On December 13th, 2017, we changed the title of this page from "NPR" to "NPR News" to reflect the fact that we split NPR bias bias ratings into two pages: an NPR Opinion/Editorial media bias rating page and this page, NPR News. This change was as a result of the NPR Editorial Review that we conducted on that date.
The AllSides NPR media bias rating has historically been Center, but data collected in surveys leading up to Dec. 2017 showed that NPR may slowly be inching farther Left. Because AllSides users had also expressed this beilef through voting, AllSides decided to take a closer look.
In Dec. 2017, we engaged in two editorial reviews for NPR (learn more about how AllSides rates media bias). The first, a Blind Survey, utilized a group of individuals who have biases across the political spectrum. Participants reviewed headlines and full articles "blindly," with all relevant identifiers from NPR removed, and selected a bias rating accordingly. The result from this study was Lean Left. Two previous blind surveys had resulted in Center ratings for NPR's media bias both times, though slightly leaning towards Lean Left.
We followed up with a traditional editorial review, in which our team looked at a composite of past research, media bias ratings and data, while also looking at NPR's full news coverage of that day. Considering that recent data had shown a slight move towards Lean Left, we examined both hard news and op-eds (opinions pieces and editorials).
We found that NPR News maintains a Center media bias, as it consistently showcases multiple sides of each story and refrains from biased language and images in its news articles. Its editorials, however, were slightly biased towards the Left.
With this in mind, AllSides separated NPR into two source pages: we created a new page for NPR Opinion/Editorial, which is rated as Lean Left media bias. This includes all op-eds, analysis and fact checking NRP articles. This page, NPR News, now represents web pages from NPR that showcase news only. NPR News has a Center media bias.
Past Media Bias Ratings on NPR
A 2005 UCLA study rated NPR’s Morning Edition (not based on the news section of the website) as having a Lean Left media bias, while the AllSides Media Bias Rating™ (based on the news section of the website) for NPR remains Center. A majority of over 5,000 community members agreed with the Center rating, but in a follow-up survey of 118 members who disagreed, NPR received an average bias score of 72.5, well within the range of a Lean Left media bias. An October 2013 Blind Survey rated NPR as center by a narrow margin.
NPR says it is unbiased, and although we don't think there is such a thing as "unbiased," there is such a thing as balanced. NPR aims to be independent by generating revenue from fees it charges its member stations, as well as grants from foundations, contributions and sponsorships. Although it has been accused of ideological biases from both the left and the right, a majority of the U.S. adult population does not believe information on public broadcasting is biased.
More About NPR
NPR is a multimedia news organization and radio program producer that serves as a national syndicator to a network of 950 public radio stations in the United States. Its mission is to work with member stations to create a more informed public, one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas and cultures. NPR's flagships are two drive time news broadcasts, Morning Edition and the afternoon All Things Considered; both are carried by most NPR member stations, and are two of the most popular radio programs in the country.