Introducing the Transparency Project

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Here at Science News we work hard to make sure that our coverage of the latest advances in science, medicine and technology is clear, accurate and comprehensive. But we realize that what’s clear to us about how we do science journalism may not be clear to our readers. And we want to be open and accountable about that process.

So we’re launching the Transparency Project. In the coming months, we’ll be experimenting with ways to show who we are and how we do what we do, revealing decisions we make to ensure our coverage is accurate and fair. To figure out which methods are most helpful for increasing transparency, we’re partnering with News Co/Lab, a collaborative lab at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, which is aimed at helping the public find new ways of engaging with news and information. News Co/Lab has partnered with other journalism organizations, including The Kansas City Star, The Fresno Bee and other papers in the McClatchy media company. We’re the first science news organization to work with this lab, and we’re excited to share more of our journalistic process with our readers.

You’re an essential part of this experiment, and in the months to come there will be many opportunities for readers to participate in the project. You may see sidebars on articles explaining why we reported a story, reader surveys and more. We’ll share our findings, and let you know what we learned, what surprised us and how that informs our work in the future.

These are difficult times for science, and for journalism. Now more than ever, people need reliable sources of news that they can trust. We will continue to work hard to earn that trust.

Nancy Shute
Editor in Chief

Update, May 29, 2019:

We’ve received a ton of great feedback on this project from so many readers. Thank you all. We want you to know what we’ve heard you, and you’re already beginning to shape how we approach our coverage to make science journalism more open and accountable.

Multiple people have said the “About this story” boxes on select stories are helpful as educational tools, whether in a classroom setting or for discussions with people of differing views. We’re so happy to hear our work is being used in this way. Feel free to let us know how we could make this even better.

Thank you again for your continued involvement in this project as we strive to be worthy of your trust.

Mike Denison
Audience Engagement Editor

Here are stories that have additional Transparency Project content. This list will be updated.

Nancy Shute is editor in chief of Science News Media Group. Previously, she was an editor at NPR and US News & World Report, and a contributor to National Geographic and Scientific American. She is a past president of the National Association of Science Writers.

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