These media sources have a slight to moderate liberal bias. They often publish factual information that utilizes loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by appeals to emotion or stereotypes) to favor liberal causes. These sources are generally trustworthy for information but may require further investigation. See all Left-Center sources.
- Overall we rate The Independent Left-Center Biased due to story selection that moderately favors the left. We also rate them Mixed in factual reporting due to several failed fact checks.
Bias Rating: LEFT-CENTER
Factual Reporting: MIXED
Country: United Kingdom
Press Freedom Rank: MOSTLY FREE
Media Type: Newspaper
Traffic/Popularity: High Traffic
MBFC Credibility Rating: MEDIUM CREDIBILITY
Founded in 1986 by Newspaper Publishing, The Independent is a daily newspaper from London, United Kingdom. The Independent was launched by former Telegraph staffers Andreas Whittam Smith, Matthew Symonds, and Stephen Glover. In 1990, The Independent on Sunday was launched and edited by Stephen Glover. In 1994, the founders left the paper, and Ian Hargreaves became the paper’s editor. A year later, Newspaper Publishing was restructured, with Mirror Group and Tony O’Reilly’s Independent News & Media (INM) becoming joint owners of Newspaper Publishing.
In 1998, INM took complete control of The Independent. O’Reilly bought out the company for £30m, and in 2010 and then Russian billionaire Alexander Lebedev and his son Evgeny Lebedev acquired The Independent. In 2016, the paper moved to a digital-only format. Simon Kelner is currently the editor-in-chief of the Independent titles. Andreas Whittam Smith, the Independent’s founder, has also joined the board of Independent Print Limited. In 2017, Saudi Businessman Sultan Muhammad Abuljadayel bought a 30% stake in the Independent online newspaper.
Read our profile on the United Kingdoms’ Government and Media.
Funded by / Ownership
The Independent is owned by Independent Print Limited, a company owned by the Lebedev family (Alexander Lebedev and his son Evgeny Lebedev). In 2017, Saudi Businessman Sultan Muhammad Abuljadayel bought a 30% stake in the Independent online newspaper. Advertising and subscription generate revenue for the paper.
Analysis / Bias
The Independent recently joined a media group with close links to the Saudi royal family to launch websites across the Middle East. The Guardian has criticized its partnering with a publisher with strong ties to the Saudi government.
The Independent tends to publish stories utilizing minimally loaded language in their headlines such as: “Theresa May insists Brexit deal is not dead despite EU leaders refusing to make further concessions” and US news “Mueller investigation: Special counsel attacks. Flynn criticism of FBI interview.” The Independent also republishes news from other credible sources such as the Associated Press: “Five things you didn’t know about Germany’s diesel ban.” Most stories favor the left and tend to be appropriately sourced utilizing credible sources such as USA Today and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
According to a 2017 survey conducted by You Gov UK, The Independent has a center-left bias in reporting, with 79% saying it was either Center or Left and only 21% saying it leaned right. Further, a Reuters institute survey found that 47% of respondents trust their news coverage and 17% do not, ranking them #8 in trust of the major UK news providers. In general, The Independent holds a left-leaning editorial bias. Further, they produce a high content volume; therefore, the number of failed fact checks is low compared to the number of stories published. Consequently, they are classified as factually Mixed rather than questionable.
Failed Fact Checks
- Analysis “Climate change might be worse than thought after scientists find major mistake in water temperature readings” – Low Scientific Credibility
- New antibody tests are 100% accurate. – False
- Sir David King, who chairs the Independent SAGE group of scientists, has claimed that 27,000 people will die by next April if current levels of Covid-19 infection continue – False
- 915 children admitted with malnutrition Cambridge hospitals between 2015 and 2020. There were 656 similar admissions at Newcastle hospitals and 656 at the Royal Free London hospitals. – False
- “Online conspiracy theories and misinformation relating to Covid-19 have resulted in at least 800 deaths from coronavirus.” – False
- Donald Trump said, ‘undocumented immigrants are not people; they are animals.’ – False
Overall we rate The Independent Left-Center Biased due to story selection that moderately favors the left. We also rate them Mixed in factual reporting due to several failed fact checks. (5/18/2016) Updated (M. Huitsing 03/23/2022)
Last Updated on March 23, 2022 by Media Bias Fact Check
Left vs. Right Bias: How we rate the bias of media sources