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 appealing 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 PBS NewsHour as slightly Left-Center Biased based on story selection that slightly favors the left and Mostly Factual in reporting due to two failed fact checks.
Bias Rating: LEFT-CENTER
Factual Reporting: MOSTLY FACTUAL
MBFC’s Country Freedom Rank: MOSTLY FREE
Media Type: TV Station
Traffic/Popularity: High Traffic
MBFC Credibility Rating: HIGH CREDIBILITY
PBS NewsHour is an American daily evening television news program broadcast on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), airing seven nights a week on more than 300 of the public broadcaster’s member stations. As the nation’s first hour-long nightly news broadcast, the program is known for its in-depth coverage of issues and current events.
Robert MacNeil and Jim Lehrer created PBS NewsHour.
In 2003, UCLA political scientist Tim Groseclose and Missouri economist Jeff Milyo evaluated various media programs based on “think tank” citations to map liberal versus conservative media slants and published a study alleging liberal media bias in general. PBS NewsHour is the most centrist news program on television and the closest to a truly objective stance based on their research.
Funded by / Ownership
PBS NewsHour is funded through donations and sponsorship from individuals, foundations, and corporations. PBS NewsHour offers full disclosure of funders here.
Analysis / Bias
In review, PBS NewsHour offers high-quality, in-depth journalism with minimal bias through wording. For example, these headlines and articles contain minimal bias:
- Violence at the Venezuelan border, humanitarian aid blocked
- Pentagon chief getting firsthand look at US-Mexico border
- Shields and Brooks on Trump declaration, Bernie Sanders’ 2020 bid
PBS sources all information through quotes and/or hyperlinks and provides transcripts from videos on the website. PBS NewsHour has been criticized as being left-biased by the right and in favor of corporations by the progressive left. In general, story selection and tone slightly favor the left when it comes to environmental issues and with moderately negative reporting of former President Trump. PBS NewsHour’s reporting is evidence-based and accurate.
A 2014 Pew Research Survey found that 60% of PBS’s audience is consistently or mostly liberal, 26% Mixed, and 15% consistently or mostly conservative. This indicates that a more liberal audience prefers PBS.
Failed Fact Checks
- “Brett Kavanaugh wrote that he wasn’t sure whether the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion ruling settled law – a view he’s contradicted during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing.” – False
- As Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine enters its second year, more than 100,000 Ukrainian troops have died. – No Evidence
Overall, we rate PBS NewsHour as slightly Left-Center Biased based on story selection that slightly favors the left and Mostly Factual in reporting due to two failed fact checks. (D. Van Zandt 5/18/2016) Updated (05/18/2023)
Last Updated on June 29, 2023 by Media Bias Fact Check
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