NewsGuard Releases TV Brand Safety Ratings for Ad Buyers to Help Clients Make Better Decisions; Makes Six Sample Scores Public

Ratings and ‘Nutrition Labels’ based on journalistic practices for 140 news shows and networks across broadcast, cable, and streaming soon available for all ad agencies and brands for planning and direct buys

(New York—Dec. 1, 2022) NewsGuard today announced that beginning January 2, 2023, its brand safety ratings for 140 cable, streaming, and network television shows and networks will be available to advertising agencies, brand marketers, and others concerned about brand safety. The ratings will provide advertisers with independent data for making decisions about the news and information shows that are most appropriate for brands and campaigns.

The ratings had been available since their launch in January 2022 only to IPG Mediabrands, which had licensed the data exclusively for their media planners and clients in its first year. 

Having a third party like NewsGuard is helpful for our clients and allows us to support and invest in quality journalism,” said Allie Kallish, EVP, Managing Director, Strategic Investment & Accountability at MAGNA, the global media investment and intelligence arm of Mediabrands. 

The regularly updated ratings and scores, as well as ratings and scores for new shows, will now be available industry wide to maximize their use to support quality news programming.

At the same time, NewsGuard is making publicly available a sampling of six of the ratings, including:

  • MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” which received a Red 4 out of 10 score; 
  • CBS’s “CBS Evening News,” which scored a Green 10 out of 10; 
  • Fox News’s “Media Buzz,” which scored a Green 9 out of 10; 
  • CNN’s “Inside Politics,” which scored a Green 9 out of 10; 
  • Newsy, the 24/7 cable and streaming network, which scored a Green 10 out of 10; 
  • Fox News’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” which scored a Red zero out of 10. 

Each score is accompanied by a Nutrition Label that explains the score based on how the program or network adheres to four key standards of television journalism practice: 

1) Does not repeatedly convey false news (4 points)

2) Reports on important topics responsibly (3 points)

3) Presents multiple viewpoints (2 points) 

4) The parent news organization’s flagship website associated with this program adheres strongly to all NewsGuard journalistic criteria associated with credibility (1 point). 

Each network or program gets a score of zero to ten based on how it meets these standards. (Note: CNN, Fox News and MSNBC shows all lost one point based on the last criterion because the flagship website of the news organizations affiliated with these programs fail one or more journalistic standards related to credibility.) 

Ratings and Nutrition Labels associated with the six programs or networks mentioned above are available here.

Using the NewsGuard ratings, agencies and brands can decide to:

  • Target only trustworthy shows by filtering based on high overall scores—for example, only buying ads on shows that score an 8 and above— so that ads will appear only on shows that receive a “lowest risk” Green rating. 
  • Target all shows that achieve at least a 5 score (Yellow or Green) and thereby avoid “high risk” shows.
  • Only avoid advertising on shows that regularly convey false information by using NewsGuard’s “Does not repeatedly convey false news” criterion filter. 
  • Avoid advertising on heavily biased or politically slanted news shows by using NewsGuard’s “Presents multiple viewpoints” criterion filter. 

“These ratings only provide one measure among many that advertisers will want to consider in making decisions about where they want their ads to appear,” said NewsGuard co-CEO Steven Brill. “But it’s an important measure that has never been undertaken by an independent third party. Advertisers will continue to make different decisions based on each brand and its goals,” he added. “But now they will have solid information to help them make those decisions and justify them to their clients.”

“Consumers get their news from video more than ever at a time when reliable news has never been more important and misinformation has never been more of a threat,” explained NewsGuard co-CEO Gordon Crovitz. “Members of the advertising community tell us that they would like to be able to base decisions on more than anecdotal impressions or political biases. We were delighted when IPG Mediabrands took the lead in asking us to begin filling that need, and we’re now delighted to be able to provide this service broadly by licensing the ratings and associated data industry wide. We also intend to expand into ratings for CTV offerings as well as podcasts in the new year,” Crovitz added. 

The full Nutrition Label for each individual show or network has been made available at no charge to the producer of each show or network, all of whom were asked to comment on any negative assessment for any of the criteria before the rating and Nutrition Label was completed.


About NewsGuard

Launched in March 2018 by media entrepreneur and award-winning journalist Steven Brill and former Wall Street Journal publisher Gordon Crovitz, NewsGuard provides credibility ratings and detailed “Nutrition Labels” for thousands of news and information websites. NewsGuard rates all the news and information websites that account for 95% of online engagement across the U.S., U.K., Canada, Germany, France, and Italy. In August 2022, NewsGuard also launched in Austria. NewsGuard products include NewsGuard, BrandGuard, which helps marketers concerned about their brand safety, and the Misinformation Fingerprints catalog of top hoaxes.

In 2022, NewsGuard began rating television news and information programs and networks using criteria similar to those used to score websites but adapted for the video medium. NewsGuard’s TV ratings are the first to go beyond its initial ratings of websites. Ratings for news and information podcasts will also be available for licensing in 2023. 

NewsGuard’s ratings are conducted by trained journalists using apolitical criteria of journalistic practice.

NewsGuard’s ratings and Nutrition Labels are licensed by browsers, news aggregators, education companies, and social media and search platforms to make NewsGuard’s information about news websites available to their users. Consumers can also access NewsGuard’s website ratings by purchasing a subscription to NewsGuard, which costs $4.95/month, €4.95/month or £4.95/month, and includes access to NewsGuard’s browser extension for Chrome, Safari, and Firefox and its mobile app for iOS and Android. The extension is available for free on Microsoft’s Edge browser through a license agreement with Microsoft. Hundreds of public libraries globally receive free access to use NewsGuard’s browser extension on their public-access computers to give their patrons more context for the news they encounter online. For more information, including to download the browser extension and review the ratings process, visit newsguardtech.com.