Large conservative news outlets like Fox News and Breitbart produce hundreds of articles a day. For example, over 504 days of news coverage, Fox News published at least 64,122 articles, or almost 125 articles per day. Because news consumers are swamped with choices, it can be hard to know what to read. While the guiding principle of “quality over quantity” rings true, it’s harder than ever to live by.
The allure of ad revenue forces news sites to publish with increasing frequency. But what might be best for newsrooms may not be the best for new consumers. As a result, finding articles that are well researched, minimally biased, and credible is no small task. Everyone deserves the tools to do so.
The Factual strives to highlight the very best news sources across the political spectrum. Recently, we built a dataset of over 828,000 articles — the (near) total publishing history of 54 major news sources and online publishers from January 1, 2020 to May 18, 2021. This allows us to identify the most credible, highly researched news sites according to each outlet’s average Factual Grade. This week, we’ve selected the top five conservative news outlets.
Top 5 Conservative News Outlets
Average Factual Grade: 69.6% | Number of Articles Scored: 28,511 | Publisher Bias: Moderate Right
The Washington Examiner is a news site and weekly magazine that covers national politics. The paper positions itself as a conservative competitor to the Washington Post and retains a firm distinction between news and commentary.
Highest Scoring Article: “Lightning rod anti-abortion priest leads Trump effort to win Catholics in 2020”
Author: Nicholas Rowan | Factual Grade: 91%
Average Factual Grade: 69.0% | Number of Articles Scored: 5,901 | Publisher Bias: Moderate Right
Reason magazine is America’s top libertartian magazine, espousing “free markets and free minds.” Though Reason positions itself “outside of the left/right echo chamber,” media bias classifications place it right of center.
Highest Scoring Article: “Quarantine Fatigue and the Social End to the Coronavirus Pandemic”
Author: Ronald Bailey | Factual Grade: 91%
Average Factual Grade: 65.1% | Number of Articles Scored: 689 | Publisher Bias: Moderate Right
Quillette is an online magazine covering general news as well as politics, science, technology, and culture. Founder Claire Lehmann describes it as a free space to critique “left-wing orthodoxy.”
Highest Scoring Article: “COVID-19 Science Update for March 29th: Keep Your Voice Down”
Author: Jonathan Kay | Factual Grade: 89%
Average Factual Grade: 64.3% | Number of Articles Scored: 668 | Publisher Bias: Moderate Right
The Cato Institute is a think tank that espouses “individual liberty, limited government, free markets, and peace.” As part of this mission, Cato offers analysis on issues such as immigration, foreign policy, climate change, and economics.
Average Factual Grade: 62.3% | Number of Articles Scored: 1,743 | Publisher Bias: Moderate Right
RealClearPolitics produces news and aggregates stories from elsewhere to generate “insightful and impartial news.” But the site also provides other useful resources, from polls to critiques of fact-checking sources.
Where Is Fox News?
Scores from news outlets on the right vary widely, from fairly high to fairly low. But prominence in the industry does not seem to be correlated with credibility. The Wall Street Journal scored 61.9%, the American Conservative scored 57.8%, Fox News scored 55.3%, the Federalist scored 55.3%, and Breitbart scored 52.8%.
How Does The Factual Rank the News?
The Factual’s news algorithm measures how credible articles are based on four metrics. To do so, each metric answers simple questions about each article:
The number and diversity of links and meaningful quotes
Does an article provide evidence? Is that evidence from a range of sources? Does it include quotes? In short, this metric shows if an article is supported by facts.
The writing tone
Is an article written to educate or infuriate? Is it opinionated or unbiased? Natural language process tells us if something is neutral or heavily opinionated.
The topical expertise of the author
Has the author written on the topic before? How have their past articles scored? This helps show if a writer is familiar with a topic.
The article history of the publishing site
How have other articles from the same source scored? Are they typically well researched? This shows if the site routinely produces good journalism.
Together, these four metrics combine to give us a Factual Grade for each article. Articles that score 75% or higher are very likely to be credible.
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