Assessing Credibility

Media Bias Monitoring

Media bias is an incredibly difficult topic to address. One person’s ‘center-right’ is another’s ‘strong-right.’ There are multiple sources attempting to shed light on various media outlets and to undertake the categorization. All of these attempts ultimately will face the same issue however. As the analysis is performed by people with their own inherent biases.

One such source is the media bias chart, a project undertaken by Vanessa Otero.

Media-Bias-Chart_Version-3.1_Standard_License-min

Discussions of methodology and more can be found at allgeneralizationsarefalse.com

Additional efforts are being made by the contributors at MediaBiasFactCheck.com. The site includes a search tool and a filtered search which allows users to explore the ratings provided. Below are the ratings provided for a variety of outlets.

Reuters MBFC
Reuters
MilJourSent MBFC
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
HuffPo MBFC
Huffington Post
Fox MBFC
Fox News
Economist MBFC
The Economist

 

There are additionally two organizations which monitor media for biases and misinformation from an openly political position.

Media Matters for America describes itself as:

Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.

Media Researcher Center describes itself as:

MRC’s sole mission is to expose and neutralize the propaganda arm of the Left: the national news media. This makes the MRC’s work unique within the conservative movement.

Fact Checking

Politifact.com is probably the best source for fact checking and it operates a section specifically dedicated to Wisconsin. This is done in partnership with The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel which itself has a ‘left-center’ bias according to MBFC (see above). PolitiFact was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for its reporting in 2008. PolitiFact has additionally faced mixed criticism at various times accused of left or right bias, in my opinion a good sign.

Next up would be FactCheck.org which is run by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. I particularly like the ‘Party Lines’ section of the site which fact checks the talking points of both parties on a variety of common issues.

Finally, I would suggest OpenSecrets.org which is operated by the Center for Responsive Politics. This site and the center seek to track money in politics.