The New Republic was founded in 1914 “as an intellectual call to arms for public-minded intellectuals advocating liberal reform in a new industrial age.” Today, it continues to try to carry on that same mission, including to “rethink outworn assumptions and political superstitions as radically changing conditions demand.” As a staunchly progressive publication, the New Republic puts issues like universal health care and climate change front and center (the climate section appears under the banner “Apocalypse Soon”). In light of this strong editorial approach, how biased is the New Republic and how reliable is its news content?

How Factual Is the New Republic? 

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, the New Republic scored an average Factual Grade of 70.3%. This is well above the 61.9% average for all 245 news sources that we analyzed. This places the site in the 86th percentile of our dataset. 

The New Republic has mostly high scores due to high scores for author expertise and cited evidence. For example, the site has many longtime contributors who routinely cover the same topics, indicating that these journalists are likely to have relevant topical knowledge. Likewise, our scores show that articles on the site are typically accompanied by extensive evidence — including direct quotes and links to external sources — which suggests stories are typically well-researched. However, articles tend to score poorly for biased wording, which is discussed further below.

Like any news source, scores for articles from the New Republic varied widely based on factors like author expertise and cited evidence. For example, some scored above 90%, while others scored below 50%.

Want high-quality news on trending topics?
Get the best news in your inbox every morning. Determined by data, not politics.
Thank you!

Please check your email for instructions to ensure that the newsletter arrives in your inbox tomorrow.

Oops! Something went wrong.

How Opinionated Is the New Republic?

The Factual measures how opinionated an article is using a sophisticated natural language processing algorithm. This produces 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.

The New Republic had an average Writing Tone score of 0.41, placing it in the 22nd percentile in our dataset. This suggests that articles from the magazine frequently use highly biased or opinionated language. This means articles from the site rarely try to convey information in a neutral manner and may have strongly biased titles, such as “Democrats, Stop Negotiating With Traitors.”

What Is the New Republic’s Political Bias?

The Factual classifies news sites by political bias as either Left, Moderate Left, Center, Moderate Right, or Right. This classification comes from third-party assessments from media bias organizations such as AllSides and Media Bias/Fact Check. Based on this data, The Factual assigns the New Republic a “Left” bias. 

Media Bias/Fact Check (MBFC) rates the New Republic as “Left,” due to “story selection and editorial positions” that favor the left. Sources in this category tend to “utilize strong loaded words … publish misleading reports, and omit information” that may damage liberal causes. However, they note that the New Republic has a “High” score for factual reporting and has not failed any fact checks. MBFC points to the website’s About page, which states that the publication has “championed progressive ideas and challenged popular opinion,” which makes the left-leaning classification uncontroversial.

AllSides also classifies the New Republic as “Left,” though it has yet to complete an extensive review of the publication. This classification is based on independent research and 2,730 community ratings. This limited study of the site’s bias is likely an indication that its left-leaning classification is easily defensible. 

Who Owns the New Republic?

The New Republic has had many owners over its history but has consistently leaned toward progressive causes and perspectives. Today, the New Republic is owned by Oregon-based publisher and editor Win McCormack. McCormack co-founded the progressive liberal magazine Mother Jones and has worked extensively for Democratic causes in Oregon. Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes owned the magazine from 2012 to 2016, in what the New York Times described as a “vanity project.” His attempts to change the magazine into a vertically integrated digital media company, and temper some partisan stances, instead resulted in the resignation of many longtime staff. The magazine is funded through subscriptions and advertising. 

Want to spend less time searching for the best news stories?
Get the best news in your inbox every morning. Determined by data, not politics.
Thank you!

Please check your email for instructions to ensure that the newsletter arrives in your inbox tomorrow.

Oops! Something went wrong.

Why Does It Matter?

News articles always have some 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, such as cited evidence, author expertise, and 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 Phillip Meylan

Phillip is a writer, researcher, and editor. At The Factual, he leads research efforts that utilize the company's ever growing data on the media ecosystem. He is also a contributor to FP Analytics, Foreign Policy's research and advisory division, and an adjunct fellow with the Center for Strategic and International Studies.