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Fake-News Police Report for Duty

“NewsGuard” = A Free Market Solution to Wild Web

Nutrition Labels for news outlets

The lamestream media told you:

--The Wall Street Journal, March 3, 2018: “The Internet broke down barriers by enabling everyone to become a publisher. The unintended consequence was the fake-news epidemic. Teenagers in Macedonia discovered they could make a small fortune from online advertising by concocting outlandish click-bait stories... Russia Today is now ‘I saw the news on Facebook’... easy for purveyors of knowingly false news or propaganda to fool users by looking like legitimate publishers...”

The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:

Perhaps worse, CNN has become a non-stop conspiracy-theory provider, and opinion spinner, with a thin veil of newsiness and a motto, “the most trusted name in news.” Basically no one believes that anymore, despite the deep baritone that delivers the line.

MSNBC essentially makes no pretense that they are anything but a campaign outlet for leftist ideology and democrats, and a hostile belligerent aimed at all non-democrats, even the Bernies who are further left (socialist) than they are.

So -- L. Gordon Crovitz, the former publisher at The Wall Street Journal is teaming up with Steve Brill, the legendary journalist and editor who founded Brill’s Content, to launch NewsGuard.

This online news-media watchdog will establish “nutrition labels” for so-called news outlets to establish the bona fides of major news “brands” and help the news-consuming public tell what’s what, with Red, Yellow and Green color coding.

The team plans to use journalistically trained analysts, also known as human beings, instead of algorithms and other forms of computer automation, to rate news brands, depending on whether they produce real journalism, disclose their underlying interests, or intentionally purvey fake news. The team expects to cover 7,500 online outlets, about 98% of what passes for news, they say. Judging from what I’ve seen of Brill’s previous work, this could be splendid.

A “white list” of outlets that advertisers can rely on is part of the plan. Commercial groups have been hit hard, promoting their goods on sites that turn out to be biased spreaders of tripe. Reviews of the reviewers will include pros and the public, part of a robust transparency effort. Problems might arise, since the glowing description is provided by Crovitz, in The Wall Street Journal, but one can hope.


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About the Author

  • Freelance writer Alan Korwin is a founder and past president of the Arizona Book Publishing Association. With his wife Cheryl he operates Bloomfield Press, the largest producer and distributor of gun-law books in the country. Here writing as "The Uninvited Ombudsman," Alan covers the day's stories as they ought to read. Read more.

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