[Case Study] Accelerating the Shift From Clicks to Credibility
Data & Insights from Credder’s Private Beta
Note: The following data and insights have been generated from users and journalists during Credder’s private Beta. The publication of this information is meant to be used as Credder’s first case study for journalists and news professionals of all experience levels. This document serves to continue Credder’s mission to accelerate the news industry’s transition from a ‘click-based’ to a ‘credibility-based’ economy of news.
Data collected from Credder’s Private Beta during April 19th — May 28th, 2019.
A basic report on Credder’s recent activity and performance over 39 days.
New Reviews = 322
New Users = 2,775
New Journalists =142
Helpful Reviews = 85%*
Unhelpful Reviews = 15%*
“Gold” Articles = 65% (of articles were rated 60% or higher)
“Mold” Articles = 35% (of articles were rated 59% or lower)
*Helpful reviews are reviews on articles that serve as qualitative feedback to the author or outlet, letting them know why they gained or lost a reader’s trust. Unhelpful reviews are reviews that have received more downvotes than upvotes from the Credder community.
Early Outlet Ratings
Outlet ratings are made up of the aggregate score of all of their articles. Article scores are generated when they have received at least three User and/or Critic reviews. Articles with reviews that do not meet the minimum threshold of three reviews do not generate ratings and are not attributed to the outlet.
New York Times — User Rating = 64% // Critic Rating = 91%
Washington Post — User Rating = 78% // Critic Rating = 90%
Bloomberg — User Rating = 81% // Critic Rating = NA
Vox — User Rating = 84% // Critic Rating = NA
BBC — User Rating = 71% // Critic Rating = NA
CNN — User Rating = 57% // Critic Rating = NA
FOX News — User Rating = 57% // Critic Rating = NA
Most Reviewed Problems
Bias, Illogical, Mistake and Not Credible represent the four main categories of Credder’s review process and each with their own specific problem selections.
The following are the most reviewed problems on Credder:
- Bias — Pure Opinion
- Bias — Political Bias
- Mistake — Factual Error
- Not Credible — Sensational
- Not Credible — Lack of Reliable Sources
- Illogical — Speculation
- News consumers’ loyalty is shifting from brands to experts.
- News consumers determine a journalist’s credibility as their ability to demonstrate expertise on a topic over time.
- News consumers find solutions journalism more credible than traditional reporting.
Illogical — Stacking the Deck
“This is a well-written and sourced article, which emphasizes the reality of the demands placed on individuals in the modern labor market. No real issue making that case, and any employed person can likely relate that, yes, we work a lot. The trouble is that the fix is to simply re-structure work such that it doesn’t demand so much of our time, or that such a re-structure would even have that result. By asserting this, the author discounts the fact that increased productivity is increased productivity… For me, this article does a good job of framing the “problem”, but offers hand waving in terms of designing solutions…” — Article Rating Page here.
- Niche, vertical, in-depth journalism has stronger engagement and feedback.
- News consumers value context more than opinion to help determine their own stance on a topic or issue.
Credible — Well Balanced
“The article takes a very balanced approach to what is clearly the most politically divisive topic in recent U.S. history. Author Alex Ward is careful to present quotes and arguments from both sides of the aisle and does so in a way that leaves readers, like myself, to form their own conclusions. Very well done.” — Article Rating Page here.
- Recycling stories and content from other publishers without providing additional value or new perspectives has a negative effect on credibility.
- Publishers who labeled their articles as ‘Opinion’ or ‘Op-ed’ retained more credibility among their news consumers.
Credible — Context
“This is actually newsworthy information. There is no opinion inserted, no political agenda being pushed, and the article contains factual data with some educated guesses about upcoming problems based on application of the actions taken by Google.” — Article Rating Page here.
- Clearly separating the author’s opinion/analysis from the article’s reporting led to higher credibility amongst readers because it allowed them to compartmentalize the article’s information from the author’s personal perspective.
- An article’s credibility is judged, in part, by comparing the headline to the content of the article.
- Sensational language in the headline caused some readers to lose trust in the article before reading the article’s content.
Bias — Political Bias
“There’s a clear political agenda in this piece, and you need only read the first couple sentences to spot it. Unnecessary use of politically-charged and sensational language such as “poster child for the Get Off My Lawn cranky old man” and “a hypocrite and has no problem spreading lies to push his own agenda.” If the evidence in the article spoke for itself, there would be no need to inflate the story with such strong, accusatory language.” — Article Rating Page here.
- Internal linking (linking to a publication’s own articles) more than twice per article negatively affected the article’s credibility.
- Articles that reference scientific studies, polling data, and case studies, but that do not link directly to the source information, created frustration amongst readers but did not necessarily affect the article’s credibility.
Credible — Context
“The article is reporting details from Facebook’s own reports as well as properly cited statements made by Mark Zuckerberg. The article adds context of current issues surrounding Facebook, including quotes from Chris Hughes, a co-founder. It would have been helpful for the article to include links to stories about Facebook’s issues that were mentioned, but they are easily verifiable by searching for other media reports.” — Article Rating Page here.
- News consumers favored articles that provided a chronological sequence of events when covering a breaking news story.
- News stories generated from or relying on Tweets are viewed as less credible and not entirely newsworthy.
A list of all written reviews from Credder’s Beta can be found here.
“Credder does not exist in an echo chamber and allows for divergent and controversial viewpoints which are sorely lacking in our increasingly partisan-driven news landscape.” — Sharon J.
“Why should journalists listen to their readers? Because we are the end consumer of their content. If they cloud their information with opinion, unsourced speculation, and bias, then people as consumers will elect to find someone else who will do their due diligence verifying information, present both sides of the story, and remove opinion from the equation. “Fake news” is a thing because it is sadly all too true.” — Jacob B.
“I want to encourage critical thinking about the news. Reviews (compatible or conflicting viewpoints) can help people think about different perspectives on an issue. Even if reviews don’t influence someone to change their perspective, it’s helpful for people just to see that there *are* multiple perspectives.” — Leon N.
“Reviewing the news is important to me because in these uncertain times it is more important than ever to weed out the hyperbole, distraction and disinformation from the true news.” — Steve Z.
“Reviewing the news is important to me because the USA is under assault by editorials/opinion pieces masquerading as ‘news reporting’, a bombardment of sensational topics and ‘clickbait’ headlines with little or no content, and… news pieces which are so biased or factually inaccurate that they are effectively worthless for the public. I am referring to legitimate sources of news, but in addition, we also face deliberate propaganda pieces written by questionable sources, bad actors, and people with agendas who skew all content to fit their agenda.
What I really like about Credder is it’s founded by people who want real journalism to emerge from the sea of misinformation and propaganda. Credder’s goal is to have the site regulate itself by giving ratings to reviewers, news sources, and authors. The site is easy to use, and the ratings seem accurate so far. I also really appreciate the belief that good information will rise to the top.
Credder is an optimistic experiment with a realistic self-aware approach, and I hope it works!” — Ari K.
Credder is not just another news review site. Our mission is to help the news industry shift from clicks to credibility, so we’re building the technology and resources news organizations need to successfully make that shift. Credder’s Partner Program is the first step.
Credder’s Partner Program includes many free benefits to participating authors and outlets:
- Signal Credibility to New Readers
- Access to New Audiences
- Prominent Article Placement on Credder Homepages
- Weekly Performance Report of Audience Trust
- Qualitative Feedback on Articles
- Featured Links to Your ‘Donate’ and ‘Subscribe to Newsletter’
To participate, individual authors and outlets simply add a code snippet to their articles, displaying a review button that encourages your own dedicated readers to review. All of this value is provided free of charge to Credder Partners.