These media sources are moderate to strongly biased toward liberal causes through story selection and/or political affiliation. They may utilize strong loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes), publish misleading reports and omit reporting of information that may damage liberal causes. Some sources in this category may be untrustworthy. See all Left Bias sources.
- Overall, we rate Sludge Left Biased based on story selection that almost always favors the progressive left. We also rate them High for factual reporting due to excellent sourcing practices and a clean fact-check record.
Bias Rating: LEFT
Factual Reporting: HIGH
MBFC’s Country Freedom Rating: MOSTLY FREE
Media Type: Website
Traffic/Popularity: Minimal Traffic
MBFC Credibility Rating: HIGH CREDIBILITY
Founded in 2018, Sludge produces investigative journalism on lobbying and money in politics. According to their about page, “Sludge is an independent, nonprofit news outlet that produces investigative journalism on lobbying and money in politics. We look beyond public records and disclosures to reveal the hidden networks and conflicts of interest that drive systemic corruption.” Sludge also discloses their writing team along with bios on their about page.
Funded by / Ownership
According to their about page, “Sludge is a project of the Participatory Politics Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization established in 2009. We are also a member of the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN), a network of over 300 independent news organizations, and one of nine founding members of The Brick House Cooperative, a new media collective of publications across the world.” Revenue is derived through membership fees and donations.
Analysis / Bias
In review, Sludge produces news stories and journalism in the categories of Climate, Defense, Democracy, Health, and Tech. For this review, we will do an overall analysis of each category and provide a supporting example that accurately reflects bias.
- Climate: A general review of the climate category reveals a strongly left-leaning bias, with most stories detailing how the fossil fuel industry is funding politicians and PACs. For example, this story: Climate Caucus Founder Is a Fossil Fuel Favorite. This story is credibly sourced to NBC News, The Guardian, and Open Secrets. Overall, climate is left-biased.
- Defense: A general review of the defense category reveals a left-leaning bias, with most stories detailing how money influences hawkishness and corporate influence. For example, this story details how Koch Industries profits from defense contracts: As Charles Koch Cultivates Anti-War Image, Koch Industries Profits from Defense Contracts. Sourcing for this story comes from the Charles Koch Foundation, USAspending.gov, and several official military sources. Overall, defense is rated as left-biased.
- Democracy: This category profiles how democracy is threatened in the USA GOP Effort to Subvert Democracy Heads to SCOTUS. Sourcing comes from the Brennan Center, New York Times, and many other credible outlets. Overall, Democracy is rated as left-biased.
- Health: This category primarily focuses on big pharma’s role in politics. For example, Chair of Pharma-Funded Blue Dogs Pushes for Drug Company Protections in New NAFTA. This story is properly sourced to Prospect Magazine, The FDA, and Open Secrets. Overall, health is rated as left-biased.
- Tech: This category covers tech cover-ups and the influence of money from tech companies; for example, The Facebook Settlement Amounts to Bribery of a Federal Agency. This story was republished by the American Prospect. Overall, Tech is rated Left-Center Bias.
In general, story selection favors the progressive left through opposition to corporate influence in politics, and all information is very well sourced to credible information and outlets.
Failed Fact Checks
- None in the Last 5 years
Overall, we rate Sludge Left Biased based on story selection that almost always favors the progressive left. We also rate them High for factual reporting due to excellent sourcing practices and a clean fact-check record. (D. Van Zandt 11/2/2019) Updated (11/29/2023)
Last Updated on November 29, 2023 by Media Bias Fact Check
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