Media trust ranker NewsGuard launches in UK by greenlighting tabloids, adding ex-NATO chief to board
Announcing its UK debut on Wednesday, NewsGuard bragged about including Anders Fogh Rasmussen to their advisory board, describing him only as “former prime minister of Denmark.” While he did serve in that capacity between 2001 and 2009, his most recent public office was secretary-general of NATO (2009-2014), which NewsGuard omits from their tweet – but not from the Advisory Board page.
Rasmussen’s colleagues on NewsGuard’s board include former US Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge and former CIA and NSA director Michael Hayden, as well as the self-described former “chief propagandist” for the US government Richard Stengel.
Other new additions to the board are Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and Richard Sambrook, former “Director of Global News for the BBC” who now provides “editing and editorial guidance” for NewsGuard’s “nutrition labels.”
Those labels rank news outlets оn a number of categories, which are then combined into a trustworthiness score, expressed as a green checkmark or red “x.” There is a certain pattern in which kinds of outlets get the former and which get the latter.
Three major UK tabloids – The Sun, the Daily Mirror, and the Daily Star – all got an overall “green” rating, for instance. While NewsGuard claims to be rating outlets rather than individual articles, if you have their extension installed in your browser (and it comes by default with Microsoft’s Edge), you’ll see a NewsGuard symbol next to actual story headlines in your searches.
Media critic John Nolte of Breitbart – in the “red” category just like RT – pointed out on Monday that NewsGuard’s seal of approval can be found on nine of the top 12 debunked stories pushing the ‘Russiagate’ conspiracy theory. He provided screenshots.
Even after the 448-page report by special counsel Robert Mueller spelled out “no collusion” between US President Donald Trump and Russia, multiple mainstream media outlets that have pushed this conspiracy for almost three years have refused to apologize or correct their reporting, claiming instead it was “mostly” proven correct.
“That big, green checkmark of approval still sits next to some of the most misleading stories in history,” Nolte wrote, adding, “In all my decades of following the media, I have never seen a more Orwellian attempt to mislead people by deliberately labeling lies as truth and truth as lies.”
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