Nowadays, the amount of online news content is immense and its sources are very diverse. For the readers and other consumers of online news who value balanced, diverse and reliable information, it is necessary to have access to methods of evaluating the news articles available to them.
This is somewhat similar to food consumption where consumers are presented with a huge variety of alternatives and therefore face the challenge of deciding what is good for their health. This is why food packages come with nutrition labels that guide the consumers in their decision making. Taking this analogy, Fuhr and colleagues (2018) discuss the idea of implementing information nutrition labels for news articles. They propose to label every online news article with information nutrition labels that de-scribe the ingredients of the article and give readers a chance to make an informed judgment about what they are reading. The authors dis-cuss nine different information nutrition labels: factuality, readability, virality,emotion/sentiment, opinion/subjectivity/objectivity, controversy, authority/credibility/trust, technicality and topicality. Gollub and colleagues (2018) categorize these labels into fewer dimensions. Their aim is to establish group labels that are easily understood by readers. However, both studies do not go beyond discussing, proposing and grouping the labels.
In this work we actually implement information nutrition labels and deliver them as a browser plugin that we call NewsScan. Therefore we provide a basis for evaluating how well labels describe the online news content and for investigating how useful they are to real users for making decisions about whether to read the news and whether to trust its content. To avoid biasing the user in anyway with respect to the consumption of an article, the information is solely presented but not interpreted. Judgments about news sources should be made by users themselves. Whether an article will be read or discarded depends on the user’s own weighing of importance of the information nutrition labels.