Saturday, November 13, 2010

Results from News Bias Survey

Whether it's MSNBC and Kieth OlbermannNPR and Juan Williams, or CNN and Rick Sanchez, it seems journalists have come under a lot of fire lately. Not accounting for the importance of journalistic integrity, there is evidence that balanced arguments can actually be more persuasive. This is why last week I asked my readers to take a list of traditional news sources and rank them based on their perceived bias. Thanks to surveyor extraordinaire Justin Landwehr, here are the results organized in a nice graphic :

(Extreme Conservative, Conservative, Unbiased, Liberal, Extreme Liberal)

Though my sample size was only a dozen (you can read all the details here), the results were enlightening. The usual suspects fell where I expected with Fox News and the Wall Street Journal on the right and the Los Angeles Times and MSNBC on the left. What I wanted to see most was what sources were viewed as actually fair and balanced. Here it seems USA Today, BBC News, and the Washington Post win out. Most surprising to me was that I, the Bottlenecked Blog, was seen as one of the most conservative sources. Perhaps it's my appreciation for the free market or my regular mention of God. Either way I did not expect to be seen as so far right.

My takeaway from the survey is that bias is hard to avoid. This is certainly nothing new. Here's a great podcast I've shared before about the economics behind the rise of balanced journalism. This may be another one of the great benefits to blogging. Like op-eds for the everyman, they give us the opportunity to know and trust our sources of information. Thanks again to all who participated in the survey and to those who continue to support this little corner of the blogosphere.


  1. Love everything about this except that you put Conservative (the "Right") on the left side of the chart, and Liberal (the "Left") on the right ... confusing.

  2. Hmm, good point. I can't be too upset though, without Justin helping it would have looked much worse.


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