No level playing field for journalism vs. ‘F*ke News’
We live in an era of the grand de-enlightenment.
On the Internet, algorithms tend to amplify the extremes – sensationalism, rumours, hate and falsehoods. Opinion and beliefs trump facts. The rule-makers in big-tech are not accountable to anyone. The rules of the game are in-transparent and change all the time. On this rocky, tilting and ever-changing playing field, journalism is unfairly disadvantaged, losing reputation, reach and revenues – which makes it even less competitive.
That logic needs to be reversed.
Democracy dies without a fact-based discourse.
Empowering trustworthy news with a competitive advantage
Journalism worthy of its name must be clearly distinguishable, by humans and by algorithms. That’s why JTI is translating existing professional norms into machine-readable code. At the manufacturing level of journalism, benchmarks of quality and independence must be transparent and verifiable to reinstate trust. To that end, JTI provides indicators for media outlets to self-assess and comply with – and for citizens, advertisers and regulators to reward it.
JTI is not ranking or rating individual pieces of content as such a mechanism might be misused to curtail the freedom of speech.
JTI is for ...
– who can use the JTI indicators for an informed choice of his or her news diet.
– can assess their compliance with the JTI standard, publish their Transparency Reports and then get independently certified.
– that can use the JTI to align their spending and thus, enhance brand safety.
Social media and search platforms
– that can use the JTI data to index and promote conforming sources.
Regulators and State Actors
– that can use the JTI as an independent, self-regulatory mechanism to allocate subsidies and benefits to media outlets.
Media Development Actors and Donors
– that can use the JTI as a means to select and evaluate projects.
When using this web application, the jti:app, Media Outlets and their affiliated Legal Entities can progress through three optional stages: The first one - Check! - allows them to access the questionnaire of the JTI Standard document for internal self-assessment. This is a diagnostic tool for editorial processes, which can assist them to identify potential room for improvement.
Whenever wanted, the Media Outlet can then decide to publish its self-assessment and enter the second stage - Show! - of the JTI process. The result is a publicly visible Transparency Report, a structured and extended imprint containing all answers of the JTI questionnaire that the Media Outlets wants to disclose.
Thirdly, the jti:app features a certification option - Glow! - where the conformity of the Media Outlet's self-assessment with the requirements of the JTI Standard can be independently audited by an accredited, i. e. licensed Certification Body.
Other stakeholders (so-called 'Groups'), for example professional associations or trade groups, regulatory authorities or self-regulatory bodies like press councils, can create jti:app accounts too. This allows for Media Outlets to indicate their respective affiliation, be it membership or oversight, which these entities, in return, can then validate for elevated accountability.
With an open, inclusive, tested and scalable approach, the JTI started as a collaborative standard setting process according to the guidelines of CEN, the European Committee for Standardization. With core support from the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and Agence France Presse (AFP) more than 120 experts and entities have contributed to this CEN Workshop Agreement (CWA) that was finally published on 19 December, 2019.
From 2021 onwards, the JTI offers this online tool and additional support for media outlets to voluntarily self-assess their editorial processes, to publish the results and to get independently audited.
The pilot project 'Fostering qualitative media by rewarding reliable sources - Journalism Trust initiative' is co-funded by the European Commission, DG Connect.
The JTI website is openly accessible and fully responsive for all types of devices.
The JTI web application requires the registration of an account and log-in. It is optimized for desktop and tablet use.