Nation of Change
Written by: Kevin Moreno and Eve Gershon
According to its organization biography, www.nationofchange.org, professionally known as Nation of Change, is a nonprofit progressive news organization that provides daily news reports, opinions, petitions, and a platform for the public to freely share their opinions on a plethora of issues affecting the democracy of the United States, while focusing on positive and powerful solutions to problems that can hinder a nation. Their goal, as stated on their website, is to provide unbiased, independent journalism with “one simple, but powerful weapon: the truth.”
Upon further examination of the website and its content, the “About” section, which introduces the website and its purpose as a progressive news outlet along with their mission and philosophy, proves to be somewhat questionable in terms of who the Nation of Change hires to write their daily news analyses and opinion-editorials. With further discovery, it was found out that they do not accept third-party advertisement or corporate financing on their website, as they are directly funded by donations from their supporters. The fact that they do not accept advertising is corroborated by Article 2 of the Nation of Change bylaws, where it states that “the organization may not accept any form of third-party advertising agreement wherein corporate-sponsored advertisements are placed alongside organizational content or materials. The organization may not enter into any agreements with third parties regarding the censorship, promotion, or distortion of any content.” Their staff listing is organized, since it includes their staff, editors, and public relations directors written out clearly and systematically on the page. However, a somewhat short biography is given about the president of Nation of Change, who claims to be “an active philanthropist with over 25 years of experience,” and “motivating and inspiring people into action.” Supporters of the news outlet continually donate to the organization to obtain the truth they deserve. The question arises, however: How would they donate to people who don’t have a picture of themselves, moreover, a large and highly revered background? Furthermore, upon review of the articles published on Nation of Change, the same authors appear to write the same articles over and over again, with no variation in whether or not they publish an opinion piece or a news analysis.
For a website that claims to be unbiased, Nation of Change’s stories consist of various opinion pieces focusing on the beliefs of the far left. Along with these, the site focuses on news articles with a heavy coverage of current environmental questions and political controversies and supports some clearly biased petitions. While the site features a list of staff and contributors who continue to write for the cause, writers of the different articles are not always from this list, proving that they are willing to take writing from other sources. The number of opinion pieces versus news articles and the status of the authors may not always seem to matter, but a closer look at what is being written proves that there is more opinion than there may seem.
Each of the articles is labeled as either an op-ed, a news report, a petition, or whatever other category the story may be under. These categories define what is fake news and what is not. By telling the reader an article is an opinion right off the bat, they are allowed to make their own decisions about the subject with the understanding that the information being presented is not all fact. If categorized as a news piece, the reader automatically assumes that the statements they are reading are true. The inclusion of opinion into a news piece can be very problematic, as truth and opinion are blurred into a story that is not the picture of accuracy the writer hopes the reader will see it as. Nation of Change has this blurring problem. In their story “Former EPA employees sound the alarm in scathing report”, readers are informed of many accurate facts supported by websites like the New York Times, but words like “chaotic” to describe President Trump and “stupidity” to describe Pruitt’s climate view should bring the mindful reader pause. Whether or not one agrees with these statements, they cannot be presented as absolute fact without specific and accurate evidence. The site may have all of its nouns and verbs supported with evidence, but their adjectives lack any sort of reason despite an inner spite toward the subjects being written about. Nation of Change is not giving its readers straight-up fake news, but their credibility is lost as they are not giving the whole real news either.
Despite their slight issues in accuracy, the site does a pretty good job of creating authentic information that verifies a majority of their claims and references all of their various sources. There may be some suggestions that are not totally supported or even actual facts, but overall, Nation of Change does a good job of structuring the information that they have.
Nation of Change is an online news platform that provides progressive news in the form of opinions, news analyses, news observations, and petitions. They hope to use unbiased journalism to their maximum potential and activism to provide effective strategies for change.
Site Report Card
Is it clear who founded the website and for what purpose and who operates it now?
In the “About” section of their website, it is made clear that a woman named Donna Luca founded the website and continues to run the website in hopes of using unbiased journalism to push the changes for a better world. Their ideas are clearly stated, but their use of bias shows that they did not completely reach their goals.
Is it clear what is fact and what is opinion? Is it clear when the information is original to the website and when it has been gathered from other sources?
While the gathering of information is clearly shown as either original or not, the difference between fact and fiction is not as clear. Opinions are hidden within the news articles causing confusion as to what is really true and what is just believed.
Are sources of information, claims or charges named and when they are not is the reason clear? Are all facts are supported with evidence and is that evidence unbiased?
The website does a good job of showing where their information comes from and why they wrote certain things. Unfortunately, evidence is not always used to support some of their claims, especially when needed to explain why derogatory terms were used to describe certain people.
Do articles emphasize authenticity and avoid language like “believe,” “think,” or “feel” when referring to sources other than the writer? Do articles avoid large, unattributed narrative sections?
The site does a pretty good job of staying away from the narrative and avoiding words such as “think” and “feel”, but they are not perfect. The site still “believes” and “thinks” a lot more than they probably should.