Business Insider has taken the business world by storm and has become one of the largest business news sites globally. The publication has expanded its reporting to include technology, finance, media, healthcare, and strategy. Business Insider generates revenue through advertising, subscriptions, and licensing, and as a digital-native platform, it uses engaging multimedia storytelling to convey news to modern audiences. Given the site’s ascendancy, The Factual asks how factual and biased is its news coverage?

How Factual Is Business Insider?

The Factual’s news rating algorithm analyzes more than 10,000 articles a day along four metrics: author expertise, publication history, writing tone, and cited sources and quotes. (See our How It Works page to learn more.) For this study, we analyzed 1,000 articles each from 245 major news sources.

Over a dataset of 1,000 articles, Business Insider scored an average Factual Grade of 71.0%. This is above the average of 61.9% for all 240 news sources that we analyzed. As a result, Business Insider scores in the 90th percentile of our dataset.

Business Insider’s tendency to provide extensive evidence within articles goes a long way in explaining these reliable scores. The site also has a deep bench of experienced journalists who routinely cover the same beats, such as business and technology.

Like any news source, scores for articles from Business Insider varied widely. For example, some scored above 90%, while others scored below 50%

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How Opinionated Is Business Insider?

The Factual measures how opinionated an article is using a sophisticated natural language processing algorithm, producing a score we call the Writing Tone. For this metric, the algorithm looks for signs of subjective commentary (e.g., first person pronouns, unnecessary adverbs), as well as the emotional nature of selected words, and sees how prevalent they are for a given length of text. Text which is less opinionated gets higher ratings, with “0” being the most opinionated and “1” being the most neutral.

Business Insider had an average Writing Tone score of 0.70, placing it in the 73rd percentile in our dataset. This suggests that articles from Business Insider are largely written in a neutral tone and focused on conveying information rather than eliciting an emotional response. The average Writing Tone score for all 240 news sources was 0.56.

How Biased Is Business Insider? 

The Factual classifies news sites by political bias as either Left, Moderate Left, Center, Moderate Right, or Right. This classification is derived from third-party assessments from media bias organizations such as All Sides and Media Bias/Fact Check (MBFC). Based on this data, The Factual assigns Business Insider a Moderate Left classification.

AllSides ranks Business Insider as “Center,” based on independent research and 9,050 community ratings. Likewise, MBFC classifies the site as “Left-Center,” based on story selection and language in politically focused articles. However, MBFC does give the site credit for factual reporting, few failed fact checks, and well-researched and widely sourced articles. 

At times, articles tend to have slightly emotive headlines, including “The housing market just keeps getting worse for buyers. Prices haven't gone up this fast in at least 45 years” and “SpaceX offered $150K for Texas house, owner says it's a lowball offer,” but this is uncommon. 

Elsewhere, some political articles may exhibit left-leaning bias, such as through headlines like “Ocasio-Cortez burns Mike Huckabee after being mocked: 'Leave the false statements to Sarah Huckabee. She's much better at it.'

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Who Owns Business Insider?

Axel Springer, Europe’s biggest publishing house, owns Business Insider. Axel Springer also owns a number of other large publications, including Politico (acquired in August 2021) and major German newspapers such as Die Welt and Bild. There is no evidence that this ownership structure influences the political bias of Business Insider; other publications owned by Axel Springer include both conserative-leaning (Bild) and liberal-leaning sites (Politico).

Why Does It Matter? 

News articles are bound to have bias because all authors have some frame of reference within which they describe a story. Political bias ratings are helpful in understanding this framing. However, it can be more beneficial to know how factual an article is based on quantifiable metrics that can be seen across the media ecosystem, from cited evidence, to author expertise, to the writing tone. This is what The Factual ascertains. 

Reading several, highly rated articles from across the political spectrum helps counter the bias of any news source or story. To have the day’s most factual news stories delivered to your inbox every morning, subscribe to our daily newsletter.

Published by Kathryn Kelly

Kathryn is passionate about effective communication and storytelling. A lifelong learner, she graduated from USC in 2017, having studied creative writing and international relations. She joined the Teach for America Hawaii cohort while simultaneously obtaining her Master of Science in Education degree from Johns Hopkins University. On her free time, she enjoys taking art and yoga classes, eating hot pot, and surfing.