These media sources have a slight to moderate liberal bias. They often publish factual information that utilizes loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes) to favor liberal causes. These sources are generally trustworthy for information but may require further investigation. See all Left-Center sources.
- Overall, we rate Al Jazeera Left-Center biased, based on story selection that slightly favors the left and Mixed for factual reporting due to failed fact checks that were not corrected and misleading extreme editorial bias that favors Qatar.
Bias Rating: LEFT-CENTER
Factual Reporting: MIXED
Press Freedom Rank: LIMITED FREEDOM
Media Type: TV Station
Traffic/Popularity: High Traffic
MBFC Credibility Rating: MEDIUM CREDIBILITY
Founded in 1996, Al Jazeera is an international news network owned by Qatar’s state through the Qatar Media Corporation. It is headquartered in Doha, Qatar. You can view their history timeline here and see Al Jazeera America’s leadership here. Dr. Mostefa Souag is currently Acting Director-General of the Al Jazeera Media Network.
Read our profile on the Qatari government and media.
Funded by / Ownership
Al Jazeera is owned and funded by the state of Qatar. The founder and Chairman of the Board is Sheikh Hamad bin Thamer Al Thani, a member of Qatar’s ruling family, the House of Thani. According to a Fortune article, in 2016, state-funded broadcaster Al Jazeera laid off 500 workers due to Qatar’s financial troubles resulting from low global prices for oil and natural gas. Al Jazeera generates revenue through advertising.
Analysis / Bias
In review, Al Jazeera reports news with minimally loaded wording in their headlines and articles such as this: UN approves team to monitor ceasefire in Yemen’s port city, and Erdogan delays Syria operation, welcomes US troop withdrawal. Both of these articles are properly sourced from credible news agencies. When reporting USA news, there is minimal bias in reporting such as this: Pentagon chief Mattis quits, cites policy differences with Trump. In general, straight news reporting has a minimal bias; however, as a state-funded news agency, Al Jazeera is typically not critical of Qatar.
Al Jazeera also has an opinion page that exhibits significant bias against Israel. In this article, the author uses highly negative emotional words as evidenced by this quote: “Europe is increasingly sharing Israel’s racist approach to border security and adopting its deadly technologies.” This article, however, is properly sourced from credible media outlets. Another article, “How many more ways can Israel sentence Palestinians to death?” also uses loaded language that is negative toward Israel. Further, the opinion page does not favor US President Donald Trump through this article: ‘Barbed wire-plus‘: Borders know no love. In general, opinion pieces are routinely biased against Israel and right-wing ideologies.
In 2017, Al Jazeera aired an investigative report of Britain’s Israel lobby. Following the airing, Ofcom (UK government-approved regulatory and competition authority) received complaints from many pro-Israeli British activists, including one former Israeli embassy employee. They were accused of anti-Semitism, bias, unfair editing, and infringement of privacy, which was later cleared by Ofcom, who said the piece was not anti-semitic and was, in fact, investigative journalism. Later, a US version of the documentary called “Lobby” was not aired due to pressure from US Legislators pushing for Al Jazeera to register as a foreign entity, and therefore labeling its journalists as ‘spies.’ Further, Saudi Arabia and three other Arab nations demanded Qatar to shut down Al-Jazeera. Al Jazeera rebuts the accusations here.
Failed Fact Checks
- FAKE ALERT: Photo of refugees moving from Amritsar to Lahore – FALSE
- No, murder rate for women in South Africa hasn’t spiked by 117% – FALSE
Overall, we rate Al Jazeera Left-Center biased, based on story selection that slightly favors the left and Mixed for factual reporting due to failed fact checks that were not corrected and misleading extreme editorial bias that favors Qatar. (5/15/2016) Updated (M. Huitsing 05/24/2022)
Last Updated on May 9, 2023 by Media Bias Fact Check
Left vs. Right Bias: How we rate the bias of media sources