how do you measure the transparency of news?
Here are the 5 most important concerns.
2. OWNERSHIP: Is the news outlet open about its ownership? Is it clear to the audience (ie: readers, viewers and listeners) who owns the news organization? Is there other information about the parent corporation that is divulged, such as any other media and non-media holdings ?
3. STAFF POLICIES: How candid is a news outlet about conflicts of interest? Does the news outlet post its standards intended to guide the behavior of reporters, editors, producers? Can journalists be taken out to lunch, can they contribute to a political candidate, can they accept speakers’ fees? Is the news organization upfront about any business or other relationships that might put individual reporters or the news organization in a position where the news judgment could be clouded?
4. REPORTING POLICIES: Is a news outlet willing to explain its editorial decisions — including the values and ethics behind them? Does the news organization let its readers know how it does what it does and why? What are the newsroom’s writing and editing policies: when can reporters use politicized terms such as “terrorist,” how many sources does it take to confirm a story? In general, does the news outlet make public its reporting standards (such as its sourcing guidelines) and ethical rules (such as its handling of stories about children)?
5. INTERACTIVITY: How openness is a news outlet to readers and viewers comments and criticism? Does the news organization have an ombudsman? Does the news organization publish letters to the editor and/or provide other ways for the readers to interact with the people who collect, edit and disseminate the news, such as by posting email addresses for reporters and editors, or by making staff accessible via on-site blogs, live chats, or space to leave remarks at the bottom of stories?
The chart below scored the news outlets with the following symbols