Fairspin Teases Out The Bias In Political News

Every news source has its bias, and that is especially true for political news. The same story on the Huffington Post is more likely to have a liberal slant than something on Fox News. Most people figure out which news sources share political views and settle on a few which make them feel comfortable. For those who have trouble identifying left from right, there is now FairSpin, a site that looks like it just launched today.

FairSpin takes the most buzzed about news stories from memeorandum (the sister site to Techmeme, but for politics), and lays them out on a page literally from left to right. The Huffington Post, Talking Points memo, and Washington Monthly stories are on the left. The Washington post and New York Times stories are in the middle. And the Wall Street Journal Op-ed and Fox News stories are on the right.

If you don’t agree with this pacement, then you can vote on any story, indicating whether you think it’s bias is left-leaning, right-leaning, or “fair.” (I am not sure whether a neutral leaning is more fair than any other, or simply wishy-washy). When you click through to a story, it presents it under a toolbar (yes, yet another frame) with its own shortened URL, which lets you cast your vote and return easily to FairSpin. For instance, this link http://fairspin.org/read/5093 takes you to a Michelle Malkin post. (This doesn’t work for New York Times articles, however, because it has disabled such toolbars and non-redirecting URL shorteners after the whole Diggbar controversy).

FairSpin shows you your voting history, as well as the community’s, and allows you to hide “highly-biased” stories. It neatly lays out visually what many readers already know, but is a helpful filter nonetheless. Just ignore the side which offends you the most.

The site was developed by Stephen Hood, who until recently ran Delicious for Yahoo, and Dave Baggeroer, a designer. You can read more about it on their blog.

Stephen Hood most recently ran the social bookmarking service Delicious at Yahoo. Based on this experience Stephen is a big believer in the power of the community to organize information and accomplish goals, and sees an opportunity to mobilize readers to identify bias in the news. Dave Baggeroer