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How Reliable is The Boston Globe?

By · Mar 5, 2024 · 9 min read

How Reliable is The Boston Globe?

Throughout its history, The Boston Globe has been ranked one of the top newspapers in the United States. It has been awarded 27 Pulitzer Prizes since it first received the honor in 1966. This prize, bestowed by Columbia University, highlights outstanding public service and denotes the highest national honor in journalism. With that, it would be logical to conclude that The Boston Globe is a reliable source. Several articles will be analyzed to determine the degree of this reliability.

Does Reliability Matter?

Reliability, in general, refers to how trustworthy or accurate information, or in this case, a news source is. If we consider this definition, it quickly becomes clear why reliability is important in media sources. If we can’t trust the things we read then there isn’t much of a point in continuing to consume content from that source, after all. So how exactly can we gauge the reliability of a news source anyways?

There are several potential measures of reliability to look out for when trying to determine whether a media source is reliable or not. Red flags for an unreliable article can include the presence of wild unsubstantiated claims, facts dependent on other unreliable sources, heavy use of opinionated language, and more. Some indicators of a reliable news source, on the other hand, include things like:

  • Absence of subjective/opinionated language in articles
  • Credible sources cited (e.g., neutral sources, .gov, .edu websites)
  • Facts and statistics backed by multiple relevant outside sources
  • Use of primary sources when possible (e.g., interviews, quotes)
  • Information that remains consistent across news sources

How Does The Boston Globe Fair in its Reliability?

The political reliability index developed by Biasly objectively assesses news organizations’ accuracy and trustworthiness. The Boston Globe’s overall Reliability Score has been rated as ‘Good‘ by Biasly. This rating is a weighted average of two distinct scores: the Fact Analysis Score and the Source Analysis Score, each evaluating separate components of the Boston Globe’s Reliability. When computing the Average Reliability of the article the Fact Analysis score is more heavily weighted. These ratings are as follows in the next two paragraphs:

The Boston Globe’s Fact Analysis Score is ‘Good,’ which suggests readers can trust most of its content online. The Fact Analysis score focuses more on the accuracy of claims, facts, and sources presented in the article and any hints of selection and omission bias, which we will discuss further in the article.

The Boston Globe’s Source Analysis Score is ‘Fair,’ which suggests readers can trust some of the sources, links, and quotes provided by the news source. This score, which is based on A.I., focuses on assessing the quality of sources and quotes used including their number, lengths, uniqueness, and diversity.

Despite these categorizations, it is important to remember that trustworthiness will vary between individual pieces, especially based on the context and author. We will analyze several articles from the Boston Globe to further explain these rankings.

Accuracy and Reliability in The Boston Globe

Reliability depends largely on the amount of political bias suggested by an organization. The Boston Globe is a fairly left-leaning news source. To determine whether this is the case, we will look at examples of selection and omission bias in articles on The Boston Globe’s website. This will allow us to properly analyze the assertions that have been made about this outlet.

Selection bias is when stories and facts are selected or deselected, often on ideological grounds, to create a narrative in support of the news sources’ ideology. Omission bias, on the other hand, is when different opinions and political views regarding a situation are left out so that the reader is only exposed to the ideological perspective supported by the author. It’s important to keep in mind these two types of biases when trying to assess an article’s level of accuracy.

Biasly has assigned scores to the level of accuracy found within The Boston Globe, which are created by observing the number of evidence-based claims, reliable internal sources, and trustworthy external sources. Again, the overall score according to our analysts is classified as “Good,” with the full breakdown available on Biasly’s website. It has also been established that the Boston Globe is apt to include left-leaning bias in its articles. That being said, other news sources prioritize the conservative agenda. The New York Post is one such source and is rated by Biasly as “Somewhat Conservative,” with an “Excellent” reliability score. The website has articles that have higher and lower scores, such as “Gen Z voters may sit out the 2024 presidential election — and that’s dangerous,” which has a “Good” reliability score. The article “Biden doesn’t need a bill to fix border, he just refuses to enforce the law,” on the other hand, received a “Fair” reliability score. The report is labeled “Poor” in regard to quote length, opposite sources, and unique sources. These two pieces are considered “Moderately Conservative,” underlining that news from the same source with the same level of bias can have different levels of credibility.

One article that demonstrates selection and omission bias is “Inside Biden’s anti-Trump battle plan (and where Taylor Swift fits in)” by Reird J. Epstein, Lisa Lerer, Katie Glueck, and Katie Rogers. This article is rated as “Center,” but shows clear left-leaning bias in the information it chooses to share and the perspectives it leaves out. The authors explain Biden’s newly adjusted campaign plan, his strategies to combat Donald Trump, and the role influencers and celebrities play in affecting voters. When referencing Biden’s strategy in opposing Trump, the authors include:

“Biden’s aides argue that voters remember the events of Jan. 6, 2021, all too well, making the day a touchstone akin to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. They think an anti-Trump message about democracy can persuade Democratic voters to line up behind Biden and win over independents who backed Trump in 2020 but disapprove of his behavior since.”

The comparison of the January 6 events to September 11 likely creates a strong emotional reaction in many readers. This inspires, as suggested in the title of the article, a bias against presidential candidate Donald Trump. While information such as this aims to provide an insight into Biden’s agenda, there is a clear omission of conservative viewpoints and defenses. Selection bias is also present based on the quotes chosen for this article. One quote from Minnesota Governor Tim Walz (Democrat) is:

“Once again,” said Gov. Tim Walz of Minnesota, chair of the Democratic Governors Association, there is a “binary choice: democracy, freedom versus extremism and chaos.”

It is understandable that Biden would be favored in this article given the title. However, the strong language used and the details chosen display a complete lack of alternative opinions. The above quote pits Biden and Trump against each other with its use of democracy and freedom (Biden) versus extremism and chaos (Trump). The authors select talking points that support a liberal lean and omit right-leaning perspectives.

Analysis of Reliability in Boston Globe Opinion Pieces

Most news organizations publish opinion pieces along with routine reporting. This allows their authors to share their personal views on current topics. While it can be interesting for viewers to read, it can also be harmful if the subjectivity is taken as fact. It’s important that readers have an appropriate understanding of the credibility behind certain articles. Let’s observe one of these articles to determine any bias.

The article we will look at is “Nikki Haley and the mean boys of the GOP,” by Joan Vennochi, which is rated as “Extremely Liberal” by Biasly’s News Check Chrome Extension. This piece aims to express the relationship between Nikki Haley and her Republican competition in the 2024 presidential race. The subtitle reads:

“From the general contempt shown to Haley by her rivals, to Trump’s “grab them” by the whatever attitude, to the party’s antiabortion zealotry, the Republican Party of 2024 will be a hard sell for many women.”

This alone expresses the author’s negative attitude toward Donald Trump and the Republican party. There is a lack of opposing viewpoints throughout the article, underlining that it is the author’s subjective account.

Quality of Sources and Facts Used

The Boston Globe attempts to remain central on many topics, but several reports still tend to incorporate a left-leaning bias. This diminishes the reliability of the articles as they lack balance and objectivity. Let’s analyze the reliability of several opinion pieces by looking at the number and length of quotes they include, as well as any outside sources referenced.

The first article we will observe is “Is Nikki Haley up to it, or will she ‘get smoked’?” by Joan Vennochi, which was rated by Biasly’s News Check Chrome Extension as “Extremely Liberal.” The article includes one medium quote and seven short quotes from the sources below:

  • Former NJ Governor Chris Christie (Republican)
  • 2024 Presidential candidate Nikki Haley (Republican)
  • Former president and 2024 presidential candidate Donald Trump (Republican)
  • Former presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy (Republican)
  • The Atlantic (Moderately Liberal)

The number of quotes referenced is fair (although the length falls short), and it is interesting that they all come from Republican individuals. This is initially misleading, as most of the quotes chosen provide a negative stance of presidential candidate Nikki Haley, so even if they come from Republican officials they are still prioritizing a one-sided view of the situation. For example, Trump was quoted as calling Haley “overly ambitious” with Christie saying “She’s not up to this.”

Again, the author selects details and quotes that poorly represent Haley. None of her personal characteristics or campaign goals are mentioned in support of whether she is “up to” the job or not, as the title suggests.  While there were no quotes from Democratic officials, the information included in the article still relies on a Democratic agenda, emphasizing the importance of examining bias and reliability together. An article from the Atlantic (“What is Nikki Haley Even Talking About” by Mark Leibovich) is also mentioned, a source that Biasly rates as “Moderately Liberal”.

Let’s examine the other sources used in this article. Despite the tone of the quotes included, the uniqueness of the sources is excellent. The other organizations referenced were The New York Times, AP News, USA Today, The Washington Post, which lean left, and Fox News and the Republican Party of Iowa’s website (, which express conservative views. Vennochi’s article did well in referencing a variety of sources with various political leanings.

The other piece by Vennochi discussed earlier “Nikki Haley and the Mean Boys of the GOP,” also negatively portrays members of the Republican party. The quotes in this article come from Chris Christie and Donald Trump and are similarly framed to slander Haley.

“Of course, they all learned from the party’s patriarch, Cruella de Trump, who went out of his way to mock Haley as he celebrated victory as ungraciously as usual. ‘I said, wow, she’s doing a speech like she won. She didn’t win. She lost,’ Trump told supporters on Tuesday night in Nashua. ‘Let’s not have somebody take a victory when she had a very bad night. She had a very bad night.’ Coming from someone who lost the 2020 presidential election but has been acting like he won it ever since, that’s pretty rich.”

Not only does the quote clearly underline left-leaning bias, but it creates a harsh view that is not rebutted elsewhere in the article.

The other sources referenced here were The 19th, The New York Times, The Hill, The Washington Post, CNN, Politico, CBS News, which lean-left, and Fox News, which again leans right. Most of the sources are left-leaning, which weakens reliability.

To summarize, the uniqueness of sources and inclusion of opposite sources is admirable, but the quotes chosen typically negatively portray conservative individuals, which should be accounted for when considering credibility.

Selection and Omission Bias

Selection and omission bias do not only apply to the absence of conservative views. To elaborate, let’s look at “Biden to soak up sunshine and campaign cash in Florida trip” by Chris Megerian and Terry Spencer. Biasly rates this article as “Center,” but it excludes context that would be favorable to the Democratic party. One of the three quotes in this piece is from Evan Power, the Chair of the Republican Party of Florida. He said:

“President Biden can keep visiting Florida all he wants, but I hope while he is here he learns from the policies here that are working. We look forward to retiring him and his failed administration in November.”

The authors adequately explain the conflict between Biden and Trump for Florida’s favor, but certain opinions are sometimes selected without alternative explanations. For example, after the previous quote, the article continues:

“The State Democratic Party has long been plagued by disorganization.”

This specific statement was referring to a medical insurance crisis that occurred with members of the Democratic Party during the 2020 election. However, certain other details are omitted that would explain any current disorganization. It is worth mentioning that there are no other sources referenced in this article.

Selection and omission bias is also clearly observed in the aforementioned article “Is Nikki Haley up to it, or will she ‘get smoked’?” The author selects details that negatively portray Haley and her goals as a presidential candidate.

“To me, Haley’s biggest challenge isn’t her willingness to suppress the truth about American history or even her unwillingness to condemn Trump. She hasn’t connected the dots between who she is as a person, how she would lead the country, and where she wants to take it.”

Providing context on Haley’s campaign and including balanced explanations from both Democratic and Republican individuals would increase the reliability of this article. Opinion pieces of this nature typically incorporate a degree of selection and omission bias, which leads to issues with factuality. Many of the discussed articles incorporate left-leaning views and omit contradicting opinions. Readers should understand these tendencies so that they observe news with an open mind.

Is The Boston Globe Reliable?

After attentive analysis, The Boston Globe can be categorized as a decently reliable news source. Articles usually include facts and details about the topic at hand, with outside references to support their claims. However, selection and omission biases are still present, which is why the reader must be aware of the left-leaning trend in many pieces.

The Boston Globe has an opinion column separate from their reports, making it easier for the viewer to distinguish fact from personal belief. Every article is also different and contains varying levels of credibility. If readers need more help discerning a reliable article, they can utilize Biasly’s News Checker or download Biasly’s News Check Chrome Extension to ensure they are getting the most accurate news.


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