These sources have minimal bias and use very few loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes). The reporting is factual and usually sourced. These are the most credible media sources. See all Least Biases sources.
- Overall, this update reveals a slight leftward shift in Politifact’s fact-checking selection, but not enough to move them from the least biased category.
Factual Reporting: HIGH
World Press Freedom Rank: USA 45/180
Founded in 2007 by the Tampa Bay Times, PolitiFact.com utilizes reporters and editors from the Times and affiliated media outlets to “fact-check statements by members of Congress, the White House, lobbyists, and interest groups”. They publish original statements and their evaluations on the PolitiFact.com website and assign each a “Truth-O-Meter” rating. The ratings range from “True” for completely accurate statements to “Pants on Fire” (from the taunt “Liar, liar, pants on fire”) for false and ridiculous claims. In 2018, Politifact became affiliated with the Poynter Institute.
Funded by / Ownership
According to their about page “In 2018, PolitiFact was acquired by the Poynter Institute, a nonprofit school for journalists. While PolitiFact relies on administrative support from the Poynter Institute, it is otherwise financially self-sustaining. PolitiFact receives support from online advertising, as well as revenue generated through content partnerships and from grants.”
Analysis / Bias
In review, Politifact has been called left-biased by some right leaning sources. In fact, there is a source called Politifact Bias that is dedicated to pointing out Politifact’s biases. Politifact is also a signatory of the International Fact Checking Network (IFCN), which outlines a code principles for credible fact-checkers.
Politifact uses minimally loaded language in their articles and headlines such as this: Trump falsely claims NATO countries owe United States money for defense spending. All information is well sourced to credible media and/or direct statements from experts in the field or the politicians themselves. Fact Check selection leans slightly left as more right-wing politicians are currently fact-checked. This may be due to bias or the fact that Republicans currently control two branches of government and hence there is more to check. In fact, there was a recent academic study done that shows Politifact employs minimal bias through wording.
Overall, this update reveals a slight leftward shift in Politifact’s fact-checking selection, but not enough to move them from the least biased category. (7/10/2016) Updated (D. Van Zandt (2/05/2020)