Do you have an app or extension?
In addition to the AllSides mobile app, some few partner organizations and friends have created apps and extensions that use AllSides Media Bias Ratings™:
- Bias Finder is a Google Chrome browser extension that immediately displays a website's AllSides Media Bias Rating.
- Capitol Call is a mobile app that allows you to customize a news feed using AllSides-rated sources, helping to ensure you’re maintaining a balanced feed.
- Newstrition® is an interactive tool by Freedom Forum Institute and Our.News that makes it easy for the public to make informed decisions about what is real and what is “junk” news.
Is AllSides secretly biased or hiding a partisan agenda?
Everyone is biased. To ensure a fair balance, AllSides has a multi-partisan staff made up of people from the left, right, center, and everything in between. We are transparent about the political biases of our team members, partners and funding sources. We are proud to be made up of and work with people from all across the political bias spectrum, as bridging divides is essentially the whole point here at AllSides. We are transparent about our biases and lay them out fully in this blog post. We have consciously created a hybrid revenue model so that we don't have to pander to one side to make money.
AllSides displays the news as it is covered from a variety of perspectives. We do have an editorial bias. Read our Editorial Philosophy to learn about what we cover and why.
We've surveyed our readers and found they are pretty evenly split among left, right and mixed political leanings — about one third each.
Whenever we write a blog or newsletter, we review it as a team — not just for grammar and spelling, but more importantly, for bias. We want to make sure we are providing a platform for balanced news that is not influenced by our individual biases. When we review sources, we don’t change the rating just because one of our Editors thinks the source leans a little too much in one direction. We have a systematic way of analyzing sources for bias — read more about our media bias rating methods.
When you see something from us that seems unbalanced or incorrect, please tell us about it. We are always improving our systems.
Why do you only have American news sources?
At this time, AllSides only focuses on American sources, but we would love to eventually expand to include more international sources as well. Our media bias rating scale is based on American politics, and we are a team of (mostly) Americans who do not have much experience with international politics. We understand there may be a need for media bias transparency in other countries, and hope to eventually expand our team and knowledge base to be more inclusive of other nations.
Our AllSides Media Bias Ratings are determined based on data gathered from a variety of sources. Our media bias ratings take into account the perspectives of people from all over the political bias spectrum — not just one individual. We use methods including blind bias surveys, editorial reviews, third party research (such as the 2005 UCLA study), independent research, and community feedback. Learn more about our Media Bias Rating Methods.
Aren’t you worried that with your ratings being influenced by community votes, they could be gamed by bots?
Our system is more sophisticated than that. We use community votes as an “early warning system” that our bias ratings may be off. Our ratings don’t change based on community input alone. A member of our team has to physically edit the rating of a source for it to change. If bots flooded a page and overwhelmingly voted to have a Left source be rated as Right, we are merely alerted to the fact that we may need to re-approach our rating for that source.
Lastly, please note our ratings are normalized to reflect the entire nation, rather than any specific group.
Absolutely! Check our list of media bias ratings first to make sure we don’t already have it listed. If not, email us with the name of the source, as well as what you think its bias is, and we’ll work on adding it as soon as we can.
As a team, we keep an eye on news sources over time. We look more closely at a news source when we notice its bias is shifting, when we get new data, or when feedback from the community indicates our media bias rating may be wrong.
We take suggestions from our community in several ways. People directly email us or send suggestions via our Facebook and Twitter. Our community can also vote on whether they "agree" or "disagree" with our ratings directly on our Media Bias Ratings page.
We rotate the order in which we display the headlines in our headline roundups (which can be seen at the top of the AllSides homepage) precisely to avoid this kind of bias.
But in some cases, we found it could be confusing to users if we continually rotate the order. That's why you'll see a standard order further down the homepage. When the AllSides homepage is viewed on desktop, additional stories are shown in columns at the bottom of the page, where we list Left stories on the left side of the page, Center stories in the center, and Right stories on the right side of the screen. On mobile, the columns are replaced by buttons arranged on top of one another — Left stories are shown on the top, Center in the middle, and Right stories are towards the bottom.
Why is the order of the headlines featured in the "headline roundups" at the top of your news page always different?
We rotate the order of the Left, Right and Center stories for our headline roundups to avoid biasing our coverage in favor of the Left, which otherwise would always be listed first.
In addition, our website technology pulls and displays the image from the physically leftmost story. We don't want to create bias by always showing an image from the article with a Left bias. As we're sure you know since you use AllSides, images can have bias, just like headlines and storytelling do. If a journalist wanted to emphasize the negative aspects of a politician, they might choose an image that makes them look upset or angry, which adds to the bias of an article. By rotating the order of our articles, we also rotate the image we highlight in an effort to mediate bias.
I disagree with the outlets you have listed "Center." Doesn't a "Center" rating mean neutral and unbiased?
A "Center" rating does not necessarily mean a source is unbiased, neutral, or always reasonable. It simply means the source or writer rated does not predictably show opinions favoring either end of the political spectrum — conservative or liberal. It's important to note that sometimes, a media outlet with a Center rating misses important perspectives, leaving out valid arguments from the left or right.
While it may be easy to think that we should only consume media from Center outlets, AllSides believes Center is not necessarily the answer. By reading only Center outlets, we may still encounter bias and omission of important issues and perspectives. For this reason, it is important to consume a balanced news diet. Read more about what "Center" media bias rating means here.
AllSides consciously created a hybrid revenue model because there are dangers to other models. The current media business model rewards clickbait and fake news because it drives advertising revenue. Nonprofit funding can contribute to bias because often, one large donor will rule the show. AllSides is a mix of all of the above so no one funding source can overwhelm us and pull us away from our mission. Core to our success is our left-center-right credibility, and we have consciously designed a system that allows us to pull revenue from a variety of sources. If we break away from that, everything falls apart. It is risky, but helps us to retain our credibility.