About our project

In addition to reading about our initiative on this website, here is a one-page NewsQ Brief (April 2020).

Definitions and Recommendations

Panels. In its effort to support broad constructive engagement on the question of news quality, the NewsQ Initiative hosts a series of panels. NewsQ Panels are composed of journalists, journalism experts, and technologists, and review specific cases of news ranking and recommendation to understand whether generalizable guidance or principles regarding quality journalism—interpretable both by algorithms and by journalists—might emerge.

  • About NewsQ Panels
  • 2020 Panel Reports:
    • “The Local News Landscape is Broken: NewsQ Panel Review of Platform Products” by Gabriel Kahn with Meredith Clark, Al Cross, Claudia Irizarry Aponte, Mandy Jenkins, David Kroman
    • “Our Opinion: Recommendations for Publishing Opinion Journalism on Digital Platforms” by Subramaniam Vincent and Patricia Lopez with David Agraz, Leona Allen Ford, Jon Allsop, Rochelle Riley, and Rebecca Traister
    • “Towards Healthier Science and Health News Feeds: NewsQ Panel on Science and Health Journalism” by Caroline Chen, Randi Hutter Epstein, Jennifer Kahn, Katherina Thomas, Rick Weiss, Wudan Yan, and Yemile Bucay

Data collections

NewsQ collects two types of information: potential “signals” of quality related to journalism and examples of feed results from platform news products.

API. 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. This 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.

Feed results. Our project has collected specific results from news feeds across major platform news products by Google, Facebook, Twitter, Apple, and Microsoft for an initial qualitative review during our 2020 panels. The dataset, gathered across dates from February to June 2020, provides an illustrative rather than systematically sampled view of possible results. In addition to screenshots of news feed results, the results are accessible in an Airtable with additional contextual information about each of the top five articles, including the article URL.


News ranking prototypes. Code and example datasets from winning contents of the NewsQ NewsRank for Social Good Hackathon can be found at Devpost.

News within online information networks. This gap analysis on vaccine safety information on English Wikipedia began in 2020 and will be further developed in 2021, as well as analyzed for its handling of news sources.

Reference Materials

Reading Library

Stay tuned for this in 2021.

What we’re reading

The latest from our library.

Stray, Jonathan. “Beyond Engagement: Aligning Algorithmic Recommendations With Prosocial Goals.” The Partnership on AI (blog), January 21, 2021. [...]

Science in the Newsroom. “10 Tips for Reporting Science.” Science in the Newsroom (blog). Accessed January 20, 2021. [...]

About Facebook. “Prioritizing Original News Reporting on Facebook (with January 12, 2021 Update),” June 30, 2020. [...]

Lerer, Lisa, and Reid J. Epstein. “How Trump’s Worldview Is Ingrained in State and Local Republicans.” The New York Times, January 14, 2021, sec. U.S. [...]

“COVID-19 Vaccines.” Accessed January 14, 2021. [...]

“Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19): Vaccines.” Accessed January 14, 2021. [...]

“Question and Answers Hub.” Accessed January 14, 2021. [...]

Lauterer, Jock. Community Journalism: Relentlessly Local. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2009. [...]

Kristen Hare. “Is It Time for a New Definition of Local News?” Poynter (blog), March 7, 2017. [...]

Franklin, Bob. Local Journalism and Local Media: Making the Local News. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis, 2013. [...]

Franklin, Bob, and David Murphy. Making the Local News: Local Journalism in Context. London: Routledge, 1998. [...]

Wadbring, Ingela, and Annika Bergström. “A Print Crisis or a Local Crisis?” Journalism Studies 18, no. 2 (February 1, 2017): 175–90. [...]

Lowrey, Wilson, Amanda Brozana, and Jenn B Mackay. “Toward a Measure of Community Journalism,” n.d., 27. [...]

Harris, Laurie Beth. “Helping Readers Tell the Difference between News and Opinion: 7 Good Questions with Duke Reporters’ Lab’s Rebecca Iannucci.” American Press Institute (blog), August 29, 2017. [...]

Rebecca Iannucci. “News or Opinion? Online, It’s Hard to Tell.” Poynter (blog), August 16, 2017. [...]