2020 was a record year, not least because of the enormous influx of Covid-related news. By our calculations, as many as 500 articles were published by major local and national news outlets every day over the course of the year. That left a huge range of choice for readers seeking quality, well-researched journalism.
The Factual’s credibility algorithm analyzes 10,000 articles a day from across the U.S. media ecosystem, assessing the credibility of each article based on linked evidence and sources, writing tone, author expertise, and publisher history. To learn more, watch this video or visit our “How It Works” page.
From this data collection, we accrued a dataset of nearly 180,000 articles published about Covid-19 in 2020. Beyond looking at broader media trends and coverage of the pandemic, it allows us to highlight the very best outlets from the left, right, and center, based on clear, quantifiable metrics.
Here’s our top 10 news sources on the right for Covid-19 coverage.
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Some things to remember:
- These scores are not like percentage grades — they reflect the algorithm’s level of confidence that a piece of content is credible. Anything over 75% is highly likely to be credible.
- Our dataset does not necessarily include all articles published by each outlet during the time period. However, in many cases we are confident our data is at the very least a representative sample.
- The political bias of each publisher is derived from classifications from AllSides and Media Bias Fact Check. Note that the political bias of individual articles may vary from any publisher.
Reason – Median Credibility Grade = 75%
Number of articles analyzed: 636
Reason espouses “free minds and free markets,” seeking perspectives from the middle ground between the left and right of American politics.
Highest scoring article: “COVID-19 and the Tragedy of the Open Access Health Commons”
Author: Ronald Bailey – Credibility Grade: 91% – Date: August 7, 2020
The Tennessean – Median Credibility Grade = 73%
Number of articles analyzed: 82
The Tennesean is the principal newspaper for the Nashville area and part of the USA Today network.
Highest scoring article: “Gov. Bill Lee enacts gathering restrictions, refuses mask mandate as Tennessee COVID-19 outbreak surges”
Author: Natalie Allison – Credibility Grade: 83% – Date: December 20, 2020
Orlando Sentinel – Median Credibility Grade = 72%
Number of articles analyzed: 67
The Orlando Sentinel’s beginning dates back to 1876, primarily serving Orlando and Central Florida.
Highest scoring article: “Many who have died of COVID-19 in Florida’s prisons were eligible for parole”
Author: Grace Toohey – Credibility Grade: 88% – Date: August 7, 2020
South Florida Sun-Sentinel – Median Credibility Grade = 71.5%
Number of articles analyzed: 62
The Sun-Sentinel is another Florida-based local newspaper serving the Fort Lauderdale area since 1910.
Highest scoring article: “Florida puts a positive spin on COVID-19 data, misleading the public on pandemic”
Author: Mario Ariza – Credibility Grade: 81% – Date: October 14, 2020
Quillette – Median Credibility Grade = 71%
Number of articles analyzed: 54
Quillette is a site that believes that “free expression and the free exchange of ideas help human societies flourish and progress.”
Military Times – Median Credibility Grade = 71%
Number of articles analyzed: 68
The Military Times strives to be a trusted and independent source of information for service members and their families.
Highest scoring article: “COVID-19 doesn’t stop Thanksgiving for troops overseas”
Author: Jared Morgan – Credibility Grade: 82% – Date: November 26, 2020
Washington Examiner – Median Credibility Grade = 70%
Number of articles analyzed: 3,175
The Washington Examiner is a major publisher of national news, especially focusing on the latest from the halls of power in Washington, D.C.
Highest scoring article: “Industries lobby to move up on COVID-19 vaccine distribution list”
Author: Cassidy Morrison – Credibility Grade: 91% – Date: December 16, 2020
National Interest – Median Credibility Grade = 70%
Number of articles analyzed: 58
The National Interest bills itself as a conservative international affairs magazine situated just blocks from the White House.
Highest scoring article: “Right Thing Wrong Reason: Profit, Not Altruism, Motivates COVID-19 Vaccine Development”
Author: Joel Lexchin – Credibility Grade: 84% – Date: December 15, 2020
Arizona Republic – Median Credibility Grade = 70%
Number of articles analyzed: 245
As the largest newspaper in one of the worst-impacted states, the Arizona Republic has been a key source of information for those closely following the pandemic in Arizona.
Highest scoring article: “A class of 100? COVID-19 plans overwhelming some teachers with huge virtual classes”
Authors: Lily Altavena, Erin Richards, and Skylar Rispens – Credibility Grade: 89% – Date: September 14, 2020
Dallas Morning News – Median Credibility Grade = 68.5%
Number of articles analyzed: 162
The Dallas Morning News is the primary daily newspaper of the Dallas-Fort Worth area, another population center severely impacted by Covid-19.
Highest scoring article: “This is what recovery looks like: D-FW builders rack up record sales despite high lumber prices and COVID-19”
Author: Mitchell Schnurman – Credibility Grade: 88% – Date: August 26, 2020
To learn more about our Covid-19 dataset, read our main analysis.