These sources have minimal bias and use very few loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes). The reporting is factual and usually sourced. These are the most credible media sources. See all Least Biased Sources.
- Overall, we rate the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Least Biased based on story selection that is balanced, however editorial positions slightly lean left, but still fall within least biased. We also rate them High for factual reporting due to proper sourcing of information, a clean fact check record and for being a resource for IFCN fact checkers.
Factual Reporting: HIGH
World Press Freedom Rank: USA 48/180
The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), founded in 1921, is a United States 4900-member organization, nonprofit, publisher, and think tank specializing in U.S. foreign policy and international affairs. The CFR meetings convene government officials, global business leaders and prominent members of the intelligence and foreign-policy community to discuss international issues.
CFR also publishes the least biased bi-monthly Foreign Affairs Magazine. The current President is Richard N. Haass.
Funded by / Ownership
The Council on Foreign Relations is funded through “member dues; annual giving by members (in recent years, over one-third of CFR members have chosen to participate); corporate memberships; Foreign Affairs magazine (subscriptions, advertising, events); grants from foundations, corporations, and individuals; investment returns from its endowment; and rental income from outside use of CFR’s New York and Washington facilities.”
Analysis / Bias
In review, CFR’s mission is to be “a resource for its members, government officials, business executives, journalists, educators and students, civic and religious leaders, and other interested citizens in order to help them better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries.”
The CFR website reports news with minimal bias in wording such as this: North Korea’s Military Capabilities. This story is properly sourced to NPR and Reuters among other High factual sources. When reporting on the Trump administration, they tend to have a slightly negative view of President Trump’s foreign policy such as this: Trouble With the Facts When Trump Meets Imran Khan.
When it comes to science CFR supports the consensus of science regarding climate change: Making Trade Work to Mitigate Climate Change.
The Council on Foreign Relations has faced criticism from conservatives due to their alleged support for globalism and a one world government. CFR has also been criticized by conspiracy theorists who feel they are a part of the New World Order. In general, CFR reports news accurately and with minimal bias. They do not advocate for war and generally promote peaceful solutions to foreign affairs issues.
A factual search reveals they have not failed a fact check, but in fact are used as a credible resource for IFCN fact checkers.
Overall, we rate the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Least Biased based on story selection that is balanced, however editorial positions slightly lean left, but still fall within least biased. We also rate them High for factual reporting due to proper sourcing of information, a clean fact check record and for being a resource for IFCN fact checkers. (D. Van Zandt 8/29/2016) Updated (7/27/2019)
Left vs. Right Bias: How we rate the bias of media sources
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