A questionable source exhibits one or more of the following: extreme bias, consistent promotion of propaganda/conspiracies, poor or no sourcing to credible information, a complete lack of transparency and/or is fake news. Fake News is the deliberate attempt to publish hoaxes and/or disinformation for the purpose of profit or influence (Learn More). Sources listed in the Questionable Category may be very untrustworthy and should be fact checked on a per article basis. Please note sources on this list are not considered fake news unless specifically written in the reasoning section for that source. See all Questionable sources.
- Overall, we rate Basnews Questionable due to a complete lack of transparency as well as poor sourcing of information.
Reasoning: Lack of Transparency, Poor Sourcing
Country: Iraq (Northern)
World Press Freedom Rank: Iraq 162/180
Founded in 2011, Basnews Agency is a news site from Northern Iraq. Basnews is based in Erbil, (the capital of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq) and published in two dialects of Kurdish, as well as English, Arabic, and Turkish. Basnews covers a wide range of topics from the economy, politics, interviews to lifestyle, including all events in the Kurdistan Region.
The website completely lacks transparency as there is not an about page, nor is ownership disclosed. However, their Facebook page indicates the site was founded by Botan Tahseen.
Funded by / Ownership
The website is not transparent in ownership, however, it appears Botan Tahseen may be the owner, though we cannot confirm this. Further, the website does not disclose a business or funding model, therefore we cannot determine how they generate revenue.
Analysis / Bias
Iraq is ranked 162nd out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2020 World Press Freedom Index. The report states that in 2020 it is “even more dangerous for journalists” in Iraq. The president of the federal government of Iraq is Barham Salih, who is chosen by parliamentary vote.
The Kurdistan Region is an autonomous region in Northern Iraq. This Region is divided into four governorates: these are Duhok, Erbil, Sulaymaniya, and Halabja. Erbil is the Capital city. The Kurdistan Region has a presidential system with the current President being Nechirvan Barzani. The KDP is one of the main Kurdish parties in Iraq and is described as a tribal (Note tribes are KDP-Barzanis and the PUK-Talabanis) that are considered the leftist nationalist big tent party.
In review, Basnews is left-leaning and believed to be affiliated with the KDP in Erbil. When reporting regional news, Basnews utilizes headlines with emotionally loaded language such as “PUK Leadership, Talabani Family in War of Words”, however, this article is poorly sourced with only quotes. Usually, Basnews publishes short news stories and they rarely use hyperlinks. For example, they use Turkish news agency Anadolu, however, they do not provide a hyperlink: “Iraq’s Judiciary Asks Parliament to Lift Immunity of 28 MPs”. In general, story selection favors a leftist perspective and is poorly sourced.
Failed Fact Checks
- None found
Overall, we rate Basnews Questionable due to a complete lack of transparency as well as poor sourcing of information. (M. Huitsing 5/14/2020)