USA TODAY is one of many newsrooms that took part in a second round of the project led by the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri. The goal this time was testing strategies around building trust among readers. USA TODAY’s involvement included setting weekly goals for better demonstrating balance, accessibility and our unique personality. To stay focused, we zoomed in our Opinion content but monitored other types of news as well.
Although this round of the project ended on April 27, we don’t believe building your trust stops there.
What’s next? Two things.
1) The Trusting News project will study the data logged and work towards developing conclusions about the current climate of trust in the media.
2) USA TODAY will share what we’ve discovered as well as more specifics as we build on what we’ve learned.
In the meantime, we wish to thank you, the reader, for your invaluable responses. We believe it was your feedback and suggestions that shaped the project and helped improve our ability to serve you better.
Some things you shared:
- You’re turned off by clickbait or headlines that are misleading. (We learned this in Round 1 of the project. Always a good reminder.)
- You want to be able to distinguish between news and opinion content.
- You want just the facts in balanced stories that lean neither left nor right.
- Many of you said you appreciated the effort. (Aww, shucks!)
Some things we believe will help address your concerns:
- We’d like to introduce and promote more regular roundups of your overall concerns, feedback, and conversation. (Here’s an example.)
- We’re looking at ways for you to talk more directly to reporters and editors.
- We’re looking into how we can better label USA TODAY opinion pieces and have already made changes on how we promote them on social media. (See for yourself.)
Although our involvement with this round of the project has ended, we intend to continue looking for better ways to build your trust, interact with readers, and ensure that we’re meeting the standards of what a credible media organization should be.
Keep telling us how we’re doing in the meantime. Send your feedback to [email protected]
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