Last updated on June 17th, 2021 at 05:28 pm
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 appealing 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 Bellingcat Left-Center biased based on story selection and positions that moderately favor the left. We also rate them Mostly Factual for reporting due to proper sourcing.; however, they have a false claim that resulted in a lawsuit.
Bias Rating: LEFT-CENTER
Factual Reporting: MOSTLY FACTUAL
Country: United Kingdom (34/180 Press Freedom)
Media Type: Website
MBFC Credibility Rating: HIGH CREDIBILITY
Founded in 2014 by British journalist and former blogger Eliot Higgins, Bellingcat publishes the findings of both professional and citizen journalist investigations into war zones, human rights abuses, and the criminal underworld. According to their about page, “Bellingcat’s innovative approaches to using publicly available data and citizen journalist analysis have been particularly significant for advancing narratives of conflict, crime, and human rights abuses. We have produced investigations on these issues in coordination with partners and allies and expanded our training so that a growing corps of citizen journalists is poised to pursue these stories alongside us.”
Funded by / Ownership
Bellingcat is primarily funded through grants. They offer transparency listing these grant sources as Porticus, Adessium, The National Endowment for Democracy, The Dutch Postcode Lottery, Auxilium, Zandstorm CV, Sigrid Rausing Trust, Stichting Saxum Volutum. They further disclose that “Bellingcat is also a partner in the Open Information Partnership, and is part of the Global Investigative Journalism Network. Bellingcat is also in partnership with the Global Legal Action Network as part of our Yemen Project. Additionally, revenue is derived through workshops that are held throughout the year.
Analysis / Bias
In review, Bellingcat uses open source and social media investigation to investigate various subjects, from the shooting down of MH17 to conflicts and corruption around the world. Articles and headlines do not use overtly emotional language and stick to evidence-based reporting such as this Unpublished OPCW Douma Correspondence Casts Further Doubt on ‘Doctored’ Report Claims. All information is properly sourced.
Although Bellingcat does not state an editorial position, they often cover stories that favor the left such as human rights abuses and racism. For example, this story exposes a white supremacist, An American White Supremacist’s New Home in Serbia, and this report focuses on police abuse of US citizens A New Platform Maps US Police Violence Against Protesters. Further, they frequently cover crimes committed by right-wing groups such as this Million MAGA March: Unravelling a Violent Viral Video.
In 2021, Bellingcat was successfully sued for defamation Former separatist leader Igor Bezler successfully sues Bellingcat over MH17 investigations. In general, information on the website is mostly factual, well-sourced, and holds a moderate left-leaning bias.
Failed Fact Checks
- None to date. In fact, they are used as a resource for fact-checkers.
Overall, we rate Bellingcat Left-Center biased based on story selection and positions that moderately favor the left. We also rate them Mostly Factual for reporting due to proper sourcing.; however, they have a false claim that resulted in a lawsuit. (D. Van Zandt 12/15/2016) Updated (06/17/2021)