Boulder, Colorado, United States • Founded in 1996 • Trust Project news partner since
Public News Service provides reporting to about 60 million people weekly through more than 4,000 local radio, print, television and online outlets, with a focus on rural communities.
A member-supported, cross-platform company, Public News Service aims to engage, educate and advocate for the public interest. The family and employee-owned certified B Corporation manages independent news services in 37 states, reaching audiences across geographic and political divides. A big part of Public News Service's mission is equity in local news. Its original content is state-level and issue-oriented news. It says it doesn't not do political or "gotcha" stories.
Public News Service aims to engage and inform communities and support local newsrooms. It says the editorial team is trained to practice "Polarity Management" and "Deep Balance," the idea that many conflicts are based on polarities that can be respectfully understood and managed, rather than problems that can be “correctly solved.”
When solutions require balancing many sides of a complex equation, and on a daily news cycle that is fast-paced and often superficial and sensational when communities need more thoughtful deliberation, Public News Service seeks to include the voices of the quieter, more thoughtful and less powerful.
Public News Service's policy says it is committed to accurate, fair and complete reporting that prioritizes perspectives that have often been excluded from mainstream media coverage.
A certified B Corporation must meet certain environmental and social responsibility performance standards. Public News Service is funded by grants, gifts and memberships from nonprofits, individuals, corporations and foundations. More than 400 organizations contribute to fund the news services, which are independently operated by professional journalists.
All supporters are listed publicly and given the explicit understanding that editorial content and control is entirely under the authority of PNS staff.
If an active funder is quoted in a story, its policies require that be disclosed. When major funding has been provided to cover a specific issue area, that is noted on the print and audio versions. An individual story is labeled as "Underwritten" when Public News Service would not choose to do the story, or do it the same way, absent the specific funding.
Complex issues demand different perspectives. For Public News Service, its policy is to include a wide variety of voices from all backgrounds as sources and producers. The policy states it welcomes all, regardless of ethnicity, age, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, physical or mental ability or experience in the judicial system. Public News Service says its reporting is dedicated to sharing and learning from the most marginalized voices.
Public News Service strives to promptly correct any errors in material published on audio and digital platforms. If a correction or clarification is needed in a story, we will make a note in the original story that it has been updated.
Public News Service has a policy to not publish stories with unnamed sources, with the following exception: In rare cases, the names of interviewed sources may be withheld to protect people in sensitive situations where using their name could endanger their livelihood or life.
The Trust Project is an international consortium of news organizations building standards of transparency and working with technology platforms to affirm and amplify journalism’s commitment to transparency, accuracy, inclusion and fairness so that the public can make informed news choices. It was founded and is led by award-winning journalist Sally Lehrman.
Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist, was our original funder, through the Trustworthy Journalism Initiative of Craig Newmark Philanthropies. Google followed with their financial support. Our funders also have included Democracy Fund, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Facebook. Funders. Trust Project policies and the Trust Indicators are shaped and enforced independently from our funding sources.