Factual Reporting: MIXED
World Press Freedom Rank: USA 45/180
Founded in 1996 by Rupert Murdoch, Fox News Channel, also known as Fox News, (FNC) is an American basic cable and satellite news television channel that is owned by the Fox Entertainment Group, a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox. FNC is available in 90 million homes and it operates the Fox Business Network and Fox News Radio. Fox also owns the National Geographic Channel, both the U.S. and international versions. Fox News Channel is headquartered in New York, NY.
FNC was created by Australian-born American media mogul Rupert Murdoch and former Republican political consultant Roger Ailes is the founding CEO. Roger Ailes was forced to resign in 2016 amid multiple accusations of sexual harassment. Jay Wallace was promoted to president of the network and Suzanne Scott has been named CEO of FNC as of May 2018. She will report to Rupert Murdoch and his son Lachlan Murdoch. Lachlan Murdoch is the executive chairman and co-chairman of News Corp and 21st Century Fox (FOXA). On May 7, 2018, Comcast announced a potential bid, making a $65 billion cash offer challenging Disney’s offer for Fox.
Funded by / Ownership
The company is owned by Rupert Murdoch who is a board member of News Corp 21st Century Fox. James Murdoch (son) is chief executive of 21st Century Fox and recently left in May 2018 according to Reuters. Lachlan (the other son of Murdoch) and Rupert Murdoch will serve as co-chairman of the new Fox. Revenue analysis can be found at Investopedia and income reports here.
Analysis / Bias
According to a Pew Research Center survey “Fox News was the main source for 40% of Trump voters” during the 2016 election. Further, another Pew Survey indicates “When it comes to choosing a media source for political news, conservatives orient strongly around Fox News. Nearly half of consistent conservatives (47%) name it as their main source for government and political news.”
Fox News typically looks at the issues from a conservative perspective and also has a number of on-air personalities that are strong supporters of Trump, such as Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, and Tomi Lahren. FNC typically skews conservative as there is less criticism of Trump, therefore the majority of stories are pro-Trump.
In review, FNC publishes stories with emotionally loaded headlines such as “’They Wanted It to Blow Up’: Limbaugh Says Success of Trump-Kim Summit Caught Media Off Guard” and “Tucker: 2016 Russia Collusion ‘Witch Hunt’ Now Extends to Jill Stein.” When it comes to sourcing they typically utilize pro-Trump pundits such as Rush Limbaugh who has a very poor record with fact-checkers, as well as credible sources such as the Wall Street Journal. Fox News is also known to publish right-wing conspiracy theories, although after being sued they retracted the story. FNC has also been deemed the least accurate cable news source according to Politifact.
A factual search reveals several failed fact checks by news hosts.
- Says John Bolton “fundamentally was a man of the left.” – PANTS OF FIRE
- “The president said he’s going to bring in 250,000 (Syrian and Iraqi) refugees into this country.” – PANTS ON FIRE
- “Far more children died last year drowning in their bathtubs than were killed accidentally by guns.” – PANTS ON FIRE
- “NASA scientists fudged the numbers to make 1998 the hottest year to overstate the extent of global warming.” – PANTS ON FIRE
- Obamacare is “one big fat VA system.” – PANTS ON FIRE
- Says Marie Yovanovitch was “dishonest” when she claimed under oath that she never personally responded to an email from a Democratic staffer. But “in fact, it turns out that she did respond.” – FALSE
Overall, we rate Fox News strongly Right-Biased due to editorial positions and story selection that favors the right. We also rate them Mixed factually and borderline Questionable based on poor sourcing and the spreading of conspiracy theories that later must be retracted after being widely shared. Further, Fox News would be rated a Questionable source based on numerous failed fact checks by hosts and pundits, however, straight news reporting is generally reliable, therefore we rate them Mixed for factual reporting. (7/19/2016) Updated (M. Huitsing 9/19/2020)