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Founder of American Lawyer Steven Brill in 2001. Photo: Ed Bailey / AP

Steve Brill — founder of American Lawyer, Court TV, Brill's Content, and the Yale Journalism Initiative — has almost finished raising $6 million to launch News Guard, which will rate news content so search and social-media platforms can help their users know what to trust.

Why it matters: Brill has a long track record of successful journalistic start-ups. And he's attacking one of the biggest problems in media today: News consumers have trouble distinguishing between credible content and fake news, and the tech platforms have done little to help them.

Startup details:

Rating will be done by "qualified, accountable human beings," not algorithms.Brill's co-CEO will be Gordon Crovitz, a Wall Street Journal columnist and former publisher of the paper.They'll hire 40-60 journalists, who will be "well-paid."They expect to have a product for U.S. users by mid-2018.The business model: NewsGuard will charge a license fee for platforms and aggregators, who will make it available to users.The company will create brand awareness by giving browser versions free to news literacy groups, school systems, etc.

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Go deeper

The Biden climate doctrine emerges at summit

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

President Biden's climate summit is highlighting a White House approach that blends diplomacy, executive power, salesmanship and a few threats too.

  • Here are a few pillars of the emerging Biden doctrine.

Biden gets mixed grades on revolving door

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Biden is getting mixed marks for his reliance on industry insiders to staff his administration during its first 100 days.

Why it matters: Progressives have leaned on the new president to limit the revolving door between industry and government. A new report from the Revolving Door Project praises him on that front but highlights key hires it deems ethically questionable.

Exclusive: Sen. Coons sees new era of bipartisanship on China

Sen. Chris Coons. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Jan. 6 insurrection was a "shock to the system," propelling members of Congress toward the goal of shoring up America's ability to compete with China, Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) told Axios during an interview Thursday.

Why it matters: Competition between China's authoritarian model and the West's liberal democratic one is likely to define the 21st century. A bipartisan response would help the U.S. present a united front.