“Editorially, The Columbian endorses candidates on the state and local level, however, in the 2020 presidential election they did not endorse either candidate. Locally, they endorse both Democrats and Republicans. … A review of editorials and opinion pieces reveals a reasonable balance with slightly more favoring the left. In general, the news is reported factually and with minimal bias.”
Gee, thanks, Media Bias/Fact Check. I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Now, one of the old sayings in journalism is “If your mother says she loves you, check it out!”
So I did a little research into Media Bias/Fact Check. Both Poynter and the Columbia Journalism Review have criticized its methodology in the past, but it’s also found credibility with other academics and the League of Women Voters.
I looked at Media Bias/Fact Check’s site, and was pleased to see it explains both its methodology and its funding. As a journalist, I appreciate transparency.
How did Media Bias/Fact Check rate some other news sources?
It rates The Associated Press as “Least Biased” and “Very High” for factual reporting. Not surprisingly, CNN gets a “Left Bias” rating, and Fox News is labeled as “Right Bias.”
Crosscut.com, the nonprofit Seattle-based site that shares its content with us, received a “Left-Center Bias” rating and “High” factual reporting.
The Oregonian was “Right-Center Bias,” a rating which Media Bias/Fact Check stated “was based on editorial positions that slightly favor the right. We also rate them ‘High’ for factual reporting due to proper sourcing of information and a clean fact check record.”
KATU-TV was labeled as “Right-Center,” also with “High” factual reporting. KOIN-TV was “Least Biased.” I couldn’t find anything on the site about KPTV-TV, KGW-TV or Oregon Public Broadcasting.
Of course, all talk about media bias is subjective. Within a few days of seeing the Media Bias/Fact Check report, I got this email from a reader. He was reacting to my Jan. 29 column about using sensitive photos and video (I’ll print his email here verbatim):
“Now I know why the Columbian is a left wing biased woke. You think the Oregonian newspaper is a ‘great one’ per you column. The editorial page run by Jaynes’s is a complete biased page. All the comments or columnist’s are left wing liberals, like Pitts and Milbank. Are you looking for a new job at the Oregonian?”
Well, you can’t please everybody.