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 ESPN Left-Center biased based on story selection and editorial positions that moderately favor the left. We also rate them High for factual reporting due to proper sourcing and a clean fact check record.
Factual Reporting: HIGH
World Press Freedom Rank: USA 45/180
Founded in 1979, ESPN, short for (Entertainment and Sports Programming Network) is a 24-hour sports cable channel that is broadcast in more than 200 countries. The associated website is espn.com which provides sports news, scores, standings for leagues, and coverage of sports teams all over the world. ESPN broadcasts primarily from studio facilities located in Bristol, Connecticut.
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Funded by / Ownership
ESPN is majority-owned (80%) by the ABC Owned Television Stations subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company and (20%) through Hearst Communications. Revenue is derived through advertising and subscriptions.
Analysis / Bias
This review will only focus on the espn.com website. ESPN reports sports news with moderately loaded language such as this Mike Brosseau plays hero for Tampa Bay Rays against rival New York Yankees. In this case, the emotive language is used to describe the outcome of a sporting event and is not related to politics. Most stories on the website are straightforward and focus primarily on sports. Further, the website does not have an opinion section though writers often form opinions on players, teams, or sporting organizations’ ownership and coaching. Again, all within the context of sports and not politics.
Although ESPN’s focus sticks to sports they do cover politics as it relates to sports. A general search of opinions shows that more opinions favor the left with frequent indirect criticism of the Trump administration such as this Domonique Foxworth outlines why he believes that LeBron James should continue to comment on President Trump whether or not he is asked. Story selection related to politics is also negative towards the current administration such as this Rutgers president casts President Trump comments as ‘cheap politics’. In general, ESPN minimally reports on politics, however, when they do, it typically moderately favors the left.
Failed Fact Checks
Overall, we rate ESPN Left-Center biased based on story selection and editorial positions that moderately favor the left. We also rate them High for factual reporting due to proper sourcing and a clean fact check record. (D. Van Zandt 10/10/2020)
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