NewsTrust Member Awards - First Winners
Today, we're pleased to announce the first winners of the NewsTrust Member Awards!
This new monthly program rewards members of the NewsTrust community who make exceptional contributions to our cause (see our original blog announcement).
For the month of October, we're delighted to feature six outstanding reviewers for their leadership in fulfilling our mission, and for their achievements in a variety of categories, such as Top Rated or Most Active Reviewer (see below).
Meet the Winner s
Here are our Member Award winners for October 2009:
• Top Rated Reviewer - Chris Finnie
• Most Thorough Reviewer - Richard Riehl
• Most Active Reviewer - Dwight Rousu
• Top Rated Post - Patricia Blochowiak
• Most Reviewed Post - Cynthia Gilbert
• Trusted Member of the Month - Jo Bobenhouse Smith
Congratulations to our first round of Member Awards winners! It's a true pleasure to honor your enlightening contributions to our site -- and to the NewsTrust mission. Your participation is an inspiration to us all.
Here's a breakdown of each winner's contributions this month -- and how they were selected for their award.
Highest Rated Reviewer
The October award for Highest Rated Reviewer goes to Chris Finnie. Chris earned high ratings on her insightful and witty reviews of stories from the Washington Post, New York Times, MinnPost and others. She has once again shown herself to be one fo the most respected members of our community.
The Highest Rated Reviewer award goes to the member whose story reviews have the highest average rating for the month. The member must have completed ten or more reviews and received at least ten ratings from other trusted members.
Most Thorough Reviewer
Richard Riehl took the time and care to answer as many as 20 questions in many of his story reviews, earning him October's Most Thorough Reviewer award. Richard used our review form to the max and added his notes and comments on important stories from the Chicago Tribune, the Daily Beast and more.
The reviewer whose reviews are the most thorough -- filling out most or all fields of the review form -- wins the Most In-Depth Reviewer award for the month. We calculate this by finding the average number of answers a reviewer provides; the reviewer must have done ten or more story reviews to qualify.
Most Active Reviewer
The Most Active Reviewer award goes to NewsTrust NewsHound Dwight Rousu, who reviewed 135 stories in the month of October. That's an average of more than 4 story reviews per day. On top of that, Dwight often had a quip to go along with his ratings.
The Most Active Reviewer is a simple but key award that goes to the reviewer who posted the most story reviews for the month.
Highest Rated Post
Patricia Blochowiak is the winner of the October award for Highest Rated Post, for posting "More is Less," a top-rated podcast from NPR's This American Life, that investigated forces behind rising health care costs. The story garnered an overall rating of 4.6 from NewsTrust members.
The award for Highest Rated Post goes to the member who posted the story that got the most favorable reviews from other trusted members. To qualify, the story must have at least five reviews.
Most Reviewed Post
October's winner for Most Reviewed Post is Cynthia Gilbert, who posted "Tricky o's 'doctored' photo" from the New York Post. Seventeen NewsTrust members reviewed the news report, which got an overall rating of 2.1 (Cynthia gave it a 1.3), earning it a spot as one of the featured stories during our Bad Journalism News Hunt.
The member who posts the story with the most reviews earns this award for the month. Candidates must have received five or more favorable reviews from trusted members to win this prize.
Trusted Member of the Month
Our Trusted Member of the Month is Jo Bobenhouse Smith, whose frequent reviews and thoughtful notes helped our ratings of some of October's most important news items. Since signing up in October, Jo has reviewed well over 100 stories -- thank you for your wonderful contributions, Jo!
The Trusted Member award goes to the member who, through his or her reviews and other activity on the site, best embodies the NewsTrust spirit in the eyes of the editors. Candidates must have done ten or more reviews, and their validation must have increased to a three or more in the past month.
Win a Member Award
If you are a regular NewsTrust reviewer, you too could win one of our monthly awards. Here are some of the ways you can qualify for a member award and increase your own member level:
• Review often
Our top rated reviewers review and post stories regularly and thoroughly. Try to review at least a couple times per week and answer as many questions as you can. To review stories on our site, click 'Review' next to any story title; a good place to start is our home page.
• Focus on the journalism
Here at NewsTrust, we try to rate stories based on the quality of the journalism, not whether we agree with the views presented in these stories. For tips on how to review on our site, check our review guide.
• Fill your profile
Take a moment to update your member profile, so other members can get to know you. The more you share about yourself, the higher your member level, and the more your ratings count. Be sure to add a picture if you can.
How Member Awards Work
At the end of each month, NewsTrust editors tally the results for each award and announce the winners in a blog post and email newsletter. Winners can only win one award per year. If they qualify for two awards in the same month, they're awarded the "higher" prize. NewsTrust staff editors and directors cannot not qualify for these awards. Member awards will be given through the end of the year, for reviews posted in November and December. Tell us what you think of this new community program. Drop a comment here on the blog -- or email us directly at editors-at-newstrust.net.
Support our Work
This week, we're calling on you to support our work by making a personal donation to NewsTrust. For the past three years, we've provided our free public service thanks to the MacArthur Foundation, the Ashoka Foundation, the Ayrshire Foundation, the Sunlight Foundation, Hap Perry, Mitch Kapor, Craig Newmark and many other generous donors. But the economic crisis has changed everything, and foundation grants or large donations have become very scarce.
So we're turning to valued members like you to support our cause. Our continued growth depends on you. If you find our service useful, please donate today, so we can continue to help citizens find quality news --
and make informed decisions. Your contribution will fund site improvements, new tools, community outreach, news literacy programs and much more. We're independent and nonprofit, which means anything you give goes directly to our cause -- and it's tax-deductible.
Help us promote good, reliable journalism -- make a donation to NewsTrust today!
-- by Derek Hawkins, Kaizar Campwala and Fabrice Florin