funded by Craig Newmark Philanthropies, Google and Democracy Fund. It says "Trust Project policies and the Trust Indicators are shaped and enforced independently from funding sources. To learn more, visit"

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