The quick answer: A gradient. (of what? i'll get to that in a few words)
The real answer: I'm still working on it.
From Polititeens, Taylor and I realized that nobody is straight blue or red, everyone is a shade of purple. With that project, we went with the straight red/blue, but with this, I want to be as accurate as possible. That's where the gradient comes into play, both conceptually and visually.
The gradient, however, will be a multi-directional gradient affected by multiple factors. The ability to visualize where people stand in this platform is key to the success of the platform. Creating an icon/color/shape system to denote where people stand is the direction I'm heading in, but I'm still defining which factors are in the gradient. The main one that I know for sure will be in it is the liberal/conservative gradient, to give everyone a basis of where they are coming from. The other part of the gradient may have to do with the community involvement.
To show what/who is reliable through the help of other people, you need to know who is reliable among the other people. Those who are seasoned veterans of the system(those using it correctly, constructively, and to it's fullest extent) will have a stronger pull within the community than someone who just started or someone who doesn't use it as constructively.
But we can't forget that the most basic function of this community is to stay informed. That's why I want to create visualizations of everything within this community. Visualizations of people's stances, how the system works(why the users/articles/journalists/websites get the "rating" that it does), journalist + media outlet's stances, and anything else that needs clarification. I want to visualize this because this system is complex*. But these visualizations would be based and formed from written content/ratings/reviews that users can still access to help them dive deeper.
*visualization usually helps clarify information