Trust Tips newsletter

Our Trust Tips newsletter provides one quick, actionable tip for earning trust each Tuesday.



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Explain how you decide which stories to cover

Refocus on coronavirus basics

Ask how you could better earn trust 

Moderate comments on the conversations you host

Address “fake news” complaints

Clearly label opinion content

If you strive for fairness, tell your audience

Equip journalists to respond to attacks on their credibility 

Let’s talk about the 90 percent of Republicans who don’t trust us


Tell your audience that COVID-19 information might change

Do not neglect basic but vital pandemic information

With coronavirus coverage, make your purpose clear

Engage on social media during COVID-19

Explain how coronavirus coverage affects your bottom line

Show you’re part of your community during COVID-19

Don’t let political squabbles dominate COVID-19 coverage

Disclose stimulus funds and explain the ethics involved

Elections and politics 

Learn how people perceive your election reporting

Explain election basics 

Explain what you DON’T cover

If your coverage is nonpartisan, explain and defend that 

Create an FAQ about your elections coverage 

Do you endorse candidates? Either way, explain why 

Explain how you call who won an election 

Provide support (not anxiety) during elections 

Demonstrate visual balance in political coverage

Prepare your audience for what to expect on Election Day (and beyond)

Explain how political advertising works

Help your audience consume polls responsibly 

Learn how people perceive your election reporting 

Solicit (and answer) live questions about voting 

Ethics, accuracy and fairness 

Create an ethics landing page

Have a clear policy about unpublishing stories

When you’re right and other news outlets are wrong, tell your audience

Acknowledge when you mess up

Acknowledge what you don’t know

Demonstrate that your visuals aren’t manipulated

Share your ethics and corrections policy

If you get something wrong, explain yourself

If you publish a graphic image, explain why

Correct mistakes to build confidence in your journalism

Explain how you cover breaking news

Explain how you cover suicide

Explain your use of anonymous sources

Explain how breaking news works 

Be ready to discuss content you don’t produce 

Telling your story

 Reporters, explain your purpose

Share your history, mission and values

Make it clear you report on solutions, not just problems

Tell your audience what you think of “fake news”

Be ready to discuss content you don’t produce 

Show how your staff covers big news

Create a handout about your newsroom

Use plain English in your disclosure statements

Let’s create an effective “About Us” page

Do these four things right now to show you are trustworthy

Talk about the cost of journalism

Talk about your ownership

Explain your role as a watchdog

Don’t talk about the boring parts of your work

Explain your word choices

Show the breadth of your journalism 

Get started with these three questions


How to be transparent 

Use labels for investigations, fact-checks and feature stories 

Use newsletter A/B testing to test trust strategies

Explain the ways you tried to reach a source

Build transparency into investigative pieces

Transparency sidebars can be quick and easy

Use direct language



Make your contact information truly accessible

Focus on the audience members who *aren’t* yelling at you

Use social media profiles to communicate your trustworthiness

Use a survey to solicit questions and feedback

In negative feedback, look for opportunities  

Remind your audience news is more than politics and crimes 

Invite people into the newsroom

Explain why a story is being done and encourage audience participation

Create a “Contact Us” page

Ask for feedback regularly

Earn trust face to face, one on one

Share your humanity while reporting on protests

Invest in getting buy-in from your newsroom

Use research to persuade colleagues to invest in earning trust


Opinion coverage 

Explain who writes an editorial (and who doesn’t)

Explain where opinion content comes from

Explain that some journalists are biased on purpose


News literacy 

Help your audience navigate the news

Help your users be smarter news consumers

Take extra care when covering conspiracy theories (and tell your audience)

Tell your audience you won’t tolerate misinformation