NewsGuard partners with the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission
(February 10, 2022 — New York, Rome) NewsGuard today announced a collaboration with the Joint Research Centre, the European Commission’s science and knowledge service, to provide the EC service with its data monitoring that tracks online misinformation.
NewsGuard’s team of journalists has tracked online misinformation since 2018, using human intelligence to rate and create Nutrition Labels indicating the overall reliability of online news and information sources. NewsGuard applies nine basic, apolitical criteria of journalistic practice to each website, resulting in a 0-100 score, a green or red rating and Nutrition Label. Ratings are available by subscription or free to consumers such as through the Microsoft Edge browser and the Neeva search engine.
The JRC’s Disinformation team researches online disinformation to produce tools to help media analysts and fact checkers. Its Media Analyser Toolkit (MAT) detects and provides real-time analysis of web pages that are likely to spread disinformation based on a list of unverified sources. NewsGuard’s data will support the analysts’ work in detecting new potential unverified sources, tracking semantically similar narratives, and analysing the spread of these narratives across countries and languages.
Teaming up with the JRC to counter disinformation significantly enhances the impact of NewsGuard’s work in Europe.
“This new co-operation will reinforce our relationship with the European Commission,” said Virginia Padovese, NewsGuard Managing Editor & Vice President Partnerships, Europe. “As a prospective signatory of the revised Code of Practice on Disinformation, we are delighted to provide our data to assist the European Union in its fight against disinformation as part of our mission to make our tools available to researchers and organizations who can make an impact in Europe in this fight.”
NewsGuard’s ratings database covers all the news and information sites that account for 95% of online engagement in France, Germany, Italy, the U.K., and the U.S., along with 90% of engagement in Canada, and its data is already available to the Italian Digital Media Observatory, the national hub awarded funding from the European Commission to help fight disinformation and fake news at Italian level.
“We are excited to collaborate with NewsGuard and receive data on source reliability from well-recognised experts in the field of mis/disinformation. NewsGuard’s data will allow JRC analysts to increase the scope and quality of their research on mis/disinformation on topics such as COVID-19 or climate change” Jens Linge, scientific officer at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission.
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. In January 2022, NewsGuard launched in Canada, with Reliability Ratings for the news and information websites that account for 90% of online engagement in Canada (English-speaking and French-speaking). 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, €2.95/month or £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. 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.
About Joint Research Centre
As the European Commission’s science and knowledge service, the Joint Research Centre (JRC) supports EU policies with independent scientific evidence throughout the whole policy cycle.
The disinformation team in the JRC Text and Data mining unit aim to research and analyse the phenomenon of online disinformation and to produce tools to help media analysts and fact checkers detect and manage disinformation. This work builds on the long experience of the Europe Media Monitor (EMM) project in monitoring online and social media. Another component is the research on sentiment, emotions and related triggers carried out by the Competence Centre on Text Mining and Analysis.
Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the team has mainly focused on producing daily and weekly COVID-19 media surveillance briefs and research reports, summarising the latest coronavirus-related narratives and trends from online unverified sources, i.e. sources that have been identified by independent fact-checking organisations and other experts as frequently spreading disinformation. The analysis has a special focus on anti-vaccination narratives due to their potential impact on the vaccination campaign across Member States.
- Steven Brill, Co-CEO, firstname.lastname@example.org, +1 212 332 6301
- Gordon Crovitz, Co-CEO, email@example.com, +1 212 332 6407
- Virginia Padovese, Managing Editor and Vice President Partnership Europe, firstname.lastname@example.org, +39 347 8634920
- Jens Linge, scientific officer at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, Jens.LINGE@ec.europa.eu