Late last month, NewsTrust went live. This non-profit online news rating service aims to help people identify quality journalism - or "news you can trust." The project is led by Fabrice Florin, a former journalist and a digital media pioneer at Apple and Macromedia. The concept is simple -- NewsTrust members submit articles, then read and rate them based on key journalistic principles such as fairness, balance, evidence, context and importance.
The leader of the New Zealand National Party, Don Brash, has resigned in the wake of a party backlash over his attempt to ban a book by investigative journalist Nicky Hager. Last week Brash gained an injunction from the High Court of New Zealand banning anyone in the country from publishing the content of his emails. Hager's book, The Hollow Men: A Study in the Politics of Deception, was set to be released last Tuesday but was blocked by the injunction.
While in the Denver area for a conference, Center for Media and Democracy Associate Director Judith Siers-Poisson and I met with staff and board members of the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center (RMPJC). We wanted to hear about RMPJC's fine work, especially on nuclear weapons issues, and to describe CMD's online resources to them. One offshoot of that meeting was the following article, which I wrote for RMPJC's newsletter.
It's been a busy week on Congresspedia. New additions to the site include:
- lots of contributions by members of the Congresspedia/SourceWatch community on bribery scandals, new legislation, heavyweight corporate campaign contributors, censuring the president and federal investigations into an "improper relationship" with a lobbyist (see full list)
- a new page on the Colbert Report with links to the videos of each of his "Better Know a District" member of Congress interviews
- and a fancy new tool for looking up your particular member of Congress by your home address.
Also well worth checking out is the muckraking action over at the Sunlight Foundation blogs. The new Congresspedia article contributions include:
Welcome to the debut of Congresspedia, the "citizen's encyclopedia on Congress." Congresspedia is a bold new experiment by the Center for Media and Democracy and the Sunlight Foundation in distributed citizen journalism. It is based on the wiki model (think Wikipedia) and is a subset of the Center's SourceWatch wiki.
As the Center for Media and Democracy has noted, the tobacco industry pioneered many deceptive public relations tactics, casting a long shadow over science and health reporting, as well as the public's right to know.
Before its fall from grace, tobacco industry created front groups courted journalists and obscured damning scientific evidence. But, inadvertently, the industry is now helping independent researchers and reporters understand how PR is used to obscure facts and shape public debates.