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Some (not-so) secrets about making your reviews count

Gf1squaresm_bweller Hi there! We're so glad you have joined us for our local news experiment, NewsTrust Baltimore. I'm Gin Ferrara, the community manager for this project, and I will be writing a weekly blog post about you - the reviewers, consumers, educators, students, and editors of NewsTrust Baltimore. My job is to make sure that you have the support you need to fully participate in our search for good local journalism and become more critical news consumers and producers in the process. 

I'd like to start by sharing some (not-so) secrets with you: how to make your reviews count. You have gone to all that effort to read a story and thoughtfully rate its journalistic quality -- now what? Here are some things you can do to spread your influence and encourage others to review, too.

  1. Sign up and use your real name. To review on NewsTrust Baltimore, you first need to sign up, using your real name. To keep the site open and welcome -- we like to think of it as "a clean and well-lighted space" -- we need all of our guests, members and reviewers to put on their name tags and be who they really are. On the national NewsTrust site, we have found that this encourages folks to be both respectful and willing to stand behind their opinions.
  2. Fill out your complete profile. Once you've signed up, go back to "My Profile", and fill in all the information about yourself, on each tab, from "Account" through to "Contact Info." The more you Bluemanred
    share, the more transparent you become, and the more your reviews count! This is also a chance to share your credentials and expertise. Adding a picture is a part of being transparent, too, and will prevent you from appearing as a little blue alien in your reviews. And we think you'll find it's nice to connect faces to reviewers; it helps to have some real-world touch points. 
  3. Write a note and a comment with your review. To learn how to review, check our Quick Review Guide. At the bottom of the review form are the words "Expand your review." If you click on that, you will see a window for Notes, Exapndreview as well as Comments, Quotes and Links. Write one or two sentences on the Notes tab about why the article was/was not good journalism. A thoughtful comment about your personal feelings on the subject can be added on the Comments tab. Adding your favorite quote from the article and sharing links to more information on the Quotes and Links tabs will add even more information and will build a bigger discourse on the writing, the subject, and the perspectives of the Baltimore community. 

This week we've had some great reviews -- check out these insightful notes and comments by Khalilah Harris, Christopher Siple and Stacy Spaulding.  I'll be highlighting more reviewers and community members each week, so go ahead and jump right in!

Thank you again for being part of the NewsTrust Baltimore community. 



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About NewsTrust Baltimore

  • NewsTrust Baltimore is a local news experiment that aims to help Baltimore residents find good journalism about their area. Our web review tools let you rate the news based on journalistic quality, not just popularity. We're non-profit, non-partisan, and committed to helping citizens make informed decisions about democracy. More »

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