January 9, 2019

Gallup Research Finds NewsGuard Ratings of News Websites Effective in Countering False Information, Misinformation and Disinformation

Large majorities of consumers say NewsGuard ratings and Nutrition Labels would strongly influence their trust in online news and whether they would share the content

(New York, Jan. 9, 2019) A new Gallup study released today measuring the views of news consumers shows they overwhelmingly want access to the information about news websites provided by NewsGuard, especially its red and green ratings and “Nutrition Label” write ups. According to the Gallup study, “Large majorities would be less likely to read or share news from red-rated/unreliable sites and would be likelier to read or share news from green-rated/reliable sites.” NewsGuard rates news websites based on nine journalistic criteria of credibility and transparency.

Among the findings:

  • 89% of users of social media sites and 83% overall want social media sites and search engines to integrate NewsGuard ratings and reviews into their news feeds and search results.
  • 69% would trust social media and search companies more if they took the simple step of including NewsGuard in their products.
  • 91% find the NewsGuard Nutrition Labels helpful, 90% generally agree with the ratings and respondents trusted the ratings more because NewsGuard ratings are done by “trained journalists with varied backgrounds.”
  • 63% would be less likely to share news stories from red-rated websites, and 56% would be more likely to share news from green-rated websites.

The study, “User Experience of NewsGuard’s Online Source Rating Tool,” was supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and was conducted by Gallup surveying a representative sample of 25,000 U.S. Gallup Panel members and inviting them to install and use the NewsGuard browser extension during their daily online activities.

“The positive results among people who accepted Gallup’s invitation to download the NewsGuard browser extension suggest a desire for more information about the sources of news people see online, such as in their social media newsfeeds and in their search results,” the Gallup researchers wrote. “The news source rating tool offers a scalable solution to identify which news sources adhere to the basic journalistic standards of accuracy and accountability citizens expect and deserve.”

Gallup concluded: “With the stated objective of increasing transparency and accountability in the online news environment, NewsGuard has a potential role in rebuilding trust in these social media companies as well as in search engines and other products online where people get their news. The browser extension used by respondents displayed NewsGuard ratings and nutrition labels in social media such as Facebook and Twitter, in search results from Google and Bing, in news aggregators such as MSN and in products such as LinkedIn.”

The NewsGuard browser extension is available to consumers free of charge and has been installed on the computers used by patrons at public libraries across the U.S.

NewsGuard announced in August that Microsoft has signed on as its first business partner.

Sam Gill, the Knight Foundation vice president for communities and impact, commented, “At a time of growing distrust in media, it is encouraging to see that transparent ratings can help restore trust to the many websites that deserve it.” Knight funded a series of Gallup surveys in 2018 that related to Americans’ trust in news, including a smaller survey that indicated source ratings could affect behavior. Knight is an investor in NewsGuard.

“We are delighted with these results,” said Steven Brill, co-CEO of NewsGuard. “We hoped when we launched NewsGuard that people would welcome access to more information about news websites. Our team of trained journalists apply nine journalistic criteria in an apolitical and fully transparent manner. We are especially pleased to see the high level of trust respondents to the survey have in NewsGuard.”

“One of our goals has been to give news consumers usable, transparent information about news websites that helps them know the difference between generally reliable and unreliable websites,” said Gordon Crovitz, co-CEO of NewsGuard. “We’re also pleased with the strong desire among respondents to have the social media and search companies integrate our ratings and Nutrition Labels and the related finding that more than two thirds of respondents would trust social media and search companies more just for including NewsGuard ratings in their newsfeeds and search results.”

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. They are conducted by trained analysts with diverse backgrounds, who review and describe the websites’ adherence to nine journalistic criteria. NewsGuard’s ratings are available through NewsGuard’s browser extension for Chrome, Edge, Firefox and Safari browsers and are displayed next to links in users’ search engine results and social media feeds. NewsGuard’s ratings can be licensed by platforms that wish to make NewsGuard’s ratings available to their users, including mobile users (for whom browser extensions are not available). For more information: www.newsguardtech.com.

NewsGuard Contacts:

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

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