Photo by David Dyson

Sally Lehrman

Chief Executive, Trust Project

Sally Lehrman, an award-winning journalist, founded and leads The Trust Project, an international collaboration that she began building in 2014 to strengthen public confidence in the news through accountability and transparency. The consortium, which involves about 100 news organizations, has created a set of digital standards called “Trust Indicators” that help the public and news distribution platforms easily identify reliable news sites. Lehrman provides vision and strategy, guiding the effort as it implements the news industry’s first-ever transparency standards for users to see and machines to read, also overseeing collaborative implementation and scaling among newsrooms around the world. Lehrman was named one of MediaShift’s Top 20 Digital Innovators in 2018 for this work.

Major news distribution platforms including Google, Facebook and Bing are external partners to the effort and use the Trust Indicators in various ways, such as in search results, news feeds and display on user screens.

Lehrman is an award-winning reporter on medicine, biotechnology and science policy. Her honors include a Peabody Award, Peabody/Robert Wood Johnson Award for Excellence in Health and Medical Programming, and Columbia/Du Pont Silver Baton (The DNA Files); the SPJ Wells Key (the Society of Professional Journalists’ highest honor); various other reporting and writing awards; and the John S. Knight Fellowship at Stanford University. Byline credits include Scientific American, Nature, Health,, Natural Medicine, The Boston Globe, The New York Times,, and The DNA Files, distributed by NPR.

She is co-editor and co-author of Reporting Inequality: Tools and methods for covering race and ethnicity (Routledge, 2019) with Venise Wagner of San Francisco State University, and author of “News in a New America,” a fresh take on developing an inclusive U.S. news media. She also has written several chapters for textbooks on covering the sciences. Currently she is working on Skin Deep: The Search for Race in Our Genes, about the quest to address health disparities, for Oxford University Press.

Lehrman has long been involved in evangelizing journalism values, ethics and diversity as a local and national leader in the Society of Professional Journalists and the SPJ Foundation, and with other organizations such as the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education and the Center for Science and Justice at UC Santa Cruz.

She tweets at @journethics and @bestwrit and is available for speaking engagements and as a workshop facilitator.

Current Projects

Lehrman’s work includes: