About Ad Fontes Media

Ad Fontes Media, Inc. is a company founded in 2018 by Vanessa Otero, creator of the Media Bias Chart. The mission of Ad Fontes Media is “making news consumers smarter and news media better.”

Ad Fontes Media is incorporated as a Public Benefit Corporation (PBC)[1] in Colorado. The stated public benefit of Ad Fontes Media is the same as its mission.

Ad Fontes is Latin for “to the source,” because at the heart of what Ad Fontes Media does is look at the source—analyze the very content itself—to rank it. We are not measuring consumer opinions, clicks and views, or “user engagement.” Plenty of other companies do that in order to sell ads, and we think that is part of the problem we face in the current media landscape.

Ad Fontes Media will never sell ads to make money. Ad Fontes is currently funded solely by its founder, by sales of licenses and prints, and by donations through this site by individuals who believe in its mission. Any future additional sources of funding will be disclosed on this site and in future annual reports.

Funding for Ad Fontes Media is currently used for the development of interactive web tools and the research of additional articles, shows, and sources.

[1] The difference between a PBC and a regular C-corporation is that a PBC’s shareholders are required to consider the stated public benefit of the corporation in addition to the financial interests of the stakeholders when making business decisions. This is a formation option that has recently become available to companies in most states. A PBC can receive grants and donations, but those are not tax-deductible. It can also sell shares like a C-Corporation. This information about PBCs is not tax or legal advice.

About the Founder

My name is Vanessa Otero and I’m a practicing patent attorney in the Denver, Colorado area, and I have a B.A. in English from UCLA and a J.D. from the University of Denver. I’m not a journalist by training, and I don’t claim to be one. So why should you listen to me about the quality of news sources? You shouldn’t. In fact, you shouldn’t listen to anyone who tells you that you should think or believe a certain thing a certain way.

But you’ve come to this site to find out what I have to say about the news anyway. This site started out as just my own personal blog, and evolved into Ad Fontes Media because of popularity of the Media Bias Chart, so I have created all the content on this site. As a result, I feel like it is important to be transparent about who I am and what my political biases are. You can read about those here. You should also know that I have incorporated feedback from others across the political spectrum, and that I plan to increase the objectivity of the source ratings by using other people and technology tools. You can read more about those plans here.

But going back to the question of “why should I trust this?” I’ll lay out a few reasons why you could choose to value my assessments in particular. Consider them and then determine for yourself whether this information is valuable to you.

One reason is that I’ve been thinking about, studying, and writing about media assessment and categorization for the past couple of years. That’s not a long time, but given that the present media landscape is unlike anything that existed before, the very concept and field of systematic “media categorization” in the digital era is nascent, so I submit that there aren’t a lot of experts in it yet (there are some, but not as many as in well-established fields). Journalists themselves are engaged in figuring out how to report better in this new landscape; I’m focused on defining what the landscape IS.  I believe the field of media categorization will need to be developed over the coming years so readers can cope with all the information available now. I hope to contribute to this endeavor significantly.

Another reason you could value my assessments is that my formal educational training is in English and law, which is focused on analytical reading and writing. That is a key kind of training one could reasonably rely on for the work of analyzing a large amount of written material.

Another reason is that in my profession as a patent attorney, I have a lot of practice explaining a technical, involved idea through words and pictures, so that someone who initially doesn’t understand the idea can grasp it quickly. I decided to explain the media landscape in pictures and my original media ranking chart resonated with a lot of people very quickly. Popularity alone doesn’t make something right or good, but I respectfully submit that I am making a good faith effort to substantiate something popular (a picture of the media landscape) with something that is right and good (extensive research, data, and analysis that backs up the rankings). I’m working to convey hard concepts about what is in our news to people of all levels of knowledge about the news, and especially to those with very little knowledge about the news.

I’m aware that there are others who are working on these and related issues, and I am aware that there is much that I do not know. The most extraordinary thing this project has done for me personally is connect me to the people who have done good work in this field, and to others who haven’t, but who have really good ideas. I have been able to improve this chart over a few versions because many thoughtful, intelligent, and kind people have engaged with me in discussions about the nuances of categorizing the news. I seek to improve the quality of this work, so I read each comment and consider them carefully (and respond eventually!) Please bring your well-supported ideas to the table. I’m not stubborn. And bring your suggestions for other ways you would like to see this information presented. I’ll do my best to  make it happen.

I look forward to tackling the hard questions about how we can navigate the media landscape, and come out better for it, with you.


Before I made that media chart, I wrote about other stuff too. Here’s what I originally wrote about the title of this blog.

All generalizations are false, including this one. –Mark Twain*

Really, just MOST generalizations are false. Don’t get me wrong–generalizations are often useful and necessary as a language construct–but ideas that are summed up in absolute terms (especially the ones that include the words “always,” “all,” “never,” and “none”) are usually easily disproved.

Often, much of our civic discourse is reduced into brief generalizations, analogies, platitudes, pithy statements, or–worst of all–memes.** Many ideas are short on words due to the nature of the mediums on which they are written. Social media posts and bumper stickers only hold so many words, after all. Briefly stated ideas are fine sometimes, but the danger of using them as the basis of arguments is that they often fall apart under scrutiny. Even seemingly innocuous statements like “Freedom isn’t free” and “It doesn’t matter what other people think,” though well-intentioned, are just not logically sound. Just because something sounds clever on a bumper sticker or a meme doesn’t mean the underlying idea is true. Brevity may be the soul of wit, but it can also be the soul of bad arguments. Unfortunately, people try to convince each other of the truth of their opinions through generalizations, and they wonder why they seldom work. Here, I’ll do my best to take a deeper look at some briefly-worded arguments and sayings that make me sigh with exasperation, and patiently deconstruct them.

I’ll also post about other topics I get excited about. This can include a lot of things, so there won’t be just one thematic structure to all these posts. I’ll discuss politics, religion, sports, relationships, interpersonal communication, networking and public speaking, and sometimes law, because I am a lawyer and I can’t help it.

Thanks for reading and thinking.

*The internets attribute this quote to Mark Twain, which I found disappointing because I swear I thought of it on my own as well. I quote him here for the purposes of integrity, and I suppose Mark Twain’s thoughts were floating around in the ether when I stumbled upon them.

**Note: The author finds the use of memes completely appropriate for the purposes of non-argumentative humor. Like, any use of cats to make a joke on a meme is perfectly acceptable and hilarious.

105 thoughts on “About

  1. I love your writing and I would like to get updates. Do you offer an email subscription?

    1. Thanks! Working on it!

      1. Hi. I wanted to share and ask for your help on a related chart I am trying to publish. It’s called The periodic table of media , it is simply to organize all the Types of media , news would be one type, movies another type, they get ranked and classified and your chart is very helpful and inspiring.

  2. […] Above is an interesting and potentially useful chart on the reliability of news. You can find the maker’s musings here. […]

  3. Great minds can sometimes think alike. You in relation to Mark Twain. Sometimes the great ideas can be thought of by multiple people at different times independent of each other.

  4. Hey Vanessa!
    If you have a minute, I’d love to talk with you about featuring your news chart and AGAF on a “call to action” website I’m developing. Thanks for what you do!

  5. I also came up with the “All generalizations are false” few years ago, and only now I’m realizing it’s Mark Twain’s. According to the rule of acceptance, since few people in different times and places thought of something, it must be true.

    Thank you for the interesting blog.

  6. While my experience with the news sources you include largely matches yours, I wonder if it would be possible for you to also include some information / credentials about yourself on your blog.

    1. Thanks for the reminder–I know that was missing. I’ve updated my about page.

  7. Hi Vanessa – someone shared your “Chart, Version 3.0” with me, which I think is great. Just wanted to thank you for taking on a thankless task — this sort of reasoned, dispassionate approach is in such short supply these days, and I really appreciate the work you’re doing to try to make sure people have good information. Thanks!

    1. Hi Frank! Thanks for the kind words. I really appreciate it!

  8. Hi Vanessa,
    I would love to use The Chart, Version 3.0, in an article I’ve written. The article is entitled “Five Easy Steps to Speaking Out.” It will be published on my local Democratic party website, as well as some local Indivisible sites and shared via Facebook. Do I have your permission to use the image with a link to your excellent article?

    1. Hi Michelle,

      Yes, you have my permission. Thanks for checking!


  9. Hey Michelle,

    Have you thought about how Plato’s Divided line informs your work? His hierarchy, starting with Eikasia, Pistis (Opinions) and progressing toward Dianoia, and Noesis (Knowledge), contains similarities to your approach. A philosophical approach like this might offer additional insights as you refine your taxonomy of categorizations. I see that your work is already informed by your background in English (textual interaction and characterization), Law (principles of admissibility), and practice (Patent Adjudication). If your approach is informed by some other historical and theoretical approaches, I and I’m sure many of your readers would be interested in those insights.


    1. Hi Max. I haven’t thought about that, but I am looking for additional philosophies and approaches that can inform my work. There is much to draw from. I’ll certainly read up on Plato’s Divided Line, and perhaps we can discuss it more in the future. Cheers!

  10. I think I’ve found somebody who thinks just like me. (Suggests the risk of “confirmation bias”)

  11. The term “hyper-partisan” strikes me as counterproductive and borderline inaccurate for your purposes. On my first exposure to the chart, it undermined your credibility with me, because it’s inherently hyperbolic and sounds pejorative. I wonder if “consistently partisan,” “strictly partisan,” or “predominantly partisan” might better suit your meaning. “Expressly” and “overtly” also come to mind, but those are categorical terms that denote an admitted purpose rather than a degree of partisanship within a spectrum. As an example, I think MotherJones.com is relatively reliable while also being overtly partisan. FOX News is strictly partisan but not expressly so (i.e., “Fair and Balanced” is a false claim). So to me, “hyper-partisan” sounds much more applicable to FOX than to MotherJones. (Disclaimer: my impression of MJ largely derives from reading Kevin Drum, who is expressly partisan but also strives to be fair.)

    1. Fair criticism. Will consider in future revisions.

    2. I agree with Mr. Mallette.
      Consistently very partisan
      Consistently highly partisan
      Predominately partisan is not strong enough in that the sources in the hyper categories may never present an issue from a neutral point of view.

      Thank you Vanessa for the effort and thoughtful analysis.

  12. Great stuff!! Thank you Vanessa, for a ton of useful and lamentably necessary information about the media, news-gathering and reporting, information dissemination, biases, public perception of all this, etc. I studied journalism in the ’80’s, and since then it has changed in many ways, and the public has changed in many ways, mainly due to the way social media have reshaped our realities and our minds, but nevertheless there are aspects of human nature that haven’t changed, which makes this endeavor of yours so valuable! These days, I keep using the quote usually attributed to Santayana: “Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it.” In the context of your blog, “Those who aren’t aware of norms of reality outside of their bubble are condemned to be manipulated, even without their knowledge.” Thanks again! Keep it up! Kudos!

    1. Thanks so much!

  13. Hello,
    We are covering “Fake news” and media literacy a lot in our 8th grade classes at my middle school. Can we present the chart to our students?

    1. Yes you may. Thanks for asking!

  14. Very good work. I guess we all appreciate the paradox that “All generalizations are false” is a kind of generalization.

    Clearly, we could do more to drive our citizens to higher level of critical thinking. Your work goes a long ways towards this goal!

  15. I would like to send you some information on press bias. I don’t use social media. May I please have an e-mail address by which to send it? Thank you.

    1. Sure. Go ahead and send it to mediabiaschart@gmail.com

  16. Hi Vanessa,
    I’m planning to do an activity with University students where they create their own Media Bias Chart, take a picture and possibly share. In preparation for this, I hope to take your blank chart and print it out on cloth, create some magnets of the New Source Logos and then attach them to a magnetic whiteboard. I wondered if you would be willing to share your Logos or point me to a good source. Also do I have approval to print out the blank chart on cloth? Thank for considering!

    1. Hi Sue,

      Yes, you have my permission to do print it out and use it for that exercise. The magnets are a good idea. I’ll e-mail you a hi-res image without a watermark. If you remember, drop me a note to let me know how the activity goes!


  17. […] sources. I found an excellent new blog titled All Generalizations are False, in which the author, Vanessa Otero, systematically breaks down news sources according to their relative biases and level of analytical […]

  18. Hi Vanessa,
    I find much to disagree with in your chart.
    I find that I can tell the most about bias by asking one simple question:
    Who did you vote for in 2008, 2012, and 2016?

  19. Great resource and discussion. I’ve been sharing it with friends and foes 🙂 Discussion gets better when we all know where we’re coming from.

    I’ve only recently been turned on to Axios and have been finding it very useful – so was glad to spot it in the green sweet spot.

    I’ll be curious to see if/when/where teen vogue will fit into the chart.

    Thanks for sharing

    1. Thanks! I’ll have Teen Vogue in future versions.

  20. I didn’t see where you told us of your political and liberality leanings. I haven’t met anyone without personal bias. How does your bias(es) come into play as you evaluate these media?

  21. Vanessa, I found it frustrating navigating this site because I was looking for a chart creator (or team of creators) with first and last names, and a succinct listing of credentials and affiliations. This is a really important chart and deserves more than a light, conversational sort of roll-out. I had to read through three screens about “Vanessa,” and her ideas, presented in a casual, bloggy kind of way, which raises more questions than it answers. Why no actual attribution? Did you create the chart? If so, where do I find info about your full name as well as the auspices under which you created it. You clearly see the importance of title, first and last name, and institutional affiliation when you posted about Law Professor Maxwell Stearns, University of Maryland. Why is it so difficult to find succinct attribution, here?

    1. Well, I certainly don’t mean to be opaque. Read all you want about me and more here: http://www.allgeneralizationsarefalse.com/faq/ and here: http://www.allgeneralizationsarefalse.com/who-am-i-and-what-are-my-political-biases/

      I’m afraid that until I publish a study, my writing will remain casual and bloggy because this is a blog.

  22. Hi Vanessa,
    I co-host a podcast about fake news called “I Can’t Believe it’s Not News” and we encourage regular people who are not journalists, not scientists, not specialists in any way to become educated about fake news so they can help combat it. Your initiative fits in with our mind set that you don’t have to be in a specialized field to use critical thinking – we would love to have you on as a guest and discuss your chart, and what led you to create it. Thanks! Spread jam, not lies.

  23. Vanessa, I just wanted to pass along thanks for the incredible amount of work you’ve put into this. Personally I find it extremely valuable. I came across your chart when a friend shared it on Facebook, and I also reshared it.

    I think it’s certainly fine to accept information from any source you choose, so long as you are aware of potentially inherent bias and account for that in your decision making.

    Of course some people are aware that they’re biased, and they are happy – which is great for them. But I think many people have an innate desire to truly understand both sides of a story, and if they become aware that they may only be getting one it might modify some behavior.


  24. You have to ask yourself two questions on this:

    1) the impartiality of the person who put this chart together (A private indivudual, who although an attorney, doesn’t list any experience with statistical analysis, let alone HER LAST NAME). Even in her about page she admits “I’m aware that there are others who are working on these and related issues, and I am aware that there is much that I do not know.”

    So yeah, there’s a lot we don’t know about her – outside of even a hint of detail on her personal affiliations, in addtion to where “Vanessa” practices or where she lives. In the US, In the UK, in Russia

    2) CNN has been belittled by the curent administration. I reckon their coverage would be a lot less agressive if he didn’t address them as “Fake News” even when he calls on them to ask a question on the few occasions he has given the press direct access to him.

    1. Please see here for responses to your questions: http://www.allgeneralizationsarefalse.com/faq/

      1. I dont understand how you can release a chart which attempts to rate new services bias while at the same time admitting you have personal bias yourself…. and feel good about that. by doing so, you are implicating yourself to the very conventions you rating here. in my view, we have had enough of the junk in the national conversation. bottom line: are you gong to be a part of theproblem, or the solution?

  25. As well, unlike established polling and rating services – there is no mention of the process incorporated to gather these findings, and most important how content is measured for accuracy which determines these findings – outside of opinion.

    Lastly, this chart and it’s findings are remarkably similar to one published on Media Bias Fact Check, which has been questioned on the same type issues i raise here.

    1. Have you read Vanessa’s explanations? It sure seems like you have not bothered to read her explanations that accompany her charts on the blog posts when she presents the charts and some of the posts she has made in between. She has completely explained how she makes her determinations, down to screen shots of the coverage of the same news story from multiple major news sources. I knew the answers to your questions BEFORE I saw your comments/questions because that information is in her blog. I have to ask you, Peter – Are you going to be part of the problem, or part of the solution? Seems no one is willing to read more than a bumper sticker or a meme (or a chart) anymore. THAT is a HUGE problem.

  26. I came here to debunk and then possibly ridicule your work, but find instead that I am a fan.

    When assessing bias of the various media entities do you make a distinction between the ‘news’ side of the operations vs the ‘entertainment’ shows? Example: on FNC Bret Bier vs Hannity? Of the available options I am most drawn to Fox because I feel they do the best job of presenting both sides of issues. The guests they have on to present the Liberal view have solid, strong, well-articulated opinions. I don’t feel that CNN does so.

    Don Putnam

    1. Don, this is one of my favorite comments. Thanks for being open to my analysis. I don’t so much make a distinction between “news” and “entertainment,” but more between fact, analysis, and opinion reporting. You and I would probably agree that Bret Baier is more fact-reporting-focused and Hannity is much more opinion-focused. The prominence and popularity of Hannity and Fox & Friends (also very analysis and opinion-focused) is what weights Fox News so heavily down into the opinion (and lower quality) categories.

      Regarding the balance of bias, I agree that Fox does have liberal guests, but they are outnumbered significantly by conservative ones. You can find conservative guests on MSNBC (and even contributors–Steve Smith, Michael Steele and hosts–Nicole Wallace, Joe Scarborough, Hugh Hewitt), but they are outnumbered by liberal ones. CNN’s balance of guests, contributors, and hosts is a bit more balanced than either, but the liberal ones do outnumber the conservative ones by a bit. I think most liberal viewers of CNN were surprised to see how influential and prominent KellyAnne Conway, Corey Lewandowski, and Jeffery Lord were during and after the election.

      Anyway, thanks for contributing to the conversation.

  27. Very useful and works to codify information biases that people may have already developed on their own. I would love to see this chart or something like it used in high school classes related to government!

    1. Hi Chip–
      You’ll be happy to know that many educators are using this for critical thinking exercises. Anyone who disagrees with the exact placement of the sources need not worry too much that children are being “indoctrinated,” though. Most educators do exercise that have students rank sources based on their own arguments.

  28. I want to patent an idea. 🙂 Write a Facebook app that places every link I look at in your two-dimensional space and keeps a running score (and a history) of my intake. I would love to give that app to some of my friends who send me crap.

    Sources could be plotted on your space as a bubble plot with the size of the bubble indicating the amount of time I spent on that site (or views/pages). Maybe you’ve already done this for all clicks and I haven’t found found it yet.

    BTW: https://www.google.com/patents/US8566252

  29. Vanessa,

    I applaud your genuinely herculean efforts here. I will also admonish that “fact” checking sites may not all be what they appear. Daily we are artfully bombarded with propaganda cloaked in “facts”. The entities engaged in these activities are becoming ever sophisticated in their presentation. You might share the message that people should avoid following your chart, or any other source , as if it were written in stone. We both know how people prefer to follow instead of taking the effort to lead.

    Your methodology works if the meta-data on which you rely is trustworthy. As I mentioned earlier, these sources are also suspect. The foundation of all this becomes one built on sand. You would need to submit all of your sources to the same matrix you created for the news sources in order to validate them. That would require a new mountain of non-parametric statistics to wade through. You could use some help from an honest statistician.

    The other way to sort this mess is to use a proxy that is somewhat easier to quantify: science. Odds are if the news source has a bias in this realm, it will flow to all other areas of their reporting. I personally see the world through the lens of a scientist, but that is also faulty since even science is under siege by those seeking to sway our minds. IF a qualified panel of scientists could convene, perhaps some of the bias could better be identified. You would need a group of scientists who are not funded by the political whims of society. We are seeing way too much bias in academia.

    In the long run it may be much better to teach society and especially youth to be jaded towards most information they see. Teach them to become classically educated such that they can individually identify poor quality information. In short, encourage society to be thought leaders instead of followers of any particular ideology. Yes I realize that is a big task, but the alternatives are shaky.

    My personal view from the framework of science? Move the NYT and Washington Post down and to the left. Their science reporting is weak. I do blame much of this on journalists who are not scientifically competent. Cheers!

    1. Sorry for the delay in responding. I typically have about 50 pending comments at any given time, and I try to respond to each one where a response is appropriate. The longer ones take me longer to get to since I am also writing other things.

      I don’t really disagree with the points you raise. I try to be as clear as possible that my chart is not set in stone, or some kind of absolute truth. By the rest of the comments on here, you should be readily able to tell that nearly everyone questions some aspect of it–even those who are fans. I understand that for these rankings to be reliable, it would require a “mountain” of data; I’m working on compiling such a mountain. I think that would actually be more reliable than using the proxy of science, because I think there are more factors that correlate with a propensity for bias than just acceptance of scientific principles.

      Many teachers at the high school and college level have reached out to me to use this chart in their classes. You should be encouraged to know that pretty much all of them do not teach it as “the truth,” but use the taxonomy as a basis to conduct critical thinking exercises, so that they can identify poor quality information themselves as you suggest.

      Thanks for the comment.

      1. Considering the following data and that many conservatives claim that academics are far left liberals, I am not sure that the opinion of scientists would have much sway in the public discussion.

        From Pew Research
        Some 64% of Americans perceive scientists as neither liberal nor conservative. Another 24% of adults think scientists are politically liberal and 7% say scientists are politically conservative

        Pub -> Public
        Sci -> Scientists

        Pub Sci Party Affiliation
        23 6 Republican
        35 55 Democrat
        34 32 Independent
        4 4 Other/none
        Party w/ leaners
        35 12 Republican/Lean Rep.
        52 81 Democrat/Lean Dem.
        37 9 Conservative
        38 35 Moderate
        20 52 Liberal

        “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” Isaac Asimov

  30. Vanessa,
    Loved this explanation of who you are and why you set up this site!
    Honest assessment, trying to be unbiased. Have to love that.

    1. Thanks so much!

  31. I’d love to have you come guest lecture at DU about your methodology and findings. I look forward to hearing from you!

  32. Timely and useful categorization Vanessa. Hats off to you for taking the time to create a framework… I know this is an evolving frame to categorize news media. As a faculty, I struggle to get my students to think critically, be informed, read, care about what is happening in the world, and evaluate the information they come across…your tool looks like a good starting place. Hope we can educate the younger generation about media bias and create an awareness about the need to analyze what they are fed in the social media as well. Thank you.

    1. Thank you! I’m heartened that educators are tackling this problem head-on, and I’m optimistic that future generations can become better prepared to deal with our new information environment.

  33. Sorry, but while you clearly put some great effort into creating this chart, most of the organizations in the “Green rectangle” are far from biased. The omission of stories or time spent (in TV news) on certain stories vs. others are in themselves examples of bias. I am always leery of “fact checkers” trying to be the arbiters of what is “fact” and what is “not true” – the same applies here. The NY Times itself has apologized for its bias during the 2016 election and it has had many (some very high profile) instances of straight news reporters fabricating or outright lying about stories.

    In blended media, such as CNN or Fox (where there is “straight news” programming and opinion programming) it is sometimes difficult to differentiate the two. CNN has shown an incredible bias on its straight news programming whereas Fox has consistently been more balanced. I am not talking about the opinion programming (Hannity, Tucker, O’Reilly) just the straight news reporting.

    Very dangerous project you are pursuing here.

    1. I did not say they have no bias.

  34. This is a great example of critical thinking.
    In addition to helping us all gauge where sources are coming from,
    I think could be a great way to explain to students how to check sources for bias.

    Merci beaucoup!

    1. Thank you!

  35. Hi Vanessa, a friend posted our chart on FB recently, and I am very impressed. Thanks for doing this! I am writing about critical thinking on my blog. Is it okay if I post your chart and use part of your explanations(giving you credit for it)?

  36. Where would you place RT on your chart? Or did I overlook it?

    1. I’m going to have a whole post about RT. The main reason I don’t have it on there is because it is not a US-based news source. I only have BBC and Daily Mail on there (UK publications) because they have such a large international audience. More to come, but generally, I would not advise relying on RT as an reliable source.

  37. Hi. I love this chart. Thanks you for putting the effort into this.

    Sometimes I have a tough time locating the source I’m trying to vet, but I generally get there. A supplementary list of sites, alphabetical with coordinates of the placement would be of good use.

    Some do *seem* to be missing. So, recognizing that this may include things I just haven’t found yet, I’d love to see you add:

    Pro Publica
    Defense One Today

  38. I’ve enjoyed reading the back story on your development of the Media Bias Chart. The earlier comment by Don P reflected my own motivations for visiting allgenearlizationsarefalse.com. I am heartened and intrigued by your analysis and willingness to engage in civil discussion. Many friends, family and acquaintances have acknowledged a personal animosity towards Trump that precludes them from any discussion that does not begin with the premise that he “stole the election.” My political leanings are Conservative; neither Republicans nor Democrats can truly claim the title. I now subscribe to CRTV, a streaming service created by Mark Levin. I still channel surf to Fox, CNN and MSNBC (bad to worse) for news updates and occasional analysis. No source is complete, and all operate with mixed motivations. I understand that journalism was never as pure as I once believed, but I didn’t think that partisanship would make it this bad.

    1. Thanks, Sharon. I appreciate your willingness to engage in civil discussion as well!

  39. This weighs exactly zero until you guys share your actual names, who funds the “research”, and show all the data you used to collect the information for this “chart”.
    The fact that you have gone to great lengths to hide who you are is in itself a huge red flag.
    If you are legitimate, it’s not coming across very well at all.

    1. Hi there! It’s not my intention to be opaque. I think you’ll find the answers you are looking for at this FAQ section:


  40. This is fabulous work, and I hope you’ll continue to update it. I linked to it for a FB friend who relies on pretty much everything in the bottom right quadrant for his news and unfortunately he dismissed it as “biased.” Not sure how to respond to that. 🙂

    1. Thanks! I’d invite him to fill out a blank version of the chart, available here: http://www.allgeneralizationsarefalse.com/high-resolution-file-formats-for-full-chart-and-blank-versions-of-news-quality-chart/ This invitation is often preferable to arguing.

      Also, see my response to this Frequently Asked Question:

      Don’t your political leanings make this chart inaccurate, wrong, or untrustworthy?
      I don’t necessarily think so, but of course you may disagree. Say, for example, you think that all the sources in the “Neutral” column should be shifted over to “Skews liberal,” or that “the whole chart should be shifted over one column to the left,” which is a common suggestion I hear from people with conservative leanings. If we did that, and then you agreed that the relative placements of the sources were then generally accurate, you could still find this chart useful. Similarly, if you find you disagree slightly with placements of a few sources, but you find the overall taxonomy (system of categorization) helpful, you can still use the chart as a tool to have meaningful discussions with others about quality (on the vertical axis) and bias (on the horizontal axis).
      Then again, if you rely on sources in the bottom left and right corners, and think they should be placed top middle, with all other sources else pushed to one side of the chart and no sources on the other side…well, I might have trouble convincing you of anything.

  41. I very much appreciated this chart and love the idea of a blank one for acquaintances to fill as they see fit if they can’t agree on the current placings. This in itself would be a wonderful learning tool for them, and for those of us that have a difficult time seeing the world through their understanding.
    Thank you for taking the time to do this. You are very wise and generous to fill this gap in our knowledge.

    1. Thanks, Judith!

  42. Where does “Vice News” on HBO fall on the chart? That’s my main source of news.

  43. Sees my comment is still awaiting moderation. …… interesting.

  44. Hi Vanessa – great work and thanks for doing this.

    2 detail comments:
    – It would be useful to have the same info in text/searchable form something as simple as having the publications listed under their color boxes, or color boxes & liberal/none/conservative bias.
    – I didn’t see Business Insider on the chart. If they are missing, could you add them?

    Thanks again,

    1. Thanks for the suggestions. I am working on them!

  45. Hi, Vanessa — I recently pointed someone toward your chart as a way of explaining to him why I wouldn’t accept articles from sites like Breitbart as proof of some point he was trying to make. His reply was “This chart is pure crap made by a liberal graduate of UCLA from San Diego and now lives in Colorado. You’ll have to do better than that.” I asked him “What on earth does his living in Colorado have to do with anything? That’s a non sequitor if I ever heard one.” He replied, “He’s a she by the way and Colorado is full of left wing pot smoking liberals.” I answered, “Intelligent people in other words. :-)” Just thought you might want to know.

    1. Well, you can’t convince them all, and you probably can’t convince this guy, but, if he is interested in what I have to admit about my own bias, this might help:


      and if he really wants to know how much or little I am influenced by left-wing pot-smoking liberals, he might want to read here:


  46. Does https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/ that you’re plagiarizing their data??

    1. I am doing no such thing.

  47. Have you thought of having this “peer reviewed” in some way?

    1. Yes. Working on it.

  48. In GENERAL….
    It does not matter that you are a LAWYER, because IN GENERAL lawyers tend to muddy the waters…

    In re to BIAS in media…
    That is not the real term needed …it it the veracity of the stories that counts… people who tell me that they are REPORTERS OF EVENTS, but indeed they LIE BY OMMISIONS and put a SPIN on it – like CNN – are the worst!
    People like Sean Hannity are outright telling you that they ARE NOT REPORTERS but BIASED opinion-dispensers… and you have to analyze their facts in order to be convinced..
    I have stopped watching CNN some 25 years ago, because of their LIES AND WRONG REPORTING about subjects I KNEW THE ACTUAL FACTS!!

    The way the students who were victims of Florida-Shootings are presented, and use of certain terms, like ASAULT RIFLES, or the term WELL REGULATED MILITIA in 2nd Amendment, are designed BY CERTAIN MEDIA OUTLETS as LIES and not as TRUTH-REPORTING!

    I can compare you to Snopes, which LIES big times when comes to certain issues… I don’t give much credit to your analysis either…

    1. I don’t think I can convince you of much. Your argument is not convincing to me because the content of your comment has some of the same problems certain highly-biased news sources have, such as use of extremist terms, such as “leftist,” and improper and excessive capitalization. I would welcome an argument on specific placement of sources or stories, but I view this comment as unproductive.

  49. Hi, Vanessa — Are you considering any changes to your chart in light of the new revelations that Politico worked with Cambridge Analytica to develop an attack ad against Hillary Clinton, and much of the ad was written by Politico staffers before release.? Here are a couple of links.


    1. Yes. Future versions of this chart are going to take into account particular bad acts or bad errors by otherwise reputable sources, which are reported upon in other reputable sources. Every outlet, even the best ones, have some under their belts.

  50. […] help us, Denver-based attorney and media observer Vanessa Otero has created this fascinating Media Bias Chart, reflecting her evaluation of the political leanings […]

  51. Vanessa, I am disappointed and excited… disappointed I am only now stumbling upon your site, and excited to have found it! I have spent the last hours reading your work and the generally thoughtful commentary – a great resource toward stimulating civil discourse. Much thanks for what must be many hours of effort.

    1. Thanks! I appreciate it!

  52. If only we had a way to graph more than 2 dimensions (partisanship, quality). If that were possible 3rd and 4th dimensions of analysis would provide additional meaning. Timeliness (how current do articles tend to be?) , and Accuracy (how factually based and veriable are statements made?) are possibilities. If analysis can be automated at either the site or article level there may be a basis for presenting additional axes as charts for each site.

    1. Yes, it is a challenge to show additional dimensions. I’m developing an interactive version that will show more, and with the collection of additional data, there may be some ways to present the type of dimensions you discuss.

  53. Hi Vanessa,

    I am an Adult Services Librarian at a public library in Illinois, and we host a class called, “Sourced: How to Spot Fake News.” I would like to include your chart with our curriculum and presentation. It provides an easy visual component that supports and accentuates the rest of our handouts and resources.

    Thank you for putting yourself out there to tackle this subject – I know how sensitive it can be.

    1. Sorry for the delayed response here–I’ll e-mail you!

  54. Hello, I just donated 100$ to support your work and I hope that I can encourage others to do the same. If they cannot, then at least to refer people to this site, both for your chart and for your blog articles and methodology articles. This is important for public discourse.

    1. Hi Eric! Thanks so much for your support. I really appreciate it, and I am working hard to provide more features, sources, and tools. Thanks again!

  55. Good information, thank you for all the time and hard work you are putting into your media analysis.I enjoy reading the differences between opinions and scales of bias versus unbiased information.

    1. Thanks!

  56. Thank you for creating this great resource. I use it often.

    Would you consider adding Stars and Stripes to the chart? I’m really curious where it would fall.

  57. Hi Vanessa,

    I actually like this one https://www.reddit.com/r/coolguides/comments/5q52tt/fight_fake_news_updated_and_larger_guide_to/
    but I show students yours also. I didn’t know about the copyright, so I will purchase it when I return for summer school. I really need it bulletin board size! Seriously, 4′ x 6′ and it is becoming difficult to read the top part. But I love this chart! I can’t tell you how much it helps to visualize media bias and when students select the same topic from two different sources (lean left/right), it really brings the message home.

    Thanks so much for doing this.

  58. It would be interesting to list or link the parent companies of these news sources.
    Jun 2012, “This infographic created by Jason at Frugal Dad shows that almost all media comes from the same six sources.”

  59. so you can admit that your bias may affect the ratings on the horizontal scale but not on the vertical one. you put the only major conservative news channel in the garbage section yet you hold up the stations of Dan rather and Brian Williams as the epitome of journalistic integrity. it really shouldn’t be a surprise that the only people that cite your chart are liberals. I’m not saying fox isn’t deceitful and biased, I’m saying they’re not any worse than the left leaning stations (or centrist as you refer to them). btw Time definitely needs to move further left. all one has to do is look at their covers of trump vs their covers of Obama and it becomes quite clear.

    I do applaud your effort and it was interesting but I just don’t think it has any merit until you get more incite from other people.

  60. Can you do something like this for the Philippines? How much would you charge? We desperately need something like this and maybe can crowdfund what is needed.

  61. This is a fascinating concept! Where can I find the sentence by sentence bias evaluation applied to an article?

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