High Country News Bias and Reliability


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Bias: Skews Left

Reliability: Reliable, Analysis/Fact Reporting


Ad Fontes Media rates High Country News in the Skews Left category of bias and as Reliable, Analysis/Fact Reporting in terms of reliability. High Country News is an independent media organization that covers news in the Western United States. Its mission is to “inform and inspire people to act on behalf of the West’s diverse natural and human communities.” The organization covers 12 Western states and hundreds of indigenous communities through its monthly magazine, website, special reports and books. Founded in 1970, High Country News is based in Paonia, CO. The print/digital magazine has 36,000 subscribers, and the website records approximately 309,000 visits per month.

Overall Score

The following are the overall bias and reliability scores for High Country News according to our Ad Fontes Media ratings methodology.

Reliability: 43.16

Bias: -8.92

Panels of analysts from Ad Fontes Media regularly review representative sample content to rate it for reliability and bias. Each panel of analysts comprises one left-leaning, one right-leaning, and one center-leaning analyst.

The team considers a variety of factors when rating content. To determine its reliability score, we consider the content’s veracity, expression, its title/headline, and graphics. We add each of these scores to the chart on a weighted scale, with the average of those creating the sample content’s overall reliability score.

To determine sample content’s bias score, we consider its language, its political position, and how it compares to other reporting or analysis from other sources on the same topic. We add each of these scores to the chart on a weighted scale, with the average of those creating the content’s overall bias score.

The bias rating, demonstrated on the Media Bias Chart®️ on the horizontal axis, ranges from most extreme left to middle to most extreme right. The reliability rating, demonstrated on the chart’s vertical axis, rates sources on a scale from original fact reporting to analysis, opinion, propaganda and inaccurate/fabricated information.

Reliability scores for articles and shows are on a scale of 0-64. Scores above 40 are generally good; scores below 24 are generally problematic. Scores between 24-40 indicate a range of possibilities, with some sources falling there because they are heavy in opinion and analysis, and some because they have a high variation in reliability between articles.

Bias scores for articles and shows are on a scale of -42 to +42, with higher negative scores being more left, higher positive scores being more right, and scores closer to zero being minimally biased, equally balanced, or exhibiting a centrist bias.

Individual Content Sample Scores

These are the most recent content samples that Ad Fontes Media analysts have rated for this source.

Content Sample URL Bias Reliability
New Mexico eyed for major nuclear waste storage facility -5.67 47.33
Public land is no longer on sale to oil and gas companies -11.67 43
Biden halted border wall construction. Now what? -11 43
The fight for an equitable energy economy for the Navajo Nation -6.33 47.67
How anti-Indigeneity proliferates around the West and the world -11 46.33
Indigenous data sovereignty shakes up research -3.33 46.33
A whistleblower speaks out over excavation of Native sites -3 48.33
Ski communities are ‘getting crunched on all sides’ -1.33 44.67
How one student brings soil science down to earth 0 36.33
Through wildland firefighting, finding a space to heal 0 40
Wyoming’s last contact tracers 0 47.33
The West’s homescapes are shifting 0 32.67
Tribal leaders respond to the idea of an Indigenous Interior secretary -7.33 44.67
Trump’s impact on Indian Country over four years -11.67 42.67
Students and faculty urge deeper look at land-grant legacy -14.17 42.17
The battle for the Black Hills -12.67 38

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