Bias Rating: LEFT
Factual Reporting: MIXED
Country: South Africa
Press Freedom Rating: MOSTLY FREE
Media Type: Website
Traffic/Popularity: Medium Traffic
MBFC Credibility Rating: MEDIUM CREDIBILITY
Founded in 1985, The Mail & Guardian, also known as the M&G, is a South African online newspaper and website. They are based in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Mail & Guardian features breaking news, opinion, analysis, commentary, and entertainment news. They state their core values as “truth, freedom, justice, and equality.” With their aim “to create space for debate and diversity, to defend freedom of expression and to combat racial, political, and religious prejudice.”
Read our profile on South African media and government.
Funded by / Ownership
The Mail & Guardian (M&G) is owned by the New York-based not-for-profit investment fund, Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF). Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF) was initially funded by George Soros and the Open Society Foundations South Africa, which funds The Mail & Guardian for its environmental reporting. Advertising and subscription fees generate revenue.
Analysis / Bias
In review, the Mail & Guardian uses strong, emotionally loaded language in their headlines such as “Future of the left in South Africa. Left? What left?” They also are openly critical of some ANC policies and President Ramaphosa. ANC (The African National Congress) is the Republic of South Africa’s governing political party. The political position of ANC is Centre-Left. Here is a quote from the article “The fact is that, even if Ramaphosa were able to magically fix the state-owned enterprises and reduce corruption, we would still be screwed.”
Another article titled “Another one bites the dust: Ntuli quits Democratic Alliance” demonstrates negative reporting toward the Democratic Alliance, a center-right opposition party.
The Mail & Guardian typically sources through quotes and rarely links to other sources in their articles. On US politics, they publish articles with an anti-Trump tone such as here “US needs a gutsy Biden now.” A quote from the article reads, “His despicable moral compass and absence of empathy led him to lampoon the rival Democrat nominee as a senile aging man using the moniker “Sleepy Joe” (despite his own documented slow and halting descent down a ramp).” They tend to utilize credible sources for their world news, such as pewresearch.org, ABC News, Reuters, and BBC. In general, they present with left-leaning editorial bias and are not always factual.
Failed Fact Checks
- Tony Leon’s father sentenced Solomon Mahlangu to death – False
- There are only 34 female professors in South Africa. – False
- A gay baboon terrorized a South African village and raped several men. – False
- “the private security industry in South Africa is the largest in the world” – False
Overall, we rate Mail & Guardian Left Biased based on editorial positions that favor the Left. We also rate them mixed for factual reporting due to poor sourcing and several failed fact checks. (M. Huitsing 03/26/2022)
Last Updated on June 2, 2023 by Media Bias Fact Check
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