TV network news programming such as "CBS Evening News" and E.W. Scripps Co.'s Newsy network have been deemed the lowest risk for viewers and advertisers, while Fox News Channel's "Tucker Carlson Tonight" was rated as having the highest possible risk, according to just released data from news veracity ratings service NewsGuard.
The data, which is the first program-specific TV news ratings released from a new service originally backed by IPG Mediabrands' Magna unit, was disclosed this morning as part of a NewsGuard press release pitching the service to other agencies and advertisers now that IPG's exclusive window has expired.
The initial version of the service commissioned by IPG rated more than 100 programs and 27 networks, Magna Executive Vice President-Managing Director of Strategic Investment & Accountability Allie Kallish told MediaPost in September following its use of the data as part of its 2022-23 network news-network upfront advertising buys.
At that time, Kallish described Magna's initial use of the data as a "learning process" and that it was up to individual clients how they applied it, but that overall the ratings were characterize as a "mixed bag" with a few surprises among the networks and their news programs.
At that time, Magna disclosed one other news program rating -- NBC's "Meet The Press," which also had a 10 out of 10 perfect rating -- as an example.
"We were delighted when IPG Mediabrands took the lead in asking us to begin filling that need, and we’re now delighted to be able to provide this service broadly by licensing the ratings and associated data industry wide," NewsGuard Co-CEO Gordon Crovitz stated, adding that the company already has plans to expand to other electronic media, including "CTV offerings" and podcasts in 2023.
As part of this morning's release, NewsGuard also distributed examples of the "nutrition labels" that are the basis for its risk ratings, including the one for MSNBC's "Morning Joe," which scored only a 4 out of 10 rating.
While the intentions seem good this kind of thing is certain to be challenged by supporters of the left and right, as well as others in the middle, regarding how the determinations are made and whether those who are actually watching these shows are as concerned about their "misinformation" rates as is believed. These days those of us who feel strongly about politics as well as related issues---abortion, immigration, etc. ----probably have no beef with our selections among news sources as we gravitate to those sources that support---or even help shape---- our core beliefs---while shunning those which lean in the opposite direction. If that is correct, what's the problem that is being solved? Or is the intention to "punish" those sources "we" don't agree with by scaring advertisers away? I doubt that this is going to significantly supplant atandard "audience" counting surveys when it comes to advertiser time buying decisions for entire networks or cable chnnels---except for a few specific shows like Tucker Carlson's prime time program on Fox. But maybe I'm wrong---we shall see.
Skepticism is indeed warranted about NewsGuard. Those considering using its services should employ due diligence and research what exactly it is doing. If someone agrees with the direction NewsGuard takes, that’s their choice. But one should know about that before signing up.
* AllSides.com studies bias in news media from all sides, appropriate for its name, and covers issues but more intriguingly bias in news sources, noting many that consistently skew right or left. They found “NewsGuard Ratings System Heavily Skews in Favor of Left-Wing Outlets”,
* The American Institute for Economic Research asks "Who Fact Checks the Fact Checkers?” with a tight focus on NewsGuard.
* Sharyl Attkisson, former CBS investigating reporter and anchor, has a fascinating piece in Real Clear Investigations focusing on NewsGuard, “The Troubling Fact Is That the Media's Fact-Checkers Tend to Lean Left”.
* “Influence Watch”, a project from Capital Research Center., has a summary on NewsGuard rich with background info and is worthy of your consideration:
From a more conservative-specific viewpoint, here are more comments:
* Federalist summary of a study from New York University: “Study On Misinformation Group Finds News Rating Agency Useless”, writing, “Researchers from New York University could find no benefits that NewsGuard, a popular pro-censorship browser extension, offered to consumers’ ability to identify misinformation while successfully directing readers to other sites deemed credible by the agency’s censors.”
Original NYU study:
* “Governors Warned About Biased NewsGuard’s Pact with Teachers Union”
* A particularly meaty commentary about NewsGuard is an open letter to governors from the conservative Media Research Center, reported here: “MRC, Allies Warn Governors About Biased NewsGuard’s Pact with Teachers Union”
All "fact checkers" can be checked, in turn. But this is an embarrassment for the Morning Joe part of the MSNBC cavalcade.
As usual, the reporting and the methodology conflates "news" with "opinion."
CBS Evening News is a completely different format than Meet the Press and certainly totally different than Morning Joe and Tucker Carlson. Why MP and other outlets continue to position news programming and pundetry in the same bucket is head scratching.
Also noteworthy that MP, Newsguard, and other "fact checkers" conveniently ignore how many networks got the laptop story, Russian collusion, and Rittenhouse story wrong...the "fact checking" seems to lean in only one political direction which contributes to Americans' distrust of the media.
@Dan Ciccone: Your inference, nothing like that implied. (Did you actually read through the nutrition labels? They're pretty detailed and self-explanatory.)
Also, why do you see everything as being a partisan agenda? Why can't it just be about veracity and truth?
And fact-check: MP is not a "fact checker," though we check our own before reporting them.
@Joe - what am I missing here? It's called a "TV News Risk Rating." As I stated, there is a big difference between a news broadcast and a pundit's broadcast on a news network. I don't see Tucker Carlson's spin on events any different than Scarborough's spin on events - they are opinion programs - not news reporting. So putting CBS Evening News against Tucker Carlson, Hannity, Scarborough, or Don Lemon's nightly rants doesn't make any sense when you speak of "risk." All of those individuals, and plenty others, are highly flawed and divisive and should not be considered as news anchors - they are partisan pundits and any "risk" should be relatively equal as they all have presented plenty of misninformation and flat out hateful speech.
You've been very vocal about your support for Newsguard, but I'm not the only one who finds the methodology and approach odd and I don't think it's appropriate to silence your subscribers who have an opposing viewpoint or ask questions...after all, if we are all just seeking the truth, what's the harm in the debate?
@Dan Ciccone: Silencing our subscribers? That's hilarious coming from this source:
With very few exceptions, we let all our readers' comments stand. That doesn't mean I have to agree with them.
Disagreeing with you does not equal silencing.