Media Bias Chart: Analysis

When I first published this subjective Media Chart, I posted it along with other charts for your consideration.

I explained how I came to assign positions on the chart.

And I explained that the positioning is relative and not intended as an absolute indicator of position.

The idea was for you to add it to your knowledge base; compare it to other charts; or, certainly, disregard it, if you like.

It received a lot of attention and generated a tremendous amount of positive feedback. It also became a spring board for all kinds of theories. One writer called it a “simplified version” of another chart.

But it also spurred some silly articles by left-leaning writers who apparently couldn’t bear that some outlets appeared on the left side of the line. Some of them criticized the chart as “subjective,” (which I stated was the case at the outright– and aren’t they all?).

Also, in typical fashion by some of these critics, the chart was falsely criticized as being “conservative” simply because it fairly acknowledges some media outlets have conservative leanings; while others are known for their liberal leanings.

This is the environment in which we operate today.

Meantime, I think the chart is worth republishing. Please note the caveats and qualifiers.

Additional charts compiled by other sources are widely available. Some are linked here in this paragraph.

Do your own research. Make up your own mind. Think for yourself.

Please leave your feedback on this page in the comment section and I will issue a revised chart reflecting any changes or additions in the near future.

Below is the last version of the article as it appeared in 2018:

Where’s your favorite information source stand on the political scale?

I’ve updated the following subjective chart based on information compiled from various sources and your feedback. Some sources have shifted left or right, others have been added including: ESPN, McClatchy, the Federalist, Conservative Review, Washington Monthly, Twitchy, Gateway Pundit and Conservative Treehouse.

Please note that outlets on left and right sometimes publish material that’s on the opposite side of the political spectrum, or that has no political leaning at all. The placement is based on perceived overall tone and audience. Position on the chart doesn’t necessarily imply credibility or lack thereof. Sources on far right and far left have, in many instances, produced excellent, factually correct information at times.

I have loosely placed more traditional information sources in the top half of the chart working down toward aggregators, fact-checkers, opinion sites and less news-related sources. (This posed some position challenges since most of traditional information sources are left-leaning.) I did not attempt to place individual programs or broadcasts.

Compiling such a chart is obviously difficult for many reasons, some of them having to do with space. The spacing should be considered relative and not an indicator of absolute position. A number of the information sources technically belong on top of one another.

You have contributed terrific ideas, such as sizing boxes based on audience, and dividing into quadrants. This is a work in progress. Thanks for your input!

Think a source should be moved? Want one added? Leave a comment!

For a larger view, click on the image and enlarge.


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62 thoughts on “Media Bias Chart: Analysis”

  1. Randall Thursby

    Personally I do not believe McClathy is that far right of center. I realize positions are not precise but their is room for movement. On the other side I view InfoWars as further left.

    Always enjoy your insights, books, and articles.

  2. Your line which included “some silly articles by left-leaning writers” told me all I needed to now about your chart and leanings.

  3. Sharyl: The graphic display of media bias is good food for discussion mostly because it starts with the premise that most outlets are biased.
    A far more difficult but imminently more important graphic would WEIGH each outlet’s IMPACT on the public as a whole, and then the left vrs right collective for the most important factor (appropriately named: MAD Media Assured Destruction ha ha). And if you were really a masochist workaholic you would throw in a separation by geography or age group, or any number of dissections.
    I would submit that the collective liberal ABC,CBS,NBC, NPR,CNN, NYTimes, DCPost impact would blow away any seven conservative outlets.
    Finally, I’m wondering where you would put yourself on the graphic?

  4. Are these “general purpose” media? or……Do they primarily cover just one “sub-Topic”, e.g. terrorism, economy, congress, China….You get the idea. It might be helpful to your audience break these down into sub-group charts. One massive chart is a lot to “chew and digest”.
    And what about the “talking heads”?
    Still….thank you

  5. Very useful and looks pretty accurate to my (subjective) eye. I’d probably swap The Economist with CNBC but that’s based on a limited sample of each. And, add The New Yorker – well to the left, of course.

  6. a couple of brief observations: I don’t read the Economist regularly anymore but when I do I’m struck by how left-wing its tone is. I’d put it squarely on the left. Also, a notable omission on the right, and a source I’d urge everyone to access, is Powerline ( Otherwise, I’d rate this a very good resource.

  7. I agree with Jon Kuhl’s point about weighting the media outlets. Fox News is a favorite whipping boy for Democrats and late-night comedians, but I’ve heard many conservatives say that they’d trade Fox News in a heartbeat for the ABC-CBS-NBC-NY Times-WaPo-LAT-etc. nexus. On the extreme left of the chart are famous media brands, and on the extreme right are the Washington Times, OAN, and WND, which most people haven’t even heard of, much less read. Another point: the left/right distinction is not the same as anti-Trump/pro-Trump. The Economist may be slightly right of center, but its criticisms of Trump are not only analytical but personal. Just look at its covers. Inside, the elitist, BBC-like contempt oozes from the page. Thanks for the graphic; we non-media types can’t tell the players without a chart.

  8. “For a larger view, click on the image and enlarge.”

    Would you please check for the larger image. When I click on the image, I’m not getting the larger version. Thank you very much and for all of what you do!

  9. Note that outlets like Zero Hedge, Infowars, and a whole host of other alternative media outlets were accusing Bush of at least complicity after 9/11. If you’ll notice, they have went from left to right, depending on who was being more villainous. (They weren’t just being critical of who was in power, either.) If there were an objective way to do this, and animate it from 2001 to now; you’d see that most are just wonks, or owned by power players, and stay in about the same place; but a few are actually independent and change their story depending on the evil being perpetrated. They may not always be right, but they cannot be guaranteed to be lying, committing lies of omission, or distorting a huge amount of the facts half the time, either. Right now, the lefties seem to have been doing an unprecedented amount of shameless and obvious lying since Trump entered the race (and openly embracing Marxism more than ever, for that matter – armed struggle and Satanism, remember?). Were a patriotic, populist Dem somehow to get elected, try to clean house in D.C., LA and NY, and try to improve the lives of the common people, we’d see a ton of the right-wingers start with the disinfo. The true independents would then swing “left”; but usually only their enemies call them “right” and “left”. Whenever an insider gets elected, their half of the wonks will cover up any evil for them. It’s rather amazing that the right-wing press hasn’t turned more against Trump – but then they must be glad to get to tell the truth some of the time.

  10. All the major/minor news outlets are pro business,pro deregulation/free market,pro war,pro fossil fuels,pro big pharma ect. That is because they are owned/controlled by oligarchs that are invested in the status quo.
    Some News outlets like Fox will manipulate facts., but the majority avoid criticism by omitting facts that might hurt their status quo.
    National Public Radio and Public Broadcasting Service are news sources that rely on tax subsidies and are neutral

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