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NewsTrust was a non-profit news network that operated a web site where users were able to reference news stories, rate those stories according to quality of journalism, post reviews, and add stories they found worthwhile. It was operated and co-founded by former Wikimedia staff member, Fabrice Florin.[1][2]


NewsTrust was first presented as an idea via, in which MoveOn co-founder Wes Boyd expressed concern about "traditional media...losing" its way. He recruited Fabrice Florin, then CEO of cellular content provider Handtap Communications, to run the effort as part of NewsTrust Communications of Mill Valley, California.[3] Users and editors of the NewsTrust website would rate news stories on a daily basis as to whether they were "news you can trust."[4] The site was launched in a basic mode in May 2005.[5]

In 2011, NewsTrust piloted a Baltimore-specific site focused on news local to the Baltimore area. NewsTrust launched in Baltimore due to its proximity to the Open Society Institute's Baltimore offices, and hired a former editor of the Baltimore Sun, Mary Hartney, as the editor.[6] The Baltimore pilot ended six months after it was launched, although user-submitted content continued to be posted,[7][8] and the NewsTrust mission shifted to a more "fact-checking service"-based model for the 2012 election.[1]

From June 2012 until the website went offline, NewsTrust was owned and operated by The Poynter Institute.[2]

Partnerships and funding[edit]

NewsTrust had many media partners, including Huffington Post, PolitiFact and the Washington Post[9] and advisers including Howard Rheingold of Stanford University and Craig Newmark of Craigslist. NewsTrust also received financial donations from nonprofit foundations and private donors, including a $500,000 grant from the MacArthur Foundation in 2008[10] and Omidyar Network in 2010.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Fabrice Floran (12 July 2011). "Next steps for NewsTrust Baltimore". Baltimore NewsTrust. Retrieved 10 August 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ a b "NewsTrust is now part of The Poynter Institute". - Blog.
  3. ^ "NewsTrust Communications - MacArthur Foundation grantees". 2008. Retrieved 10 August 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "All the News You Can Trust". Business Week. Bloomberg. 9 April 2005. Archived from the original on 22 November 2005. Retrieved 10 August 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "Update on News You Can Trust". Bloomberg Businessweek. 20 March 2005.
  6. ^ Baltimore Business Journal: NewsTrust seeks to hold a mirror up to region’s media outlets January 21, 2011.
  7. ^ Columbia Journalism Review: NewsTrust Baltimore: An Experiment in Civility. November 4, 2011.
  8. ^ "Best of Baltimore 2011: NewsTrust". Baltimore City Paper. 21 September 2011. Retrieved 10 August 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ NewsTrust: Partners Archived 2015-05-03 at the Wayback Machine. Accessed July 24, 2013.
  10. ^ " Expands with MacArthur Support". MacArthur Foundation. 28 November 2007. Retrieved 10 August 2018. In support of general operations (over three years). CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ San Francisco Business Times: Omidyar Network awards $100K to NewsTrust to separate wheat from chaff. March 2, 2010.