Our newsletter standards
At the News Literacy Project, we teach about the standards of fact-based journalism so that people can know what to trust, share and act on. It is therefore essential that we hold ourselves to these same standards — including in our free weekly newsletters, The Sift and Get Smart About News.
We aim to be accurate, transparent and fair in the way we produce the newsletters and in the information we share with our audiences.
News values: How do we decide what to include?
Staying on top of current events and news literacy topics can be overwhelming. Journalism debates are complicated, and the information landscape evolves at a dizzying pace. We see our job as explaining news literacy topics in plain and concise language. Our newsletters offer a rundown of the week’s biggest topics in news literacy, including misinformation trends, social media news, and issues related to journalism and press freedom.
We maintain strict editorial independence and guard against undue influence in deciding what to publish each week. We choose topics based on their news literacy relevance and their potential to reinforce key news literacy concepts and skills. To that end, we monitor the latest headlines with an eye on teachable moments.
Transparency: How do we produce the newsletters?
Our newsletters are produced by writers and editors with experience in journalism and education. We do not use generative artificial intelligence to curate or create newsletter content.
The News Literacy Project is rigorously nonpartisan. Our newsletters tackle topics across the political spectrum. We do not shy away from polarizing issues and strive to describe them accurately and fairly. When the facts are clear about a topic, we say so. We work hard to avoid the pitfalls of false balance.
Though we believe in standards-based journalism as an ideal yardstick for measuring the credibility of news and other information, we also do not shy away from examining legitimate criticism of news practices and coverage. An important part of ethical journalism is the role of news organizations in holding themselves — and each other — accountable. We recognize the importance of covering these missteps and debates for our audiences.
We avoid conflicts of interest and disclose any potential conflicts involving people or organizations we write about.
We aim to be transparent in our information-gathering and give credit to our news and photo sources through careful attribution. We strive to be fair in how we describe our sources’ reporting on complex topics and to represent diverse viewpoints accurately. If newsletter content or links include disturbing language or images, we let our readers know in the form of clear notes and warnings.
Accuracy: How do we ensure accuracy?
We care about getting the facts right. Each issue is carefully edited and fact-checked to verify the information we publish is correct as of send time. Our team brings deep experience in editing, reporting and teaching to the topics we cover. Accuracy is paramount.
Corrections: How do we handle mistakes?
We take factual inaccuracies seriously and correct errors quickly and prominently. Whenever possible, we also provide clear explanations for corrections or clarifications.
Our goal is to inform and educate, and we are on the lookout for bias and missteps in our work. We welcome any feedback about our weekly newsletters. Send suggestions and questions to [email protected].