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Reliability rating site NewsGuard turns a profit: The Media Roundup

A startup that rates the reliability of news sources says it’s making a profit

NewsGuard, a four-year-old startup that scans the web and rates the reliability of news sources, says its own business is reliable enough to turn a profit. They more than doubled their revenue in 2021, and are now planning to expand into new areas like rating television shows.

The past few years have seen many of these ‘website nutrition label’ plugins and tools pop up. But like the many fact checking initiatives that have been started since 2016, monetisation is an issue. It’s difficult to survive on just the warm glow from knowing you’re making the world a better place.

This is an interesting read as it looks at how the staff evaluate sites, why the proliferation of hoax sites is such an issue, and why human intelligence is so important. But it also offers some insight into how worthy initiatives like these can be turned into profitable, sustainable ventures.

This is what it’s like to be a media company’s first-ever online safety editor

In November, Dr. Rebecca Whittington started as Reach PLC’s first-ever online safety editor. She’s in charge of making the internet a safer place for Reach’s journalists and readers. Nieman Lab talks to her about how the publisher addresses online abuse and how she plans to help journalists feel safer while they work.

YouTube shuts down original content group

YouTube is winding down its original productions team and plans after more than six years, and will now only produce content from its Black Voices and YouTube Kids funds. Susanne Daniels, YouTube’s Global Head of Original Content, will also be leaving the company. When you’re the world’s largest user-generated video site, why bother investing in original content…

Reasons for optimism: Edwy Plenel and Mediapart in France

Conventional wisdom predicted failure for the French startup Mediapart in 2008, whose novel concept was an ad-free, subscription-only website focused on investigative journalism. But it finished 2020 with 218,000 digital subscribers and revenues of 20 million euros. Co-founder and president Edwy Plenel explains why the publisher’s success could be a model for others.

This content originally appeared in The Media Roundup, a daily newsletter from Media Voices. Subscribe here: