Bias is Different than Factual. Media Bias/Fact Check is Breaking it Down

logoAnyone who has been following this site for more than a few months, must realize we are flying by the seat of our pants.  There have been so many changes and ideas that have been added, in just a few short months. Bias rating graphics, conspiracy/pseudoscience graphics, Pro-Science page, voting polls, source submissions, fact check submissions and refining of our methodology. The website is alive and growing.  When we receive feedback we take it to heart and we recognize we can be much better and truly be an informative tool when we listen to what people want.  One of the biggest issues people have with our bias rating is they still don’t know if they can trust the source.  As we said in the headline, bias is different than facts. If a source delivers real facts, even if surrounded by bias and loaded words, it still is true.  Bias is natural.  It is something every one of us has.  Being factual in the face of this bias can be challenging for some and that is what we want to help people see.

In our methodology we look at four areas: Wording/Headlines, Facts/Sourcing, Reporting Choices, and Political Affiliation. Our new feature will be taking the score from Facts/Sourcing and adding that to each page.  So we will have the bias rating bar on top and a simple color coded text score of High, Mixed or Low for factual reporting.  If you haven’t seen our methodology page and the research that went into it, please check it out. This is from our methodology page:

Eventually each source will have a “Factual Reporting” rating based on their Factual/Sourcing score .  The ratings are as follows.

Factual Reporting: HIGH = a score of 0 – 2, which means the source is always factual, sources to credible information and makes immediate corrections to incorrect information.

Factual Reporting: MIXED = a score of 3 – 5, which means the source does not always use sourcing or sources to other biased sources.  They may also report well sourced information, hence it is mixed.  These sources need to be checked.

Factual Reporting: LOW = a score of 6 – 10, which means the source rarely uses credible sources and is simply not trustworthy for reliable information. These are the sources to watch for intentional fake news, conspiracy and propaganda.

As you know we are not striving to be high tech or an eye candy site.  We want to be a real resource and feel information is more important than graphics, therefore we are going with this simple route for now. Building the resources is more important. We can make it pretty later. Also, most know that this site is built by hand and sources evaluated by real humans, so this process will take time as we have 1000+ sources to cover.  We are also re-evaluating every source as we go through this process since some sources were added one year ago before our methodology was completely ironed out. And let’s be honest, the political landscape has changed in the last year.  Everything has moved to the right politically and we must adapt too.  Again, fact is fact though.  Only bias has changed. We are making it a priority to add these new fact ratings before adding new sources.  Those who have submitted sources should know they are on the list and will be added in the next few weeks.  Please keep them coming. We hope to have all factual reporting ratings up by the New Year.  We are starting with Left and Right sources first as these are the ones where you will see the most discrepancy in factual reporting.  One would expect that Left/Right Center and Least Biased would be factual in reporting. Through this process of vetting all sources we may move some to new categories, though we expect that to be minimal as we vetted them once already. One last point.  Based on our rating scale if a source scores LOW for factual reporting they are pretty awful.  We are giving the MIXED rating to the sources that at least try sometimes.  

We are looking for people to write fact checks.  They must follow our methodology (international fact check standards) or they will be rejected.  Please read the entire methodology page before submitting a fact check. Since this website is not profitable we can only offer your name out there to 15-20K views per day. If interested in submitting a fact check please write via our main contact form at the bottom of the page (Footer).

Thanks for your support and feedback.  Even the negative ones.

Dave Van Zandt

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

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