Poynter Shelves Entire Blacklist Of ‘Unreliable’ News Outlets Following Backlash


Mike Brest Reporter
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The Poynter Institute, a journalism nonprofit organization, has completely disabled a list of what they labeled as an extensive list of “unreliable” news websites on Thursday night after facing scrutiny in the days since its publication.

A litany of conservative publications, including The Washington Free Beacon and The Washington Examiner, were lumped into the list of “unreliable” publications and it received nearly instantaneous condemnation from them.

“Soon after we published, we received complaints from those on the list and readers who objected to the inclusion of certain sites, and the exclusion of others. We began an audit to test the accuracy and veracity of the list, and while we feel that many of the sites did have a track record of publishing unreliable information, our review found weaknesses in the methodology,” Poynter’s managing editor Barbara Allen said in a statement on their website. “We detected inconsistencies between the findings of the original databases that were the sources for the list and our own rendering of the final report.”

She went on, “We are removing this unreliable sites list until we are able to provide our audience a more consistent and rigorous set of criteria.”

Aside from the list of “unreliable” news outlets, the initial publication included an accompanying article that called for advertisers to use the list in an effort to “blacklist” these websites. That language was deleted from the story and an update went along with it.

Baybars Orsek, the director of the International Fact-Checking Network, told the Washington Examiner that they would be “evaluating all removal requests on a case by case basis,” and adding that “the total number of complaints is less than 2% of the whole database.”


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