In the age of overinformation, sensationalism and countless fake news stories, it comes as no surprise that trust in the media is at a record low. A recent study conducted by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism across European Union member-states found the phenomenon particularly prevalent in Greece, with 90 percent of respondents expressing suspicion or distrust when it comes to the country’s information ecosystem. Trust in the media is an integral part of a healthy democracy – and one of the most useful tools in order to regain it is transparency. Today, information by itself is not enough – readers need to know who is behind it and how it came about.
In order to respond to the media’s credibility crisis, today Kathimerini is the first news organization in Greece to proudly join The Trust Project, a global consortium of 120 news organizations united in the mission of creating standards of transparency in journalism, with the aim of building a trusted and reliable press.
Kathimerini’s new family includes esteemed media outlets such as The Globe and Mail, The Washington Post and The Economist, as well as a number of technology companies that have revolutionized the way information is transmitted – among them Facebook, Google and Twitter. There is a simple philosophy behind The Trust Project’s mission: to drop the curtains and unveil the practices behind journalism.
At the heart of The Trust Project’s initiative lie its “trust indicators,” a detailed evaluation of the quality and credibility of each article, carried out by a global team of top executives in journalism and technology. The indicators evaluate journalistic work using a number of criteria, such as the outlet’s best practices, the author’s expertise, the sourcing behind each claim and the often overlooked distinction between information, analysis and opinion. They are offered by newsrooms to provide clarity on who and what is behind a news story so that people can easily assess whether it comes from a credible source. By joining the Trust Project network, Kathimerini will incorporate the indicators into its websites, and automatically report them to search engines and technology platforms, in the interests of full transparency and the promotion of quality journalism.
As a result of the second wave of expansion that Kathimerini is participating in, together with outlets such as El Pais, CBC and Sky News, today more than 120 news sites around the world are showing the Project’s Trust Indicators, extending their reach to 217 million readers per month. The Trust Project’s success is a testament to the hard work of its founder, award-winning journalist Sally Lehrman, and Santa Clara University’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, where the project is being hosted. The Trust Project’s efforts are funded by Craig Newmark Philanthropies, Google, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Democracy Fund and the Markkula Foundation.
“Kathimerini’s participation in The Trust Project, with the integration of its websites kathimerini.gr and ekathimerini.com, and its worldwide recognition as a respected and reliable news source, are just as important as the trust our readers demonstrate every day,” says Alexis Papachelas, the newspaper's executive editor. “It is the result of the hard daily work of our journalists, and their commitment to important and accurate information.”
Inasmuch as the digital revolution has created a number of credibility challenges for journalism, it has also unveiled new horizons for its betterment. It enables quality news organizations to network, to discuss, collaborate and improve their practices, and, above all, to build a new relationship with their readers, based on an unprecedented level of sincerity and extroversion.
Kathimerini proudly finds itself fully aligned with The Trust Project’s vision: The journalist of tomorrow needs to evaluate, but also be evaluated.
For the official press release and more information about The Trust Project click here.