NewsGuard: The Internet Trust Tool


by Grayce Mores and Madison Latiolas | May 2021

NewsGuard, a.k.a. “The Internet Trust Tool,” is a one-of-its-kind media literacy tool that aids internet news consumers to navigate through reliable and unreliable news sources online. NewsGuard is both practical and educational; news consumers are guided toward credible news sources while also learning industry standards for what constitutes truthfulness and reliability of news sources.
NewsGuard’s team of trained journalists and experienced editors rate news and information websites based on nine journalistic criteria that asses credibility and transparency of a news site as a whole. These analysts are responsible for ratings for over 4,500 websites that account for 95% of news engagement in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany and Italy.

Download "The Internet Trust Tool" NewsGuard

NewsGuard is free for all users during the Coronavirus pandemic!
NewsGuard is also free to all Turnitin school partners and their students!

How it Works

NewsGuard uses a "Nutrition Label" system to rate news sources based on a common set of standards for journalistic credibility and transparency. After downloading NewsGuard, news sites and social media posts show a shield icon representing the reliability of the news source.

NewsGuard analysts assign each site one of four rating categories, either “Green,” “Red,” “Satire,” or “Platform.” Each of the nine criteria used by NewsGuard analysts to rate news sites can earn a certain number of points, such that a website that receives a green rating is not guaranteed a score of 100. NewsGuard posts full reports on each site they review, explaining their reasoning behind each rating.


Green Check Mark

A Google search of "AP News," showing the NewsGuard checkmark and nutrition label

A green check mark indicates an overall approval rating. The source is reliable. For example, a Google search of AP News shows that they receive a green check mark because of their credibility score of 95.0/100. 


Yellow Smiley Face

A Google search for "The Onion," showing the NewsGuard label of satire site

A yellow smiley face indicates a sufficient rating, but the source should be used with some caution. For example, a Google search of The Onion, a popular satirical news site, shows a yellow smiley face, indicating it is not a serious news source.


Red Exclamation Mark

A Google search for Drudge Report shows several questionable media practices, as analyzed by NewsGuard

A red exclamation mark indicates an overall disapproval rating and a warning for the user. For example, a Google search of Drudge Report, a news aggregation site that does not run corrections or acknowledge its agenda, shows a failing exclamation point, indicating it does not meet NewsGuard's standards of credibility.



NewsGuard also works on links to news articles posted on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter:


A Facebook post linking to news source Baton Rouge Proud has a NewsGuard checkmark



A Twitter post linking to an NBC News article shows the NewsGuard checkmark


NewsGuard's Nine Journalistic Criteria

How NewsGuard's experienced journalists analyze news sources

  • Does not repeatedly publish false content. 
  • Gathers and presents information responsibly. 
  • Regularly corrects or clarifies errors. 
  • Handles the difference between news and opinion responsibly
  • Avoids deceptive headlines
  • Website discloses ownership and financing
  • Clearly labels advertising
  • Reveals who’s in charge, including possible conflicts of interest. 
  • The site provides the names of content creators, along with either contact or biographical information

For more information on NewsGuard's rating process, visit their website.

Misinformation Monitor and 24/7 News Monitoring

The NewsGuard team releases a monthly newsletter that monitors fake news stories and trends, recently featuring reports on COVID-19 misinformation, "paid protesters" conspiracies, and social media "super-spreaders." NewsGuard has a team of journalists who monitor trending stories 24/7 to provide fast, accurate Nutrition Label ratings.

NewsGuard has created a COVID-19 Misinformation Tracking Center that reports on fake news, rumors and bad actors related to the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Why We Support NewsGuard

The team at Detect Fake News believes every digital citizen should be critical consumers of information and follow the core principles of media literacy. NewsGuard is an easy tool that engages its users to think about the credibility of information they view online. The user-friendly Nutrition Labels and rating system provide an instantaneous analysis of online news sources in internet searches and social media posts. The Misinformation Monitor keeps users informed and provides analysis of recent incidents of fake news to educate digital consumers on the ever-evolving issue of misinformation. NewsGuard's mission is in line with that of Detect Fake News, to promote news literacy and avoid the spread of fake news and misinformation.