Intro to The Media Bias Chart2022-01-12T13:39:57-07:00

Intro to the Media Bias Chart®

This is the Media Bias Chart, in its latest iteration. It’s a unique way of laying out the complex media landscape in two dimensions: news value and reliability, on the vertical axis, and bias, on the horizontal axis.

People find it helpful because it’s a useful taxonomy (i.e., system of classification) for discussing a complex subject. We also have a detailed methodology for how we place sources on the chart. Further explanations about the Media Bias Chart below:

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Media Bias Chart 9.0 January 2022 edition shows news sources arranged on a vertical axis by reliablity and horizontal axis by bias.

Here are a few FAQs about the Media Bias Chart. We go into the answers to each of these in detail in our methodology.

What does the left-right axis represent?2021-11-03T15:28:06-06:00

The left-right spectrum is anchored by the contemporary political positions of United States elected officials.

How are scores calculated?2021-11-03T15:26:27-06:00

The overall source score for each news source is comprised of a weighted average of the individual article scores. Lower reliability scores and higher bias scores get weighted more heavily.

Why should I believe Ad Fontes Media’s ratings?2021-11-03T15:32:21-06:00

You shouldn’t! At least not without critically thinking about the ratings and our credibility yourself. The Media Bias Chart is a resource, and you can read about how we came up with our ratings in our methodology section, but ultimately, it’s much better if you evaluate news sources using your own skills. We offer methodology training resources for students and for lifelong learners.

Who decides where the sources get placed?2021-11-03T15:25:41-06:00

Ad Fontes Media has a team of over 40 paid analysts who rate individual articles, episodes, and shows of news sources. They are politically balanced left, right, and center, and come from a range of personal and professional backgrounds.

Read about Ad Fontes Media’s team.

What does it mean if a source is in the “middle” of the Chart?2021-11-03T15:33:38-06:00

The “middle” represents three distinct concepts. A source can be in the middle if it is either 1) minimally biased, 2) centrist, or 3) balanced. The “middle” isn’t necessarily the “best.” This Chart just tries to capture what the “middle” of US contemporary politics IS, without taking a position on what it “should be.”

For a full primer on the Media Bias Chart, see this 1-hour webinar recording by Ad Fontes Founder and CEO Vanessa Otero.


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