News audiences don’t know what to believe anymore. Journalists don’t know how to win back their audiences’ trust. Our mission is to help them both.
– Gallup, Oct. 2022
For all its flaws, journalism remains essential and irreplaceable. Trusted journalism is the most powerful lens voters can bring to bear on the issues they face in their communities and the nation. It is the most effective check we have on the actions our representatives take in our name. Without a strong bond of understanding between journalists and audiences, our democracy will only grow more confused and more divided.
It’s tempting to say that the problem is hopeless. It’s easy to give up and to let audiences avoid news altogether or be seduced by sensationalism or disinformation. The Alliance approach is to do the hard, practical research to find out what really works in rebuilding a newsroom’s relationship with audiences and to teach audiences how to navigate through a chaotic information environment to reach the closest approximation of truth.
Develop evidence-based practices for newsrooms
Existing research has well documented the decline in trust but left newsrooms to guess how to rebuild it. “Trustworthiness” badges and other interventions, we now know, have not worked. To fill this knowledge gap, Alliance researchers engage with organizations like the Texas Tribune and the Chicago Sun Times to construct experiments in the field, to develop real data on new approaches to see which actually make a difference. Think: “Moneyball” for trust in media.
Bring media literacy to the workplace
Media literacy training has proven to be an effective tool to help school-age students better understand how news comes to them and thereby better able to resist manipulation by disinformation or sensationalism. But to date, that work has been limited to school systems. The Alliance brings the training of these skills to adults in the workplace. Think: news literacy as a company benefit, like wellness training.
Build knowledge—and spread it
The Alliance’s highly regarded podcast In Reality raises awareness of disinformation and other forces are driving Americans apart—and highlights those fighting those forces. In addition, the Alliance publishes its research and creates curricula for newsrooms to use in rebuilding trust with audiences and for consumers to use in sorting out what to believe in today’s cacophonous information environment.
Host Eric Schurenberg helps listeners find what's true today's chaotic information landscape with the help of the top thinkers and doers in journalism, research, technology and policy. The goal: to help make professional journalism once again a force for unity, not division.
Stopping Misinformation at the Gate
With Peter Adams - Stopping Misinformation at the Gate
Is News Negativity Driving Audiences Away?
With David Bornstein - Co-Founder of the Solutions Journalism Network
Who Killed Trust? And What Can We Do About It?
With Talia Stroud - Director of the Center for Media Engagement at the University of Texas, Austin
Digital Disruption and the Myth of Mainstream Media
With Alan Murray - CEO of Fortune Media
Can You Make A Profit Fighting Misinfo?
With Gordon Crovitz- co-founder of NewsGuard
Polarization's Ground Zero
With Brian Stelter - Media Reporter and Author of Network of Lies
Editor-in-chief of Money, CBS MoneyWatch, BNET, and Inc. CEO of Inc. and Fast Company. Leadership roles at Fortune, Business 2.0, AARP the Magazine, and Goldman Sachs.
Temin and Company
Boards: Knight-Bagehot Fellowship, Girl Scouts of the USA, Swarthmore College
Nobel Prize Lecture
Alliance researchers partner with newsrooms to generate evidence-based practices that can rebuild trust in professional media. If your newsroom wants to be part of this important project, we'd like to hear from you.
Alliance consultants train employees and managers to find what's true in today's polarized information environment and to handle political differences in the workforce with civility and grace. If you're concerned that polarization is harming your team's cohesion, we can help.