Bias Rating: LEFT
Factual Reporting: MOSTLY FACTUAL
MBFC’s Country Freedom Rating: MOSTLY FREE
Media Type: TV Station
Traffic/Popularity: High Traffic
MBFC Credibility Rating: HIGH CREDIBILITY
In 1980, Ted Turner founded CNN, introducing the first 24-hour news channel. CNN’s original anchors, Bernard Shaw, and Lois Hart, helped establish comprehensive news coverage. The network gained recognition for covering events like the 1986 Challenger disaster and the 1991 Gulf War. Over time, CNN evolved into an international media organization, offering news segments in business, entertainment, and sports.
CNN International and HLN emerged, catering to global audiences. Today, CNN is a leading news source with a robust digital presence through its website and mobile app.
Funded by / Ownership
CNN operates as a subsidiary of WarnerMedia, nestled within the larger Warner Bros. Discovery family and ultimately owned by AT&T Inc. The network’s financial support and funding come from diverse sources, including advertising revenue, cable and satellite subscription fees, and content licensing agreements.
Analysis / Bias
CNN is known for its comprehensive news coverage. However, some critics argue that the network exhibits a liberal bias in its reporting and editorial stance. CNN’s content may sometimes lean towards progressive viewpoints through the presentation of news stories, selection of guests, and framing of debates. For example, a 2017 Harvard study analyzing media coverage of President Trump’s first 100 days in office found that CNN’s coverage was 93% negative. Former President Trump and many of his supporters have criticized them as fake news.
CNN’s TV programming provides a platform for diverse perspectives by hosting Democratic and Republican commentators and analysts. Ana Navarro is a Republican commentator who frequently appears on CNN’s programming to provide commentary from a conservative perspective. S.E. Cupp is also a conservative commentator who serves as a political analyst for CNN, providing insights on Republican policy and strategy. CNN also hired Chris Wallace from Fox News, another right-leaning commentator. By hosting commentators from both sides of the political spectrum, CNN aims to provide viewers with a well-rounded and balanced perspective on the news. However, the network has also experienced failed fact-checks in the past involving a few TV hosts, such as former Don Lemon and former Prime Time host Chris Cuomo, who is no longer with the network. Nonetheless, news reporting on the website generally remains well-sourced and fact-based.
Editorially, CNN’s programming favors the left. For example, a typical panel discussion will feature 4 to 8 guest commentators, one being a Republican, such as S.E. Cupp or Ana Navarro. This creates a situation where left-leaning voices drown out the right. Prominent news hosts include Wolf Blitzer, Erin Burnett, Jake Tapper, and Anderson Cooper.
In general, CNN aims to provide a balanced and diverse range of perspectives by hosting commentators and analysts from Democratic and Republican backgrounds. Despite this, CNN exhibits a left-leaning bias by occasionally omitting negative stories about the left and promoting editorial perspectives favored by progressives. Though biased, the network generally maintains factual reporting on its website.
Failed Fact Checks
- If President Trump decides to deploy the U.S. military domestically, he would be “mobilizing U.S. military troops on American soil for the first time since 1807.” – False (Corrected)
- “Greenland’s ice sheet has melted to a point of no return, according to new study” – Low Scientific Credibility
Overall, we rate CNN moderately left-biased based on editorial positions by TV hosts that consistently favor the left, while straight news reporting falls left-center through bias by omission. We also rate them as Mostly Factual in reporting rather than high due to two failed fact checks in the last five years. (5/16/2016) Updated (M. Huitsing 11/20/2023)
Last Updated on November 20, 2023 by Media Bias Fact Check
Do you appreciate our work? Please consider one of the following ways to sustain us.