Let's Fix Our News Before It Breaks Us!
on-air_ratingNews Quality Rating Symbols
0-5 Star Ratings
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This is an example of how on-air news quality rating symbols can be placed, so that newsmakers can self assess their news content and tell viewers how much ethical journalistic rigor goes into each news story aired. A rating of 3 might cause some viewers to go elsewhere for news, while others might consider 3 out of 5 stars an acceptable level of journalistic ethical rigor to continue watching.
CeaseSPIN advocates using Consumer Protection labeling to guide public awareness of journalism product quality. The Fox "News Distortion" case creates wide ranging news quality disparity. This cries out for a rating system that describes quality to inform viewers, who are actually consumers of news products. News Quality product labeling that describes the degree to which ethics, facts, fairness and other journalism standards were applied is necessary today. For example, did they follow spj.org ethical journalism practices or just create a news story that follows a preconceived narrative whether political, corporate or even profit driven? Each newsmaker can use a third party News Quality Rating system to self assess their quality ranking and make this information available at the time the news is presented.
A News Quality Rating System and Content Labeling approach, follows a tradition of consumer protection product labeling, that is very familiar to Americans. The News Quality Ratings Systems will be designed to be a newsmaker self assessed ethics rating, non-government managed, constitutional and anti-censorship that benefits consumers
• Americans, overwhelmingly,  are unsatisfied with the state of journalism today (including many journalists).
• Fox won a Florida Appellate Court decision that ruled news media can legally lie to the public.
• Successful advocacy can move news media to self assess their content using a “News Quality Rating System” based on spj.org journalism ethics code.
• A non-government/non-FCC based “News Quality Rating System” encourages newsmakers to self assess and advise viewers about each on-air news story’s level of journalistic integrity (e.g. 5 stars, 4 stars, 3, etc.)
• Consumers successfully petitioned for MPAA(film), RIAA(music) and the TV Parental Guidelines Ratings and won.
• Join the growing list of citizens who have signed the on-line petition supporting a non-government/non-FCC based “News Quality Rating System”.