Accountability: An Essential Quality Signal

Accountable Press can provide an essential quality signal to your news algorithm.

Accountable Press:

  • Verifies the physical address and contact information of Certified Accountable Press Publishers.
  • Documents media and business licences, accreditations, and awards that Certified Accountable Press Publishers have earned.
  • Provides Certified Accountable Press Publishers with initial and ongoing training about original reporting, accountability, proper attribution and responsible journalism.

Accountable Press uses the same level of authentication used by financial institutions for fraud prevention to authenticate the address and contact information of each Certified Accountable Press publisher.

It’s impractical for news aggregators to do this level of vetting on every publisher in their system.

Certified Accountable Press publishers have taken on this responsibility themselves. They pay an annual fee and provide documentation because they want their readers, and you, to know they are accountable for what they publish.

In addition to the above, every Accountable Press Publisher has agreed to the following principles:

  • Strive to publish honest, accurate, reporting.
  • Be responsible and accountable for what they publish.
  • Maintain accurate physical and online contact information.
  • Stand together against plagiarism and copyright infringement.

Certified Accountable Press Publishers who do not maintain accurate physical and online contact information, or who plagiarize and/or flagrantly infringe on the copyrights of others, are subject to decertification without recourse or reimbursement.

How To Verify A Publisher’s Certification

Here are three methods that a news aggregator can use to verify a publisher’s certification:

Bidirectional Link Rel (option 1)

Each Certified Accountable Press publisher includes a <link> tag in the <head> section of their home page that links to their Accountable Press profile page, like this:

<link rel=”ap-certified” href=”https://accountable.press/ap/profile/84350/” />

The number in the URL is the publisher’s Accountable Press ID.

On the publisher’s Accountable Press profile page, there will be a return link tag:

<link rel=”ap-certification” title=”verified” href=”https://PublisherHomePage.com/” />

The values of the title include:

  • verified – the publisher’s address and contact information has been authenticated and they have passed the Accountable Press course on original reporting, accountability, proper attribution, and responsible journalism. Their address will be available on their profile page and in the profile schema.
  • verified-hidden – the publisher has been granted an exception and their contact information is kept confidential due to being in an environment that is hostile or life-threatening to journalists.

If there is no <link rel=”ap-certification”…> return link from Accountable.Press to the publisher, the publisher is not Certified. 

Schema (option 2)

Crawl the schema on each publisher’s profile page. This option provides the most detailed information on each publisher.

The schema includes:

  • Publication Name
  • Publication URL
  • Verified Address
  • Phone (if applicable)
  • Publisher Defined Description
  • Publication’s Logo
  • Publication’s About, Contact, Editorial Policies, and Masthead Pages
  • Publication’s Social Media Links
  • Journalism Memberships (Self Reported)  
  • Awards (Self Reported)

A sample of the schema is below.


<script type="application/ld+json">
{
"@context" : "http://schema.org",
"@type" : "ProfilePage",
"speakable": {
"@type": "SpeakableSpecification",
"cssSelector": ["Spk"]
},
"primaryImageOfPage": {
"@type": "ImageObject",
"name": "Publisher’s Name",
"url" : "https://accountable.press/path-to-publisher-logo.png"
},
"relatedLink": "https://Publishers.Site/",
"significantLink": ["https://Publishers.Site/about/","https://Publishers.Site/contact-us/"],
"lastReviewed": "2021-03-15",
"reviewedBy": "Accountable Press",
"mainEntity" : {
"@type" : "newsMediaOrganization",
"name" : "Publisher Name",
"address": {
"@type": "PostalAddress",
"addressCountry": "United States",
"addressRegion": "KY",
"addressLocality": "Neon",
"postalCode": "11111",
"streetAddress": "800 Sample St"
},
"email" : "[email protected]",
"telephone" : "5555555555",
"logo": "https://accountable.press/path-to-publisher-logo.png",
"url" : "https://Publisher.Site/",
"parentOrganization":"Publishing House",
"masthead":"https://Publisher.Site/staff",
"publishingPrinciples":"https://Publisher.Site/editorial-policies",
"description":"Publisher’s description of their site",
"memberof": ["Journalism organizations the publisher is a member of","Online News Assoc (example)"],
"award": ["Journalism","Awards","The","Publisher","Has","Won"],
"sameAs": ["Facebook link if avail","Twitter link if avail","YouTube link if available","LinkedIn link if avail", "Wikipedia link if avail"]
}
}
</script>

If a Publisher’s Accountable Press membership is no longer valid, the schema will not be available on the profile page.

Feed (option 3)

Accountable Press offers an xml feed with a full list of verified publishers, including their base URL and their profile page on Accountable Press, that can be accessed as needed by news aggregators. Please contact Accountable Press for permission to access this file. Confidentiality is assured.

Staying Updated

If you are using data from Accountable Press, please let us know so we can keep you updated if there are any changes.