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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

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
1 hour ago - Sports

European soccer is at war

Liverpool celebrating its 2019 Champions League victory. Photo: Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

Europe's biggest soccer clubs have established The Super League, a new midweek tournament that would compete with — and threaten the very existence of — the Champions League.

Why it matters: This new league, set to start in 2023, "would bring about the most significant restructuring of elite European soccer since the 1950s, and could herald the largest transfer of wealth to a small set of teams in modern sports history," writes NYT's Tariq Panja.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

2021's expected earnings blowout begins

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon. Photo: Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg via Getty Images

First-quarter earnings so far have been very strong, outpacing even the rosy expectations from Wall Street and that's a trend that's expected to continue for all of 2021. S&P 500 companies are on pace for one of the best quarters of positive earnings surprises on record, according to FactSet.

Why it matters: The results show that not only has the earnings recession ended for U.S. companies, but firms are performing better than expected and the economy may be justifying all the hype.

2 hours ago - Science

NASA's Mars helicopter takes flight as first aircraft piloted on another planet

Ingenuity on the surface of Mars, filmed by NASA's Perseverance rover. Photo: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA successfully piloted the Ingenuity Mars helicopter for its first experimental flight on Monday, briefly hovering the aircraft as NASA's Perseverance rover collected data.

Why it matters: Ingenuity's short flight marks the first time a human-built aircraft has flown on a world other than Earth, opening the door to new means of exploring planets far from our own.