These media sources are slightly to moderately conservative in bias. They often publish factual information that utilizes loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by using appeal 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 the Wall Street Journal Right-Center biased due to low biased news reporting in combination with a strong right biased editorial stance. We also rate them Mostly Factual in reporting rather than High, due to anti-climate, anti-science stances, and occasional misleading editorials.
Factual Reporting: MOSTLY FACTUAL
World Press Freedom Rank: USA 45/180
Launched in 1889, The Wall Street Journal is an international business newspaper concentrating on finance, investment, and corporate news. It is headquartered in New York City. The newspaper was founded by journalists, Charles Dow, Edward Jones, and Charles Bergstresser, together they established the Dow Jones & Company, which led to the founding of The Wall Street Journal. They also began the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which was invented by Charles Dow and Dow’s editorials led to what became known as “Dow theory” of market analysis. According to The New Yorker columnist Ken Auletta’s article on November 3, 2003, and titled “Family Business”, after the death of Charles Dow on December 4, 1902, the company was bought by its Boston correspondent, Clarence Barron. After Barron died in 1928, the new owners were his stepdaughters, Jane and Martha. Jane Barron’s husband, Hugh Bancroft, then took over the Wall Street Journal. He later committed suicide and the company was left to the Journal’s editor, and since that time the Bancroft family has not had an active management role.
Currently, Robert Thomson is the chief executive of News Corp and the WSJ editor-in-chief is Matt Murray, who replaced Gerard Baker. According to Politico, Baker faced criticism internally over the paper’s Pro-Trump coverage. Paul A. Gigot is the editorial page editor and Vice President of The Wall Street Journal. He is also a conservative political commentator for Fox News Channel.
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Funded by / Ownership
In 2007, The Bancroft family and relatives sold the Wall Street Journal to Rupert Murdoch for $5 billion dollars. Rupert Murdoch also purchased its parent company, Dow Jones & Co. through his company, News Corporation. The WSJ is funded through paid subscriptions and advertising.
Analysis / Bias
The Walls Street Journal hasn’t endorsed US political candidates since 1928, however, they have been criticized for endorsing far-right populist politicians abroad. For example in South America, they all but endorsed far-right Congressman Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil’s presidential election. They have also written favorably about Chilean Dictator Augusto Pinochet. The WSJ has been strongly criticized for its pro-Trump coverage and according to The Atlantic, there was an alleged conflict about how to cover Trump, resulting in an opinion editor’s departure.
In review, the WSJ utilizes emotionally loaded language in their editorial headlines that favor the right, such as this: “Wrap It Up, Mr. Mueller Democratic dilemma: Impeach Trump for lying about sex?” They also frequently promote anti-climate change messages such as this: “The Phony War Against CO2.” Here is another example from an editorial on Trump’s position on climate change “Not the Climate Apocalypse: The EPA’s power rule won’t save coal and won’t poison the planet.” Further, IFCN fact checker Climate Feedback has cited numerous editorials in which the Wall Street Journal uses very low scientific credibility. The pro-science Climate Science & Policy Watch also has criticized the WSJ for rejection of the 97% consensus of climate scientists. Lastly, The Guardian has an article describing how the WSJ “peddles big oil propaganda,” while “disguising climate misinformation as opinion.”
When reporting regular news the WSJ uses minimally loaded words such as this: China Agrees to Reduce Tariffs on U.S. Autos. News articles are also properly sourced to credible media outlets such as the Financial Times and Washington Post.
A 2014 Pew Research Survey found that 41% of the Wall Street Journal’s audience is consistently or mostly liberal, 24% Mixed and 35% consistently or mostly conservative. This indicates that they are slightly preferred by a more liberal audience.
A factual search reveals that the Wall Street Journal has never failed a fact check regarding news reporting, however, IFCN fact checker Climate Feedback has found numerous inaccuracies in the WSJ editorial department.
Overall, we rate the Wall Street Journal Right-Center biased due to low biased news reporting in combination with a strong right biased editorial stance. We also rate them Mostly Factual in reporting rather than High, due to anti-climate, anti-science stances, and occasional misleading editorials. (7/18/2016) Updated (M. Huitsing 08/15/2020)