The Epoch Times Bias and Reliability Overview
The Epoch Times is an international newspaper founded in 2000 by Chinese-Americans who had fled Communism in China. It is published online in 21 languages and in 33 countries. Based in New York City, it is owned by the Epoch Media Group. It publishes in both print and online around the world. Ad Fontes Media rates The Epoch Times as skews right in terms of bias and as mixed reliability in terms of reliability.
A team of analysts at Ad Fontes Media regularly reviews articles and news programs to rate them in terms of bias and reliability. A weighted average of these ratings results in the overall score for the media source.
The bias rating, demonstrated on the Media Bias Chart®️ on the horizontal axis, ranges from most extreme left to neutral to most extreme right. The reliability rating, demonstrated on the chart’s vertical axis, rates sources on a scale from original fact reporting to analysis, opinion, propaganda and inaccurate/fabricated information.
Reliability scores for articles and shows are on a scale of 0-64. Scores above 24 are generally acceptable; scores above 32 are generally good.
Bias scores for articles and shows are on a scale of -42 to + 42, with higher negative scores being more left, higher positive scores being more right, and scores closer to zero being the most neutral and/or balanced.
Individual Article Scores
The following articles were reviewed by Ad Fontes Media analysts on the basis of reliability and bias. Each article was reviewed by at least three analysts: one conservative, one liberal and one moderate.
The team considers a variety of factors when rating a news article. To determine its reliability score, we consider the article’s veracity, expression, and its headline and graphics. We add each of these scores to the chart on a sliding scale, with the average of those creating the article’s overall reliability score.
To determine an article’s bias score, we consider its language, its political position and how it compares to other stories from other sources on the same topic. We add each of these scores to the chart on a sliding scale, with the average of those creating the article’s overall bias score.
A brief note about The Epoch Times itself being in the news lately: In August 2019, Facebook banned The Epoch Times and related Facebook accounts because it had violated its policies on transparency in political ad buys. This ban occurred in part because of investigations conducted by journalists Brandy Zadrozny and Ben Collins of NBC and journalist Judd Legum, publisher of the newsletter Popular Information, into The Epoch Times’ ad buying practices.
The NBC investigation article in particular details other relevant background information about The Epoch Times, including its apparent ownership by the Chinese religious and political activist group Falun Gong. The article links to a couple of Epoch Times articles in particular that covered the the QAnon conspiracy theory and anti-vaccination activists in fairly normalizing tones.
These three factors—the fact Epoch Times was kicked off Facebook, that it has unusual ownership, and that it has published a couple of noteworthy low-reliability articles, are all valid reasons why some observers would expect the Epoch Times to be much lower on the chart than our current rating. However, they are rated as they are because the basis of our ratings is the content analysis of the articles themselves (and note that our present sample did not include the QAnon and anti-vaccination activist articles). If you look at the articles themselves, you will likely find that they are not as bad as ones further down and rightward, and not as good as ones further up and leftward. We believe this content analysis approach is the most consistent way to rate news sources, which is why we do it that way.