9 October 2018

Africa: SciDev.Net joins The Trust Project

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SciDev.Net is extremely proud to be part of The Trust Project, a global initiative to help readers discern properly reported articles from fake news.

From today, you'll see the Trust logo at the top of our articles. It means we have agreed with leading news outlets across the world what attributes a trustworthy news service should have, and ensured that they are all being implemented on SciDev.Net.

While SciDev.Net has worked hard to build a reputation for fair and balanced reporting, not everyone knows who we are. It means that for people who come across our articles on social media, we to distinguish ourselves from the misleading news that is being used around the world to reinforce prejudices and spread misinformation.

For more than six months, our teams have been working with colleagues at news organisations such as the BBC, The Economist, Sky News and El Pais to thrash out a series of principles that can be used to give readers trust in the news they read.

To qualify for Trust accreditation, we've had to spend a lot of time making our editorial policies as transparent as possible. You can read about our policy on anonymous sourcing, corrections and diversity of voices here.

If you are interested, you can find out more about our individual writers. If you click on their author pages, you'll see where they are based, what specialist knowledge they have, and which languages they speak. We've also taken time to make the distinction between news, analysis and opinion as clear as possible.

Understandably, social media sites such as Facebook have resorted to drastic measures after being criticised for not keeping on top of organisations posting misleading content.

So, as part of the Trust project, we've also made all of our policies machine readable. It means that online aggregators such as Google News and Facebook can use algorithms to identify and clearly label quality journalism on their platforms.

This is extremely important in today's globalised media world, where most of our readers come across our articles on Facebook, Google News or Bing rather than as direct visitors to our website.

I look forward to other reputable news organisations adopting the Trust indicator in the months to come, allowing readers to finally judge for themselves which news is real, and which is fake.

If you have any comments about the Trust project, or would like to us to include any additional information on our site, you are welcome to contact me at editor@scidev.net.

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