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 PBS NewsHour slightly Left-Center Biased based on story selection that slightly favors the left and High for factual reporting due to in-depth, well-sourced information and a Reasonable fact check record.
Factual Reporting: HIGH
World Press Freedom Rank: USA 45/180
PBS NewsHour is an American daily evening television news program that is 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.
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. Based on their research, PBS NewsHour is the most centrist news program on television and the closest to a truly objective stance.
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 as being 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 President Trump. One thing that is consistent with PBS NewsHour, their reporting is evidence-based and accurate.
A 2014 Pew Research Survey found that 60% of PBS’ audience is consistently or mostly liberal, 26% Mixed and 15% consistently or mostly conservative. This indicates that PBS is preferred by a more liberal audience.
Failed Fact Checks
- “Brett Kavanaugh wrote that he wasn’t sure whether the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion ruling was settled law – a view he’s contradicted during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing this week,” – False
Overall, we rate PBS NewsHour slightly Left-Center Biased based on story selection that slightly favors the left and High for factual reporting due to in-depth, well-sourced information and a reasonable fact check record. (D. Van Zandt 5/18/2016) Updated (10/07/2019)