Misinformation and opacity are growing problems in the media industry. Quality media outlets are struggling to stand out from others and get credit for their good work.
The Journalism Trust Initiative (JTI) strives to change that. By creating a set of standards to evaluate a media outlet’s transparency, trustworthiness and commitment to journalism ethics, JTI’s certification program provides a tool to help quality media outlets stand out from less trustworthy websites through third-party assurance.
Here’s a brief overview of JTI’s program, the benefits for media outlets and the industry, and how journalists can get started.
WHAT is the Journalism Trust Initiative
The Journalism Trust Initiative is a program launched by Reporters Without Borders to give trusted media outlets a way to demonstrate their commitment to creating quality, ethical work and to help them stand out in the digital media landscape. The program includes certification against the JTI Standard — a set of transparency standards developed to measure media outlets’ production of trustworthy news and information. AAM recently achieved accreditation from the ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB)* to become the first U.S. certifier for JTI. AAM sought accreditation because JTI aligns with AAM’s mission of helping buyers buy and sellers sell through trust and assurance.
HOW JTI certification works
Media outlets participate in a three-step process to determine their compliance with the JTI Standard. The program includes a self-assessment, public disclosure of the assessment in the form of a Transparency Report, and third-party verification of the report by an accredited auditor.
WHEN certification is achieved
Media outlets must complete all three steps of the process — including the third-party audit — to achieve certification. Once certification is achieved, the media outlet receives the JTI Mark — a visual symbol that can be displayed to let advertisers and others know about compliance. The certification remains valid for two years.
WHO benefits from the program
Any news media outlet (print, digital, or broadcast) that wants to self-assess their editorial processes and increase their transparency will benefit from participating. Advertisers can partner with certified media outlets with the confidence that they are investing in media that adhere to industry standards as verified by a third party. The public also benefits from an improved news ecosystem.
WHY media outlets should participate
JTI’s certification process helps media outlets tell their quality story and stand out in a crowded media ecosystem. Media outlets can use the certification as a competitive advantage to help distinguish themselves as being committed to quality and ethics and upholding industry standards for transparency.
WHERE to get started
Visit JTI’s website to learn how to set up an account using the JTI interface. For more information or questions about the process, contact AAM.
* AAM achieved accreditation from the ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) in accordance with ISO/IEC 17065-2012 Conformity assessment—Requirements for bodies certifying products, processes, and services under the Journalism Trust Initiative’s certification programme scheme.