NewsTrust is not just a news review site, but also a social news site. True, we don’t have loads of contentious cross-talk, nor do we have loads of just general online comparing-notes type conversation, little blogs and messages all over the place for one another.
So, how can NewsTrust ("NT") be “social” without open conversation? How can members get to know others if they’re not yakking?
Overall, NewsTrust’s community is mostly interested in what members think about journalism. What you know more than who you know, so to say.
Still, you can help strengthen the NT community by letting us know something about you. Member profile pages allow you to tell us as little or as much about you as you’d like other members to know. Lots of members start out telling very little. And for some, this is a prudent decision—some simply need time to get more acquainted with the community before revealing too much about themselves.
A good way to get more acquainted with the NT community is to start reviewing stories! Once you submit your first review, your member role will change to Reviewer. The depth of your review depends on your preferences (or even mood of the day, for that matter.) When you click "Review It" to open our NT review form, you can see that there are a number of different sections. The first section lets you rate the story by answering questions about the story's journalistic quality and adding a comment, in order to create a basic review. For a short overview on how to rate a story, check our Quick Review Tips .
Further down the review form, you can open other sections that let you go deeper, tag the story, research it, and even add links to material that might add more perspective. The Reviewers FAQ details what all those different sections are about and how to use them.
By reviewing stories on our site, you are leaving a bread-crumb trail about your own worldview, which helps others find out more about you. Now, how might you get to know everyone who’s already here? When you go to a story reviews page (click 'See Reviews' anywhere on our site), you will see the names of other people who have reviewed that story. Click on their names, and check out who they are. You can even rate some of their reviews, based on how well they evaluate the journalistic quality of that story.
It’s completely up to you how far to delve into reviewing a story. Many members submit quick reviews for a variety of stories, only answering a few rating questions -- while submitting detailed reviews on stories that are of particular interest or that they know more about. For instance, I might give an in-depth review of a technology story, and a quick review of a political story, while other reviewers might really get into a political story or something on the economy.
How you review will also help you raise your member level. Member levels are average scores based on your activity, overall experience, transparency, ratings from other members and profile validation (determined by staff.) These levels are displayed on the right-side of every member profile—that’s what all those yellow dots are about. You can read more about member level on the Members’ FAQ
Like most community sites, what you can get out of NewsTrust depends on how much you want to put into it through your reviews, and how curious you are about our community. And if you’re content to lurk on the sidelines, you can do that too, by simply using NewsTrust as your starting point for finding quality news stories. Any way you choose to be part of our community is fine with us!