These sources have minimal bias and use very few loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by appeals to emotion or stereotypes). The reporting is factual and usually sourced. These are the most credible media sources. See all Least Biased Sources.
- Overall, we rate Semafor Least Biased based on providing counter-arguments to stories that differ from the author’s perspective. We also rate them High for factual reporting due to proper sourcing of information.
Bias Rating: LEAST BIASED
Factual Reporting: HIGH
Press Freedom Rating: MOSTLY FREE
Media Type: Website
Traffic/Popularity: Minimal Traffic
MBFC Credibility Rating: HIGH CREDIBILITY
Launched on October 19, 2022, Semafor is a news website that hosts 8 newsletters. The website was co-founded by Ben Smith, a media columnist at The New York Times, and Justin Smith, a Bloomberg Media CEO. According to their about page, “We’re exposing the architecture of our original journalism in an effort to rebuild trust from our audience. Our journalists are experts in their own right — but they also know the difference between the facts and their analysis. Our “Semaform” structure makes clear the lines between facts, analysis, opinion, counter-narratives, and global perspectives.”
Funded by / Ownership
The website was funded with $25 million in private capital. Advertising and sponsorships generate revenue. However, according to CNBC, Semafor will move to a paywall and subscription model within 18 months.
Analysis / Bias
The Semafor website features 8 different newsletters: Flagship, Principals, Business, Technology, Climate, Africa, Americana, and Media. News is reported in their “Semaform” format featuring sections for straight facts, the reporter’s analysis, and counter-narratives. Each story is broken down as follows:
- The News
- The Reporter’s View (or analysis)
- Room For Disagreement (or counterargument)
- The View From (or different perspectives on the topic)
- Notable (or some of the best other writing on the subject)
The website also features news aggregation, where they “distill news, analysis, and opinion from a global range of sources,” summarized so “readers don’t have to search the internet trying to triangulate the truth.”
Articles and headlines use moderately loaded emotional language such as this Russia headed for demographic disaster due to war. All articles reviewed rely on credible sources such as Bloomberg, New York Times, and Foreign Policy.
Editorially, more stories favor the left, such as this Donald Trump’s plan to kill mail ballots in Pennsylvania. A biased quote from the author reads, “Trump’s involvement in the new attack on Pennsylvania’s mail-in voting law puts pressure on the state’s divided Republicans to pick a side.” However, due to their Semaform style, a counterpoint is given to balance the author’s point of view. Generally, the news is factual and well-sourced, while viewpoints tend to favor the left slightly. However, we will initially rate them as least biased based on offering counterpoints to their liberal-leaning perspectives. As the site matures and produces more content, we will re-evaluate and makes changes accordingly.
Failed Fact Checks
- None in the Last 5 years
Overall, we rate Semafor Least Biased based on providing counter-arguments to stories that differ from the author’s perspective. We also rate them High for factual reporting due to proper sourcing of information. (D. Van Zandt 10/19/2022)
Last Updated on June 30, 2023 by Media Bias Fact Check
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