The Associated Press has a Center media bias.
About AP's Media Bias Rating
In Aug. 2019, the multipartisan team at AllSides conducted an Editorial Review on the Associated Press. The team concluded that AP's bias hovers on the border of Lean Left and Center. Many AP articles do not show evidence of much bias at all. However, some articles may display a slight Lean Left bias. More analysis is needed to determine whether or not AP's bias rating should be changed from Center.
The team found that while AP's articles largely do not display bias, sometimes AP uses emotive language in its headlines, and the outlet may sometimes provide interpretation in its news articles rather than straight factual reporting. AllSides staffers with a Center-Right bias disagreed slightly with staffers who have a Lean Left bias when it came to determining whether or not AP is interpreting information or reporting events factually.
For example, the team analyzed an article titled, "Biden: Racism in US is institutional, ‘white man’s problem’", in which an AP reporter wrote: "Taking aim at incendiary racial appeals by Trump, Biden said in an interview with a small group of reporters on Tuesday that a president’s words can “appeal to the worst damn instincts of human nature,” just as they can move markets or take a nation into war."
A staffer with a Center-Right bias said AP's use of the term "incendiary racial appeals" is interpretation, not fact, and that objective reporting would require AP to note what Trump said specifically and allow readers to decide for themselves what they think of his remarks; however, a staffer on the Left disagreed, saying AP's language is a factual and accurate descriptor of Trump's words, and does not represent interpretation. The disagreement over whether or not this amounts to bias harkens back to how those on the left and the right define "racism" differently.
AllSides plans to conduct further research on AP News bias.
Associated Press AllSides Media Bias Analysis Prior to Aug. 2019
Prior to Aug. 2019, AllSides found AP portrayed all sides equally, used objective language, and refrained from sensationalism, emotional language, and hyperbole in its headlines and coverage.
However, in the months leading up to Sept. 2018, AllSides received messages from readers concerned that AP's media bias had shifted Left after President Trump's election. AllSides conducted an editorial review during the last week of Sept. 2018 to address these concerns. However, news about Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination was dominating the news cycle during this time, which impacted our ability to get a comprehensive view of AP's media bias as it stands for a variety of issues. AllSides will continue to assess AP media bias over time.
The AllSides team agreed that AP's coverage of Kavanaugh's confirmation was Lean Left — perhaps falling somewhere between Lean Left and Center. Some on the team noted that articles such as, "Kavanaugh-Ford hearing: A dramatic lesson on gender roles" — which criticized Kavanaugh for being defiant and seemed to celebrate Ford for being sympathetic during the hearing — was written with a Lean Left media bias. Overall, AP's coverage of the hearing focused more on Kavanaugh's defiance and proclamations that the process had been a "national disgrace," while largely ignoring how Kavanaugh spoke about the impact of the allegations and media coverage on his family.
AllSides found that most of the coverage of Kavanaugh's hearing was Lean Left. However, the rest of AP's coverage appeared to have a Center bias.
About the Associated Press
From AP's About Page:
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers.
AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.
The Associated Press is the essential global news network, delivering accurate, insightful news from every corner of the world, 24 hours a day. Since its founding in 1846, AP has been the first to report many of history’s most important moments, and every day, AP journalists, photographers and videographers file news from the front lines of the world's biggest stories. AP’s reporting, photography, audio and video are published and broadcast by the world’s leading newspapers, TV channels, apps, radio stations, websites and magazines—in fact, over half the world’s population sees AP news content on any given day. As a leader in the field of journalism, AP fights for freedom of the press and the public’s right to know. Its reporters take great risks to file in-depth stories from countries where the press is otherwise restrained, and in the U.S., AP aggressively uses the Freedom of Information Act to advocate for transparency and accountability in government. With more experience reporting and delivering news than any other agency, a well-earned reputation for independence and accuracy, and a fierce commitment to the people’s right to know, AP is the definitive source for trusted news.