Journalists, we have to stop assuming people understand the mission, ethics and processes behind our work. We can’t let ourselves get lumped in with perceptions of “the media.” Instead, we need to actively work to earn trust from our communities by telling them why we’re worthy of their time, trust and support.
This online, self-directed course will help you understand mistrust and gain a better understanding of what trust in news looks like around the world. Examples and activities are designed for non-U.S. news media and fact-checking organizations, in collaboration with Poynter’s International Fact-Checking Network.
This course will also provide you with tips and tools to be more transparent, more engaged and more open with your audience by encouraging you to:
- Be part of the conversation. In the complex world we live in, you know you will likely receive criticisms and accusations about your news coverage. Are you ready to respond? More importantly, are you prepared to engage with your audience by asking and listening to their feedback?
- Correct the misunderstandings that drive some attitudes toward journalism. Most non-journalists don’t know how journalists do their jobs. And why should they? We historically haven’t done a great job of explaining it. Learn how to correct misassumptions about journalism while building trust in your work.
- Tell your own story. You’re part of “the media” but you don’t need to let that define you. Trust in “the media” is low and in some cases, there may be good reasons for that. But, you’re part of “the media” too, right? And you produce honest, ethical, trustworthy content, right? Learn how to differentiate your journalism from the rest and build trust in the process.
- Get credit for ethics and fairness behind your news coverage. As a journalist, you know how hard you work to be fair and ethical, but do your users? Probably not. Learn how you can discuss your ethics and fairness with your users.
- Retain subscriptions and thrive financially. Journalism costs money. We know that, but do our users? Do they know why supporting you is important to the communities you serve? Talking about your value is an important way to build trust.
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