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The Baltimore Sun is the alma mater of some of history's most famous political journalists, and had its agenda-setting coverage featured on "The Wire." ... The Denver Guardian has published fictional stories and isn't a newspaper. ... National Review is provocative and consistently conservative.

The big picture: Those thumbnail descriptions, provided first to Axios, are examples of the consumer-friendly online guides (with green, yellow and red ratings) coming from NewsGuard, co-founded by journalists and media entrepreneurs Steven Brill and Gordon Crovitz.

Details:

  • NewsGuard is scheduled to launch in October, in time for the congressional midterms, with 7,500 Nutrition Labels for websites, covering what NewsGuard says is "98% of all news and information consumed and shared online in the U.S."
  • The co-founders announced Monday that they have raised $6 million, and they plan to hire dozens of trained journalists as analysts. The lead investor, in a group of 18 investors, is the ad giant Publicis Groupe.
  • What's planned, according to Brill, the founder of The American Lawyer, Court TV, and Brill’s Content magazine: “Our goal is to help solve this problem now by using human beings — trained, experienced journalists — who will operate under a transparent, accountable process to apply basic common sense to a growing scourge that clearly cannot be solved by algorithms.”
  • Why it matters, from Crovitz, a former Wall Street Journal publisher: “In addition to alerting people to fake news, one of our key goals is to help consumers, including young people, know when to take news from certain sites with a grain of salt."
  • What's next: The partners say NewsGuard will eventually expand to other countries.

Here are the opening lines of several sample NewsGuard Nutrition Labels (NGNLs™):

  • BaltimoreSun.com: "The website of a news organization with a rich history, founded in 1837 as a newspaper serving the metropolitan area in and around Baltimore, Maryland."
  • DenverGuardian.com: "A site that seems like a traditional newspaper site, but is not actually associated with any newspaper or other newsgathering organization."
  • NationalReview.com: "An advocacy journalism website associated with the fortnightly National Review magazine, founded in 1955 by conservative intellectual William F. Buckley, Jr., that produces serious, provocative reporting and commentary with an unabashed, consistent conservative point of view."
  • GAO.gov: "The website of the U.S. Government Accountability Office, created to be an independent, non-partisan agency working for the U.S. Congress that audits and evaluates the operations of all federal agencies."
  • CommonwealthFund.org: "The website of the New York-based Commonwealth Fund, a non-profit research and policy advocacy organization focusing on healthcare."
  • NPR.org: "The website for National Public Radio (NPR), a Washington D.C.-based syndicator of news programs that are distributed to over 900 public radio stations in the United States."

Go deeper:

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Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”