How we determined this rating:
Editorial Review: Jul 2021, Mar 2021, Jan 2021
- Community Feedback: ratings
Blind Survey: Nov 2020
- 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
Reuters is featured on the AllSides Media Bias Chart™.
Reuters 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
Individual Analyses of Bias in Reuters Articles
In addition to conducting full-scale reviews of media outlets for overall bias — using methodologies such as Blind Bias Surveys and Editorial Reviews — AllSides sometimes evaluates the bias of an individual news article for bias.
The AllSides editorial team has detected common types of media bias in some individual Reuters articles, including word choice bias, bias by placement, slant, and spin. Read our analysis of each story on the AllSides Perspectives blog:
- Media Bias Alert: Reuters Displays Slant in Akron Plice Killing
- Media Bias Alert: Reuters Fact Checks and Opinion About Transgender Women in Sports
- Media BIas Alert: AP and Reuters' One-Sided Fact Checks on "Mass Formation Psychosis"
Bias ReviewsWe use multiple methods to analyze sources. Learn how we rate media bias.
- Reuters Fact Check Also Shares Center Bias: July 2021 Editorial Review
- March 2021 Editorial Review: AllSides Keeps Reuters Center
- Jan. 2021 Editorial Review: AllSides Keeps Reuters Center
- Reuters Rated Lean Left in Nov. 2020 Blind Bias Survey
Reuters Fact Check Also Shares Center Bias: July 2021 Editorial Review
Reuters’ fact check section has a Center bias, though there may be some evidence of Lean Left bias, according to a July 2021 Small Group Editorial Review by AllSides editors on the left, center, and right.
March 2021 Editorial Review: AllSides Keeps Reuters Rated Center
A March 2021 Editorial Review by the AllSides team affirmed our Center rating for Reuters, an international media outlet. AllSides had vowed to keep an eye on Reuters after a Jan. 2021 Editorial Review, which was triggered by the results of a Nov. 2020 Blind Bias Survey that found people across the political spectrum had on average rated Reuters as Lean Left.
While some on the team noted a very slight Lean Left bias in Reuters during our March review, the team unanimously agreed that Reuters' content was Center.
Some on the team said Reuters has a bit of a Washington, DC/New York City elite bias in its coverage, but that the outlet did not display common types of media bias such as sensationalism, unsubstantiated claims, slant, or omission of source. The team, which includes people from across the political spectrum, found Reuters used full quotes — not misleading, partial snippets — and sourced quotes from both authoritative institutions and from everyday people it interviewed for articles about local stories.
Reuters' story choice did not seem to lean toward the left or right. The team noted that someone who relied only on Reuters for news might miss some important left and right perspectives.
AllSides noted that Reuters did display an anti-Trump bias. One team member with a Lean Right bias pointed to the very different framing within two articles, one from 2021 and one from 2018, which covered the same border issue faced by President Biden and former President Trump differently. The 2021 article on Biden used softer language: "President Joe Biden on Thursday defended his policy of providing shelter to unaccompanied children crossing the U.S. border from Mexico at his first solo news conference since taking office." Meanwhile, the 2018 article from Trump's tenure used more subjective adjectives and sensationalist language: "The Trump administration defended its hardline immigration policy at the U.S.-Mexico border on Monday as furor grew over the separation of immigrant parents and children, including video of youngsters sitting in concrete-floored cages."
Still, the team noted the majority of Reuters articles in March 2021 were balanced, pointing to numerous examples.
Jan. 2021 Editorial Review: AllSides Keeps Reuters Rated Center Following Lean Left Survey Results
The AllSides team conducted an Editorial Review of Reuters on Jan. 12, 2021 after respondents across the political spectrum blindly gave Reuters an average rating of Lean Left in our Nov. 2020 Blind Bias Survey. The Editorial Review led AllSides to keep Reuters' rating as Center. This is because Blind Bias Surveys only show participants a small snapshot of an outlet's content in time; an Editorial Review allows us to look at more elements, as well as content over time.
Few team members saw many of the common types of media bias in Reuters' work, except for an editor who is on the right. The team agreed Reuters demonstrates an elite, not populist, bias. Team members with Center and Left Left biases pointed to numerous articles that they found to be balanced. Some on the team noted a profile of Trump supporters who went to the Jan. 2021 Capitol protest was "balanced and humanizing."
An editor who is on the right, however, saw more media bias in Reuters' work than the other reviewers, sometimes disagreeing as to whether the very same article showed bias. They saw spin, sensationalism, omission, slant, and the inclusion of subjective qualifiers to frame events.
A reviewer with a Lean Left bias said they were pleased to see an article that included more nuanced views on Big Tech censorship than they typically saw in coverage on the left; a reviewer with a Center bias noted Reuters' story choice was "on the very left side of Center, if not Lean Left. There was a lack of stories that satisfy a right-leaning perspective." They also noted, "Headlines are balanced, as is the structure of Reuters' site when compared to other sites — not as many sensationalist stories above the fold, with big font and emotive phrasing. Overall, the content of the stories was balanced. Subjects that were imbalanced in terms of language were about Donald Trump, election results, and the Capitol storming."
A team member who is on the right said that despite ample videos of violence, looting and rioting in U.S. cities in Summer 2020, looking at the Reuters homepages over the summer using internet archive tools, "you wouldn’t know anything like that was happening. They were either sympathetic to protesters or did not cover violence, buildings burning, looting, etc. very prominently at all. In fact, they mostly featured articles on their homepages that could be seen as showing the police negatively, like the ACLU suing Minneapolis police." They said Reuters' coverage of Jan. 2021 Capitol rioters was "much more harsh and less sympathetic" than coverage of summer rioters. A team member on the left disagreed, and said there were numerous articles that covered riots in the summer.
The reviewer on the right also pointed out a headline that they said was "spun to imply it was Trump and his supporters who were dividing the country, not Big Tech censorship and crackdowns on conservatives": Trump says Big Tech is dividing the country, after his supporters attack Congress.
Overall, the team voted to keep Reuters as Center, and will continue to keep an eye on the outlet.
Reuters Rated Lean Left in Nov. 2020 Blind Bias Survey
On average, people across the political spectrum rated Reuters as Lean Left in our Nov. 2020 Blind Bias Survey. This result was significantly different from AllSides' Media Bias Rating™ of Reuters as Center.
A total of 2,285 people from the left, center, and right took this survey, in which they blindly rated Reuters’ content.
The average rating for Reuters from people on the Left was between Lean Left and Center; the average rating from all other groups — people who self-identified as Lean Left, Center, Lean Right or Right — was a firm Lean Left.
A plurality of people on the Left rated Reuters Center; a plurality in all other groups rated the outlet Lean Left. The second most common response from people on the Left for Reuters was Lean Left; the second most common response from people who Lean Left or are in the Center was Center; the second most common response from people on the right was Left.
The results triggered an Editorial Reviewby the AllSides team, in which AllSides opted to keep Reuters’ rating as Center, but to keep a close eye on the outlet.
Community FeedbackFeedback does not determine ratings, but may trigger deeper review.
As of April 2023, people have voted on the AllSides Media Bias Rating for Reuters. On average, those who disagree with our rating think this source has a Lean Left bias.
As of Jan. 22, 2021, 15,459 people agreed with our rating of Center for Reuters, and 8,258 people disagreed. Of those who disagreed, 3,659 provided an alternative rating for Reuters. The average of their ratings came out to Lean Right.
Confidence LevelConfidence is determined by how many reviews have been applied and consistency of data.
As of April 2023, AllSides has medium confidence in our Center rating for Reuters. Two bias reviews have 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.
Reuters is a wire service that delivers "more than 2.2 million stories each year," and "more than 200 videos" per day according to Reuters. It allows third parties to automatically integrate its content into their websites and workflows. Many other media companies typically feature Reuters wire content on their websites.
According to Reuters, its "Trust Principles" "were created in 1941, in the midst of World War II ... [and] imposed obligations on Reuters and its employees to act at all times with integrity, independence, and freedom from bias."
"This means that we have a special need to safeguard our independence and integrity and avoid any bias which may stem from control by specific individuals or interests," Reuters writes.
Thomson Reuters is a Canada-based multinational media conglomerate. According to Thomson Reuters' About page [Retrieved Jan. 22, 2021]:
Thomson Reuters is one of the world’s most trusted providers of answers, helping professionals make confident decisions and run better businesses. Our customers operate in complex arenas that move society forward — law, tax, compliance, government, and media – and face increasing complexity as regulation and technology disrupts every industry.
We help them reinvent the way they work. Our team of experts brings together information, innovation and authoritative insight to unravel complex situations, and our worldwide network of journalists and editors keep customers up to speed on global developments that are relevant to them.
We’re on a mission to help professionals advance their businesses and gain competitive advantage with the trusted answers only we can provide.
We are the Answer Company. We are Thomson Reuters.
Thomson Reuters competes with Bloomberg L.P., in aggregating financial and legal news, according to Wikipedia.
Reuters journalists are subject to the Reuters Handbook of Journalism
Third-Party Claims of Bias
Some, mostly on the right, have accused Reuters of left-wing bias.
Media Reserch Center accused Reuters of "touting a pro-abortion study in one-sided article." It said, "Reuters failed to include vital information about the study and the people it quoted - namely, that the authors of the study and both of the experts it cited were either abortion doctors or had strong ties to the abortion industry."
Conservapedia has accused Reuters of a left-wing bias in its coverage of political activist groups, such as antifa:
A Reuters article headline stated, "Oregon right-wingers clash with anti-fascists at march in Portland," misrepresenting the two political activist groups - Portland's "anti-fascists" are widely known among conservatives to be radical leftists and supporters of violence. Reuters' neglect of neutral reporting, which ought to respect both political perspectives, in its own headline demonstrates its high level of bias.
Other writers have accused Reuters of justifying Big Tech censorship, saying it used "classic propaganda and framing techniques to create fear and the suggestion of implicit truth." Others, like Western Journal, accused it of "accidentally voicing support for foreign interference in elections."
In 2003, Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto, Accuracy in Media, and Newsmax accused Reuters of a "left-wing, anti-American bias," citing story examples.
Others have accused Reuters of media bias by photo.
Reuters Ownership and FundingFunding and ownership do not influence bias ratings. We rate the bias of content only.
Owner: Thomson Reuters
Reuters is owned by the Reuters Group. In April 2008, the Reuters Group was acquired by Thomson Corporation and formed Thomson Reuters. The Woodbridge Company Limited owns 62.35% of shares in Thomson Reuters and is the controlling shareholder. The Chairman of Thomson Reuters and The Woodbridge Company Limited is David Thomson.
Financing and ownership information last updated February 22, 2021. If you think this information is out of date or needs to be updated, please contact us.