NewsTrust Baltimore is an online experiment to improve the way people get their local news, now under development at NewsTrust, with the generous support of the Open Society Foundations and OSI Baltimore.
Our goal for this news literacy project is to help Baltimore residents get better access to good journalism about their community -- and become more discerning news consumers in the process (especially university and high school students).
To that end, we will organize a two-month pilot in Baltimore due to launch next February 2011, based on a local version of the NewsTrust curation platform. Our special website will provide an online "story bank" where Baltimore residents can find good journalism about their area -- and share the best reporting with friends and neighbors.
During this pilot, a small team of professional editors will lead an online community of citizens, teachers, students, journalists and local experts to evaluate and promote the best local news coverage in their area. Participants will use the NewsTrust review tools to rate news stories based on journalistic qualities such as facts, fairness and context -- and learn to tell apart good journalism from misinformation.
Collectively, we will recommend news and opinions from a wide range of sources: mainstream and independent, commercial and public, national and hyper-local, ethnic or niche blogs -- in print, broadcast or online media. We will also track each source's expertise by topic.
For this project, we will partner with several local universities and high schools -- as well as some of Baltimore's newspapers, radio and TV stations, bloggers, ethnic and nonprofit organizations. Our local news feeds will be featured on their websites as well, using our widgets.
This news hub and civic engagement network will give citizens a practical way to share good journalism on important issues such as politics, crime, education, justice, poverty, race and youth development. This will help raise public awareness about these issues, and identify informative news sources for each topic we cover.
In the process, we hope to make citizens more aware of their local news ecosystem, help them discover new sources of credible information, and start a discussion on how to improve the way Baltimore residents get their news.
We will post more information on our project page in coming weeks.
Support our work
NewsTrust is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people find quality news and information online. Read more about our initiative on our About page. If you are able, please consider a donation today, so we can keep providing more services like these to the public. Thank you!