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the DONUT Rating System

It seems these days, news sources are dedicated to pushing a certain perspective over others, sometimes making it hard to figure out what’s true and what’s spin. Walter Cronkite once said, “In seeking truth you have to get both sides of a story” and we utilize a rating system to help provide you with just that.

Got it, can you tell me more?

Of course. The system is powered by MediaBias/FactCheck, the most comprehensive media bias resource available. To be clear, these ratings are SUBJECTIVE and should be treated as such, but convey a good idea of the perspective you’re about to read. Essentially, publications tend to be politically biased in some way & the rating system shouldn’t be taken as fact, but rather as a guideline.

Makes sense. If it’s subjective, how is it calculated?

Great question. It takes a variety of things into account like:

  • Does the source use loaded words to convey emotion to sway the reader? Do the headlines match the story?
  • Does the source report factually and back up claims with well sourced evidence? Does the source report news from both sides or do they only publish one side?
  • How strongly does the source endorse a particular political ideology? What does the public think?

The sources are then scored based on answers to those questions – to find out about the full, nitty-gritty, in-depth breakdown of how the scores are calculated, check out this page.

Is MediaBias/FactCheck legit?

We’ll leave that up to you to decide. Researchers at the University of Michigan & MIT have used MediaBias/FactCheck’s ratings to track the prevalence of ‘fake news’ & questionable sources on social media, as well as to initially train an AI to fact check and detect the bias of websites.