Media bias on Wikipedia: How they describe different news outlets

Media bias on Wikipedia: How they describe different news outlets

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Wikipedia may be the most popular online encyclopedia in the world, but its crowd-sourced approach can make it unreliable — even the website's founder Jimmy Wales once warned readers not to use it for academic purposes —as any article can be edited by anyone at any time. Despite its pitfalls, many browse its pages when looking for general information on different topics, including news organizations.

How are news outlets described on Wikipedia? Overall, outlets that are considered liberal-leaning aren't explicitly labeled as such in Wikipedia articles, at least not in the first few paragraphs. In most cases, it is mentioned that the outlet in question has been accused of liberal bias. On the other hand, organizations that are thought to have a conservative stance are branded as conservative in the first sentence.

Liberal-leaning outlets:

"BuzzFeed, Inc. is an American Internet media, news, and entertainment company with a focus on digital media ... BuzzFeed was founded in 2006 by Jonah Peretti and John S. Johnson III, to focus on tracking viral content."

There are no mentions of liberal bias in the article.

"Vox is an American news and opinion website owned by Vox Media ... [and] is noted for its concept of explanatory journalism." The article on Vox later notes that the publication "takes a liberal-leaning editorial stance."

"MSNBC is an American pay television network that provides news coverage and political commentary from NBC News on current events." The article notes that the network has been accused of "bias toward left-leaning politics and the Democratic Party," citing pieces from the New York Times and Politico, as well as several commentators.

In "History of MSNBC: 1996-2007": MSNBC (along with Fox News) was described "as an alternative to CNN."

"CNN (Cable News Network) is an American news-based pay television channel owned by AT&T's WarnerMedia. CNN was founded in 1980 by American media proprietor Ted Turner as a 24-hour cable news channel.  Upon its launch, CNN was the first television channel to provide 24-hour news coverage and was the first all-news television channel in the United States."

While the article about CNN doesn't mention any political bias, "CNN International," notes that CNN (in the US) has been accused of liberal bias in the bottom paragraphs.

"HuffPost (formerly The Huffington Post and sometimes abbreviated HuffPo) is an American news and opinion website and blog, with localized and international editions. It is edited from a left-wing political perspective."

Moderate outlets:

"The Associated Press (AP) is a U.S.-based not-for-profit news agency headquartered in New York City. Founded in 1846, it operates as a cooperative, unincorporated association. Its members are U.S. newspapers and broadcasters."

"Reuters is an international news organization owned by Thomson Reuters. Until 2008, the Reuters news agency formed part of an independent company, Reuters Group plc, which was also a provider of financial market data. Since the acquisition of Reuters Group by the Thomson Corporation in 2008, the Reuters news agency has been a part of Thomson Reuters, making up the media division."

"The Daily Mail is a British daily middle-market newspaper published in London in a tabloid format. Founded in 1896, it is the United Kingdom's third-highest-circulation daily newspaper."

The article describes it as politically conservative, noting "The Mail has traditionally been a supporter of the Conservatives and has endorsed this party in all recent general elections."

Conservative-leaning outlets:

"Fox News (officially Fox News Channel and abbreviated FNC) is an American conservative pay television news channel ... The channel was created by Australian-American media mogul Rupert Murdoch to appeal to a conservative audience."

"Fox News has been described as practicing biased reporting in favor of the Republican Party, the George W. Bush and Donald Trump administrations, and conservative causes while slandering the Democratic Party and spreading harmful propaganda intended to negatively affect its members' electoral performances."

"Breitbart News Network (known commonly as Breitbart News, Breitbart or Breitbart.com) is a far-right syndicated American news, opinion and commentary website founded in mid-2007 by conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart, who conceived it as "the Huffington Post of the right." Its journalists are widely considered to be ideologically driven, and some of its content has been called misogynistic, xenophobic, and racist by liberals and many traditional conservatives alike. The site has published a number of lies, conspiracy theories, and intentionally misleading stories."

"The New York Post (sometimes abbreviated as NY Post) is a daily newspaper in New York City. The Post also operates the celebrity gossip site PageSix.com and the entertainment site Decider.com, and co-produces the television show Page Six TV."

"The Post has been criticized since the beginning of Murdoch's ownership for sensationalism, blatant advocacy, and conservative bias."

"PJ Media (originally known as Pajamas Media) is an American conservative opinion and commentary collaborative blog that was founded in 2004...... The network was primarily made up of conservatives and libertarians."

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