Half of nonprofit news start-ups produce biased coverage

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A survey of the emerging field of nonprofit news organizations found that roughly half produced coverage that was ideological in nature. The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism examined 46 news sites covering national or state-level news. Ideological sites “tended to be funded mostly or entirely by one parent organization,” which in some cases may have various contributors, and “they tended to be less transparent about who they are and where their funding comes from,” according to the study’s authors. Nonprofit news groups that collaborate with pubcasting news units, such as ProPublica, California Watch, and Texas Tribune, received high ratings for non-ideological coverage, transparency and productivity. Public broadcasting’s start-up online news sites — the seven regional Local Journalism Centers and NPR Argo Network blogs — were not included in the survey.

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