March 2, 2010, REDWOOD CITY and MILL VALLEY, Calif. — Omidyar Network today announced a grant of $100,000 over six months to NewsTrust, an online social news network. The nonprofit organization creates web tools to help citizens differentiate credible news from misinformation to enable more informed decision making and enhanced civic engagement. Omidyar Network’s funding will enable NewsTrust to expand its platform, test five new programs, and form new partnerships.
“With support from Omidyar Network, NewsTrust is creating web-based tools that help people become more informed and engaged in democracy," said NewsTrust Founder and Executive Director Fabrice Florin, a former journalist and social media entrepreneur. “NewsTrust is building a more discriminating community of news consumers by helping people filter the news, evaluate information quality, and share trusted content with others."
Over the next six months, NewsTrust will run five pilots to test different tools and techniques that citizens can use to tell fact from fiction. Pilot programs under development include:
- MyNews – a personal news-filtering tool;
- Local News Hunt – a rating system for local news;
- Global News Hunt – a rating system for international news;
- TrustNetworks – a community site for members and partners; and,
- TruthSquad – a community fact-checking service.
“Omidyar Network is excited about NewsTrust’s mission as well as its innovative use of technology to create a community of engaged news readers,” said Stacy Donohue, Director, Investments, Omidyar Network. “Discerning trustworthy information sources is critical to improving our political process and our government. NewsTrust is providing novel ways for people to participate in the news process while also enabling greater transparency in reporting.”
NewsTrust helps people find and share good journalism online. Founded in 2005 and based in Mill Valley, California, NewsTrust Communications is a 501(c)(3) California public benefit organization. NewsTrust partners include the Huffington Post, PBS, PolitiFact and the Washington Post. Advisors include Howard Rheingold (Stanford), Craig Newmark (Craigslist) and other digital media innovators. Besides the recent Omidyar Network grant, NewsTrust has received support from the MacArthur Foundation, Ashoka, the Ayrshire Foundation, the Mitch Kapor Foundation, the Sunlight Foundation and the Tides Foundation — as well as private donors including Doug Carlston and Henry Perry. More information is available at newstrust.net.
About Omidyar Network
Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunity for people to improve their lives. Established in 2004 by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam, the organization invests in and helps scale innovative organizations to catalyze economic and social change. To date, Omidyar Network has committed more than $300 million to for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations that foster economic advancement and encourage individual participation across multiple investment areas, including microfinance, property rights, government transparency, and social media. To learn more about Omidyar Network, please visit www.omidyar.com.