Accountable Press Publisher FAQ

What does Accountable Press do?

Accountable Press:

  • Accountable Press strengthens your credibility and enhances your professional credentials by verifying that you have a working physical address and contact information on your site and Accountable Press profile, thereby assuring news consumers, search engines, and news aggregators that you are who you say you are and can be legally contacted if needed.
  • We allow you to document, on your Accountable Press profile, your media and business licenses, accreditations, social media, business profiles, and any awards you have earned.
  • We provide you with initial and ongoing education about original reporting, accountability, proper attribution, and responsible journalism, and document that you have successfully completed the course.
  • We lobby news consumers, search engines, and news aggregators to consider you, as a Certified Accountable Press Publisher, a professional, trusted, and accountable publisher.

How does Accountable Press fight against sites that steal content and copy/paste our articles onto their sites?

A common trait of copy/paste sites is that they use fake addresses or don’t include an address. They hide who they are. There’s no way to hold them accountable for their theft of your content.

Accountable press encourages and lobbies news consumers, search engines, and news aggregators to consider Certified Accountable Press Publishers as the original source of the content they publish. Certified Accountable Press Publishers are accountable for what they publish.

By joining Accountable Press, becoming Certified, and displaying the Accountable Press Seal, you are joining the fight against unaccountable/low-quality/content-stealing sites.

Do Certified sites automatically appear on Google News, Bing News, Apple News, Yahoo News, Facebook News, etc?

No. We encourage news aggregators to use Accountable Press Certification as a strong signal of a site’s quality and accountability. However, we are a brand new service and still in beta-testing. Really just getting started. As we grow, our goal is to work with the Google News Initiative to expand our reach and influence. But first we must grow- and that is where you come in!

Do Certified sites rank better on search engines and news aggregation sites?

Any references from a quality site to your site help grow your site’s credibility and authority. We encourage search engines and news aggregators to use Accountable Press Certification as a strong signal of a site’s quality and accountability.

Your Accountable Press profile page will include important information about your publication and a verified physical address, which are important signals of accountability, but that does not guarantee a boost in rankings.

Am I required to put the Accountable Press Seal on my Certified news site?

No, use of the Accountable Press Seal is optional. We do encourage you to display the Seal as symbol of your commitment to accountability. It will boost your credibility with readers, who may click on the Seal to confirm your Certification. More information about adding the Seal to your site is here.

What is the meta tag for and am I required to put it on our site?

The meta tag is one of several ways that search engines and news aggregators can discover and confirm your site’s Certification. It’s important that Certified sites include it in the <head> tag of their site. More information about adding the meta tag to your site is here.

What if I can’t verify my publication’s address or complete the course?

Address verification and completing the course are required for Certification. If you are having trouble with either requirement, please contact us for help. If you are unable to complete the requirements within 30 days, you may request a complete refund of your registration fee.

I publish from home and don’t want to make my address public, can my site still be Certified?

You will need a working, physical, contact address to be Certified. If you are working from an address that you do not want to be shared with the public, you might consider renting PO box, using a virtual office, or asking your attorney, accountant, or other service professionals might you use if they offer an address service. You will need to maintain a physical address where you can legally receive mail to remain Certified.

What is included in the course?

We can’t condense a journalism degree into a 30-minute course, but what we do try to provide is a basic level of knowledge that all Certified Accountable Press publishers should apply to their editorial decision making. This includes the meaning and importance of original reporting, accountability, attribution, and some basic guidelines on responsible journalism.

We publish an opposition news site in a hostile climate. Can we be Certified but keep our address confidential?

Yes. Publishers reporting in truly hostile environments on topics that put their or their reporters life or safety at risk are encouraged to contact us for an exception. Please include examples of your reporting and evidence that you are in an environment that is hostile to journalism.

Have a question not answered here?

Please contact us at [email protected]