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Introducing The Forum

Since the inception of U.S. News & World Report nearly 90 years ago, U.S. News has sought to be a beacon of journalistic integrity.

We endeavor to always give you useful, fact-based, unbiased information with the context you need to explore issues fully. Over the years, the means by which we have distributed our content may have changed, but our content itself has always incorporated the highest principles in journalism – high quality, well-sourced, based on fact and complete with reliable data. Moreover, our guiding credo has been mission-driven: to ensure that you, as a consumer, are empowered and equipped with all the information you need to make the important decisions in your life, whether choosing who to vote for in an election or the right hospital, college, credit card and beyond.

We are grateful for the trust and confidence you have placed in us and our independent reporting, quality rankings and important consumer advice. We do not take this for granted and strive every day to maintain your trust.

At the same time, even as you benefit from our rankings, the institutions that are ranked also benefit. As the adage goes, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” Colleges, hospitals and other institutions now measure themselves against standards created by U.S. News so they can continue to improve and move up in the rankings. We are proud of the impact the rankings have had on the accountability of these institutions. In this way, you can also be assured that the rankings are true guideposts upon which you can rely – not entirely, but as one important factor in your decision-making process.

Similarly, our news and consumer advice reporting is fact-based and data-driven, using the same rigor and integrity as our rankings. Never has accurate information been more important, as people worldwide are inundated with information and faced with complicated choices about their lives, their governments, their health, their economic prospects and the future of our planet.

Often, complex issues are adversely impacted by an onslaught of information that is frequently inaccurate, misleading or opinion dressed up as fact. Recently, at Harvard University’s commencement, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke eloquently about the great challenges this presents to democracy.

“Democracy can be fragile,” she said. A democracy’s duration does not guarantee its future. Longevity, she explained, “ignores what happens, when regardless of how long your democracy has been tried and tested – when facts are turned into fiction and fiction turned into fact, you stop debating ideas and you start debating conspiracy. It ignores the reality of what we are now confronted by every single day.”

The U.S. News fact-based approach to reporting serves as a bulwark against these gale-force winds that are blowing today. We understand that facts allow us to hold our leaders – and each other – accountable. They help us make informed decisions and understand the world around us.

We want to do our part to heal some of the wounds that have torn at the fabric of our society. Our aim is to reinforce our democracy and see it flourish for another 246 years.

As we celebrate our nation’s birthday this week, we are so excited to introduce a new U.S. News feature called The Forum. Our Forum will be a version of the typical opinion pages you often see in newspapers nationwide, except we will provide balanced perspectives covering multiple sides of central questions.

In The Forum, expert guest contributors and thought leaders will provide their fact-based, differing and sometimes completely opposing viewpoints on critical issues of the day. To the reader, these will all be presented in an engaging and interactive format on the same page – not in an artificial or empty way, but rather in well-reasoned, thoughtful columns that unpack the nuances of an issue.

U.S. News editors will also set important context for the framing question that our guest authors are addressing – think of us as something of a purposefully neutral moderator for the discussions and debates that elsewhere too often get bogged down in misinformation or bad-faith rhetoric. Again, in line with our journalistic mission, U.S. News will present you with information that enables you to be a more informed citizen and enlightened member of your community. As you dissect the details and understand the different views on a particular topic, we hope you come away in a position to more articulately advocate your perspective on the important topics of today.

In her Harvard address, Prime Minister Ardern also offered an optimistic vision that we wholeheartedly endorse: “We are richer for our difference and poorer for our division. Through genuine debate and dialogue, through rebuilding trust in information and one another, through empathy, let us reclaim the space in between.”

We invite you to join us as we explore these issues. Please share your feedback with us, and send any suggestions of issues that you would like to see addressed or voices that you think can thoughtfully contribute to the dialogue.

As always, thank you for your time, attention and loyalty.

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