We are living in a time where trust in the news is at an all-time low.
of respondents said they trust the news in a global survey from the 2019 Reuters Institute’s Digital News Report.
said they trust news they find through search engines.
less than a quarter, say they feel they can trust news that is served up to them through social media.
There is more than one reason for this decline in trust.
A decline in freedom of the press
Historical Trends in Press Freedom
Percent of countries where the press is considered free, by year
Less revenue means fewer reporters on the ground
Steady decline in U.S Employment
Reporter and correspondent jobs by year
The spread of misinformation
“Thinking about online news, I am concerned about what is real and what is fake on the internet.”
So how can we trust what we read? The Civil Registry represents trust.
The Civil community participates in the governance of the Civil Registry. Newsrooms apply to join the Civil Registry, and it is the community that vets newsroom applicants to ensure that they meet the standards laid out in the Civil Constitution.
Members of the community determine whether or not newsrooms are eligible to participate in the Civil Registry given their editorial policy, initiate challenges to any newsroom that does not uphold the Civil Constitution, and vote on issues using their Civil tokens.
In the first three months after Registry launch, our 422 members have staked 6 challenges to newsroom applications, as well as two separate appeals, and cast more than 4 million tokens worth of votes. We see community governance thriving.
ConstitutionThe Civil Constitution endeavors to document and prescribe the foundational standards and ethical guidelines for independent journalism across the globe. Ratified by the Civil community in March of 2019, this text was created in collaboration with hundreds of editors, reporters, academics and the public and is a living document that will continue to evolve over time.
More than 50 independent newsrooms across five continents have successfully applied to participate in the Civil Registry. For as long as they are on the Civil Registry, they continue to be held accountable for the quality of their journalism by the Civil community. These newsrooms have publicly committed to adhering to the principles laid out in the Civil Constitution. If at any time they fail to meet these standards, it is at the discretion of the community to initiate a challenge.
Every newsroom that is approved on the Civil Registry also has the option to embed the Civil emblem in the top right corner of their publication. This signifies a layer of trust between newsroom and audience.
To support their efforts, newsrooms rely on a variety of responsible financial models – models that ensure editorial independence and the ability to produce well-reported, independent and honest journalistic content.