Using the Trust Indicators

There are 8 indicators that can be used when evaluating a news story to find out if it is one that is trustworthy or not.

  • Expertise
  • Labels
  • References
  • Local
  • Diversity
  • Actionable Feedback
  • Methods
  • Best Practices

Coconino News and Arizona Daily Star/Tucson are two news sites that I applied the trust indicators to determine if they are trustworthy or not.

Coconino News

According to Coconino News about page, they are a news organization that provides “objective, data-driven information without political bias”. I used the 8 Trust Indicators while I reviewed their website and some different new stories that are posted.

  • Expertise: none of their stories has someones names attached to it. I cannot determine if the writer is an expert in the area that they are reporting on or not. A lot of them say “By Press release submission” or “By Coconino News”.
  • Labels: What I noticed was that most of what was written didn’t have a clear purpose as to why it had been created other than to inform the reader that someone said something or a law passed. I
  • References: The stories that I reviewed contained links to another site to show where Coconino News got their original information. Sometimes this was a link to a Facebook post and other times it was to data that was posted by the Arizona Deporatment of Education.
  • Local: Since the stories do not reveal the writers name, I am unsure if the journalists are local or not.
  • Diversity: Lacking in this area
  • Actionable Feedback: On the stories that they post, they do not ask for anyone to provide feedback. They do provide an email address for people who want to contact them.
  • Methods: Based on their About page and reading several articles, it seems like the articles are mostly announcements, stating a fact about something, weather that be the score of a game or how students are performing in the education system. Their process seems to be that they link to other sites.
  • Best Practices: On their website, they do not state who funds them and they don’t really talk about their ethical/diverse/accruate reporting other than to state that they are data-driven and without political bias.

Analysis:

I was not able to identify all eight trust Indicators when reviewing both the website and actual articles for Coconino News. Since there are several missing indicators, it makes the site seem untrustworthy. For example, there is not a journalist’s name associated with any of the information published nor is there a list of journalists or contributors to the site. Without knowing who writes or contributes to the stories, the reader does not if the writer is an expert in the area of reporting or if they are just learning the subject.

The website doesn’t reveal who runs the paper and a search online doesn’t reveal anything either. There are no secondary sources that acknowledge Coconino News as a trustworthy site but there also just is not an online presence about them. No linkbacks, nothing negative or positive. This makes me want to know who they are.

Coconino News says that they are data-driven but based on reviewing the different topics and different stories, I don’t see anything that is directly related to data other than reporting scores for sports and education tests.

Overall, this doesn’t seem like a news organization that someone should visit. The organization seems to repost information from other sites but at least they link to where the initial information came from. But, that doesn’t mean the initial site is reporting fairly and without bias.

If Coconino News wants to be a trustworthy news organization, I would recommend that they start with including who their editorial and journalists are, are they local to the Coconino area or not. They should include stories that are journalistic in nature, reporting on the news in the community.

Arizona Daily Star

  • Expertise
  • Labels
  • References
  • Local
  • Diversity
  • Actionable Feedback
  • Methods
  • Best Practices

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