Technical Definitions

In this activity area, we encourage journalists, researchers and technologists to use journalistic standards and civic frameworks to clarify how news should be defined and framed for online realms.

Methodological Definitions and Metrics

While our project aims to elevate quality journalism in news ranking and recommendation systems, what does quality journalism mean, exactly? And when it comes down to it, how would we describe news in online spaces?

As we sponsor activities to help bring clarity to these terms, we’ll share those insights here. In addition, during 2020, our “project of the year” is to better define, or even attempt to quantify, news for online contexts.

For now, you can start reading through some of the questions that we are asking in our blog.

NewsQ Database Definitions

As of 2020, the NewsQ Database contains over 100 units of information on over 12,000 news and information sites. Some of these units of information may be potential “signals” of quality journalism.

Signals, or potential indicators of information quality or credibility, can include a number of content- and context-related information, such as:

  • the emotional valence of content, or
  • the author of an article.

When taken in context in combination with other signals or information, these indicators may help point algorithms to higher quality journalism. For more thoughts about what a signal is, W3C Credible Web Community Group’s report Technological Approaches to Improving Credibility Assessment on the Web is a good place to start.

The database, which is mostly focused on English-language US readership, is currently open for testing purposes to a limited number of invited researchers and participants; we hope to extend access to others in the future.

  • Signal categories and classes. We strive to collect seven classes of signal information, which you can read more about here.
  • Signal definitions. A partial draft of signal definitions, according to certain categories, can be found described here.