Dr. Kavita Patel Joins NewsGuard’s Global Advisory Board
(October 1, 2020 — New York City) NewsGuard, which provides ratings and credibility scores for thousands of news websites, today announced that Dr. Kavita Patel is joining its global advisory board.
Dr. Patel is a primary care physician at Mary’s Center, a community clinic in Washington, D.C., and a Nonresident Fellow at the Brookings Institution, where she works on health care reform analysis and implementation. She previously served in the Obama Administration as director of policy for the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement in the White House. As a senior aide to Valerie Jarrett, President Obama’s senior advisor, Dr. Patel played a critical role in policy development and evaluation of policy initiatives connected to health reform, financial regulatory reform, and economic recovery issues. Patel also serves on the board of organizations including Dignity Community Care, SSM Health, Radiology Partners, and Paladina Health.
Dr. Patel 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; Arne Duncan, former U.S. Secretary of Education; 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.
Dr. Patel will provide strategic advice to NewsGuard, particularly with regard to its HealthGuard product, which is a tool that protects people from dangerous health hoaxes and guides them to credible health information, and its educational initiatives that aim to promote health media literacy.
“Access to credible, fact-based health information is more important than ever,” said Dr. Patel. “For years, I have heard from patients who have been confused and deceived by faulty online information about their health. The pandemic — and its accompanying ‘infodemic’ — has greatly exacerbated this problem. This takes a toll on doctors, who have to spend time dissuading their patients from believing unfounded health advice, and more importantly, patients, who are put at risk when they follow this potentially dangerous advice.”
“Dr. Patel’s rich and nuanced perspective of the entire health care system will be pivotal to advancing HealthGuard’s mission of helping people avoid health misinformation,” said Steven Brill, co-CEO of NewsGuard. “From her years helping to craft the Affordable Care Act, Dr. Patel understands the political and economic landscape of the health system, and from her experience helping patients at her D.C. clinic, she understands the real-life impacts of bad health information.”
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. Its new HealthGuard browser extension is focused exclusively on health news and information, containing NewsGuard’s reliability ratings and Nutrition Label reviews for the hundreds of popular websites that cover health topics from COVID-19 to cancer. With the extension installed, users will see Green and Red icons next to links to health sites in their social media feeds and search results, flagging websites that might provide baseless or harmful medical advice and highlighting sites that provide trusted advice.
“As we begin to offer HealthGuard to insurers, hospital systems, and others seeking to provide patients and customers with credible online health-related information while identifying websites pushing healthcare misinformation, Dr. Patel’s perspective and savvy will be extremely valuable,” explained NewsGuard co-CEO Gordon Crovitz.
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.
Launched in March 2018 by media entrepreneur and award-winning journalist 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. NewsGuard rates all the news and information websites that account for 95% of online engagement across the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, and Italy. NewsGuard products include NewsGuard, HealthGuard, and BrandGuard, which helps marketers concerned about their brand safety, and the Misinformation Fingerprints catalog of top hoaxes.
NewsGuard rates 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. It awards weighted points for each criterion and sums them up; a score of less than 60 earns a “Red” rating, while 60 and above earns a “Green” rating, which indicates it is generally reliable.
NewsGuard’s ratings and Nutrition Labels can be licensed by internet service providers, browsers, news aggregators, education companies, and social media and search platforms in order to make NewsGuard’s information about news websites available to their users. Consumers can access these ratings by purchasing a subscription to NewsGuard, which costs $2.95/month and includes access to NewsGuard’s browser extension for Chrome, Safari, and Firefox and its mobile app for iOS and Android. The extension is available for free on Microsoft’s Edge browser through a license agreement with Microsoft, and NewsGuard’s ratings can also be accessed free through the Edge mobile browser. Hundreds of public libraries globally receive free access to use NewsGuard’s browser extension on their public-access computers to give their patrons more context for the news they encounter online. For more information, including to download the browser extension and review the ratings process, visit newsguardtech.com.
- Steven Brill, Co-CEO, email@example.com, +1 212-332-6301
- Gordon Crovitz, Co-CEO, firstname.lastname@example.org, +1 212-332-6407
- Sarah Brandt, Vice President of News Literacy Programs, email@example.com