These media sources are slightly to moderately conservative in 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 conservative causes. These sources are generally trustworthy for information, but may require further investigation. See all Right-Center sources.
- Overall, we rate Fitch Ratings Right-Center Biased based on political affiliation to the Republican party. We also rate them High for factual reporting due to a clean fact check record.
Factual Reporting: HIGH
World Press Freedom Rank: USA 45/180
Fitch was founded in 1913, by John Knowles Fitch as the “Fitch Publishing Company” in New York City. Initially, Fitch published financial statistics for investment purposes. In 1924, Fitch introduced a financial securities rating system from AAA to D. In 1997, Fitch Publishing Company merged with British IBCA and also acquired Thomson Bank Watch and Duffs and Phelps Rating Agency. Fitch Ratings, Inc. is now one of the big three credit rating agencies based in the USA. They provide assessments for investors regarding the creditworthiness of companies and countries, credit ratings, commentary, and research. Hearst is the owner of Fitch Group which includes Fitch Ratings Inc. Ian Linnell is President of Fitch Ratings and Paul Taylor is the senior vice president of Hearst as well as president and chief executive officer of Fitch Group.
Funded by / Ownership
Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière is a French businessman and through his company Fimalac S.A, he owned 20% of the Fitch Group jointly with Hearst. In December 2018, according to Le Monde, Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière who is close to center-right former French prime minister and 2017 presidential candidate François Fillon, was sentenced to an eight-month suspended prison sentence. According to a BBC article “Mrs. Fillon made €100,000 writing just a handful of articles for a literary publication La Revue des Deux Mondes. The magazine is owned by a billionaire friend of the family, Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière.”
In December 2018, Hearst announced that “it has purchased from Fimalac S.A. an additional 20 percent interest in global financial information services company Fitch Group, bringing Hearst’s equity interest to 100 percent.” Finally, according to Open Secrets Hearst has donated 70% to Republican candidates and causes in 2020.
Analysis / Bias
In review, fitchratings.com provides information on their most recent credit ratings as well as news related to financial markets. Headlines and articles are straightforward with minimal bias in wording such as this: Fitch Downgrades Canal de Isabel II’s IDR to ‘BBB’ following Madrid’s Downgrade. The website also publishes research and recently has been focused on the impacts of Coronavirus such as this: Coronavirus Shock Highlights Importance of LatAm Sovereign Debt Management.
Editorially, Fitch does not produce true political op-eds, however rating securities and markets require subjective opinions based on the interpretation of data. Fitch’s opinions tend to favor business interests and have a favorable view on Trump’s impacts on the economy “Fitch changes its mind: Trump isn’t a threat to the world economy after all”. Further, throughout their history, the majority owner Hearst Corp has supported Republican candidates and policy.
Failed Fact Checks
- None to date
Overall, we rate Fitch Ratings Right-Center Biased based on political affiliation to the Republican party. We also rate them High for factual reporting due to a clean fact check record. (M. Huitsing 6/25/2020)