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Ground News

Blindspot Report

Week of Feb 17-23

The weekly Blindspot Report from Ground News puts a spotlight on news that publications from one side of the political spectrum or the other had little to no reporting on.

If your politics lean left, you probably didn’t hear that Obama-era officials may have been meeting with Iranian Foreign Ministry during the Trump presidency. And if your politics bend to the right, you likely didn't hear that South Carolina's new abortion law has been suspended a day after passing.

This Week's Blindspots

Blindspot for the Right:

South Carolina's abortion law suspended one day after passing Federal Judge Mary Geiger Lewis put a 14-day temporary restraining order on the law and will renew it until she can hold a more substantial hearing March 9 on Planned Parenthood’s request that it not be enforced until the group’s lawsuit against South Carolina is resolved. The law requires doctors to perform ultrasounds to check for a heartbeat in the fetus, which can typically be detected about six weeks after conception. If one is detected, the abortion can only be performed if the pregnancy was caused by rape or incest or the mother’s life is in danger. Coverage Distribution: 16% Right Left 31% Center 53% 16% 3c262c56-7d31-4ef4-9c8c-6a18c7541ae1.png3c262c56-7d31-4ef4-9c8c-6a18c7541ae1.png

Blindspot for the Left:

Officials in the Obama administration allegedly continued to meet Iranian Foreign Ministry during Trump presidency According to a report by The Washington Times citing sources in the 'U.S. intelligence community who spoke on the condition of anonymity', John Kerry and other Obama-era officials, some of whom have returned for the Biden administration continued contact with Iran during the Trump years. President Trump withdrew from the multinational Iran nuclear deal and reimposed economic sanctions on Tehran. These meetings, if proven to undermine official US policy at the time, would be a violation of the Logan Act. (Photo:AP) Coverage Distribution: 17% Left 17% 8% Right 75% 3c262c56-7d31-4ef4-9c8c-6a18c7541ae1.png3c262c56-7d31-4ef4-9c8c-6a18c7541ae1.png

Something we'd like to promote this week:

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Blindspot for the Right:

Air pollution significantly raises risk of infertility, study finds A study of more than 10,000 Chinese couples concluded that those who live in places with higher concentrations of damaging pollution particles had a 20% higher risk of being infertile. “Approximately 30 per cent of infertile couples have unexplained infertility,” the lead researcher Qin Li said, noting that age, weight and smoking were well-known factors. “(Our study) indicates that small-particle pollution could be an unignorable risk factor for infertility.” Coverage Distribution: 9% Right Left 64% 27%9% 3c262c56-7d31-4ef4-9c8c-6a18c7541ae1.png3c262c56-7d31-4ef4-9c8c-6a18c7541ae1.png

Blindspot for the Left:

Philippines offers nurses in exchange for vaccines from Britain, Germany The Philippines will let thousands of its healthcare workers, mostly nurses, take up jobs in Britain and Germany if the two countries agree to donate much-needed coronavirus vaccines, a senior official said on Tuesday. The Philippines, which has among Asia's highest number of coronavirus cases, has relaxed a ban on deploying its healthcare workers overseas. Coverage Distribution: 11% Left 11% 22%Right 67% 3c262c56-7d31-4ef4-9c8c-6a18c7541ae1.png3c262c56-7d31-4ef4-9c8c-6a18c7541ae1.png

Blindspot for the Right:

6,500 migrant workers have died in Qatar as it gears up for World Cup An analysis of data compiled from government sources conducted by the Guardian indicated that the shocking figure was likely to be an underestimate. As preparations for 2022 tournament continue, more than 6,500 migrant workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have died in Qatar since it won the right to host the World Cup 10 years ago, averaging 12 deaths a week. (Photo: Kailash Nirmal, The Guardian) Coverage Distribution: 13% Right Left 63% 24%13% 3c262c56-7d31-4ef4-9c8c-6a18c7541ae1.png3c262c56-7d31-4ef4-9c8c-6a18c7541ae1.png

Blindspot for the Left:

US House Democrats Target Newsmax, Fox News for De-platforming From Cable Two House Democrats, California Reps. Anna G. Eshoo and Jerry McNerney, sent letters Monday to a dozen television broadcasters suggesting that they stop airing Fox News, Newsmax, and One America News Network, a move which a Republican commissioner on the FCC called a “chilling transgression” aimed at deplatforming the conservative networks. Coverage Distribution: 6% Left 6 Right 94% 3c262c56-7d31-4ef4-9c8c-6a18c7541ae1.png3c262c56-7d31-4ef4-9c8c-6a18c7541ae1.png

Something we'd like to recommend this week :

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Split Reporting

Highlighting discrepancies between the reporting on stories across different news outlets. This week's story:

Israel says it shared some COVID vaccines with Palestinians, Honduras

What do the different news outlets focus on when reporting on this story?

Jerusalem Post: Israel donates COVID-19 vaccines to Palestinian Authority, Honduras

News24: Israel shares surplus vaccines with Palestinians

Haaretz: Coronavirus Live: Israel to send 'symbolic amount' of COVID vaccines to Palestinians, other countries

Doctors Without Borders: Palestinians left out of Israel's COVID-19 vaccination success story

Common Dreams: 'A Disgrace' : Israel Sending Covid Vaccines Overseas as Occupied Palestinians Left Without Access

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Ground News processes over 30,000 news articles each day. Articles from different news outlets covering the same news event are merged into a single story so subscribers can get all the perspectives in one view. Each article is labeled one of seven bias ratings (Far Left, Left, Leans Left, Center, Leans Right, Right, Far Right) based on the average bias rating of the publishing news outlet. All news outlet bias ratings are originally sourced from three independent news monitoring agencies (AllSides, Media Bias Fact Check, Ad Fontes Media).

The Blindspot Report is generated by evaluating the mean and standard deviation of the aggregate bias ratings of the week's top 100 (most covered and most read) stories. News stories with the greatest mean score (many more Right outlets than Left or vice versa) or the highest standard deviation of bias ratings (more coverage on fringes than Center) are selected for the Report.