by Matt Skibinski | Published 12/29/2021
The real-world impact of misinformation — and the importance of quality journalism — were never more apparent than in the past year. As much of the world raced to vaccinate its citizens against COVID-19, the internet and social media feeds were flooded with false, misleading, and unproven claims that questioned the vaccines’ safety and promoted unproven cures. And in the wake of a divisive and close U.S. presidential election, false claims about election fraud threatened to undermine Americans’ faith in democracy – and helped spark the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Throughout the year, NewsGuard has been tracking thousands of misinformation websites spreading false claims — as well as trusted news sites, some of them often overlooked— that consistently publish accurate, high-quality news.
In this report, we identify the misinformation websites with the most online engagement in 2021 in the United States. We also highlight a selection of the trustworthy sites that are producing reliable journalism, including for local and niche markets.