Our New Media Bias Visual Scale

Starting today each media source listed on MBFC News has a visual bias scale.  We felt that having a quick visual reference would make it easier for people to quickly identify the bias of the source.

For Example, CNN looks like this:


USA Today looks like this:


Breitbart looks like this:


MSNBC looks like this:


Placement of the yellow dot is determined by ranking bias in four different categories.  In each category the source is rated on a 0-10 scale, with 0 meaning without bias and 10 being the maximum bias(worst).  These four numbers are then added up and divided by 4.  This 0-10 number is then placed on the line according to their Left or Right bias.  Scoring is as follows:

0 – 2 = Least Biased
2 – 5 = Left/Right Center Bias
5 – 8 = Left/Right Bias
8 – 10 = Extreme Bias

The categories are as follows:

  1. Biased Wording- Does the source use loaded words to convey emotion to sway the reader.
  2. Factual/Sourcing- Does the source report factually and back up claims with well sourced evidence.
  3. Story Choices: Does the source report news from both sides or do they only publish one side.
  4. Political Affiliation: How strongly does the source endorse a particular political ideology? In other words how extreme are their views. (This can be rather subjective)

Here is an example of how CNN scored and why they were placed in the middle of Left-Center:

Biased Wording = 3 (CNN uses slightly biased words that favor liberals)
Factual/Sourcing = 2 (CNN is pretty trustworthy for providing evidence and sources)
Story Choices = 4 (CNN moderately favors pro-liberal stories and publishes negative conservative stories)
Political Affiliation = 5 (CNN moderately favors liberal ideology)

Total = 14
Average 14/4 = 3.5
3.5 = Solid Left-Center Bias

I hope this helps.  A good rule is if the yellow dot is anywhere in a purple hue it is a decent source.  The more purple the better.

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Left vs. Right Bias: How we rate the bias of media sources

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