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Inside Public Integrity

Published — May 20, 2020

Center for Public Integrity earns perfect score as trusted news site


Media watchdog NewsGuard notes that our nonprofit newsroom investigates ‘all sides of the political spectrum’


Once upon a time — about five years ago — “fake news” was just that: partisan propaganda or deliberate misinformation masquerading as legitimate journalism.

Of late, “fake news” is frequently whatever President Donald Trump dislikes, regardless of an offending news report’s accuracy or merit.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, surveys indicate public trust in mass media, particularly among Republicans, now sits near a modern nadir. 

So here’s some good news — and real news, at that: Journalism reliability project NewsGuard has given our nonprofit investigative news organization a perfect score for credibility and transparency.

Only about one in five of the more than 4,000 websites that NewsGuard reviews has received a perfect 100-for-100 score, said Steven Brill, the company’s co-CEO.

“That’s up from about 15% because so many sites improved their practices to get higher scores from us, which we love,” Brill said in an email.

The Center for Public Integrity’s accurate reporting, responsible news gathering practices, straightforward headlines and robust disclosure policies are among the factors that contribute to its ranking, according to NewsGuard’s latest assessment

Public Integrity also earned points for how we acknowledge and promptly correct any error we make.   

NewsGuard’s assessment lauds Public Integrity’s “in-depth examinations of subjects on all sides of the political spectrum” and investigations of “conservative power brokers as well as Democratic campaigns,” such as that of 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Clinton

And it singles out major Public Integrity projects such as “Local Voters, Distant Donors,” “Abandoned in America” and “Medicaid, Under the Influence” as exemplary. 

Also noted: our close reporting partnerships with major news organizations such as The Atlantic, FiveThirtyEight and NPR, which also received high NewsGuard ratings. 

Other publications receiving perfect NewsGuard scores: the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal.

MSNBC and Fox News receive passing scores, but barely, with NewsGuard editors writing that the news channels meet “basic standards of credibility and transparency — with significant exceptions.”

NewsGuard issues red “caution” ratings for the liberal Daily Kos and American Independent, and right-leaning Drudge Report and Infowars, among others. 

NewsGuard is available for download as a browser extension for most web browsers.

Read more in Inside Public Integrity

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