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ANAB Launches New Pilot Accreditation Program for the Journalism Trust Initiative

The ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) has launched a new pilot accreditation program for the Journalism Trust Initiative – Certification Program. ANAB is a wholly owned subsidiary of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

According to ANSI’s website, the program was launched because: “In the digital age, it has become increasingly difficult to distinguish information shaped by vested interests from that produced by independent and reliable news media outlets. An open and honest public debate, aimed at informing the general public, has become more difficult to sustain, and signals of trustworthiness in the information space are in great demand.”

The Journalism Trust Initiative aims to support journalism by recognizing compliance with ethical norms and professional best practices. The Journalism Trust Initiative’s certification program focuses on trustworthy information as an output of transparent and sound editorial processes by assessing ethical journalism as a service and therefore the object of service certification. It is intended to help users (e.g., service customers) to differentiate between media outlets (e.g., service providers) in making informed decisions. The goal is to inform the distribution and consumption of journalistic content so that a more healthy media landscape can emerge, benefiting citizens and societies at large.

ANAB’s accreditation program will assess the competence of conformity assessment bodies which audit and certify against the Journalism Trust Initiative scheme and CEN Workshop Agreement 17493:2019 for journalistic content distributed by media outlets. ANAB’s program operates in accordance with ISO/IEC 17011, Conformity assessment — Requirements for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment bodies, and assesses conformity assessment bodies against ISO/IEC 17065, General requirements for bodies operating product certification systems.

The CEN Workshop Agreement 17493:2019 covers:

  • Identity and transparency (e.g., basic requirements on media’s identity, editorial mission, public service media, requirements on owners’ identity, disclosure of identity of the management team and its location, disclosure of editorial contact details)
  • Professionalism and accountability (e.g., accountability for journalism principles, accuracy, responsibility for content provided by the general public, responsibility for sources, professionalism for affiliations, internal accountability)

“Having a workshop agreement that covers standard requirements related to identity, transparency, accountability and professionalism—as well as independence and ethics—will guide the media outlet services in their work,” said R. Douglas Leonard, ANAB vice president responsible for these programs. “ANAB accreditation is committed to a covenant of trust in the adherence to these criteria.”

ANAB will accept applications for the pilot accreditation program from August 15–October 15, 2021. To learn more about the requirements and begin the application process, visit the ANAB website or contact Roger Muse (rmuse@anab.org; 414-501-5455) or Reinaldo B. Figueiredo (rfigueiredo@anab.org; 202-331-3611).

About the Journalism Trust Initiative
The Journalism Trust Initiative is developing and implementing indicators for the trustworthiness of news media and thus, promotes and rewards compliance with professional norms and ethics. It aims at distinguishing journalism worthy of the name through a mechanism that includes three steps: self-evaluation, conformity assessment and incentivization (algorithmic indexation, advertising, philanthropy, etc.). The Journalism Trust Initiative was originally launched and is operated by the Paris-based NGO Reporters Without Borders (RSF), whose mandate is to promote freedom, independence, and pluralism of journalism. For more information, visit www.journalismtrustinitiative.org.



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