Posted by: Rob Hof on May 20, 2005
About a month ago, I flagged a survey from MoveOn.org that asked questions about a possible online news service filtered by journalists and “citizen reviewers.” It looks like the head of the nonprofit project, Fabrice Florin, was further along than it appeared. Now online, though only in development mode, NewsTrust aims to create an independent citizen news rating service. A team of volunteers, who will be both journalists and trained citizen reviewers, will rate stories and, eBay-style, get rated themselves on their reviews. “The service itself is quite a ways off, as we are still defining its requirements, testing its feasibility and discussing it with potential partners and backers,” Florin e-mailed me today. But the goal is something like the page above, which you can see in more detail here.
It’s a very ambitious project, one that’s going to require a deft touch to establish credibility with a wide audience. Absent proper checks and balances, such a service could get gamed by people with agendas, but the folks involved are clearly thinking about this. Plus, I’m encouraged by the company Florin is keeping, such as J.D. Lasica, cofounder of Ourmedia.org, and “We the Media” author Dan Gillmor, who just soft-launched Bayosphere. The energy and thought behind these citizen media efforts is impressive. I’m betting the results will be, too.