These sources have minimal bias and use very few loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes). The reporting is factual and usually sourced. These are the most credible media sources. See all Least-Biased sources.
- Overall, we rate Wikipedia Least Biased based on a wide variety of content that often covers pros and cons. We also rate them Mostly Factual rather than High, due to some entries lacking comprehensive sourcing, however, several studies have revealed acceptable accuracy of information.
Factual Reporting: MOSTLY FACTUAL
World Press Freedom Rank: USA 45/180
Founded in January 2001 by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger, Wikipedia is a free-content encyclopedia project based on an openly editable model. Wikipedia’s articles provide links to guide the user to related pages with additional information. According to Alexa Internet, as of September 2018, Wikipedia is the world’s fifth-most-popular website in terms of overall visitor traffic.
Funded by / Ownership
Wikipedia is owned by the nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation Inc. The Wikimedia Foundation is primarily funded through donations. Further, Wikipedia runs fundraising campaigns each year on the website.
Analysis / Bias
In review, Wikipedia’s content is edited by volunteers rather than the Wikimedia Foundation. Although Wikipedia is edited essentially by anyone, a 2005 study published in the Journal Nature, showed that they were just as accurate as the Encyclopedia Britannica, when it comes to scientific information. In another study completed in 2014 by the Public Library of Science, they compared Wikipedia’s accuracy on Drug information compared to other sources. The study showed that “Quantitative analysis revealed that the accuracy of drug information in Wikipedia was 99.7%±0.2% when compared to the textbook data. The overall completeness of drug information in Wikipedia was 83.8±1.5% (p<0.001).” They concluded that “Wikipedia is an accurate and comprehensive source of drug-related information for undergraduate medical education.”
When it comes to bias, it is nearly impossible to analyze, as each entry changes frequently and is edited by people with different opinions. In general, most Wikipedia entries cover both positives and negatives and link to mostly credible sources of information to support their claims. Since bias varies from entry to entry and line to line, we rate them least biased as many perspectives are found on Wikipedia.
Factually, not all Wikipedia entries are properly sourced or may link to poor sources, therefore we rate them Mostly Factual, with each entry needing a review of the sources used.
Overall, we rate Wikipedia Least Biased based on a wide variety of content that often covers pros and cons. We also rate them Mostly Factual rather than High, due to some entries lacking comprehensive sourcing, however, several studies have revealed acceptable accuracy of information. (8/19/2016) Updated (D. Van Zandt 2/07/2020)