We’re pleased to report that Detroit Metro Times, the alternative newsweekly that has served metro Detroit for more than 40 years, was recently granted top marks by NewsGuard.
Launched in 2018, NewGuard is a journalism and technology tool that helps fight misinformation by ranking online publications for credibility on a scale of 0-100. It recently updated its score for Metro Times to 100/100 based on its nine criteria for publishers.
Those criteria include not repeatedly publishing false content, gathering and presenting information responsibly, regularly correcting of clarifying errors, handling the difference between news and opinion responsibly, avoiding deceptive headlines, disclosure of ownership and financing, clearly labeled advertising, revealing who’s in charge (and potential conflicts of interests), and providing the names of content creators along with contact or biographical information.
“MetroTimes.com publishes original reporting, quoting reputable sources such as government officials, people with firsthand knowledge of events, subject-matter experts, and documents,” NewsGuard wrote in its assessment. “The website attributes information from other news organizations, including The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press. Photos, videos, and infographics are credited. Headlines accurately reflect the story content.”
NewsGuard also noted that our journalism has been recognized with awards by the Association of Alternative Newsmedia and the Society of Professional Journalists.
We know what many of you are probably thinking: “Metro Times? That commie rag isn’t fit for fishwrap! Stick to writing about concerts and weed!” Well, while it’s true that we aren’t your typical newspaper — we’re unabashed about our liberal point of view, we’re not afraid to use the occasional swear words, and most of us didn’t go to journalism school — NewsGuard granted the perfect score after we made our perspective clear on our About Us page.
“But because the site does now describe itself as an advocate of a particular point of view, and does generally distinguish between news reporting and commentary, NewsGuard has concluded that Metro Times does handle the difference between news and opinion responsibly,” they wrote.
The NewsGuard tool is a downloadable subscription-based web browser extension. Once installed, when you access a website that NewsGuard has analyzed, you’ll see a green shield icon signifying credible or red shield icon signifying not credible. You can then click on the icon to read the “full nutrition label.”
After installing the extension, we see that we outrank a number of mainstream media outlets, including The Detroit News (92.5), CNN (80), Rolling Stone (77.5), Vanity Fair (75), Fox News (57), and MSNBC (52).
Not bad for a scrappy little alt-weekly!
Other local publications to score 100 include The Detroit Free Press, Crain’s Detroit Business, and MLive.
NewsGuard says it’s ranked more than 8,000 publications in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Australia. The service has also partnered with the likes of Microsoft, the World Health Organization, Princeton University, some 800 libraries, and the American Federation of Teachers, which offers the browser extension free to its 1.7-million members.
More information is available at newsguardtech.com.