Publisher Services

Trust in media is at an all-time low, and this lack of trust is a problem for publishers of good journalism. 

Even the most reliable news sources are being attacked and labeled, and consumers are confused by all the choices in the news landscape and struggle to tell the difference between trustworthy and untrustworthy sources. With an array of options available to people seeking news and information, and with conflicting narratives all around, it’s essential that consumers see your company as a reliable source for news. 

But as a publisher of reliable news and information, how can you verify that yours is a source to be trusted? A source to be relied on?  A true service to your community and shared society? 

Ad Fontes Media, the company that created the widely respected and trusted Media Bias Chart, is working to build solutions for all stakeholders in good journalism, including publishers.

We are proud to offer Independent Content Audits for news organizations committed to providing highly reliable and valuable journalism, and “Apex Certification” to those sources that reach the top of the media landscape for reliability.

Apex Certification

Most news sources that initially appear on our Media Bias Chart are placed based on our “standard” rating, which requires a minimum representative sample of web articles or program episodes.

Our new Apex Certified™ rating and badge are available to news organizations that complete our process to certify their reliability and bias scores through a significant content audit.

(Note: All stakeholders in Ad Fontes Media have a right to expect that we maintain the highest standards of fairness and objectivity in rating publishers, especially since we provide these Audit and Certifications as a paid service to publishers. To understand how we maintain these standards and mitigate potential conflicts of interest, please see our Stakeholders Statement)

News organizations must earn a score of 40 or higher (out of 64) on the “reliability” axis of our content analysis rating system and to receive the Apex Certified™ badge. We recommend this certification to publishers who already have a standard rating above 40 and those who reasonably believe their audited content is likely to receive a rating above 40.

The Apex Certification program includes:

  • Ongoing auditing of significant samples of publisher content, conducted throughout the year on a quarterly basis
  • Custom data reports and visualizations for publisher’s use
  • Public-facing methodology explanations describing how our non-partisan review process results in content scores
  • Licensed use of the Apex Certified badge on publisher’s website, print publications, and marketing collateral (contingent on qualifying score)

An Apex Certified audit and badge can build trust with audiences and advertisers and give your organization a sanity check against complaints of bias:

  • It will let every news consumer and producer know that Ad Fontes Media, the gold standard third-party organization, has independently verified that your organization adheres to the highest standards of credibility, reliability, truth, and transparency.
  • It will inspire and encourage your team members who seek to convey truth and have a positive impact in communities and in the larger society.
  • It will attract talented team members who seek the same.
  • It will reinforce standards of verified performance, excellence, and credibility; and it will inspire others to do better and be better too.

Pricing varies based on the volume of content for a defined media property. In general, we seek to audit at least 3% to 10% of the total published written content for the property every quarter and between 15-25% of published podcast or TV content per quarter. To speak with an Ad Fontes Media representative about becoming Apex Certified, email us at

News Content Audits

A core aspect of our company’s work is to elevate the work of real journalists and to help all stakeholders in good news media differentiate between all types of content in our information landscape. We have found that the most consistent way to do this is by applying a rigorous content analysis methodology. We do not conduct opinion polls or readers; plenty of other reputable organizations already do that, and we believe we can drive more useful and objective data by looking at the content itself. 

Our trained, diverse, and politically balanced team of analysts can rate any print, online, audio, and/or video news content according to our detailed and proven methodology. To arrive at an overall score, we start with the actual content. Each unit reviewed is analyzed by a left-leaning, centrist-leaning, and right-leaning analyst with each using several metrics of analysis. Ratings data is provided in several formats, including on a customized instance of the Interactive Media Bias Chart application.

Our team will work with you and offer an in-depth consultation with your organization and give you insights into why your content lands where it lands. With a qualifying score, you are also eligible to participate in our “Apex Certified” publisher reliability certification program.

Pricing is dependent on the volume of content for a defined media property. To speak to an Ad Fontes Media representative, email us at

It is our mission to make news consumers smarter and news media better, and we welcome the opportunity to work with publishers who desire the same. It will take the efforts of all of us – publishers, news consumers, educators, and advertisers – to improve our news ecosystem, and we appreciate the opportunity to help you do the essential work you do in that ecosystem.