A questionable source exhibits one or more of the following: extreme bias, consistent promotion of propaganda/conspiracies, poor or no sourcing to credible information, a complete lack of transparency and/or is fake news. Fake News is the deliberate attempt to publish hoaxes and/or disinformation for the purpose of profit or influence (Learn More). Sources listed in the Questionable Category may be very untrustworthy and should be fact checked on a per article basis. Please note sources on this list are not considered fake news unless specifically written in the reasoning section for that source. See all Questionable sources.
- Overall, we rate Rudaw Questionable due to the promotion of pro-government propaganda and a lack of transparency with ownership and funding.
Reasoning: Lack of Transparency, Pro-Government Propaganda
World Press Freedom Rank: Iraq 162/180
Founded in 2008 by Ako Mohammed, Rudaw is a Kurdish media network that provides news about Kurdish and Middle Eastern affairs from Iraq. Rudaw publishes in English, Kurdish, Arabic, and Turkish. Rudaw is based in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan (autonomous region in Iraq). Rudaw Media Network consists of Digital Portal Rudaw.net, a weekly newspaper, TV (A Kurdish news channel), and radio station.
Funded by / Ownership
Although Rudaw’s about page states “Rudaw is a Kurdish media network funded and supported by Rudaw Company”, the ownership is unpublished since neither the name of the founder nor the owner of the company is clearly stated on their web site. Our research reveals Ako Mohammed is the founder of Rudaw Media Network, however, funding information is not clear.
Analysis / Bias
Iraqi Kurdistan is an autonomous region in Iraq and has a presidential system. The current President is Nechirvan Barzani whose party is the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) which is controlled by the Barzani tribe and described as a nationalist big tent party.
In a US Department of State 2018 report they describe the Iraqi Kurdistan Region (IKR) Media such as Rudaw as the Kurdistan Democratic Party’s (KDP) affiliate “In KDP strongholds, Kurdistan Television, Rudaw, and K24 had access to all public places and information.”
In review, Rudaw publishes articles with emotionally loaded language such as “’Your people are more important than oil’: US senators to Kurdish leader” and in general covers President Barzani positively “Foreign diplomats hail President Barzani’s role in cementing relations with the international community”.
When it comes to sourcing, the news is covered through local reporters and they publish video interviews such as here. Rudaw also utilizes credible sources such as CNBC and AP. When covering world news, pertaining to the USA, they cover the Trump Administration with a critical tone such as in this article “Trump fails to tell Kurds apart”. In general, Rudaw holds left-leaning positions and promotes pro-government propaganda.
Failed Fact Checks
- None to date
Overall, we rate Rudaw Questionable due to the promotion of pro-government propaganda and a lack of transparency with ownership and funding. ( 8/21/2016) (M. Huitsing 6/28/2020)