Media Bias Chart (Ad Fontes, v. 9)

Objective news reporting is an ideal. Wherever humans are involved, there will be bias. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with journalism that reports with a particular slant, but informed consumers of news who want to understand a complex issue aren’t served by one-sided media coverage that flatters and amplifies their world view.

This chart sorts popular news sources on a left-right axis according to political slant, but also on a vertical axis, with fact-based original reporting at the top, a middle section that features expert commentary about the news and legitimate opinions on the news, and a bottom section for misleading distortions of the news and propaganda that widely diverges from the facts.

Individual news sources vary in content. For example, the reporting and commentary on the Fox and CNN websites are both rated as more credible and closer to the center than the broadcast programming on either TV station. 

Really anything above the green line is fine, and if you find yourself spending a lot of time consuming content in the middle section, then unless you make a conscious effort to sample both left and right sources, then you are the biased one — the problem with the media you consume is that you’re choosing a biased sample. 

If you feel the need to argue with someone who cites something in one of the red wings, you won’t get very far if you cite something that’s in the red wing on your side of the issue. Try instead to cite something from the upper third, even if it leans in the direction you don’t prefer. 

Update: Media Bias Chart 10.0


Source: Static Media Bias Chart v 9.0

3 thoughts on “Media Bias Chart (Ad Fontes, v. 9)

  1. Unfortuantely this guys bias chart has bias as well. You could site some other charts in your article as well. I think the Allsides Chart is a little more balanced and has more solid methodology……This chart seems to have some bias on what are considered Facts (i.e. vertical axis). Seeing that NPR is his pinnacle of Fact and centrality says something. The fact that MSNBC is considered more central and factual than Fox News indicates the same bias. It is not to say this chart is not useful, only that it has its own left Bias….Many of these Bias monitors do, like the Media Bias/fact checker which is far more biased than this one. The Allsides media checker seems to be a little more centered.

    • No chart is perfect. The vertical axis is also about original reporting of breaking news, which radio does really well because it’s less resource intensive than TV. It will be interesting to see how CNN and Fox shift on this chart in light of recent developments (Fox facing legal trouble for pushing the narrative hat the voting machines were flawed and CNN for leaning towards the older, more conservative crowd that still watches any TV news at all).

  2. Pingback: Updated Media Bias Chart — Left/Center/Right, Facts/Analysis/Partisan/Propaganda (Ad Fontes) -- Jerz's Literacy Weblog (est. 1999)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *