NewsTransparency Aims Spotlight Behind the Byline

NewsTransparency founder Ira Stoll

NewsTransparency founder Ira Stoll

A new wiki-style website,, aims to hold journalists accountable, reveal bias.

It’s official. The news industry has become the newest target in the ongoing freedom of information and transparency battle., a site launched earlier this week by former managing editor of the New York Sun Ira Stoll, aims to shine a spotlight on the writers behind the byline.

The homepage reads:

“News Transparency helps you find out more about the people who produce the news and allows you to hold them accountable, the same way that journalists hold other powerful institutions accountable, by posting reviews and sharing information.”

At the time of the site’s launch more than 1,000 journalists had already been listed. Stoll hopes other journalists, readers and news organizations will begin adding their own reporters and links to the site.

Stoll is known for his earlier work on somewhat similar projects. He formerly published the SmarterTimes, a daily critique of the New York Times, according to Forbes. While SmarterTimes had a distinctive conservative angle, NewsTransparency looks to be a bit different.

The wiki-style interface of allows users to review, critique, add and clarify everything from a reporter’s phone number to his professional and political affiliations.

Full disclosure here, I added myself to the database earlier this morning (write a review? Oh, wait, my profile hasn’t been approved yet). At least for the time being adding details to a journalist’s profile require some sort of administrative approval.

As of this morning Stoll’s profile ranked as the most viewed with 2 member reviews of his work, although I still can’t figure out how to access the actual

It’s also worth mentioning that Stoll is already talking about selling database access to third-parties such as PR firms and marketers once the pool of information is large enough.

“Right now my focus is on building the platform and growing the data in it,” Stoll told Forbes in an interview. “If developers see ways to make that data more useful, we’re happy to make it available.”

The site hopes to drive book sales, earning income through Amazon’s affiliate program, and carry some advertisement on the site.

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