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The Trust

Restoring the Trust
Mini-expo participants

Media Bloggers Association
Conference contact: Jay Rosen, New York University

The Media Bloggers Association is an independent organization of bloggers that grew out of the recognition that bloggers needed a way to organize themselves and address attacks from the mainstream media as the blogosphere began to explode. This non-partisan group, founded in 2004 by Robert Cox and comprised of amateur bloggers, professional writers bloggers and others interested in citizen journalism, acts as a watchdog of the mainstream press. The MBA also comments on the state of the media and provides legal help as well as education in the journalistic aspects of blogging. The MBA upholds transparency in the mainstream press and unshackled expression in the blogosphere as the way to a more credible media.

Maynard Institute for Journalism Education
Conference contact: Dori Maynard, president

The Maynard Institute, a non-profit organization incorporated in 1977, is dedicated to the belief that diverse newsrooms lead to more nuanced and thus more accurate news coverage. Named for its co-founder, the late Robert C. Maynard, owner, publisher and editor of the Oakland (Ca.) Tribune, the Maynard Institute builds trust in the media through its training programs for journalists of color. Programs include the six-week Editing Program at the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno, and the Media Academy at Harvard and Northwestern. Maynard has also introduced a web-based software content auditing service for newspapers that want to see how their coverage is distributed. The Institute believes that the ability to recognize where the fault lines of race, class, gender, generation and geography lay will result in stories that resonate more truthfully with audiences.

Native American Journalists Association
Conference contact: Cristina Azocar, San Francisco State University

Founded in 1984 and based in Vermillion, North Dakota, the Native American Journalists Association works to educate both native and non-native journalists about how to approach the complexities of Native American culture. Programs such as the traveling seminar “Covering Indian Country,” where journalists develop a greater understanding of reservation cultures can help both mainstream and native journalists establish more rapport with sources, resulting in deeper coverage that gets past stereotypes. NAJA sees improved communication between journalists and tribal leaders as a crucial path to more credible news stories.

Associated Press Managing Editors
Conference contact: Peggy Kuhr, University of Kansas

This national association of U.S. and Canadian editors whose newspapers are members of the Associated Press is a major voice in news credibility. APME examines the hot-button issues of the day as they relate to increasing readers’ trust and promotes the training and development of editors as the best defense against errors. Their National Credibility Roundtables ask newspapers and their readers how the paper can better cover the community; NewsTrain is a traveling nuts-and-bolts seminar for mid-level editors across the country who say that lack of training is their biggest source of job dissatisfaction. Internal professional development and listening to readers are APME’s tools of choice for building trust in the print media.

Committee of Concerned Journalists
Conference contact: Tom Avila, staff director

Formed in 1997 by leaders in the profession worried about its future, the Committee of Concerned Journalists conducts research and holds forums that articulate the core principles of the craft. The results have produced a book, The Elements of Journalism: What Newspeople Should Know and the Public Should Expect, and a traveling series of workshops that help journalists examine whether their overall approach to reporting and writing is meeting those core principles. CCJ works to restore trust by clarifying newsroom methods and routines to ensure quality news stories.

Online News Association
Conference contact: Oscar Martinez, senior editor,

The Online News Association is a group comprised of professional journalists who use a digital platform—news writers, producers, designers, editors, photographers and others who use cyberspace to deliver their work. Formed in 1999, ONA promotes responsible journalism online and works to highlight the difference between independent editorial information and everything else that exists on the Internet. ONA concerns itself with online credibility by upholding traditional journalism methods of original reporting and independent verification.

The Poynter Institute
Conference contact: Howard Finberg, director, News University

Equipping journalists, future journalists and journalism teachers to do their jobs more credibly is the goal of Poynter. Established in 1975, Poynter is a school with a mission of preparing its students to produce quality work. Poynter exerts a powerful reach through its online training program, News University, and its seminar-based learning in St. Petersburg, Fla. One of the profession’s leading lights, Poynter builds credibility by reinforcing nuts-and-bolts skills and offering a rich platform of resources, commentary, blogs and interactive links that connect every corner of journalism.

The ALANA Project

Conference contact: Alice Tait, Central Michigan University
The ALANA Project refers to the research done on the mass media that is owned, operated or influenced by African Americans, Latinos, Asians and Native Americans. A three-book series, Ethnic Media in America, explores the effects of ALANA-controlled media and examines models for improving ethnic portrayals in the mainstream media.

National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association
Conference contact: Pamela Strother, director

Founded in 1990, the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association has promoted responsible coverage of prominent issues such as same-sex marriage, gay families, gays in the military, civil liberties and gay-related ballot initiatives. The NLGJA enhances credibility in the mainstream press by working for a stronger gay presence in newsrooms and an acceptance of gay issues as mainstream news.

Conference contact: Fabrice Florin, director

NewsTrust is a non-profit venture whose aim is to restore trust by reviewing news stories online to ensure whether they meet accepted editorial practices. Using online technology to scour cyberspace and employing a standardized evaluating tool, NewsTrust will focus on verifying the accuracy of published news stories. It will also provide a moderated conversation space between journalists and readers and plans to create a ratings data base of news providers that will guide users to the most reliable sources of news. By vetting the news after it’s been published, NewsTrust hopes to build credibility by serving as one more check on the accuracy of news stories.

Current Project for Student Journalism
Conference contact: Eric Eldon, The Stanford Daily

CPSJ is a new non-profit under the umbrella of Newsweek magazine that publishes Current, a national magazine put out by college journalists. Students from colleges across the country can submit stories and photos for national publication, as well as share resources for improving their own reporting and writing.

Center for Communications and Community, UCLA
Conference contact: George White, assistant director

UCLA’s Center for Communications and Community sees building alliances between community stakeholders and journalists as a way to restore trust in the media. Known as C3, the Center is a training and research institution that bridges the gap between grassroots community activists and the journalists who cover them. C3 believes public policy can best be affected by replacing media stereotypes with more realistic and credible coverage.

Conference contact: Dan Gillmor, founder and author

Bayosphere, created and hosted by Dan Gillmor, is a grassroots experiment in doing journalism from the ground up. Based in and focused on the San Francisco Bay area, Bayosphere is a platform for citizen journalists, professional writers, technology experts and ordinary bloggers to write what they know about topics pertinent to the region, from housing prices to culture to technology and community news. Bayosphere also acts as a check on the accuracy of mainstream media but aims to supplement, rather than replace, the traditional top-down model of journalism.

Washington News Council
Conference contacts: John Hamer, director; Stephen Silha, president

Based in Seattle, the Washington News Council builds credibility with the public by providing a forum where readers and journalists throughout the state can jointly examine whether fair newsgathering practices were followed. The Council acts as an independent readers’ representative as it holds newspapers to the same standards of accuracy, fairness and balance that journalists ask of their sources, therefore building reciprocity and creating trust.

University of Alabama/Anniston Star
Graduate program in journalism
Conference contact: Chris Waddle, University of Alabama

UA’s groundbreaking program takes students inside a family-owned newspaper known for its rapport with the community it serves and gives them on-the-job training in producing community news. Based at the University of Alabama but situated inside the newsroom of the Anniston Star, this graduate program will teach the sociology of community as well as the fundamentals of journalism. Because local reporting is ubiquitous, new ways of training journalists to do it well will impact readers’ trust.

AmericaSpeaks/National Dialogue Bureau
Conference contact: Karla Andreu

Both of these non-profit organizations believe the best way to restore trust in mainstream media is to create a dialogue between ordinary citizens and journalists. Too often, the experts journalists turn to as authoritative voices in news stories don’t accurately reflect the views of regular citizens. AmericaSpeaks and the National Dialogue Bureau strives to fill that void by using dialogue and deliberation groups across the country to deliver Americans’ thoughts to the media.

Civic Journalism Interest Group, AEJMC
Conference contact: Tony DeMars, Sam Houston State University

This interest group, under the umbrella of the Association of Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, addresses the ways journalists can capture the nuance and complexities of neighborhoods they may have no experience covering. Civic, or community, journalism strives for authentic news stories by using local residents as sources more often instead of only government experts or frequently quoted professionals. By teaching journalists how to engage local residents, especially those from different socioeconomic backgrounds, CJIG works to regain those residents’ trust in the result.

University of Missouri at Columbia
School of Journalism/MyMissourian
Conference contact: Clyde Bentley, associate professor

MyMissourian is the online equivalent of an old-fashioned telephone party line, where ordinary citizens get to write about what is important to them, in a college newspaper format. Strengthening local community ties by allowing citizens to become journalists has created a new model for gathering and reporting news that even local media no longer covers.

National Association of Hispanic Journalists
Conference contact: Dino Chiecchi

The NAHJ works to advance and recognize the role Hispanic journalists play in today’s newsrooms, as the influence of Latino culture grows. Creating a common platform for Hispanic news professionals, the Association fosters less stereotyped news coverage and promotes more trust in the media by Latino communities.

Center For Public Integrity
Conference contact: Charles Lewis, founder

The Center, founded in 1989, has created a benchmark for the level of detail and factual research upon which its investigative stories are based. Nonprofit and nonpartisan, the Center gathers original public policy data and shapes it into online and print reports that people can directly access online or in print, on issues ranging from state government to federal contracts to global rules of law.

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FreePress is a non-profit whose aim is to make government media policy more clear and accessible to the public. The group, aligned with no political party, works to reform media via democratic outreach to a public that is not always aware of what is at stake.