These media sources are moderately to strongly biased toward conservative 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 conservative causes. Some sources in this category may be untrustworthy. See all Right Bias sources.
- Overall, we rate the Badger Institute Right Biased based on story selection that favors the right as well as policy stances that are conservative in nature. We also rate them mixed for factual reporting due to numerous failed fact checks before their name change to the Badger Institute in 2017, as well as a lack of transparency regarding funding.
Factual Reporting: MIXED
World Press Freedom Rank: USA 48/180
Established in 1987, The Badger Institute, formerly the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, is a conservative think tank that produces research and analysis on tax policy, education, health care and economy. The Badger Institute states that they are guided by “a belief that competitive free markets, limited government, private initiative and personal responsibility are essential to our democratic way of life.”
Tom Howatt is the Board Chairman, Mike Nichols is the President and Mabel Wong is the editor. The Badger Institute publishes WI Magazine and WPRI Reports. The name of the WI magazine changed as well, the new name is Diggings.
They are headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Funded by / Ownership
The Badger Institute is not required to disclose its funders. According to a Mother Jones article, WPRI (Badger Institute) is a member of the State Policy Network (SPN). Further, according to Sourcewatch, the Badger Institute is funded by the Lovett and Ruth Peters Foundation, the Castle Rock Foundation, and the Bradley Foundation. The website lacks transparency of funding, therefore we rely on third party information.
Analysis / Bias
In review, The Badger Institute publishes Pro-Trump articles with strong emotional language such as this: “The Age of Trump: View from a supporter Never Trumpers’ myopia keeps them from seeing the greater danger that a Clinton presidency would have created” and “Badger Institute: Federal Grants are turning states against their own people.
They also published a book arguing against the minimum wage “Minimum Wage: The High Cost of Increasing Minimum Wage in Wisconsin to $15.” This book was then endorsed via conservative media such as the Washington Free Beacon and local Wisconsin media.
For the most part, they source to credible outlets such as The Washington Post, The Atlantic, BBC, USA Today, NPR as well as government sources such as supremecourt.gov and less known sources such as constitution.org. When it comes to science, The Badger Institute does not reject human influenced climate change, although they do support free market solutions.
A factual search reveals that the Badger Institute has not failed a fact check by IFCN fact checkers, however as the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute they failed numerous fact checks.
Overall, we rate the Badger Institute Right Biased based on story selection that favors the right as well as policy stances that are conservative in nature. We also rate them mixed for factual reporting due to numerous failed fact checks before their name change to the Badger Institute in 2017, as well as a lack of transparency regarding funding. (M. Huitsing 5/9/2019)
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