Ed Vaizey, MP, Joins Global Advisory Board of NewsGuard to Support Its Efforts to Counter Misinformation Online
(London, 4 June, 2019) NewsGuard, which counters misinformation online, announced that Ed Vaizey, Member of the British Parliament, has joined its global advisory board. NewsGuard, which uses a “human intelligence solution” to help news consumers know which news websites are generally reliable and which ones are not, was launched last year and now operates in the UK, US, Germany, France and Italy.
Mr Vaizey has been the Conservative Member of Parliament for the constituency of Wantage since 2005. From 2010 to 2016, he served as the Minister for Culture and Digital, overseeing the roll out of the rural broadband programme and the introduction of 4G.
Mr Vaizey joins the NewsGuard’s other global advisory board members, who include Gen. Michael Hayden, former director of the U.S. CIA and NSA, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former Prime Minister of Denmark and former secretary general of NATO, Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, and Richard Sambrook, former director of global news at the BBC and current director of the Centre for Journalism at Cardiff University.
NewsGuard’s journalistically trained analysts rate and create Nutrition Labels for all of the news and information websites that account for 90%-plus of online engagement in each country in which it operates. They apply nine basic, apolitical criteria of journalistic practice to each news website.
The ratings and labels are is 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.
“I am delighted to support NewsGuard as it offers an important solution to the enormous social and political problems created by misinformation and disinformation online,” said Mr Vaizey. “The UK is taking the lead in confronting these problems.”
The UK government is considering legislation to create a new duty of care among digital platforms for online content. In the government’s “Online Harms White Paper” issued in April, NewsGuard was cited as a tool digital platforms could use to empower consumers with information about news sources online, helping digital platforms exercise the anticipated duty of care.
“It is an honour to have the involvement of Mr Vaizey,” said Steven Brill, NewsGuard co-CEO. “He has deep experience with the opportunities and also the challenges of operating online and understands the importance of bringing information to news consumers based on a transparent and fully disclosed rating process of the kind NewsGuard has introduced.”
“The battle against misinformation online is being fought in many countries,” Gordon Crovitz, NewsGuard co-CEO, said. “We’re pleased to have the advice of Mr. Vaizey as the UK takes the lead in creating new legal protections for consumers. NewsGuard exists to empower consumers with the information they need to understand who is feeding them their news online.”
These advisory board members provide strategic advice to NewsGuard strategy, but other than Mr Sambrook in the Uk and the other editorial advisors in other countries, play no role in the determinations of ratings or the Nutrition Labels of websites.
Other advisory board members are: Don Baer, chairman of Burson, Cohn & Wolfe and former White House Communications Director for President Bill Clinton; John Battelle, co-founding editor of Wired magazine; 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; Tom Ridge, Secretary of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush; and Richard Stengel, former editor of Time magazine and former Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy under President Barack Obama. In addition to Mr. Sambrook in the UK, NewsGuard’s senior editorial advisors are for Germany, Alina Fichter, former senior executive for digital operations at Die Zeit Online; for France, Alice Antheaume, Executive Director of the School of Journalism of Sciences Po; and for Italy, Giampiero Gramaglia, former editor in chief of Italian news service ANSA.