A media bias chart update puts The New York Times in a peculiar position
I’ve always questioned those graphs ranking news outlets based on bias and reliability.
And the release of Ad Fontes Media’s latest media bias chart illustrates my skepticism. Most notably, the graph has The New York Times positioned to the left of “TrueAnon,” a Marxist podcast.
Sure, the chart ranks “TrueAnon” as having much lower credibility — the podcast grew out of an exploration of conspiracy theories about Jeffery Epstein’s death — but the bias rating displays the weakness in Ad Fontes’ methodology. “The Joe Rogan Experience” is considered more centrist than The Wall Street Journal, and “Under the Skin With Russell Brand” is closer to “unbiased” than The Washington Post.
To evaluate most sources, three analysts — one right-leaning, one centrist and one left-leaning — rate articles, episodes or podcasts from each source. For bigger outlets, like The New York Times, they might sift through more than 400, but evaluators typically look at 15 stories. Then the ratings are averaged for the final chart ranking.
In previous Poynter coverage, Ad Fontes founder Vanessa Otero said that media bias charts are a “tool to help people have a shortcut.” But bias and reliability are incredibly nuanced and complex.
As the director of Poynter’s media literacy arm, MediaWise, I am always looking for easy tools to help people separate fact from fiction — and sort out bias — on their own. But I’d hesitate to recommend any media bias chart at this point.
By Alex Mahadevan, director of MediaWise at Poynter
ESPN finally announced a date for the debut of “The Pat McAfee Show.” It will be Sept. 7 — the same day the NFL regular season kicks off. It will air on ESPN, as well as ESPN+ and ESPN’s YouTube channel, weekdays from noon to 2 p.m. Eastern. The third hour of the show will air on ESPN+ and ESPN’s YouTube channel.
The former NFL punter and now immensely popular podcaster signed a five-year deal with ESPN earlier this year for a reported $85 million.
Burke Magnus, president of content at ESPN, said in a statement, “We can’t wait for Pat and his team to bring a fresh new energy to ESPN’s weekday lineup, led by some of the most prominent, creative and authentic voices in sports. ‘The Pat McAfee Show’ will redefine what success looks like across multiple ESPN platforms and will bring a new, contemporary audience to our afternoon time block. It’s a perfect fit.”
McAfee also will continue his role as an analyst on Saturday’s college football pregame show “College GameDay.” ESPN announced that some Friday editions of McAfee’s show will air from the location where “College GameDay” is that weekend.
Speaking of Magnus, he was this week’s guest on the “Sports Media” podcast hosted by The Athletic’s Richard Deitsch. Magnus talked about a wide range of topics, including the controversial decision to lay off popular NBA analysts Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson.
By Tom Jones, senior media writer
Chloe Melas to begin new gig at NBC
Chloe Melas is headed to NBC as a new entertainment correspondent after leaving CNN. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the veteran entertainment journalist will begin her new gig next week, covering “the intersection of entertainment, business and culture.” The outlet cites a Thursday memo from Catherine Kim, senior vice president of NBC News editorial.
Melas shared that she was leaving CNN in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. “I landed my first job at CNN as a News Assistant right out of college in 2008 and I loved it so much that I returned 7 years later,” Melas wrote. “Last week, this latest professional chapter came to a close. It has truly been a masterclass in journalism @CNN.”
By Amaris Castillo, Poynter contributor
Media tidbits and links for your weekend review
- Fox News lost millions of viewers when it fired star host Tucker Carlson in April. Now that the network has a new prime-time lineup in place, has it gained them back? Some, but not all, Jeremy Barr writes for The Washington Post.
- Poynter’s Amaris Castillo writes “How journalists in Hawaii are covering (and coping with) the Maui wildfires.”
- Poynter’s Annie Aguiar writes “More than 20 resources for navigating change in your media career,” with tools to survive layoffs, effectively network, hunt for a job and more
- Joseph Dash, a pressman for The Buffalo News, was shot and killed while riding his bicycle on Monday afternoon. Police are asking residents to share any information they might have.
- Through visceral visual storytelling, The Washington Post’s Reis Thebault, Zoeann Murphy, Whitney Shefte and Mengshin Lin take readers “Inside one man’s harrowing fight out of the Maui fires.”
- The New York Times’ Robert Draper with “For an Atlanta Reporter, a Trump Scoop Long in the Making.”
- In an expansive series of articles, The Washington Post’s Nicole Dungca, Claire Healy and Andrew Ba Tran investigate “What we know about the Smithsonian’s human remains.”
- For The New York Times Magazine, Dashka Slater with “The Instagram Account That Shattered a California High School.”
More resources for journalists
Have feedback or a tip? Email Poynter senior media writer Tom Jones at [email protected].