I recently became aware of a service called Media Bias/Fact Check which calls itself “The Most Comprehensive Media Bias Resource.” That sounds great–unless the resource itself is biased.
So I did a rather informal check of my own. I chose 12 news/information services I knew pretty well, including what I believe are their biases. I then checked the fact check service to see if their claims of bias matched my own perception. Below are the results.
Disclaimer: I worked for years as a journalist for a news service MB/FC says “is well sourced and factual in reporting with a right-center editorial bias.” I also wrote for another service they say is “left-centered biased” for editorial content but “high for factual reporting (original content).” For both of them, I reported news but did not write news editorials.
While I checked 12, I’ll go into details on 5:
- The Washington Times: OK, so some of these are pretty easy; the news service’s masthead includes “Reliable Reporting. The Right Opinion.” MB/FC and I both agree they have a right-center bias, some stories balanced while others lean strongly toward the right, and that they aren’t always very proficient at checking facts–not always “reliable reporting.”
- CNN: Again agreement; CNN has a bias towards the left. But what particularly impressed me was that MB/FC, to me, accurately pinned down how that bias is done, and that CNN does well on straight news. “Overall, we rate CNN left biased based on story selection that often favors the left. We rate them Mixed for factual reporting due to misinformation and failed fact checks from guests and pundits. However, CNN’s straight news reporting would earn a High rating for factual reporting.”
- NPR: I really like National Public Radio which is perhaps one of the most accurate sources around. But, unfortunately, I have to agree on the bias, even if very slight: “Overall, we rate NPR (National Public Radio) Left-Center Biased based on story selection that leans slightly left and Very High for factual reporting due to thorough sourcing and very accurate news reporting.”
- Christian Broadcasting Network: Yes, CBN is obviously biased to the right–except that they often present news that is pretty accurate and then “explain” that news in a highly biased fashion, and also freely mix up science and religion. Did MB/FC pick up on that? “Overall, we rate the Christian Broadcasting Network a right leaning promoter of conspiracy theories via Pat Robertson on the 700 Club. CBN News however, mostly reports accurate news that sometimes does not align with science.” Yes, they did.
- Christian Science Monitor: If any long-established news service (began in 1908) would have an obvious bias based on its name, this would be it. As Wikipedia describes it, Christian Science belongs to “the metaphysical family of new religious movements.” It took me literally years to, well, come to the same conclusion as did Media Bias/Fact Check: “Overall, we rate the Christian Science Monitor Least Biased based on balanced story selection and fair reporting coverage of both sides. Further, we rate them High for factual reporting due to proper sourcing of information and a clean fact check record.”
Media Bias/Fact Check is supported through Patreon. I’m going to support them right now.
The 12 I checked were The Washington Times, CNN, FOX News, NPR, BBC, Christian Science Monitor, The New York Times, Christian Broadcasting Network, Yahoo News, The Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, and Snopes. I substantially agree with Media Bias/Fact Check on all of them. While I assume full responsibility for this blog post, thanks to Michael Lee Viviano and Sondra London for getting me thinking in the line that led to me finding MB/FC.
An opinion of an individual member of The Loveshade Family does not necessarily reflect the views of the whole family.