NewsGuard analysts to rate credibility of top 200 news podcasts by January 2024

New solution from NewsGuard and Barometer will also automatically detect misinformation

Analysts from news reliability data service NewsGuard will now be rating the credibility of news and information podcasts to ensure brand-safety for advertisers and help podcast platforms moderate content. 

Starting yesterday, brands, podcast platforms, and ad agencies can now licence credibility ratings across top news podcasts which will be regularly updated by the team of analysts at NewsGuard to make sure they meet basic and apolitical journalistic criteria. By January 2024, the team plans to have rated the top 200 news podcasts across the largest streaming platforms. 

This data product will help brands and advertisers which are hesitant to work with news podcasts due to rise in misinformation and political sensitivities find podcasts that are trustworthy and align with their views. According to a 2021 report by NewsGuard and media company Comscore on programmatic advertising data, an estimated $2.6 billion in ad revenue was unintentionally delivered to sources that were trafficking in misinformation. 

“The global podcasting market is projected to have an annual compound growth rate of 27.6% from 2023 to 2030,” said NewsGuard operations and new products vice president Sruthi Palaniappan. “New and existing partners can now benefit from greater NewsGuard coverage across their omni-channel campaigns, using our transparently sourced ratings for news podcasts to enable advertising on trusted news and reach engaged audiences they might otherwise miss."

“These ratings will be especially valuable for brands that until now have been reluctant to support news and information podcasts with their advertising because there has not been an independent journalist-led transparent assessment of these podcasts to ensure advertisers’ brand safety.”

Each podcast receives a score from 0-10 with a corresponding risk level, as well as a detailed ‘nutrition label’ which explains the score. The rating of the news podcasts is based on five journalistic criteria: four points for not regularly conveying false, unchallenged information, three points for conveying news on important topics responsibly, one point for not being dominated by one-sided opinions, one point for disclosing or not having a political agenda, and one point for differentiating advertising and commercial partnerships from editorial content. 

To demonstrate the process, Newsguard released five free ratings of some of the current top news podcasts, including Crooked Media’s Pod Save America which was scored 9/10, and Wall Street Journal’s The Journal which received a 10 out of 10 score. 

In addition to rating news podcasts, NewsGaurd also announced a partnership with AI podcast measurement firm Barometer to offer a new AI-powered solution that claims to detect potential misinformation in podcasts at an episode-level within seconds. 

The solution works by combining NewsGaurd’s Misinformation Fingerprints catalogue of false narratives spreading online with Barometer’s AI technology, which examines podcast episode transcripts and rates each episode based on four levels of risk by assessing their content through keywords, context, and sentiments. This helps Barometer pinpoint where misinformation narratives were likely to be trafficked on an episode-by-episode level and enforce brand integrity standards throughout campaigns. 

“While the team at Barometer was already proud of the solution we built with NewsGuard, observing how users are applying it makes us beam,” said Barometer founder and CEO Tamara Zubatiy. “The good agencies, brands, and publishers have struck a win-win-win as they use our solution to drive business, brand suitability and safety, and consumer protection.”

“The solution with Barometer applies NewsGuard’s work in a powerful way on behalf of agencies, brands, and publishers,” added Palaniappan. “Our mission is to combat the spread of misinformation, promote media literacy, and restore trust in trustworthy news through our journalist-vetted data.

“Partnering with great technology leaders like Barometer allows us to deliver on the mission with precision and at scale, benefiting everyone we serve.”