Casey Newton is an American journalist who covers the intersection of technology and democracy. Newton thinks social networks have failed to reduce political polarization and may be accelerating it. Since 2016, he’s been analyzing whether social networks are undermining democracy.
All of this and more were written by Newton himself as the Silicon Valley editor at The Verge and later as the founder of Platformer to make sure readers know how he sees the world.
As Newton told us for our research on this project, his guide is a useful tool to better articulate his outlet’s mission and increase reader trust.
“Writing a ‘where I’m coming from statement’ was enormously useful to me as I started my newsletter. It forced me to articulate an editorial mission, my values, and my editorial process. I send it out to everyone who subscribes when they sign up, and many readers have told me that they trust me more because of it. I strongly encourage more journalists to write one of their own. The benefits are real!”Casey Newton
We decided to include Newton’s guide in the ComingFrom.org collection for several reasons.
His views are clearly stated
A list of your conclusions about specific topics is a straightforward and efficient way to disclose your point of view. That is exactly what Newton does in his statement.
- Newton: “We ought to put at least as much pressure on the government to make change as we do on tech companies.”
He admits that his POV can change
Newton chose to disclose his views by answering a simple question: “How do you see the world?”
He explores how his perspective on tech companies changed after the events of 2016, when it was revealed that foreign actors weaponized social media during the U.S. presidential election. It is good to know that a journalist is open to changing his mind and is constantly evolving as the world changes.
- Newton: “After 2016, my concern shifted from a business concern to a more patriotic one: are social networks undermining democracy?”
He explains his editorial process
Being transparent about how you work is always a good call when you want to increase trust. Newton does this well by dedicating a space in his statement explaining the sources of information he relies on to write his newsletter.
- Newton: “I’m in regular, direct communication with most of the companies I write about, and that perspective informs my reporting and analysis.”
To learn more about Newton’s work, follow him on Twitter and check out Platformer News on Substack.