To fulfill our mission more effectively, we will pivot our nonprofit organization from a standalone news curation site to a consultancy that will serve the needs of larger partners and help their communities become better informed about important public issues.
Our initial focus will be on fact-checking services to expose misinformation in the public debate. To that end, we have partnered with the Center for Public Integrity and Craig Newmark to develop Truthsquad.com for the 2012 U.S. elections. We created this pro-am fact-checking service last year to help citizens and journalists work together to separate fact from fiction. Read more on our Truthsquad pilot site.
News sharing on the web is now primarily taking place on large social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, reducing the need for curated news sites like NewsTrust.net. As a result, our site traffic has decreased in recent months and we no longer have funding to pay for our daily news curation service, which we have offered for the past five years with support from foundations and private donors.
Instead, we see an emerging need for quality fact-checking services and collaborative evaluation tools, which we think we can effectively provide by extending our innovative social media platform to serve partner communities on their sites. We will also explore partnerships that enable us to provide news literacy and civic engagement services through consumer and educational channels.
This new strategy supports our overall mission to help people find good journalism and credible information online, but it does so more effectively, by shifting our focus to services that can be sustained over time, in collaboration with our partners.
We reached this decision through extensive deliberations over the past six months with our board of directors, our staff, advisors, hosts, partners, funders and other members of our community. Most people we spoke to agree that this is a logical development for NewsTrust -- and we all look forward to our next steps together on this new course.
What will change on NewsTrust?
At the end of this week, on Friday, July 15, we will discontinue our daily news curation service on NewsTrust.net. The home page of our website will promote partner activities and reports, instead of a daily featured news story. We will still provide news listings below the fold on our home page, as well as on other pages on our site, and NewsTrust members will be able to post and review stories on these pages. But these listings will no longer be moderated or curated by our staff on a daily basis -- and we will no longer send daily newsletters, since we cannot guarantee their quality without staff curation.
Our last daily email newsletter will go out this Friday. We will continue to offer our weekly newsletters for the next few months, highlighting some of the most trusted news stories of the week, according to our reviewers. These newsletters will be curated by a NewsTrust staff member, to insure a quality news listing. If you now subscribe to our daily newsletter, you will automatically receive these weekly newsletters every Wednesday at 4 p.m. Eastern time (1 p.m. Pacific), starting next week.
If getting daily emails from us is important to you, you can subscribe to our daily MyNews email, which provides a personalized listing of news stories based on your interests every morning at 6 a.m. Eastern time (3 a.m. Pacific). This automated service is available at no charge to all NewsTrust members, and only takes a minute to set up on your MyNews page (if you're not yet a member, read more about MyNews here). Of course, you can change any of your email subscriptions on our Email Newsletters page, once you are logged in.
If you are a member of NewsTrust Baltimore, check our separate blog post to see how these changes will affect your local service. Daily curation on this local news pilot in Baltimore will end on July 31, and all local email newsletters will discontinue at that time.
We will also make a few more changes in coming weeks, to make sure that our crowdsourced news listings serve the best interests of our community. For example, stories that have been rated highly by trusted members will be featured more prominently. And NewsTrust members will only be able to post up to five stories per day, to prevent any individual from flooding the site with content that others may not find as useful. If you have any feedback or questions about any of these changes, please contact us at feedback-at-newstrust.net.
Make a donation
If you value our work at NewsTrust, we invite you to make a donation today to support our cause in this time of need.
Personal donations from supporters like you are more critical than ever before, as our foundation grants have declined in recent years.
Please help NewsTrust continue to serve its civic mission. Your contribution will support free public services such as our educational programs in colleges and high schools, fact-checking services, quality review forms, literacy guides, weekly email newsletters, news widgets and RSS feeds -- and more great ways to help people get better informed.
Your donation is tax-deductible as a charitable contribution. NewsTrust Communications is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public benefit corporation (Tax ID: 32-0251525). For more information about NewsTrust, check our profile on GuideStar, which includes our financial reports. Or email us at donations-at-newstrust-dot-net with any questions about contributing to NewsTrust.
Please make a donation now, to help us make a smooth transition during this critical time.
Thanks for your understanding. We're deeply grateful for all that you and other community members have done to support NewsTrust over the years!
Executive Director and Founder