Blockchain can help publishers improve audience trust
Readers expect their news content to be reliable and trustworthy, yet many doubt it actually is. Readers cite issues like unchecked sources, rushing too fast to print, careless reporting and news sites being deliberately misleading as contributing to their eroding trust in published content. Yet readers seek out — and are even willing to pay for — credible, factual, objective news. Increased trust will come from providing more transparency into the reporting and writing process, and the solution to this for news sites will come from an unusual source: blockchain technology.
We recently conducted a report called “Trust in Digital Publishing” that sought to uncover how readers currently feel about the news sites they follow, the stories they see and how credible they think the sites are. We found that 61% of those surveyed want better fact-checking and more focus on accuracy from the news sites they follow. They believe that news sites publish inaccurate information due to inexperienced journalists or bad practices, and 35% think that news organizations don’t have the best interests of their readers in mind. Meanwhile, 42% have stopped reading a news site they used to read, and 51% have abandoned news sites simply over one article they felt was inaccurate.
Sebastiaan van der Lans is the chairman of The Trusted Web Foundation and founder and CEO of WordProof. He’s the winner of the European Commission’s Blockchains for Social Good Contest. He’s on a mission to bring trust back to the internet.
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