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 West Central Tribune Right-Center Biased based on story selection and 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.
Factual Reporting: HIGH
World Press Freedom Rank: USA 45/180
Launched in 1895, the West Central Tribune is a daily newspaper published in digital, print and e-edition formats in Willmar, Minnesota. The West Central Tribune was formerly known as the Willmar Tribune and founded by Dr. Christian Johnson. In 1901 the editor Victor Lawson became the owner. In 1979, the West Central Tribune was purchased by Forum Communications Co.
The West Central Tribune features local and national news, politics, sports, entertainment, business, classifieds, and technology. Currently, the publisher is Steve W. Ammermann (since 2000) and the news editor is Susan Lunneborg.
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Funded by / Ownership
The West Central Tribune is owned by Forum Communications Company, which is based in North Dakota and has additional locations across South Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Revenue is derived through advertising and subscriptions.
Analysis / Bias
In review, the West Central Tribune publishes articles with emotionally loaded language such as “Rumors swirl around Minnesota state rep taking part in citizen patrol during Floyd protest in Bemidji”. There is also a right-leaning political bias as most stories favor the right such as this “Ruben Navarrette: I’ll let you in on a little secret: Latinos don’t like Biden.“ A quote from the article reads “Joe Biden’s weak and pathetic relationship with Latinos is all about geography.” However, they also republish editorial pieces from their sister papers such as the Grand Forks Herald in favor of democratic politicians such as “Minnesota Opinion: Joe Biden should put Amy Klobuchar on 2020 ticket”.
On the issues, such as immigration the West Central Tribune reports with balance: “The economy of immigration: New Americans motivated to be a part of the economy”. Further, they also support the consensus of science regarding human-influenced climate change: Scientists try to plant forests of the future in a fast-warming Minnesota.
The West Central Tribune mostly uses quotes when sourcing, however, they do utilize credible sources such as NPR, and government sources such as content.govdelivery, minneapolismn.gov as well as sister publications such as the Bemidji pioneer. Finally, they also republish articles from The Washington Post.
During the 2016 election the West Central Tribune stated: “Presidential Endorsement: This time for president, none of the above”, and its owner, Forum Communications Editorial Board declined to endorse a Republican candidate for the first time in their history. However, the West Central Tribune is known to endorse Republican candidates, including Mitt Romney in 2012. In general, the news is reported factually and with a right-leaning editorial bias.
Failed Fact Checks
Overall, we rate the West Central Tribune Right-Center Biased based on story selection and 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. (M. Huitsing 6/3/2020)
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