Downloads: Media Alert

Washington, DC — Thousands of Americans are joining forces online to find the best news coverage of the 2008 presidential election, thanks to a partnership between PBS’s social media site, PBS Engage, the award-winning documentary series POV and NewsTrust, a social news network promoting quality journalism. For this joint project, the partners have invited their online communities to collectively rate news articles and opinion pieces about the upcoming election, as part of a two-week “Election News Hunt.” The top-rated stories from this unique collaboration will be featured on the NewsTrust website on July 16th, 2008.

To start their exploration, News Hunt participants are encouraged to review POV’s new documentary Election Day, which premiered July 1st on PBS and can be viewed on the POV website. This 74-minute documentary by filmmaker Katy Chevigny presents the street-level experiences of voters in today’s America, through 11 stories shot around the country during the 2004 election.

Using NewsTrust’s state-of-the-art review tools, News Hunt participants will evaluate hundreds of news articles and opinions published this week about the upcoming U.S. election. Anyone can sign up for this public Election News Hunt” on the NewsTrust website.

NewsTrust tools make it easy for people to rate the news based on quality, not just popularity — by evaluating each article’s fairness, sourcing, context and other core principles of good journalism. NewsTrust reviewers include experienced journalists, educators and citizens, whose ratings are weighted based on expertise and news literacy. As a result, the “Election News Hunt” will help thousands of Americans find high-quality news coverage — and become more discriminating news consumers.

“PBS Engage is delighted to partner with NewsTrust and POV for this News Hunt,” said Jayme Swain, director of PBS Engage, a new initiative to help people connect with PBS stations, programs, producers and each other, using social media tools. “By combining NewsTrust’s unique news evaluation service with POV’s creative expertise, we’re enabling PBS viewers to learn about — and contribute to — news coverage of this important election.”

“POV is pleased to work with PBS Engage and NewsTrust for this project,” said Simon Kilmurry, executive director of American Documentary | POV “At the end of our News Hunt, we hope that citizens will have a clear sense of the state of today’s news coverage on the presidential election, and will be able to use that coverage to inform the difficult choices facing them in this historic election.”

“We’re excited about our collaboration with PBS Engage and POV” said Fabrice Florin, executive director and founder of NewsTrust. “This is a unique opportunity to examine the election process through the eyes of American voters from across the country — and ask ourselves what needs to change so that citizens can participate more effectively in our democracy. By engaging Americans to focus on quality information about our upcoming elections, we can all make better decisions as a nation.”

About NewsTrust: NewsTrust helps people find and share good journalism online. This nonprofit, nonpartisan organization is committed to helping citizens make more informed decisions about their lives and governments. The website publishes round-the-clock feeds of quality news and opinions from mainstream and independent sources, based on ratings from their reviewers, weighted by expertise. Their web review tools enable the public to evaluate fairness, evidence, sourcing and other core journalistic principles — and develop their news literacy skills in the process. NewsTrust’s Executive Director is Fabrice Florin, a former journalist and a digital media pioneer at Apple and Macromedia. Its advisors include Dan Gillmor, Craig Newmark, Howard Rheingold and other digital media innovators from organizations like Google, the Poynter Institute, and Stanford University. Founded in 2005 and based in Mill Valley, California, is funded through grants and private donations, and funded by the MacArthur Foundation and other private donors. More information is available at

About PBS: PBS, with its 355 member stations, offers all Americans — from every walk of life — the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each week, PBS reaches more than 73 million people and invites them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; hear diverse viewpoints; and take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs have been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and Web site,, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at, one of the leading dot-org Web sites on the Internet.

About POV: Produced by American Documentary, Inc. and celebrating its 21st season on PBS in 2008, the award-winning POV series is the longest-running showcase on television to feature the work of America’s best contemporary-issue independent filmmakers. Airing June through October with primetime specials during the year, POV has brought more than 250 award-winning documentaries to millions nationwide, and now has a Webby Award-winning online series, POV’s Borders, as well as the POV Blog. Since 1988, POV has pioneered the art of presentation and outreach using independent nonfiction media to build new communities in conversation about today’s most pressing social issues. POV is the winner of a 2007 Special News & Documentary Emmy for Excellence in Television Documentary Filmmaking. More information about POV is available online at

Contact for NewsTrust: Fabrice Florin, Executive Director (415) 388-6688 fflorin [at]

Contact for PBS: Kevin Dando, Director, Education and Online Communications (703) 739-5073 kdando [at]

Contact for POV: Cathy Fisher, Senior Manager, Communications 212-989-7425 cfisher [at]

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POV Staff
POV (a cinema term for "point of view") is television's longest-running showcase for independent non-fiction films. POV premieres 14-16 of the best, boldest and most innovative programs every year on PBS. Since 1988, POV has presented over 400 films to public television audiences across the country. POV films are known for their intimacy, their unforgettable storytelling and their timeliness, putting a human face on contemporary social issues.