These media sources are slight to moderately conservative in bias. They often publish factual information that utilizes loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by appealing to emotion or stereotypes) to favor conservative causes. These sources are generally trustworthy for information but may require further investigation. See all Right-Center sources.
- Overall, we rate TND – The National Desk Right-Center Biased based on editorial positions that slightly favor the right. We also rate them High for factual reporting due to proper sourcing and a clean fact check record.
Bias Rating: RIGHT-CENTER
Factual Reporting: HIGH
Press Freedom Rating: MOSTLY FREE
Media Type: TV Station/Website
Traffic/Popularity: Medium Traffic
MBFC Credibility Rating: HIGH CREDIBILITY
Founded in 2021, TND – The National Desk is a nationally syndicated television news program that airs on Sinclair-owned TV channels. The associated website is thenationaldesk.com, covering national, political, fact checks, and health news. The three-hour news program is hosted by Jan Jeffcoat and broadcasts from the WJLA TV station based in Washington DC.
The website somewhat lacks transparency as they do not provide an about page.
Funded by / Ownership
TND – The National Desk is owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, a publicly traded American telecommunications company controlled by the family of company founder Julian Sinclair Smith. The company is the second-largest television station operator in the United States by the number of stations and the largest by total coverage; owning or operating a total of 193 stations across the country in over 100 markets (covering 40% of American households), many of which are located in the South and Midwest.
They are considered a rival to the right biased Fox News for the conservative audience. The Seattle Times has written a piece documenting Sinclair’s right-wing bias. Further, according to the Center for Responsive Politics (Open Secrets), the Sinclair Broadcast Group has donated $1,143,508, or 80%, to Republican candidates since 1994.
Finally, in March 2018, Sinclair ordered its stations to produce promos with an “anchor delivered journalistic responsibility message” dictated by the company. The wording of the mandated script was criticized by some station news staff and outside pundits for its discussion of “fake news,” with some critics arguing that the message used similar language and rhetoric to Donald Trump. Trump responded to the promos on April 2, 2018, defending the company as being “far superior to CNN and even more Fake NBC, which is a total joke.”
Advertising generates revenue.
Analysis / Bias
The TND – The National Desk website covers news in the following categories: America News Now, Fact Check Team, Politics, Spotlight, Health, From the Desk, and America’s Weather Now. TND’s news reporting is generally republished from other local Sinclair TV stations, but they also provide original content.
Under America’s News Now category, they report national news from other local Sinclair stations, original TND reporting, and the Associated Press. Articles and headlines feature low biased wording, such as this Well-known Texas attorney representing families of mass shooting victims. This story is derived from Sinclair San Antonio affiliate Fox29.
The Fact Check Team covers fact checks that would appeal more to a right-leaning audience, such as this Fact Check Team: Harris, Pelosi face major backlash for defense of Roe v. Wade. This fact check and all reviewed are appropriately sourced to credible outlets such as PBS, Pew Research, and the Washington Post.
Political news also comes from local affiliates, TND, and the Associated Press. More stories favor a conservative perspective, such as this Biden to meet with Federal Reserve chairman as inflation takes a bite. Like all other stories reviewed, they use proper sourcing.
When reporting on science, under the health category, they publish fact-based news that supports the consensus of science, such as this Psychiatric disorders more likely following COVID diagnosis, OSU study shows.
Finally, under the Spotlight tab, they cover investigations such as this Citing ‘national crisis’ of inadequate doctor discipline, some call for overhaul of system.
The National Desk does not publish op-eds; however, political news reporting and fact checks favor a conservative perspective through story selection.
Failed Fact Checks
- None in the Last 5 years
Overall, we rate TND – The National Desk Right-Center Biased based on editorial positions that slightly favor the right. We also rate them High for factual reporting due to proper sourcing and a clean fact check record. (D. Van Zandt 06/08/2022)
Last Updated on June 8, 2022 by Media Bias Fact Check