Tuesday, November 28, 2006


STATEMENT: Founder and MGP2006 alum takes wraps off "Newstrust" service for finding, rating quality of news

Fabrice Florin, developer of the non-profit news-rating service, Newstrust, and an alumnus of MGP2006, opened up the site to the public today, after almost a year of beta testing. His email to supporters is appended below. To watch a QuickTime video demonstration of the site from MGP2006, click here:

Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2006 18:29:12 -0800
From: Fabrice Florin < fab@newstrust.net >
Subject: NewsTrust launched today - Help us spread the word

Our public beta for NewsTrust just launched today. NewsTrust is now open to the public and we expect our community to grow rapidly, as the word gets out in coming days.

Fabrice Florin
Executive Director, NewsTrust
+1 (415) 388-6688


* Recommend NewsTrust
If you know journalists or influential people who would be interested in our project, consider sending them a personal recommendation, to tell them why you support NewsTrust. When you do, please include the blurb below about NewsTrust in your message, along with a link to our site. We'd also be grateful if you would cc: me, so I can follow up directly with your contact.

* Write about NewsTrust
If you're a journalist or blogger, consider writing about us. Check our press materials below - and on our press kit page:

* Invite A Friend
Please invite your friends, family or colleagues to join NewsTrust. Simply go to our "Invite a Friend" page to send them a personal invitation.:

* Link to NewsTrust
If you have your own web page or website, consider a link to NewsTrust, at this URL:

* Bookmark NewsTrust
If you use Digg, Del.icio.us or other social networks, please bookmark

* Write a Testimonial
We'd be grateful if you could write a testimonial about why you support NewsTrust, for our home page. We're looking for a sentence or two, like a book blurb. Simply post it here:

For more promotion ideas, check the press materials on our site:


NewsTrust is a citizen news service that helps people find good journalism online. This next-generation social network features some of the best news and opinions from hundreds of trusted online sources. NewsTrust members rate news stories based on journalistic quality, not just popularity.

It's a great way to get "news you can trust" all in one place. NewsTrust offers a fine selection of quality journalism on their free web site, which is now open to the public:

NewsTrust encourages both media literacy and civic engagement. NewsTrust review tools guide members through careful news evaluations, based on key journalistic principles such as fairness, balance, evidence, context and importance. Independent research studies show that citizen reviewers using these review tools can evaluate news quality reliably - and as effectively as experienced journalists.

NewsTrust publishes a quality ratings database for hundreds of mainstream and alternative news sources, to help the public identify trustworthy publications. This valuable online knowledge base about the news media was created to help citizens make more informed decisions about our democracy.

NewsTrust is non-profit, non-partisan and member-driven. NewsTrust's Executive Director, Fabrice Florin, is a former journalist and a digital media pioneer at Apple and Macromedia. The NewsTrust team includes award-winning journalist and media executive Rory O'Connor and former Lucasfilm project manager David Fox, who bring extensive track records in content and technology development. NewsTrust advisors include Dan Gillmor, Howard Rheingold and other digital media innovators from organizations like Google, MoveOn, Poynter Institute and the University of California.If you're a journalist and would like to write about NewsTrust, please email us at press@newstrust.net, or check our online press kit:


A former journalist and a digital media pioneer at Apple and Macromedia, Fabrice Florin founded NewsTrust to help citizens make informed decisions based on quality journalism. He now serves as Executive Director for NewsTrust, as a full-time volunteer.

Fabrice Florin has an extensive 25-year track record as a digital media entrepreneur. Some of Fabrice¹s notable ventures include: * founding leading-edge wireless content provider Handtap for mobile phones;

* launching web entertainment site shockwave.com at Macromedia;
* pioneering interactive multimedia content at Apple;
* creating a new genre of video journalism for ABC and MTV.

For more info, check Fabrice's online bio:

You can email Fabrice directly at fab@newstrust.net .


"In recent years, the consolidation of mainstream media, combined with the explosion of new Internet websites and the rise of opinion news, have created a serious problem for democracy: many people feel they cannot trust the news media to deliver the information they need as citizens. To address this critical issue, NewsTrust has developed an online social network to help people find and share quality journalism - or 'news you can trust'."

"Increasingly, commercial news providers are giving their audience more of what they want to hear, rather what they need to know as citizens. Our best hope for reversing this trend is to help citizens develop an appreciation for quality journalism over populist entertainment. Social news sites like NewsTrust have a unique opportunity to guide this process, by providing the media literacy tools we can all use to make more informed decisions as citizens."

"NewsTrust can help re-build the trust that has been lost between the news media and the public. We hope to partner with traditional news providers to invite their readers to rate stories on their sites, using our state-of-the-art review tools. These partnerships can offer a variety of other useful benefits: increased traffic and revenue, better customer feedback, more user-generated content, improved editorial quality and community engagement."

"The first generation of social news networks mostly measures content popularity, rather than its quality. But as NewsTrust and the next generation of social news sites integrate more reliable quality measurements and disciplined editorial processes, our collective news filters will become increasingly useful to the general public. To that end, NewsTrust is pioneering a number of collaborative evaluation methods, such as context-sensitive review forms, source reputation databases, and meta-review tools for rating our own work. Over time, we expect to join forces with forward-thinking news providers, to start incorporating methods like these in their own services. Ultimately, the most trusted new sources are likely to be hybrids between traditional news organizations and new social networks. "

"We would like to offer the equivalent of a Weight Watchers for information, to help each of us balance our news diet over time. For example, future versions of NewsTrust could check if you¹ve been viewing too many partisan opinions or entertainment news. We might encourage you to balance your diet with more factual information, more international coverage, or read more viewpoints that you don¹t agree with. Tools like these can help each of us broaden our perspective, become more discriminating thinkers, and make more informed decisions."


"I believe strongly in NewsTrust because citizen involvement in returning public trust to journalism is so important to the future of democracy."
Howard Rheingold - NewsTrust Advisor, Founding Member - Mill Valley, CA

"There is too much good journalism in the world to sit back and allow mediocre reporting to be uncritically consumed. By urging readers to review the articles they are reading, NewsTrust gives them a stake in thinking critically about the news they consume."
Kaizar Campwala - NewsTrust Associate Editor, Founding Member - San Francisco, CA

"I've become a much more discerning news reader after having rated articles on the NewsTrust site. As I read news articles elsewhere, I find myself noting how many and what sources are used and what kind of language is employed."
Peggy Kruse - Founding Member - Florissant, MO

"I started using NewsTrust early on, in an effort to find those news stories that were better than average. I've found many great stories this way. As I've gotten more involved, I've started reviewing and submitting stories myself. It has caused me to stop, think and learn more about what makes for better journalism. With this, I've come to better appreciate some news sources that I've not always favored, as I've come to see some of their better journalism."
Aldon Hynes - NewsTrust Host, Founding Member - Stamford, CT

"NewsTrust is an excellent tool for finding reliable sources and sharpening my own analytical skills. The review process helps me evaluate content andquality more effectively, see beyond my own opinions, and become betterinformed about vital issues."
Marsha Iverson - NewsTrust Host, Founding Member - Seattle, WA

"NewsTrust lets me make my own personal contribution to the Fourth Estate, not by writing more news but by helping to find the gems already out there, drowning in a sea of information overload. None of us has the time to consume more than a fraction of 'all the news that is news.' But with NewsTrust we can help ourselves and each other to find good journalism." Mike LaBonte - NewsTrust Host, Founding Member - Haverhill, MA

"I love NewsTrust for its accessibility, diversity and its grass-root nature. I get to evaluate stories good and bad, and then hear what people with different background and experience think of the same stories. We may vehemently disagree with each other, but I learn a lot from what others think."
Lewyn Li - NewsTrust Host, Founding Member - Boston, MA

"At a time when corporate profit demands are increasing the commercial bias of mainstream news -- more of what people can be seduced to want and less of what they need -- and when most news on the Web is produced by neo-journalists of uncertain competence, News Trust is an invaluable guide to quality."
John McManus - NewsTrust Advisor, Founding Member - Sunnyvale, CA

"NewsTrust is one of the most useful ideas I've seen in a long time. The rating system is on-target and relevant, which makes it easy to find the stories that I'm interested in. And I always find pieces that I would have missed on other sites. Great idea, great implementation."
John Taylor - Founding Member - Moraga, CA

"NewsTrust is now a valued part of my daily routine. I know that readers concerned about quality journalism are constantly posting worthwhile new articles, and commenting on their strengths and shortcomings, the better to encourage critical reading from fellow readers - and citizens. An engaged community, aided by a sophisticated and easy-to-use interface, is what makes NewsTrust unique."
Warren Keith Wright - NewsTrust Host, Founding Member - Missouri



Download NewsTrust pictures from our site, at the addresses below.

* NewsTrust Photos:

This 5MB Zip file includes 9 photos in JPG format:
- 3 photos from last spring¹s pilot launch in Howard Rheingold's class as
- 3 photos from in Howard Rheingold¹s class at UC Berkeley this fall
- 3 mug shots of Fabrice Florin, NewsTrust's Executive Director

* NewsTrust Logos:

This small Zip file includes a variety of NewsTrust logos in GIF format.
Please link them to our site:

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