What does a "Center" media bias rating mean?
A Center media bias rating does not necessarily mean a source is unbiased, neutral, perfectly reasonable, or credible, just as Left and Right don't necessarily mean extreme, wrong, or unreasonable. It simply means the source or writer rated does not predictably publish content tilted toward either end of the political spectrum — conservative or liberal.
A Center outlet may not show much predictable bias, or its bias leans to the left and right equally at different times. A media outlet with a Center rating may omit important perspectives, or run individual articles that display bias, while not displaying a lot of predictable bias in its content overall.
A Center outlet may leave out valid arguments from the left or right. For example, in the 20th century, mainstream Center media outlets did not prominently cover support for gay marriage. In addition, many issues did not gain coverage in mainstream Center outlets until post-2014, such as arguments for marijuana legalization, criticism of the War on Drugs, the American opioid epidemic, and criminal justice reform.
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 or omission of important issues and perspectives. For this reason, it is important to consume a balanced news diet.