NewsGuard, a journalism and technology company that rates the credibility of news and information websites, has collectively awarded 22 Wick Communications websites and their associated newsrooms a perfect 100 out of 100 score for credibility and transparency.
Newsgaurd noted Wick Communications’ community news coverage “generally takes a neutral tone” and that sites clearly label opinion content.
Wick sites also earned perfect marks for consistently publishing corrections, prominent presentation of their ownership, the presence of Contact Us pages containing the names and contact information of editorial staff, attributions on stories with contact information for authors, and the clear distinction between editorial and advertising content.
In earning a perfect score, Wick newsrooms join the ranks of much larger news organizations such as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. According to NewsGuard, only 20% of the 6,000 news and information websites it has rated have been awarded a perfect score.
For context, NewsGuard has rated the right-leaning Fox News website at 69.5, left-leaning Daily Kos at 37, CNN at 87.5, conservative Newsmax at 35 and liberal MSNBC at 70.
NewsGuard was started in 2018 by co-CEOs Steven Brill (best-known for starting Court TV) and Gordon Crovitz (former publisher of The Wall Street Journal). Its website (https://www.newsguardtech.com/) asserts that the 6,000 websites its team of trained journalists has evaluated are “responsible for 95% of engagement with news in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany and Italy.”
NewsGuard users access its nine-point “nutrition labels” via a browser plugin that displays green (credible) or red (questionable) icons next to sources appearing in search engine results and social media, with access to rating scores and summaries and links to the full site review. According to NewsGuard, it has millions of users via partnerships with more than 750 public libraries globally, technology platforms such as Microsoft’s Edge mobile browser, and directly via a $2.95 per month subscription via a Google Chrome browser extension.
“With the amount of misinformation always just a click away, we are grateful for a third-party resource like NewsGuard to validate our commitment to solid journalism practices and reporting the truth to the communities we serve,” said Francis Wick, CEO of Wick Communications.
One other new addition to the Wick family of community journalists, the Madison (S.D.) Daily Leader (https://www.dailyleaderextra.com), was not included in the designation because the evaluation of Wick websites concluded just before the announcement of its acquisition