Last June Elon Musk threatened to launch a ratings platform for journalists, eliciting a hostile reaction from journalists and media observers. A typical response held that journalism isn't the sort of profession whose output can be graded like a taco stand or an Airbnb.
But whether journalists like it or not, some sort of system of ratings and credentials is going to be built; indeed, it is already happening. Many news outlets are banking on trust being the driver of loyalty and engagement-both the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail have invested in the Trust Project, designed to do exactly that.
Can journalists be usefully and objectively rated? Should they require professional accreditation? How effective, if at all, are any of the numerous “trust projects” that are currently underway?
On November 27, 2018, the Max Bell School of Public Policy co-hosted a panel discussion on the future of credibility for journalists and news organizations in the era of so-called 'fake news'.
Public Policy Forum President & CEO Edward Greenspon and recently appointed Max Bell School of Public Policy professor Taylor Owen also announced the launch of the Digital Democracy Project, a multi-year project to analyze and respond to the increasing amounts of disinformation and hate in the digital public sphere.
Watch highlights from the panel discussion:
Andrew Potter, BA'93, Associate Professor at the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada and former journalist
Tony Keller, Editorial Page Editor of The Globe and Mail
David Skok, CEO & Editor-in-Chief at The Logic
Jen Gerson, Journalist