Start Earning Trust

At Trusting News, we identify things news audiences don’t understand about how journalism works and look for potential opportunities to demonstrate credibility by explaining news processes, coverage goals and journalism ethics.

So, how can you get started? 


Accept that earning trust is part of your job as a journalist. It doesn’t matter if you are a reporter, engagement editor or a photographer. If we each don’t tell people how news works, who will? 


Understand mistrust. Use this research deck to gain a better understanding of what trust in news looks like in the U.S. and use these tips to get a better understanding of what your community thinks about your work.


Work to be more transparent, more engaged and more open with your users by doing the following:

1. Be part of the conversation. In the partisan world we live in, you know you will likely receive criticisms and accusations about your news coverage. Are you ready to respond? More importantly, are you prepared to engage with your audience by asking and listening to their feedback?

2. Correct the misunderstandings that drive some attitudes toward journalism. Most non-journalists don’t know how journalists do their jobs. And why should they? We historically haven’t done a great job of explaining it. Learn how to correct misassumptions about journalism while building trust in your work.

3. Tell your own story. You’re part of “the media” but don’t need to let that define you. Trust in “the media” is low and in some cases, there may be good reasons for that. But, you’re part of “the media” too, right? And you produce honest, ethical, trustworthy content, right? Learn how to differentiate your journalism from the rest and build trust in the process.

4.  Get credit for ethics and fairness behind your news coverage. Journalists have ethics? No way? As a journalist, you know how hard you work to be fair and ethical, but do your users? Probably not. Learn how you can discuss your ethics and fairness with your users.

5. Retain subscriptions and thrive financially. Journalism costs money. We know that, but do our users? Do they know why supporting you is important to the communities you serve? Talking about your value is an important way to build trust.

Are you ready to build trust with the people you aim to serve?

Here’s how Trusting News can help:

  • Our Trust Tips newsletter provides one quick, actionable tip for earning trust each Tuesday. See highlights and sign up here.
  • Apply to participate in a future Trust 101 training. It’s a free online course in which you will develop a customized plan for earning trust in your own work, with individualized feedback from the Trusting News team. Learn more and sign up to be alerted when we’re taking applications.
  • Check out our resources page (accessible from the home page). It includes step-by-step guides, suggested language to use in your journalism, video explanations, research highlights and more. 
Helpful handouts

Looking for quick, shareable tips? Our resources pages has handouts, videos and sample assignments for educators who want to build trust strategies into their teaching.