To Rebuild Trust in Professional Journalism

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.

66% of Americans have “little or no trust at all” in media’s ability to report “fully accurately, or fairly.”

– Gallup, Oct. 2022

Why this matters

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.

We can do something about this.
In fact, we must

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.

The Alliance’s three focused solutions:

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.

Alliance Research

The State of Research
on Trust in News

Why do people mistrust professional media? An analysis of two decades' of research.

“In Reality” is the podcast of the Alliance for Trust in Media.

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.

Using the Tools of Tech to Hold Big Tech Accountable

With Julia Angwin - Pulitzer-Winner & Proof News Founder

The Original Fact Checker: How To Know What's True

With Glenn Kessler - Editor and Chief Writer of The Washington Post's 'Fact Checker'

The Lost Art of Civil Discourse

With Clea Conner - CEO of Open to Debate

The Logic Behind Illogical Ideologies

With Jason Blakely - Associate Professor of Political Science at Pepperdine University, California

Destroying The Internet In Order To Save It

With Frank McCourt - Executive Chairman of McCourt Global and Founder of Project Liberty

How Newsrooms Decide What's True

With Martin Baron - Former Editor of the Washington Post

Our Team

Eric Schurenberg

Executive Director

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.

Benjamin Toff

Director of Research

Assistant Professor, Hubbard School of Journalism, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Senior researcher with the Trust in News Project at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism

Leadership Council

Norm Pearlstine

Media Executive

Former EIC, Time Inc., Bloomberg, Los Angeles Times

Tim Franklin

Northwestern University

Former EIC, Baltimore Sun, Orlando Sentinel, Poynter Institute

Davia Temin

Temin and Company

Boards: Knight-Bagehot Fellowship, Girl Scouts of the USA, Swarthmore College

Vinay Mehra

Boston Globe

Former CEO, Boston Globe, Politico

Research Partners

Funding Partners

Publishing Partners

“Without trust, we have no shared
reality. Without a shared reality, we
have no democracy, and it becomes
impossible to deal with our world’s
existential problems”

Maria Ressa

Nobel Prize Lecture

Thank you for your interest in the Alliance for Trust in Media.

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.

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