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Is the Daily Chronicle Biased?

By · Oct 6, 2023 · 8 min read

Is the Daily Chronicle Biased?

The Daily Chronicle, a Pulitzer-owned newspaper, was founded in 1879 and is headquartered in DeKalb, Illinois. It covers most of Illinois, and its online version can be found at It is a respected source of news and information for the region, and its website is one of the most popular in Illinois.

As a leading provider of news with a reputation for quality journalism, the question of whether the Daily Chronicle is biased demands close examination. According to a 2022 readership survey, the average Daily Chronicle reader is 55 years old, white, and has a household income of over $100,000. The newspaper also has a higher readership among women than men.

How Does Biasly Rate News Sources?

Biasly’s algorithms produce bias ratings to help provide multiple perspectives on given articles. Biasly has analyzed 200,000+ news articles from more than 3,200 news sources through our A.I. technology and team of political analysts to find the most factual, unbiased news stories.

Biasly determines the degree of political bias in news sources by using Biasly’s Bias Meter Rating, in which Biasly’s team analyzes media sources’ reliability and bias and produces three scores, a Reliability Score that measures the accuracy of media sources; an A.I. Bias Score, evaluated by A.I.; and an Analyst Bias Score evaluated by political analysts. These scores are rated based on seven rating metrics including Tone, Tendency, Diction, Author Check, Selection/Omission, Expediency Bias, and Accuracy. These metrics help our analysts to determine the political attitude of the article.

Our A.I. a machine-learning system employs natural language processing and entity-specific sentiment analysis to examine individual articles and determine their bias levels. By analyzing the key terms in an article such as policies, bias phrases, political terminologies, politicians, and their nicknames, the algorithms can rate the attitude of the text.  Bias scores range from -100% and 100%, with higher negative scores being more liberal and higher positive scores being more conservative, and 0% being neutral.

Is the Daily Chronicle Politically Biased?

Biasly’s rating for the Daily Chronicle is based on two scores, one from its computer algorithms which are based on A.I., and one from its Analysts. Biasly rated the Daily Chronicle with a Computer bias score of Center-Left and an Analyst bias score of Center-Left, which means, overall, it offers political coverage from a non-partisan perspective. Analyst scores are based on an average of at least 15 articles with each being reviewed by one liberal, moderate, and conservative analyst. The more articles rated by Bialsy’s analyst team for a particular source indicates a more accurate analyst score. As Biasly rates more articles, the scores will become more accurate. Praise for liberal politicians and policies as well as dislike toward Republican policies and politicians contribute to this rating. Biasly’s scores often provide unique insight that you can’t find elsewhere from its analytics and analyst ratings.

Readers are more likely to have a strong opinion of the Daily Chronicle based on their political leaning because of their tendency to favor non-partisan causes and people as represented by Biasly’s “Center-left” rating. In the remainder of this article, we’ll talk about ways to identify this bias so you can separate the opinions from the facts and become a more informed consumer of news.

Before we begin, we need to discuss bias. Bias is a natural function of humans, and we can express it both consciously and unconsciously. Bias is one of the most fundamental forms of pattern recognition in humans. This isn’t to lower the bar and say that “all things are biased,” but to explain the process in which we may come to trust certain news organizations that display patterns of coverage.

On the media’s part, there is an incentive to retain audiences, encourage them to purchase subscriptions, and rate products positively. Bias is a two-way street, people want to see news stories about things they care about, and the media needs viewers to continue their operations. This creates a positive feedback loop that influences what stories are covered and from what perspective. This also explains the actions of more liberal news organizations.

Analysis of Bias in Daily Chronicle’s Online Articles

The Daily Chronicle’s readership skews older, white, and more affluent than the general population of the Chicago suburbs. According to a 2022 readership survey, the average Daily Chronicle reader is 55 years old, white, and has a household income of over $100,000. The newspaper also has a higher readership among women than men.

Given their readership base, is the Daily Chronicle really biased? We’ll look at some of their articles in more detail below to identify the signs.

When determining bias, some of the most common metrics used include Tone, Author, and Diction, which are the primary metrics we’ll focus on below. Tone refers to the attitude of the writing and is related to but distinct from diction, which is the writer’s word choices. The Author metric refers to the author of the article and his or her demonstrated stance on issues through past articles and social media posts.

The first article we’ll examine is,“‘Vaccination is key to controlling pandemic’: Hospitals brace for patient surges as levels near 2020” by Katie Finlon. The author tries to maintain objectivity, but the tone suggests a pro-vaccination view. The article is consistently left-leaning, citing democratic leaders/supporters and health officials that support vaccination/distancing efforts proposed by liberal leaders:

“Our key message here continues to be to get the vaccine,” Ezike said. “And if vaccinated and eligible, get the booster. However, we are also urging the public to use primary care providers, walk-in clinics and urgent care facilities for non-emergency needs so emergency department beds remain available.””

The title, “‘Vaccination is key to controlling pandemic’: Hospitals brace for patient surges as levels near 2020” implies support for the vaccine and fear regarding the pandemic. This presents a left-leaning bias because generally, conservatives have been less vocal about their vaccine support, at least as a mandate. The picture included is a photo of some of the essential workers.

The article discusses the increasing numbers of COVID-19 patients in the city and the dangers that presents for hospitals:

“Top state doctor Ngozi Ezike of the Illinois Department of Public Health said Friday COVID-19 hospitalizations are “rising at an alarming rate” in northern Illinois’”

The article uses a fearful tone to describe the situation and supports vaccination, indicating some left-leaning bias. The author abstains from using strong language and helps garner support for essential workers and the vaccine. However, it does not include opposing remarks, so it is more left-leaning.

The author has a social media presence and her tweets include the below:

“This tweet, with its associated handle, is making me short circuit. Kinda like how I short circuit when ppl be like “Taxation is theft” but in the same breath say “back the blue.” (The author’s Twitter account has been deleted so we can’t provide a link)

This is showing a liberal bias by criticizing hypocritical conservatives.

To sum it up, the author shows some opinions that can occasionally interfere with her objectivity. All of this suggests that, while some elements of this article were liberal, the article was found to be leaning center or left-center, which aligns with our analysis of the Daily Chronicle as a company and a tendency to lean left-center in its biases.

Even though this article falls Somewhat Liberal, article bias can differ between articles and authors, even when they come from the same organization. This shows the importance of looking for the signs of bias — including (but not limited to) tone, diction, author, and omission bias — in any article you come across.

Here’s an article that demonstrates little to no bias throughout and also comes from Daily Chronicle.  “State Rep. Demmer files bill to combine state treasurer, comptroller offices” by Rachel Rodgers. The article is fairly neutral and does not have a strong bias either way, it simply describes information relevant to the topic.

The tone of this portion of the article is neutral and descriptive,

“The Illinois State Constitution adopted in 1970 created separate offices of Comptroller and Treasurer. Combining them requires passage of a constitutional amendment, which needs a three-fifths majority vote of the General Assembly to place the question on the next General Election ballot for Illinois voters to approve.”

The article is consistent with this neutrality in other areas as well.

“Demmer announced earlier this month that he’s running for state treasurer, and he’ll be on the Republican ballot for the June 28 primary election. He has served Illinois’ 90th District since 2013, which includes portions of Lee, Ogle, DeKalb, and LaSalle Counties.”

This author abstains from using strong language and does not appear to have strong biases with her Twitter full of links to her articles rather than opinions.

The title is descriptive and simply states what the article is about. The image doesn’t seem to show any bias either. In short, the article contains background information, relevant facts, and perspectives from various people.


Analysis of The Daily Chronicle Articles

Before we answer this question, we need to draw the distinction between opinion and reporting. While reporting is intended to be neutral, giving the reader the facts and quotes from primary sources to let them form their own opinion, opinions are an outlet for columnists to express their personal views on the issues of the day. While we saw elements of factual reporting in the analysis above, the Daily Chronicle opinion pieces don’t seek objectivity but prioritize putting forth an opinion instead.

Considering the opinion article “Illinois Democrats in charge; Republicans in wilderness” The title is loaded with bias because the language depicts a negative opinion regarding Republicans. On the other hand, the word choice implies a favorable view towards the Democrats. Specifically, the word “wilderness” offers a judgment about the situation of Republicans in the Illinois Supreme Court and is used sarcastically to affect the readers before reading the article. The bias in the title and the perspective towards Republicans offers that the author refrains from providing objective facts about the issue.

Nevertheless, the article “Northern Illinois politicians react to Donald Trump indictment” has an objective title and aims to inform the reader about the issue rather than imposing an opinion. Credible articles are marked by neutral language and facts from reliable sources. Based on the title alone, it could be safely assumed that this article would be less biased than the previous one.

These articles, in addition to those above, are only a small representation of all of The Daily Chronicle’s content, but they indicate that the outlet is often characterized by a great deal of opinion — further underscoring the importance of knowing how to distinguish subjective writing from genuine reporting.

Who Owns the Daily Chronicle?

Shaw Local is owned by Shaw Media, a privately held media company headquartered in Geneva, Illinois. Shaw Media owns and operates 44 daily newspapers, 16 weeklies, and more than 30 websites in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin. The company also owns a number of television stations and radio stations. Until 2014, Paul W. Robertson was the president of Shaw Media and vice president of Shaw Communications, and he was replaced by Barbara Williams.

Barbara Williams
Source: Pinterest

The company is not required to disclose its political affiliations. As a result, it is difficult to say definitively whether Shaw Local has a political bias.

How to Evaluate and Uncover Bias

It can often be difficult to tell if the news you watch is biased. If you have settled on a news channel, it’s usually because you trust the information you are gaining. Unfortunately, many trust the information they are hearing because it confirms what they already believe. This is referred to as “confirmation bias.” It is important to challenge your beliefs and get third-party verification that what you are hearing is the full story. This is why we recommend using Biasly to compare different news stories side-by-side using our bias ratings to figure out what both sides think of a political issue.

Even though the Daily Chronicle has a -Left-Center-leaning bias score from Biasly, it’s important to remember that bias can vary depending on the article. The Daily Chronicle has published articles that lean liberal and conservative in the past, and some article types are inherently more biased than others. For example, opinion pieces are more likely to be biased than general news articles.

It’s also important to remember that bias is not always a bad thing. In fact, some bias can be helpful in providing a different perspective on an issue. However, it’s important to be aware of bias so that you can make informed decisions about the information you consume.

Biasly’s News Check is a helpful tool that can help you determine the bias of an article. The tool analyzes the article’s language, sources, and other factors to determine its bias. You can use Biasly’s News Check to help you decide whether an article is worth reading and whether you can trust the information it contains.

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