Independent Journal Review
How we determined this rating:
Editorial Review: Jun 2023
- Community Feedback: ratings
Blind Survey: May 2023
- AllSides has medium 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 Independent Journal Review's Bias Rating
Independent Journal Review is featured on the AllSides Media Bias Chart™.
Independent Journal Review is a news media source with an AllSides Media Bias Rating™ of Right.
What a "Right" Rating Means
Sources with an AllSides Media Bias Rating of Right display media bias in ways that strongly align with conservative, traditional, or right-wing thought and/or policy agendas. A Right bias is the most conservative rating on the political spectrum.Learn more about Right ratings
Bias ReviewsWe use multiple methods to analyze sources. Learn how we rate media bias.
- IJR Bias Rating Moved from Lean Right to Right Following May/June 2023 Blind Bias Survey and Editorial Review
- IJR Moved from Center to Lean Right following Dec. 2021 Independent Review
- IJR Moved from Lean Right to Center in Jan. 2021 Independent Review
IJR Bias Rating Moved from Lean Right to Right Following May/June 2023 Blind Bias Survey and Editorial Review
A May 2023 Blind Bias Survey resulted in a rating of Right (+4.29) for IJR on the AllSides Media Bias Meter™. A multipartisan Editorial Review put IJR at +3.92. The average of the two ratings is Right (+4.1).
Survey respondents who rated their own bias as Left, Lean Left, Center or Lean Right rated IJR as Right; respondents on the Right rated its bias as Lean Right. The average rating was Right.
A total of 1,009 people across the political spectrum took the survey, including 102 respondents with a self-reported Left bias; 223 with a Lean Left bias; 309 with a Center bias; 299 with a Lean Right bias, and 76 with a Right bias.
During the June 2023 Editorial Review of IJR, a multipartisan panel unanimously agreed that IJR’s bias is Right. The team noted story choice bias, sensationalism, subjective qualifying adjectives, and commentary that was not clearly labeled on the homepage (though was clearly labeled when viewing the article page).
Story choices were clearly of interest to the right, with stories about seeming Christian persecution or Christian beliefs, LGBTQ content on Sesame Street, migrants being housed in private residences, or content making Democrats look bad, such as highlighting a Democrat getting arrested and President Joe Biden falling. One article about heaven cited the Bible as a source, which the panel noted a Left or Center news outlet would not do.
IJR does not clearly label commentary versus news on its homepage. Many articles appear to be news headlines on the homepage, but are only labeled commentary on the article page.
IJR sourced heavily from Western Journal. Western Journal’s About page is clear about its conservative bias, stating (retrieved June 6, 2023): “Editorially, The Western Journal upholds traditional Christian values as articulated in the Bible… Politically, The Western Journal advocates for broadly conservative positions on most issues, including abortion, national defense, small government, marriage, tax policy and individual freedom.”
IJR Moved from Center to Lean Right following Dec. 2021 Independent Review
AllSides moved IJR from Center to Lean Right in Dec. 2021 following an independent review by a few AllSides editors.
We noted consistent negative framing of Democrats; story choice limited to Capitol Hill angles that usually favor the right; consistent publishing of conservative commentary; no left-wing perspectives included; and the use of sensationalist language ("Rand Paul ripped," "shocking announcement."
IJR Moved from Lean Right to Center Following Jan. 2021 Independent Review
On Jan. 26, 2021, three AllSides team members conducted independent reviews of IJR. We moved IJR from Lean Right to Center following a review of their content. We give this rating with low confidence and plan to do more research.
The team found that IJR frequently publishes wire content from Reuters (a source AllSides rated as Center at the time, though a recent Blind Bias Survey had returned a Lean Left rating). Its writing was very balanced, and did not display common types of media bias such as spin, sensationalism, slant, flawed logic, or bias by omission. Its story choice included pieces that would appeal to both the left and right. It used quotes generously, not taking them out of context nor using only partial snippets.
We found no indication that IJR was attempting to lure a right-wing audience on its About page or masthead, and AllSides found its content not to sway to the left nor right.
While many third parties, such as The Hill, New York Times, and CNN have referred to IJR as conservative, AllSides suspects this is because the site was founded by conservatives. However, AllSides rates content only, and ownership of a company does not impact our ratings (though it may be worthwhile to note).
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 Independent Journal Review. On average, those who disagree with our rating think this source has a Lean Right bias.
Confidence LevelConfidence is determined by how many reviews have been applied and consistency of data.
As of September 2023, AllSides has medium confidence in our Right rating for Independent Journal Review. An Editorial Review or Blind Bias Survey has affirmed this rating, or multiple reviews have returned differing results. If we perform more bias reviews and gather consistent data, this confidence level will increase.
According to Wikipedia, The Independent Journal Review is an American viral news website founded in 2012. It has over 35 million visitors a month, making it one of the top 50 websites in the United States.
According to a 2014 article in the New York Times, IJR was founded by Alex Skatell, a former digital director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, in 2012. He used $40,000 that he had earned and $20,000 borrowed from his parents. He believed that there was a gap in the market for a publication that would appeal to "a more mainstream center-right audience" and began aggregating news stories on a Facebook page called Conservative Daily. He promoted the page and later launched the Independent Journal Review.
Skatell teamed with Phil Musser, a former executive director of the Republican Governors Association. The two “bonded over being generally dispirited about our party’s approach to all things digital,” Musser is quoted as saying.