Created in 2018, TheBlaze Media was formed as a result of a merger of two companies: TheBlaze and CRTV LLC. The Blaze is now primarily a subscription-based news and media company, providing its users with articles, shows, and podcasts.
In accordance with its reputation, The Blaze has a consistent fanbase that views its content. As seen in this Pew Research chart, very few individuals know of The Blaze. Of those who do, they trust the source more than distrust. However, it is interesting to point out that the well-known creator of The Blaze, Glenn Beck, is reported to be more distrusted than trusted. Because of this separation, one must consider who exactly are the viewers of these websites. Each media source has its pros and cons, therefore it is useful to analyze for reliability directly. At Biasly, we strive to determine the reliability and accuracy of all media companies, and we’re here to set the record straight — is the Blaze truly reliable?
Source: Pew Research
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
So How Does The Blaze Fare in its Reliability?
Biasly’s political bias indicator is designed to fairly measure news media reliability. On Biasly’s meter, analysts have rated the Blaze as 73% reliable, which means readers should be cautious of this media source’s articles they come across online. This is below average. With this being said, some articles may be more or less reliable.
Our findings closely align with those from other raters, including Media Bias/Fact Check, which gave the Blaze a rating of “mixed” due to a very high level of bias, consistent promotion of conspiracies, and a lack of credible evidence. This source named The Blaze as fake news. Oppositely, a similar source on the opposite side, Buzzfeed, obtained a reliability score of 84%. Let’s look at the evidence behind these scores and what you should look out for as you pursue reliable news articles.
The Blaze Accuracy and Reliability
The direction that articles and media companies direct their bias as well as their political leanings tie into a company’s reliability. The Blaze is well known to be on the conservative side, similar to other media outlets. On their subscribe page, they directly cater to a ‘type’ of person who loves America. This line is often claimed by the conservative side. So, does this subscription-based entertainment and news source have reliable backing? We can find out if they do, based on the accuracy and evidence that The Blaze provides. We’ll be checking for selection and omission bias as we assess the articles’ correctness and factuality.
Selection bias is when stories and facts are selected or deselected, often on ideological grounds, to create a narrative in support of the new 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 rates accuracy on a percentage scale of 1-100, with 1 being the least accurate and 100 the most accurate. Ratings are determined by measuring claims with factually-backed reasoning, credible sources, and the number of credible external sources used within an article. Biasly’s website has an entire page that provides reliability and accuracy ratings for articles published by The Blaze. As we mentioned, the Blaze has a 73% reliability score, based on the articles analysts have rated. However, this score is different for every article, with the more drastic fluctuations in reliability usually resulting from bias — particularly omission and selection bias, which means news articles demonstrating political bias score lower in reliability than neutral articles.
For example, an article entitled “Gov. Cuomo declares New York is not ready to follow the science and implement the new CDC mask guidelines” was rated a 4 out of 8 for bias. This means that the article in accordance with accurate facts, had a more conservative lean where claims were slightly factual with somewhat questionable reasoning. In terms of selection and omission bias, the author fails to pull evidence from both sides, again leaning more right. The author does quote from significantly reliable sources like the CDC, when discussing Covid-19 measures. However, when pulling outsider opinions, the author quotes only New York Republican lawmakers. This article can be considered somewhat reliable.
More examples like this will be followed below, providing further analysis with examples of The Blaze’s reliability, including its usage of selection and omission bias, as well as the quality of outside sources used.
Analysis of Reliability in The Blaze Opinion Pieces
Opinion-style journalism is a suitable venue for reporters to express their opinions and beliefs, even if excessive opinions are beneficial to avoid. Although opinion pieces are less trustworthy since they are interpretive, they might nevertheless be worthwhile to read in order to increase one’s awareness of other political positions.
The Blaze’s opinions have some concerning problems with reliability in their consistent promotion of right-wing causes and individuals. The organization has articles posted weekly with a large number of personal opinions from the authors. One example is a recent article surrounding the Bud Light controversy. The author repeatedly uses unreliable memes and assumptions based on one statistic of a decrease in sales for Bud Light. The Blaze has a reputation for posting these entertaining articles for their subscribers as well as media that specifically caters to conservative views. Their commitment to these values may be at the expense of liberal readership and their overall trustworthiness by not showing multiple perspectives.
Quality of Sources and Facts Used
The Blaze generally can be known to use reputable sources more specifically from one side of the political spectrum and citing facts as evidence, but this isn’t the case for every article. For example, consider “After passing ginormous $1.9 trillion ‘relief’ bill — with even bigger spending bills on the way — some Dems are now saying they need try to pay for the Biden agenda.” The vast majority of the author’s sources are from other well-known right lean biased media outlets. The author sources from The Hill, Politico, and The Washington Post, as well as itself. Using the Biasly bias meter, these sources all leaned to the right. However, the author did quote directly from an independent senator that caucuses with the Democrats. While this shows some outsider perspective, the individual is still independent, thus this fails to provide adequate views from the Left. Later in the article, the author uses very short direct quotes from a variety of democrats, while still not providing any direct sources for these quotes, as they were all from a Politico article.
Furthermore, the author states Democrat opinions, elaborating that Democrats were “celebrating” the passage of the Covid relief bill. They also claimed that Democrats “Don’t plan to slow down” without any quotes surrounding further plans of action. Without multiple sources from the left providing evidence of these actions, it is hard to rely on this information.
A different article called “Outrage erupts against Justice Amy Coney Barrett over vaccine mandate decision” had quotes and tweets from trump supporters shown as reliable sources. These tweets elaborated on the most opinionated individuals on this topic, with no examples from the left or moderate Republicans. Other sources from the article include a different Blaze article and a local news video. Neither of these sources had much factual information provided. Thus this article’s bias leans slightly more left.
Selection and Omission Bias
As we mentioned earlier in the article, The Blaze often fails to provide sources from both sides of the political aisle. One article called, “Harvard economist breaks the bad news to CNN: Biden’s inflation has wiped out wage gains from COVID relief bills” Statistics are reported on inflation. The author claims that inflation is “here to stay” with evidence from a 12-month spread of inflation increases from a right-leaning opinion article from the WSJ. The author fails to provide evidence of the prior year’s inflation under the Trump administration in 2020 as well as other sources of evidence like the unemployment rate. With that being said, without providing a wider spread of inflation the readers are just to believe that the issue is caused by one presidency.
Another Blaze article titled, “Texas declares sex-change surgery for minors is child abuse” demonstrated a good use of reliable sources with its use of direct government documents. The author quotes and sources an announcement, letter, and press release that they discuss in this article. The author sources from other The Blaze articles that discuss statements that Joe Biden made on a campaign trail the year prior. These comments provide a view from the left on the issue of transgender children, that can be insightful for the decision by Governor Abbot. This can be looked at as a less biased source of information because the author quotes directly and from both sides.
In opinion pieces like these, issues with factuality, sources, selection, and omission are frequently present. The ones we’ve covered so far are mostly biased and exclude pertinent context and facts that don’t support the claim made by the writer. As a conservative-leaning news source with subscription-based users, The Blaze has a significant incentive to engage with right-wing viewers’ opinions in order to keep them engaged. But now that we’ve summarized common reliability indicators, you can be confident in the news that you are absorbing.
So Is the Blaze Media Reliable?
After analyzing multiple articles one can conclude that the Blaze is somewhat questionable in reliability. The more you research media trustworthiness, the simpler it will be for you to spot problems with selection, omission, and factuality within sources. Until then, you can use Biasly’s News Bias Checker to uncover reliability issues and help you find the most accurate and trustworthy news.