Investigate Midwest today has joined the Trust Project, a global network of news organizations that use transparency standards to help readers assess the quality and credibility of journalism.

“We want our readers to know they can trust our work,” said Investigate Midwest Executive Director and Managing Editor Erin Orr. “Readers are bombarded with disinformation and thousands of sources. We hold our newsgathering to the highest standards, so readers can confidently come to our site and see how we operate.”

Erin Orr

The “Trust Indicators” are benchmarks noted on participating sites that spell out editorial practices and policies, and provide additional context. On Investigate Midwest’s site, readers can find the “Best Practices”  Indicator, for example, on the page “Editorial Standards,” which also is linked from the Trust Project logo on each story.

“We strive to shine a light on big agribusiness and key decision and policy makers,” Orr said. “Now we are shining more light on our own policies and standards.”


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The core set of Trust Indicators was developed with the help of leaders from more than 80 news organizations and informed by extensive interviews with readers in the United States and Europe. They describe an organization’s commitment to ethics, inclusive reporting, fact-checking and correcting errors, information on journalists’ backgrounds and how they do their work. In addition, the indicators denote the type of information that a person is reading — such as news, opinion or analysis.

The Trust Project has standardized the information, structured it for the public to easily find, and made it available for search engines to read.

The Trust Project is a nonpartisan nonprofit founded by award-winning journalist Sally Lehrman. It has been funded by Craig Newmark Philanthropies, Google, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Meta, the Democracy Fund and the Markkula Foundation.

Investigate Midwest was founded in 2009 and is headquartered in Champaign, Ill. It is a nonprofit news outlet and a member of the Institute for Nonprofit News.

For more information:

Type of work:

News Based on facts, either observed and verified directly by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

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