Arne Duncan Joins NewsGuard’s Global Advisory Board

(Chicago, April 24, 2020) NewsGuard, which provides ratings and credibility scores for thousands of news websites, today announced that Arne Duncan is joining its global advisory board.

Mr. Duncan, the former U.S. Secretary of Education, currently serves as managing partner at Emerson Collective, a social impact firm, where he co-founded Chicago CRED – Creating Real Economic Destiny – an anti-gun violence organization aimed at creating transformative change in Chicago’s South and West side communities. Chicago CRED works with local leaders and organizations to provide street outreach, life coaching, workforce development, and other programs to hundreds of young men and women. Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Duncan served as chief executive officer of Chicago Public Schools. 

Mr. Duncan joins NewsGuard’s other global advisory board members, who include Tom Ridge, the first Secretary of Homeland Security; Gen. Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA and NSA; Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former Prime Minister of Denmark and former secretary general of NATO; Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia; and Ed Vaizey, a former Member of the British Parliament and UK culture minister. 

Mr. Duncan will provide strategic advice to NewsGuard, particularly with regard to its global News Literacy Programs with schools, libraries, and other education companies and organizations that use NewsGuard as a research aid and media literacy tool. More than 700 public libraries globally, as well as educators from middle school teachers to university professors, use NewsGuard to help students develop source evaluation skills.

“It’s wonderful to participate in this timely initiative to equip youth with critical research and source evaluation skills,” said Mr. Duncan. “NewsGuard offers an effective approach to tackling the lack of media literacy skills among young people globally, and I’m delighted to help move its efforts forward.”

NewsGuard uses nine basic, apolitical journalistic criteria to rate and provide Nutrition Labels for all the news and information websites that account for 95% of online engagement in the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, and Italy.

The ratings and labels are available through a browser extension available on Chrome, Safari, Edge, and Firefox as well as through the Microsoft Edge mobile apps for iOS and Android, which provides access through mobile devices. NewsGuard is in discussions with other technology companies as well as with internet providers about joining Microsoft in making its ratings and labels available to news consumers in their social media feeds, search results and through other digital products.

“It is an honor to add one of the true heroes of the American education system to our advisory board,” said Steven Brill, co-CEO of NewsGuard. “We have recently focused on improving NewsGuard’s usefulness as a media literacy teaching tool, and Mr. Duncan’s expertise will serve us well in that endeavor.”

NewsGuard’s other advisory board members are:

  • Don Baer, former chairman of Burson, Cohn & Wolfe and former White House Communications Director for President Bill Clinton
  • John Battelle, co-founding editor of Wired magazine
  • Leo Hindery, Jr., Chairman & CEO of Trine Acquisition Corp; former CEO of Tele-Communications Inc. (TCI) and AT&T Broadband; former Chairman of the National Cable Television Association
  • Elise Jordan, political analyst for NBC and former speechwriter for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
  • Jessica Lessin, founder and editor-in-chief of The Information
  • Richard Stengel, former editor of Time magazine and former Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy under President Barack Obama
  • Brigitte Trafford, corporate affairs advisor and previous head of in-house teams at Virgin Media, ITV, Dow Jones, and Lloyds Banking Group. 

These advisory board members provide strategic advice to NewsGuard but play no role in the determinations of ratings or the Nutrition Labels of websites.

About NewsGuard

Launched in March 2018 by media entrepreneur Steven Brill and former Wall Street Journal publisher Gordon Crovitz, NewsGuard provides credibility ratings and detailed “Nutrition Labels” for thousands of news and information websites that account for 95% of online engagement across the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, and Italy. 

NewsGuard employs journalists to rate each site based on nine apolitical criteria of journalistic practice, including whether a site repeatedly publishes false content, whether it regularly corrects or clarifies errors, and whether it avoids deceptive headlines. Based on the criteria, each site receives a trust score of 0-100 and an overall rating of “Green,” indicating the site is generally reliable, or “Red,” indicating that it is not reliable. 

NewsGuard’s ratings and Nutrition Labels can be licensed by education technology companies, internet service providers, browsers, news aggregators, and social media and search platforms. Consumers can access NewsGuard’s ratings through its browser extension,  Android and iOS apps, and the Edge mobile browser. Over 700 libraries globally use NewsGuard’s free media literacy browser extension on their public-access computers for patrons. 


Steven Brill, Co-CEO, steven.brill@newsguardtech.com, +1 212-332-6301

Gordon Crovitz, Co-CEO, gordon.crovitz@newsguardtech.com, +1 212-332-6407

Sarah Brandt, Vice President of News Literacy Programs, sarah.brandt@newsguardtech.com