What began as an isolated financial meltdown for American banks has become a global economic crisis. Developed economies, from Japan to the European Union are in recession, while high flying developing countries such as China are seeing a precipitous decline in economic growth.
In partnership with Northeastern University professor Dan Kennedy and his students, last week the NewsTrust community focused on finding good journalism on the Global Economy. Together we reviewed 41 stories across 25 separate American and international publications.
NewsTrust reviewers found the best reporting on the global economy came from mainstream publications such as The Washington Post, Bloomberg, The Christian Science Monitor, and Time. However, independent sources such as LinkTV, Women's eNews, and The New Republic also garnered high ratings for their stories.
Here are some of the highest rated stories:
The Breadbasket of South Korea: Madagascar - Time
Banking Regulator Played Advocate Over Enforcer - Washington Post
G20: A New World Order - Global Pulse (LinkTV)
Americans' "Hypocrisy" in Auto Rescue Spurs Me-Too Trading Ire - Bloomberg
Kenya Farmers Reap Profits Sown by Joined Hands - Women's eNews
Crash and Burn - New Republic
Global deflation risk grows - Christian Science Monitor
Crossing to Mexico for Hospitals and Healthcare - Newsweek
Falling Crop Prices Threaten Boom in Small Farms - Wall Street Journal
The black hole in financial markets - Asia Times
The Lame-Duck Economy - New York Times
Bankruptcy may be good for the Detroit Three - Miami Herald
Russia Out of Rehab - Wall Street Journal
The global economy and Detroit - Salon
Bailout to Nowhere - New York Times
For our global economy News Hunt, we were joined by Northeastern professor Dan Kennedy and his journalism students from Reinventing the News, a class that focuses on the role and evolution Web journalism. Throughout the semester, Dan's class covers the gamut of new media and social news sites. NewsTrust became part of the curriculum last week as our editor and host Mike LaBonte gave a demonstration of the site to the class, discussing NewsTrust's mission and walking the group through the review process.
Dan's students, on assignment to review at least three stories on NewsTrust, critiqued 86 stories during the week, bringing in fresh perspectives and giving our News Hunt a helpful boost. They also provided their valuable input and first impressions of the site in a series of posts from their blogs, which they keep as part of the class. Dan also participated in the exercise -- check out his reviews on his personal blog, Media Nation.
The students' reactions were generally positive -- everyone seemed to find the experience worthwhile. One student, Michaela Stanelun, wrote on her blog A Writer Without A Pen that the NewsTrust demonstration was "one of my favorite classes all semester because I really enjoy the site." She added, "[B]esides rating stories, you can also rate other users' reviews on stories. The reviewing process is practically neverending on this web site. NewsTrust is definitely a valuable tool."
Other comments and criticisms ranged from remarks on the large-scale effectiveness of the site to user-friendliness to the fairness of the rating system. Matt Collette, who blogs at Not For Scientists and said he aims to use NewsTrust regularly, said "NewsTrust is forcing me to think critically about news, which - in this age of the Huffington Post and the Drudge Report - remains very important." However, he worried that the review process might be too time consuming for some. "The site takes a big commitment - you can't just stop by for a few minutes," he said, "and that's something that might turn some people off."
Amara Grautski, who writes The Media Dinosaur: Fighting Extinction, had a mixed reaction to the site, saying it seemed like more of a tool for specialists than the public:
Candice Novak, a journalism graduate student whose blog is Under-Covered, said part of NewsTrust's appeal is in its effort to be more transparent and personal than other similar sites.
By and large, the students said they appreciated the dialogue that NewsTrust has attempted to create between news organizations and their readers, and remarked on the site's ability to surface and rate stories they wouldn't have otherwise seen. We believe this reflects a changing readership that views itself as a constituent of the news, rather than its audience or subject, and speaks to the mission of NewsTrust.
Firuzeh Shokooh-Valle of The Others/Invisible Lives cast NewsTrust as a player in the breakdown of the "traditional media's monologue" and said it democratizes journalism by integrating others voices and making reporters accountable to who they really owe themselves to: the readers." Julie Balise called NewsTrust "both interactive and intuitive" and "one of journalism’s most innovative checks," on her blog lollipops & crisps. And in what we hope is testament to NewsTrust's draw for more than just news junkies, Drew Bonifant, a sports blogger who writes pats down pat, said, "The site is very effective at bringing well-written and researched articles to the forefront of hot-topic political issues, and it's easy to leave NewsTrust having read articles that provide valuable insight and, in some cases, opinion and analysis."
(NewsTrust editor and host Mike LaBonte, with Northeastern University journalism students.)
For more remarks from the students of Reinventing the News, visit the Reinventing the News class blog, or check out these student blogs:
Ami's Politics - Ami Van Wygerden
College Sports Coverage - Erika Carruba
Crazy Sunshine - Mark Rizzo
Blog Against the Machine: Boston - Marc Larocque
Things an Elephant Should Never Forget - Liz Stitt
Jess Volpe - Jess Volpe
Another Pixelated Window - Jared Molton
The Magraker - Bobby Feingold
Belen Bogado - Belen Bogado
AL's Blog - Adrianne Loggins
Miller's Musings - Chaz Miller
Thanks to our partners
A big thank you to Northeastern journalism professor Dan Kennedy for inviting his students to join our News Hunt -- and to the students for sharing their experience with us! We're very grateful to Dan (who is a NewsTrust editor and founding member) for experimenting with educational applications of NewsTrust in his class -- and bringing in new perspectives from his students.
Join our News Hunt on Poverty
We're looking for quality journalism about people who live at the bottom of
the economic ladder, with as focus on solutions to help them cope with
the financial crisis and rising unemployment. Please review our
recommended stories -- and submit new stories -- in our special section
By Kaizar Campwala, Derek Hawkins and Fabrice Florin
Derek Hawkins, Assistant Editor at NewsTrust, graduated in May, 2008, from Northeastern University, where he studied under professor Dan Kennedy. His introduction to NewsTrust.net came in a presentation on the site in Dan's Reinventing the News class in spring 2008. After three months as an active reviewer, Derek applied for an editorial opening on the NewsTrust team and was hired in June.