Factual Reporting: MIXED
World Press Freedom Rank: USA 48/180
The Cable News Network (CNN) is an American basic cable, satellite television channel and website. It was founded in 1980 by American media proprietor Ted Turner as a 24-hour cable news channel; however, by April 2016, a CNN executive officially described the channel as “no longer a TV news network” and instead as “a 24-hour global multi-platform network.” CNN has multiple international stations covering all regions of the world. They have been inaccurately criticized as being fake news by President Trump and many of his supporters.
Funded by / Ownership
The Cable News Network is owned by the Turner Broadcasting System (AT&T – Time Warner). The television stations and website is funded through cable subscriptions and an advertising model.
Analysis / Bias
CNN has a left bias in story selection that often favors the left while being critical of the right. For example, during the 2016 Presidential Election Pew Research concluded that the majority of CNN stories covering President Donald Trump were negative. While less dramatic, Pew also determined that more stories were negative toward Presidential candidate Mitt Romney in 2012.
CNN typically utilizes loaded emotional words in sensational headlines such as this: Trump pounces on Justice Department report findings. They usually source their news properly through credible reporters/journalists and through hyperlinking to credible media sources. However, CNN has failed numerous fact checks from Politifact. It should be noted that these fact checks were almost exclusively from guests on their numerous talk shows and not from the reporting of actual news, which tends to be factual. TV hosts have also failed fact checks by IFCN fact checkers. Further, CNN has retracted published stories that have been deemed as lacking evidence. Finally, CNN has published misleading information regarding GMO’s that utilize loaded fear based headlines such as this: FDA allows genetically engineered ‘Frankenfish’ salmon to be imported to US. CNN has also utilized known purveyors of pseudoscience as experts on discussion panels such as the Food Babe.
Overall, we rate CNN left biased based on story selection that often favors the left. We rate them Mixed for factual reporting due to misinformation and failed fact checks from guests and pundits. However, CNN’s straight news reporting would earn a High rating for factual reporting. (5/16/2016) Updated (D. Van Zandt 5/24/2019)