Newsweek has a Center media bias. Newsweek's bias has shifted significantly in recent years.
Note that a Center bias does not necessarily mean a source is unbiased, neutral, or always reasonable. It simply means the source does not predictably publish opinions and content biased toward either side of the political spectrum. The bias of individual articles may vary.
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2020 Editorial Reviews
The AllSides team conducted two separate Editorial Reviews of Newsweek's online publication on Nov. 20, 2020 and on Dec. 17, 2020. Both times, the editorial team determined that Newsweek had a Center bias — a significant departure from our previous rating of Left. Newsweek did not predictably publish perspectives or articles favoring either end of the political spectrum — conservative or liberal. Its Opinion section was particularly balanced, featuring left- and right-wing views.
Newsweek published some articles we didn't typically see in left-wing media outlets, such as articles about apparent hypocrisy on the part of politicians around Covid-19 restrictions: "Rhode Island Governor Attends Wine and Paint Event After Urging People to Avoid Nonessential Activities", as well as headlines from people who are skeptical of government-mandated covid measures, such as, "Alleged Nurse Says She Doesn't Believe in Masks in MAGA Rally Viral Video." Our team member pointed out that Newsweek did not give credence to or dismiss the video and perspective, but rather, illustrated facts (the video) without taking a stance. Other articles, meanwhile, focused on the views of left-wing politicians, such as, "Sanders Says $900 Billion Stimulus Deal is Too Small, Should Be Doubled," and "Tax Hikes For Wealthy May Be Biden's Answer to Foot COVID Bill: Research". Meanwhile, a piece on the unknown effects of the covid vaccine on pregnancy was something not commonly seen in other outlets, left or right; another article reported on the Navy saying China is the number 1 threat to American maritime dominance; concerns over China's influence is an issue more often highlighted on the right.
We found Newsweek articles were generally balanced in terms of using full quotes, not partial snippets, and interviewing both sides, though this wasn't always the case. An article we reviewed titled “Democrats Win Court Battle Over Texas Drive-Thru Ballots” quoted the judge and Texas Democrat Party, but did not quote Texas Republicans, and did not indicate the journalist reached out for comment.
Newsweek appeared to stay away from common spin words and phrases used widely in media outlets in the aftermath of the 2020 election, such as “voter fraud claims made with no evidence” or “baseless claims.”
The AllSides team was in unanimous agreement that Newsweek's story choices reflected topics that would be of interest or importance to readers on both the left and the right.
Opinion section: We found much balance in Newsweek's Opinion section, which showcased distinct left-wing and right-wing views, often side-by-side. Newsweek stands out in its willingness to provide a balance of views. It's uncommon to see Center sources cover such a breadth of opinion on both sides. Opinion pieces were clearly labeled distinct from news pieces. We were particularly impressed by Newsweek's "The Debate" section, which shows two clearly opposing views on particular issues side by side.
Newsweek opinion pieces usually have a very clear left or right bias, and Newsweek published left and right-wing perspectives relatively equally.
For example, on Nov. 17, these opinion pieces could all be found on Newsweek's site. Both right-wing and progressive opinion pieces appeared (though they did not necessarily appear in this order):
Oregon Tougher on Thanksgiving Families than Antifa Terrorists
Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness Plan is Idiotic and Immoral
Kamala Harris' Senate Seat Should Go to Barbara Lee
COVID Denial Sunk Trump, But Smarter Right-Wing Populists are Thriving
Women of Color Should Be the Ones Remaking U.S. Foreign Policy
Justice Alito is Right: Freedom of Speech and Religion Face Real Threats
May 2020 Independent Review
AllSides previously rated Newsweek as having a Left bias. AllSides shifted Newsweek's bias from Lean Left to Left following a May 2020 independent review by an AllSides editor.
Newsweek's content heavily employed slant, a type of media bias in which the publication's writers tell only the side of the story or choose to highlight only information or story topics that favor one side; in this case, Newsweek's content favored liberal or left-wing perspectives and policies. Newsweek omited right-wing viewpoints, perspectives, and stories that may be deemed important to those on the right.
Funding, Financing, and Ownership
Note: Funding and ownership is not taken into account when determining AllSides Media Bias Ratings. While it's true ownership and financial interests can affect what goes to print, our bias ratings are determined by assessing the bias of content only. We provide financial and ownership information as an FYI to our readers.
The Washington Post Company owned Newsweek from 1961-2010. In 2010 The Washington Post Company offloaded it for $1 to the billionaire investor Sidney Harman, who also assumed $40 million in liabilities. He merged it with The Daily Beast, the IAC web publication. Newsweek was sold to IBT Media for an undisclosed price. IBT Media is a privately held company, owned by Etienne Uzac and Johnathan Davis. IBT media does not receive outside funding.
Updated November 23, 2020
Newsweek is an American weekly news magazine founded in 1933.
From Newsweek's About page (retrieved in Dec. 2020):
"Newsweek provides the latest news, in-depth analysis and ideas about international issues, technology, business, culture and politics. In addition to its online and mobile presence, Newsweek publishes weekly English print editions in the United States, Europe/Middle East/Africa and Asia as well as editions in Japanese, Korean, Polish, Serbian and Spanish.
Since it was spun off from IBT Media in September 2018, Newsweek has been owned by Johnathan Davis and Dev Pragad, with Pragad serving as CEO overseeing all of Newsweek's operations. Davis has no operational role at Newsweek.
According to Wikipedia, "Newsweek was acquired by The Washington Post Company in 1961, under whose ownership it remained until 2010. Between 2008 and 2012, Newsweek experienced financial difficulties, leading to the cessation of print publication and a transition to all-digital format at the end of 2012. The print edition then relaunched in March 2014 under different ownership...In 2013, IBT Media announced it had acquired Newsweek from IAC; the acquisition included the Newsweek brand and its online publication, but did not include The Daily Beast. IBT Media rebranded itself as Newsweek Media Group in 2017 and rebranded back to IBT Media in 2018 after the spin-off. Since then Newsweek has remained an independent publisher."