Knight Center
Knight Center


New website aims at holding journalists accountable

On Monday, Oct. 31, a new Wikipedia-like website launched as a way for readers to help hold journalists accountable, reported the news agency AFP.

The website, News Transparency, was created by Ira Stoll, who was the managing editor of the defunct New York Sun. According to News Transparency, the website "helps you find out more about the people who produce the news and allows you to hold them accountable, the same way that journalists hold other powerful institutions accountable, by posting reviews and sharing information." Three days before it launched, the site already had profiles on about 1,000 journalists, Forbes said.

Considering that polls show record low public opinion about the media, the website mimics familiar sites, allowing the public to add and edit information about journalists (a la Wikipedia), post reviews (like Amazon), share information (like is done via social media), and search for information (such as on Google), according to News Transparency's "about" section.

As creator Stoll explained to Poynter, the website gives the public "a place to go for background about a journalist to help them understand where the journalist is coming from. For sources, give them a neutral territory to go to to complain about an inaccurate story or irresponsible journalist or to praise an accurate story or exemplary journalist. For journalists, a place to receive and respond to reader and source feedback and to share information to make themselves and their colleagues less mysterious, more transparent, and more accessible."


oliver wrote 6 years 24 weeks ago

"News Transparency" is not all that it seems...

I've just flicked through this *new* website, clicking on the first few journalists, and i noticed that the only ones with articles are those with Arabic / Islamic names. Starting at the top of the list, i just looked at these:

Abdel Kareem, Islam
Abu Alouf, Rushdi
Abu Shimalla, Faid
Abu Toameh, Khaled
Abukhater, Maher
Ahmad, Yasser

I then realised that all the articles are from one source: CAMERA. What's that, I thought? I've not heard of such a media house or fellow NGO, and the actual stories are more like witch-hunts. With a little googling however, I see it is a US-based pro-Israel lobby group.

So, what we have here, on the widely respected Knight Center, is a website that appears to target Arab / Muslim journalists with counter stories from a US-based pro-Israel lobby group.

And you label this as "holding journalists accountable"? Who is holding your sources accountable?

I suggest that either the Knight Centre re-writes this post making it clear what they are recommending, or the managers of "News Transparency" does some serious editorial work of its own.

Ira Stoll wrote 6 years 24 weeks ago


Thanks for the coverage. If anyone wants to partner on a Spanish- or Portuguese-language version of the site, let us know, we'd be happy to talk to you.

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