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Small steps, but: Most big American newspaper newsrooms are now led by someone other than a white man
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Feb. 12, 2014, 2:53 p.m.

churnalismThe U.K.’s Media Standards Trust has released an updated version of Churnalism, its tool to identify news stories that are thin rewrites (or outright cut-and-paste copies) of press releases. In addition to a revamped website, the trust has also produced a Churnalism browser extension for Chrome and Firefox that checks for lazy work while you browse.

The backend of Churnalism.com has been rebuilt and split into various components. Martin Moore, director of the Media Standards Trust, said in an email that the Churnalism browser extension borrows code from a similar U.S. version of the extension released by the Sunlight Foundation:

Now, once you’ve downloaded the extension, your browser will automatically alert you when it looks like the news article you’re reading is closely based on a press release. Much easier and more ambient than having to go to the churnalism site itself. This has also meant we can do stuff like allowing the reader to click on a highlighter pen in the plugin drop down and highlight the actual text in the news article which looks like it’s been copy-pasted.

Moore said the trust is working on improvements to journalist profiles on Journalisted, its website featuring information on journalists from British news organizations (which we wrote about in 2010), and Unsourced, a browser extension that highlights missing sources in news articles.

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