How we determined this rating:
Editorial Review: Jul 2022
- Community Feedback: ratings
- AllSides has low or initial confidence in this bias rating.
Unless otherwise noted, this bias rating refers only to online news coverage, not TV, print, or radio content.Learn about our bias rating methods
About CNBC's Bias Rating
CNBC is a news media source with an AllSides Media Bias Rating™ of Center.
What a "Center" Rating Means
Sources with an AllSides Media Bias Rating of Center either do not show much predictable media bias, display a balance of articles with left and right biases, or equally balance left and right perspectives.
Center doesn't mean better! A Center media bias rating does not necessarily mean a source is totally unbiased, neutral, perfectly reasonable, or credible, just as Left and Right don't necessarily mean extreme, wrong, unreasonable, or not credible. AllSides encourages people to read outlets across the political spectrum.Learn more about Center ratings
Bias ReviewsWe use multiple methods to analyze sources. Learn how we rate media bias.
CNBC Rated Center Following Mar. 2023 Small Group Editorial Review and Feb. 2023 Blind Bias Survey
CNBC’s bias was rated Lean Left by Americans across the political spectrum in the Feb. 2023 Blind Bias Survey. This differed from AllSides' existing rating of Center. After conducting a Small Group Editorial Review in March of 2023, during which three left, center, and right reviewers rated CNBC as Center on average, AllSides opted to keep CNBC's rating as Center, and its AllSides Media Bias Meter™ rating was adjusted to incorporate the results of the Blind Bias Survey.
Respondents who rated their own bias as Left rated CNBC as Center on average; all other bias groups — Lean Left, Center, Lean Right, and Right — rated it Lean Left on average.
The AllSides Small Group Editorial Review returned a bias rating of Center for CNBC. Though the panel gave a rating of Center overall, a reviewer on the right noted a slight Lean Left bias on social and cultural issues. A reviewer from the center noted, “on social issues, they lean left, but the core focus of the publication is staunchly center.”
Articles that were perceived to be Center typically balanced left- and right-leaning ideas, included quotes from liberals and conservatives, and/or reported only facts and statistics. Examples of Center reporting were:
- Fed Chair Powell says interest rates are ‘likely to be higher’ than previously anticipated
- Rivian shares fall as EV maker looks to raise $1.3 billion amid growing demand concerns
- Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz agrees to testify at Senate hearing after subpoena threat
- New bill will give the Commerce secretary the power to ban TikTok, Sen. Warner says
Though there were some articles that employed right-leaning bias indicators, such as this article on Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, panelists noted more frequent instances of Lean Left bias in CNBC coverage. The most frequent bias indicator was the omission of conservative viewpoint in which coverage only included left-leaning ideas, opinions, and direct quotes. An article on an abortion bill in Florida only quoted opposition to the proposed abortion ban and did not include those in support of the bill. Another article on IRS funding notes the Republican vote to strip IRS funding but does not explain why conservatives oppose said funding.
Panelists noted instances of left-leaning sensational language and slant in headlines such as Key Georgia election official rips Marjorie Taylor Greene ‘conspiracies’ after tense meeting and Lawmakers, Capitol Police chief blast Fox News’ Tucker Carlson over Jan. 6 footage. The latter included several instances of word choice bias against conservatives, calling the events on Jan. 6 an “insurrection,” a term typically used by the left and rejected by the right — read about why the left and right disagree whether Jan. 6 was an insurrection here. The article accused Carlson of building a “false narrative,” though includes very few quotes from Carlson himself. Other coverage included similar left-leaning bias indicators, often using terms like “siege” and “attack” to describe the events on Jan. 6.
CNBC Rated Center in July 2022 Small Group Editorial Review
In a July 2022 Small Group Editorial Review, AllSides rated CNBC Center overall, though reviewers noted some Lean Left bias indicators. While the panel gave an overall Center rating, a reviewer on the right argued there was a Lean Left bias overall; a Center panelist saw a Center bias, and a reviewer on the left said CNBC was “Center, but verging on Lean Left.” While some articles and story choices showed Lean Left bias, there were enough articles in the Center to convince the team to give a Center rating.
Much coverage did not show signs of bias, such as articles on Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, the Supreme Court EPA ruling, and a vaccine mandate court challenge. These articles just gave the facts without employing spin, slant, or other types of media bias. An article on inflation criticized the Fed’s handling of the issue and was seen as Center, rather than a left or right perspective.
Some reviewers noted that coverage of social issues tended to lean left, such as around LGBTQ issues and abortion. For instance, CNBC published a story highlighting voices who say the overturning of Roe v. Wade will hurt “the ‘most marginalized’ women,” a lean left angle. It also published an article that focused on women’s reactions to the ruling — but it only included pro-choice voices against the ruling, and no pro-life voices in favor, amounting to bias by omission. Another article covered access to telehealth for “gender-affirming care” — the panel noted that positive, rather than critical coverage on this topic is more popular among the left. A piece on “climate change anxiety” was seen as a Lean Left choice, as well as a piece on “what it’s like working for an abortion provider right now.” The team also noted some anti-Trump story angles.
Community FeedbackFeedback does not determine ratings, but may trigger deeper review.
As of September 2023, people have voted on the AllSides Media Bias Rating for CNBC. On average, those who disagree with our rating think this source has a Lean Left bias.
Confidence LevelConfidence is determined by how many reviews have been applied and consistency of data.
As of September 2023, AllSides has low or initial confidence in our Center rating for CNBC. If we perform more bias reviews and gather consistent data, this confidence level will increase.
CNBC Ownership and FundingFunding and ownership do not influence bias ratings. We rate the bias of content only.