Churnalism, the webservice which lets you check to see if you are reading a real news story online or just a re-hashed PR release, first came to our attention back in 2011. Back then it was just a simple cut and paste website, but now it’s moved on considerably.
The service now boasts two web browser plugins, which you can add to either Chrome or Firefox, and which provide an instant overview whether the story you are reading has any real merit, or was just written as part of a marketing campaign.
You can still do the old cut and paste stuff on the original site (the site then checks to see if the text has been lifted verbatim from a press release), but the new extensions/addons now give an instant and much easier way to check. We’re not sure how accurate it is, or indeed how timely, given the fact that most news stories are here and gone in less than a few hours, but at least it’s a start.
What we’d really like to see though, is for the extensions to automatically flag up a warning in bright red every time we started reading a story online. WARNING: THIS STORY HAS PROBABLY BEEN WRITTEN BY A MARKETING DEPARTMENT SUIT.