Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Trust in News: Much ado about nothing

Newstrust is a new online news startup whose staff filters all incoming pieces of information, and going beyond this. They actually filter news sources themselves for trustworthiness.

Now, this may be a noble thing to do when you are trying to take on the likes of social news sites such as Digg. However, I would say that Newstrust is barking up the wrong tree, pardon the cliché.

Trust is often implicit in things.
The saying goes like this: if you can describe truth, it no longer exists.

It is silly when News Sites proclaim that they stand for Truth.
Just as silly, if Obama thinks Blacks will vote for him since he is ‘black’.

Readers will read what they like to read.
Republicans will read conservative slant stories because they like to…

Being creatures of habit, we will read New York Times, BBC news site, Digg, Techmeme, despite of the occasional instances of sloppiness, more so in case with Digg and Techmeme, which often aggregate all kinds of blogs.

The reader is also more intelligent.
He/she would also like to make up his/her mind after having read several pieces on the topic.

It is about being a useful, timely and an entertaining read.

Not surprisingly, the best news sources do not trumpet ‘trustiness’ (apologies to Colbert).

BBC – Putting news first
New York Times – What is fit to print

My point:
When News Sites trumpet about ‘trustiness', they’ leave themselves game to ridicule and cynicism.

High-handed claims such as 'trustiness' may backfire in a big way when you slip just once. Being human, 'trust' me, you will slip.

My suggestion to Newstrust will be: Less noise, more signal please.


At 3:15 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you believe in the tooth fairy.

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