Letter to the editor: How to evaluate media bias and fact check reporting | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: How to evaluate media bias and fact check reporting

Cheryl Moskal
Denver and Breckenridge

“One lie can destroy a thousand truths.” — Ghanaian proverb

There is a difference between media bias and outright inaccurate, fabricated or misleading information (propaganda). Media bias can help sway people’s social or political leaning. The later can tear a country apart.

There are companies that rate media bias. Review their methods and compare their reports. Their criteria and terms differ but use a wide range of analysis and methods. Check out AdFontesMedia.com, MediaBiasFactCheck.com and AllSides.com. AdFontes’ chart illustrates degree of bias, providing more categories and mix of raters. Some companies lump all types of programs together when rating one media source. Others separate news from opinion articles, rating each category separately. Ratings vary accordingly.

There are over 100,000 media types. With more than 1,400 media sources rated, not all are listed or monitored each month, but one can search for nonlisted sources. For most straightforward reporting, terms are least bias, center, middle, fact reporting and fact reporting with analysis. Most media outlets will have articles or programs that are both to the left or right. Leaning right or left doesn’t mean the reporting is not good or accurate, just like center or middle doesn’t mean the reporting is the best.

One can identify extreme bias or misleading information when noticing the use of name-calling or dehumanization or the article appears to be hyperpartisan. Listening to and reading a variety of news outlets and fact checking can help reduce misunderstanding and partisanship.

Some outlets considered to have fact-based reporting by at least two rating companies are The Associated Press, Reuters, UPI, Axios, NPR, The Hill, BBC, USA Today, CBS, CNBC, ABC, Christian Science Monitor, PBS News Hour and Wall Street Journal (news only).

When doubting a report, go to FactCheck.org, PolitiFact.com or Snopes.com for accuracy.

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