Which media is unbiased and who I follow for information
A combination of forces has turned social media into a tool for information sharing. Some of it is valuable, but most of it is highly suspect. It's not just whether it came from Russia or if its Fox News that is the problem. The problem is Media Bias. Media Bias is throughout our media channels. Bias exists whether its the news, policy information or sports.
I know some of you will not agree with my thoughts or the process I use for evaluating what is credible and what is misleading. That's ok! I'm not looking at having people join my thought process in this. I am doing this to help those who have a hard time navigating the landscape and maybe make their lives easier.
Now, let's dive in. Media bias has been around for centuries. It's the nature of media. It's easy to skew a headline to read one way and just as easy for the same topic to be skewed to read another.
I actually use an interesting resource for how I follow the media as it's updated from month to month. Believe it or not, sources ebb and flow with their bias and reliability standards. I introduce to you the Media Bias Chart, as produced by ad fontes media. If you want to download it, there is a cost, but you can view it on their website for free. They go through an extensive process of determining bias and reliability. I use it as a guide for the media sources with who's reporting I trust and I have narrowed it down to 6 sources: Associated Press, Reuters, CBS News, New York Times, Business Insider and The Wall Street Journal.
So why these six you ask? For me, they represent a wide spectrum of reporting and the information they share is pretty accurate.
Associated Press and Reuters
The Associated Press or AP, has been around for decades and their system of reporting has been unbiased as their business model is to report on the story. The appeal for me of the Associated Press is they are a non-profit organization. This is important as money can and does drive bias. In contrast Reuters is privately owned, but they have standards in place to "only report" the news as it's happening. They have a specific guidebook on the correct language for this process to communicate without showing bias regarding the issue.
We all know the legacy of CBS News. Edward R. Murrow, Walter Kronkite, and Bob Schieffer to name a few of the legends in reporting and anchors who have been at CBS News. They brought us investigative reporting programs like 60 minutes and 48 Hours. I have never found their reporting of any subject to go too far and always to be balanced when possible.
New York Times
The Times is probably my favorite source of major news reporting for two reasons. One, when they do make a mistake, they issue corrections. And here is the big one, two, they do not make mistakes in their actual reporting. The mistakes come with their op-ed pieces.
I use this news resource to look at things from a business perspective when it comes to events worldwide. For example, which economics are tied to what happens as events unfold around the world. Nothing is more evident than what COVID-19 has done to our economy.
Wall Street Journal
The final source of news I consider is the Wall Street Journal. The Journal as it's nicknamed isn't just about what is happening on Wall Street or business. It reports on how business is affected by the news. If you look at the chart of bias, this is more right leaning than that of Business Insider. Why is this important? Because it allows me to make up my own thoughts on a subject versus considering something that is happening in the world around us.
So as you can see, I draw from a variety of sources to give myself the most fair reporting of news. 2 sources (AP, Reuters) are ranked as highly reliable and unbiased, 3 sources are slightly left leaning (CBS News, New York Times, Business Insider) and one that is slightly right leaning (Wall Street Journal). Hence, the wording here, slightly. That slightly comes from their editorials, which are not reporting the news, but giving opinion on a subject.
I hope this chart is useful for all of you out there in determining your media, especially news consumption. There are other charts that will have a slightly different take and a different system of ranking, such as those with Allsides and Media Bias/Fact Check. You have to decide what works for you, but this is what works for me!