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Is The Daily Herald Biased?

By · Nov 21, 2023 · 8 min read

Is The Daily Herald Biased?

The Daily Herald was founded in 1871 and is currently owned by Paddock Publications. They are located in Arlington Heights, Illinois, where they are the biggest suburban new source in all the state.

Since the newspaper is the biggest suburban news source in all of Illinois, it is important to check for biases in their articles. This is because, with such a widespread influence, people should be confident that the information they are receiving is factual and not solely based on opinions.

In this article, we will analyze the newspaper and website articles to determine if there is a political bias in what they produce. With our analysis, we hope to provide an extensive answer as to whether The Daily Herald is biased and what those biases look like in today’s climate.

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 Herald Politically Biased?

Biasly’s rating for The Daily Herald has been calculated based on two scores. The first is from its computer algorithms which are based on A.I., and the second one comes from their analysts. Biasly rated The Daily Herald with a computer bias score of Center-right and an analyst bias score of Somewhat Conservative. This means that in general, The Daily Herald is providing political coverage from the American conservative political perspective. Biasly’s analyst scores are based on an average of at least 15 articles, and each of them is being reviewed by one liberal, one moderate, and one conservative analyst. The more articles that are rated by Bialsy’s analyst team for a particular source will lead to a more accurate analyst score. In The Daily Herald, analysts are seeing articles that are praising conservative policies and politicians, while showing disdain for liberal policies and politicians, which is what contributes to their rating of the media source.

Depending on your political leaning, you will either be more inclined to read The Daily Herald or not. While it is important to be represented by your media news source, this article will also discuss ways to identify a political bias and help readers be able to separate opinions and facts in order to become more informed on the 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 The Daily Herald Online Articles

When looking at the biases of a publication, it is important to pay close attention to who the author is, as well as their tone, diction, tendency, and expediency throughout the article. It is important to research the author because you will be able to see what views and tendencies they have on current political issues. Along with this, the tone is important because it indicates the attitudes and biases of the author. Expediency refers to the interests of the author and what they want to get out of their article. This will mostly be about them being able to get their point and opinion across to the reader. Next, we have the tendency category which connects to the author and their tone because it is about their political leanings and what they tend to view as right. Lastly, diction is analyzed by Biasly to showcase the intensity of particular words that the author chose to use. All of these combined can be extremely helpful in the process of understanding what biases are involved with the media that you are consuming.

  • Tone
  • Tendency
  • Author
  • Diction
  • Expediency

The first article that will be examined from The Daily Herald is: “Several incumbent Lake County Board Democrats announce reelection plans.” Biasly has rated this article as Center on the Bias Meter, which means that analysts believed it was a neutral article. The tone and diction of the author were taken into consideration and analyzed to have a center-leaning stance.

Analyzing political candidates often leads to expressing a preference for one over the other. However, the author of the discussed piece commendably maintains neutrality, presenting each candidate’s campaign focus without endorsing any particular one.

Take, for example, the author’s representation of one candidate’s key achievements:

“She cited support for mental health issues and programming, passage of a clean air ordinance, and balanced county budgets as other achievements during her tenure.”

The tone is decidedly impartial, as the author merely relays the candidate’s stance without inserting personal opinions.

In addition to profiling the County Board election contenders, the author also discusses the challenges of the impending reelection due to the redrawing of district boundaries. The author’s neutrality is evident even in this section, as there is no suggestion that the changed boundaries could give any candidate an edge as found in this section of the article:

“That could lead to some interesting circumstances. In some instances, sitting incumbents who choose to run will face each other. The redrawn map also includes two districts in which no incumbent of either party currently lives.”

The author doesn’t hint at favoring any candidate, suggesting instead that new challenges loom for all. Such neutrality reaffirms the author’s commitment to maintaining balance and fairness in their reporting.

The author commendably maintained impartiality in both the chosen title and accompanying imagery. The title effectively preserves neutrality by using the term ‘several’ instead of focusing on a specific candidate, thus avoiding any hint of preference. Likewise, the accompanying image is a compilation of all the candidates’ headshots discussed in the article, indicating a balanced representation of each individual.

Furthermore, the author’s choice of words throughout the article demonstrates a commitment to maintaining neutrality. The language used is not extreme or biased towards any candidate, contributing to the overall impartial stance. Each candidate is presented fairly, reinforcing the author’s consistent commitment to unbiased reporting in the piece.

Speaking of the author, Mike Zawislak, his political biases are still a bit hidden even online. His Twitter profile is mostly full of retweets about preserving wildlife and baseball. Along with this, his alternative online presence is on the website of The Daily Herald, where he is a senior writer.

Overall, the Bias Meter giving this article a neutral stance makes sense on all five metrics used. Zawislak remained neutral in his tone and diction throughout the whole article while reporting the challenges that politicians will face.

This article of The Daily Herald does not seem to have a bias in it, but that will not always be the case. Biases will differ between writers and between topics. This can be seen in the article “A post-Roe abortion political ‘revolution’ is unlikely.” Biasly gave this article a somewhat conservative bias. This rating was given based on the five metrics previously spoken about.

Analysts have identified that the author’s tendency is to use more politically right-leaning terms in the article. The narrative seems to express a negatively biased view of pro-choice voters, with language that appears derisive. For instance, the author states:

“You can expect abortion-rights activists to stoke fears that a reversal of Roe will criminalize abortion in all 50 states. Of course, serious Democrats know better.”

The latter part of this quote appears to insinuate that individuals who align with abortion-rights activists are not as informed as ‘serious Democrats’, thus casting a condescending tone towards those who support pro-choice. We can see here that he is trying to push this narrative onto his readers and this is the expediency of the article.

On top of all this, the author himself has shown to be more right-leaning from other articles he has written for The Daily Herald, and on his Twitter profile. One example of this, is a tweet from August 16th, 2023 where he linked an article he wrote about how single women in America are the unhappiest demographic and they are in the democratic party. He is using the word unhappiest and associating it with the democratic political party, which gives it a very negative view.

Analysis of The Daily Herald Opinion Articles

As a consumer of media, it’s vital to distinguish between content grounded in fact and content that is opinion-based. In an opinion-based article, the primary objective is to present the author’s personal views on the topic. This type of content may not necessarily rely on factual evidence, as it primarily delves into the author’s thoughts and perspectives on the issue at hand.

One opinion piece posted on The Daily Herald is: “Hillary Clinton should apologize for the biggest political hoax since titus oates.” Right away, the reader can see a bias based on the language used. Combining ‘Hillary Clinton’ and ‘biggest political hoax’ in one sentence shows the bias that is going to be pursued in the article because it casts a more negative shadow on her. The title reflects a pessimistic view of Hillary Clinton, which shows that the article will be more right-leaning.

On the other hand, The Daily Herald also published this article titled: “’We can do it’: Biden brings message of comfort to Surfside.” From this title, readers may assume that the article is going to be more left-leaning because it is shedding a positive light on President Biden. Analysts found that the information in this article looks to be mostly reliable, but the author appears to be biased and focused more on showing President Biden in a positive way than giving both sides of the story.

These instances illustrate that The Daily Herald features content that appeals to diverse political viewpoints, despite the publication’s reputation for leaning towards the right. It emphasizes the crucial need for readers to recognize potential biases in their news sources to ensure they consume information in an enlightened and discerning manner.

Who Owns The Daily Herald

The first known owner of The Daily Herald is Hosea C. Paddock, who bought the newspaper in 1889. In the 1920s Paddock’s sons took control over the newspaper and ever since then it has been kept in the family’s publication business. The newspaper has gone through multiple name changes and in 1977 it went from The Herald to The Daily Herald.

The Daily Herald
Source: The Daily Herald

Now, the company is owned by Paddock Publication, which is a private company and family-owned. The company also has four subsidiaries: Town Square Publications, LLC, Reflejos Publications, LLC, Brown Business Ledger, LLC; News Progress.

A key aspect of this company’s mission worth highlighting is its commitment to empowering readers via a variety of products tailored to diverse needs and communities. They aim to provide valuable insights and practical solutions that enhance individuals’ daily lives and business activities.

How to Evaluate and Uncover Bias

Determining the presence of bias in the news you consume can be challenging. Often, people choose a news channel based on their trust in the information presented, but this trust can sometimes be a result of “confirmation bias” – the tendency to accept information that aligns with their pre-existing beliefs. It’s crucial to challenge these biases and seek third-party validation to ensure you’re getting the full story. This is where Biasly comes in. Biasly allows you to compare different news stories side-by-side using our bias ratings, making it easier to understand various perspectives on a political issue.

While Biasly has categorized The Daily Herald as somewhat conservative, it’s essential to remember that not all articles in the publication may reflect this bias. The Herald’s computer score places it in the center, underscoring this fact. Each article carries a distinct bias reflective of the author’s unique perspective on the topic, and the nature of the bias can vary based on whether the article is opinion-based or an analysis piece. Therefore, irrespective of what you’re reading, it’s highly recommended to use Biasly’s News Check feature to gain insights into the biases you might be consuming.


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