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 Buzzfeed News Left-Center Biased based on editorial positions that moderately favor the left. We also rate them Mostly Factual rather than High due to past stories that either were not verified or ultimately were retracted.
Bias Rating: LEFT-CENTER
Factual Reporting: MOSTLY FACTUAL
Country: USA (45/180 Press Freedom)
Media Type: Website
Traffic/Popularity: High Traffic
MBFC Credibility Rating: HIGH CREDIBILITY
Founded in 2006 and headquartered in New York, Buzzfeed is a media news company delivering social news and entertainment. They provide a mix of breaking news, entertainment, and shareable content. Jonah Peretti and John Johnson are the founders of Buzzfeed, and the editor-in-chief was Ben Smith. In 2016, BuzzFeed split the News operation off from the BuzzFeed Entertainment Group, focusing more on BuzzFeed’s video unit.
In 2018, BuzzfeedNews.com became a separate website, with Mark Schoofs serving as editor-in-chief. Buzzfeed News has been nominated for several Pulitzer Prizes and Webby Awards.
Funded by / Ownership
Numerous investors funded BuzzFeed. NEA (New Enterprise Associates), New York-based venture capital firm RRE and Hearst Ventures were the early investors of Buzzfeed. In 2015, NBC (Comcast) invested $200 million in BuzzFeed, and in 2016 they invested another $200 million. BuzzFeed also raised 50 million dollars from venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. BuzzFeed is privately owned and does not disclose financial results to the public. However, BuzzFeed missed its revenue target in 2017 by 15%-20%. According to a New York Times article by Edmund Lee, founder Jonah Peretti says his company could eventually merge with rival online publishers to negotiate better terms with Facebook.
The BuzzFeed business model relies primarily on native advertising in the form of quizzes and videos sponsored by companies, which also goes by the name sponsored content or advertorial, which is advertising content that looks like an editorial. Buzzfeed News also solicits membership fees.
Buzzfeed News is currently owned by Verizon Media who recently acquired HuffPost.
Analysis / Bias
In review, Buzzfeed News primarily publishes original reported news and investigations. News is broken down into sections such as Arts & Entertainment, Inequality, LGBTQ, Opinion, and Politics. Buzzfeed News is completely different from their parent site, which generally produces clickbait-type stores shared on Social Media. On the other hand, Buzzfeed News produces quality news reporting that is often investigative such as this He Was In The Wrong Place At The Wrong Time When Biden Started Letting Asylum-Seekers Back Into The US. Now All He Can Do Is Wait. Story selection is usually favorable to the left.
Buzzfeed News utilizes emotionally loaded language in their headlines, such as “Trump Excluded Democrats From A Lunch Meeting On The Shutdown” and “The US Envoy On ISIS, Brett McGurk, Quit In Protest Over Trump’s Withdrawal From Syria.” When it comes to sourcing, they typically source to themselves; however, they also utilize credible sources such as the Des Moines Register and Associated Press.
In January 2017, Buzzfeed News published the Steele Dossier about alleged Russia collusion, which caused President Donald Trump to criticize them by saying Buzzfeed is a “failing pile of garbage.” In December 2018, according to Politico, “The libel case over the dossier it published before Trump took office gets tossed.”
In January 2019, Buzzfeed News published a story titled President Trump Directed His Attorney Michael Cohen To Lie To Congress About The Moscow Tower Project. This story’s accuracy was criticized and questioned, resulting in them offering a retraction after the release of the Mueller report showed that it was inaccurate.
A 2014 Pew Research Survey found that 59% of Buzzfeed’s audience is consistently or mostly liberal, 27% Mixed, and 14% consistently or mostly conservative. This indicates that a more liberal audience prefers Buzzfeed.
Failed Fact Checks
- None to date
Overall, we rate Buzzfeed News Left-Center Biased based on editorial positions that moderately favor the left. We also rate them Mostly Factual rather than High due to past stories that either were not verified or ultimately were retracted. (D. Van Zandt 3/21/2021)