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 Google News strongly Left-Center biased with the majority of stories coming from Left-Center sources. We also rate them High for factual reporting because the majority of sources used are credible media outlets.
Factual Reporting: HIGH Country: USA World Press Freedom Rank: USA 45/180
Google News is a news aggregator developed by Google. It presents a continuous, customizable flow of articles organized from thousands of publishers and magazines. A beta version was launched in September 2002, and released officially in January 2006. The Google News homepage breaks news into categories such as World, US, Business, Technology, Science, etc. They also offer a search feature to search for news by keyword. The news that appears on the homepage and in searches is derived from Google’s search algorithm. Google News is available in 35 languages.
Determining the bias of a news aggregator is different than from a single source that produces original content. The wording on Google News comes from other sources, so we will not even look at that as a factor. The most logical way to determine the bias of a news aggregator is to look at the sources they use for their news content. Another way to look, since Google is a search engine, is to see where sources rank when searching for news. We did a limited test of this by searching a variety of keywords such as Migrant, Trump, Clinton, NATO, Mueller, Obama, etc and the results indicate that in 9 out of 10 (90%) searches, left-leaning sources ranked 1st and ahead of the first right-leaning source. Usually, the right-leaning sources were much lower in the rank.
Another method we used was to look at what sources were being used in the categories of US News and World News. Over the course of three days, we looked at the top 25 sources in each category for a total of 150 sources calculated. We then compared these sources to our bias ratings and calculated what percentage comes from each bias category. Overall, the majority of stories on Google News come from Left-Center sources (58%) and only 7% from least biased sources. Further, Right-Center sources only made up 5% of the news and Right biased less than 1%, while on the other hand, 28% of stories come from the left-biased category. When looking at purely left-leaning vs right-leaning sources, the numbers greatly favor the left. See the charts below:
It should be noted that we are not stating Google is willfully biased, we are pointing out that the sources used have a strong preference for the left according to our ratings. This could be due to how the algorithm works and also that there simply are more mainstream news media that leans left. Further, on 6/6/2019, The Economistpublished a statistical study that shows Google presents news that is factual and less reliant on bias.
A 2014 Pew Research Survey found that 37% of Google News’ audience is consistently or mostly liberal, 43% Mixed and 20% consistently or mostly conservative. This indicates that Google News is preferred by a more liberal audience.
Overall, we rate Google News strongly Left-Center biased with the majority of stories coming from Left-Center sources. We also rate them High for factual reporting because the majority of sources used are credible media outlets. (D. Van Zandt 11/28/2018) Updated (10/7/2019)