NewsGuard‘s scores and ratings for news and information sites are based on nine apolitical criteria that assess the website’s credibility and transparency. As noted, each criterion is worth a certain number of points out of 100, weighted based on importance, as indicated below. All criteria are pass-fail, meaning that a site either receives all of the points associated with the criterion or receives no points for that criterion. In some instances, this may make the scores less precise, but the alternative of giving sites some but not all of the relevant points is not feasible for a process that involves rating thousands of news sites.
In some specific cases described below, a site can receive an “N/A” for a criterion that NewsGuard determines does not apply to the website, in which case the publisher receives the points associated with that criterion.
Again, satire sites and platforms are given separate designations and are not scored using the nine criteria.
Each score is described in detail in the Nutrition Label, which explains why NewsGuard made its determination on each of the criteria, provides evidence and examples to back up its assessments, includes any relevant comments from the publisher, and indicates the history of the sites’ ratings. We always seek feedback from publishers that appear to fail any of our criteria before we publish a rating or an updated rating, ensuring a publisher ability to reply.
The criteria below are listed in order of their importance in determining a site’s 0-100 score.
Last updated February 3, 2023