Do You Only Read News that Matches Your Politics?

Where do you get most of your news? What media outlets do you like and trust most?

Americans have been steadily losing trust in mass media to report news accurately and fully.

Despite this low trust, Americans do still consume news regularly, but are often quite selective in what they read and watch. A Gallup poll shows that among TV outlets, Republicans favor Fox News, and Democrats favor CNN, the New York Times, NPR, and MSNBC. Pew research echoes the same findings.

What drives this tendency? According to the same Pew Research study, Republicans and Democrats both find their own news sources to be most trustworthy, and they most distrust the news sources that the opposite party likes.

If you lean left or lean right: are you more likely to trust the fairness of news sources that people of your political leaning also trust? Do you see bias in the news sources that people of the other political leaning trust?

Do you think people of the opposite political leaning have similar or very different views about the bias of their news? Could this point of view be as valid as your own? Are we all consuming biased news?

An exercise to have with your friends:

Take the above 5 news sources and ask some friends (that agree and disagree with you) whether they’re balanced, or biased one way or the other. It might look like this:

Feel free to add other interesting news sources!

Feel free to add other interesting news sources!

Tabulate the survey and see where your friends line up, both as a whole and split by whether they tend to vote Democratic or Republican.

Share it with all of them and start the conversation! Do we disagree deeply on which news sources are biased? Do we listen to the news sources that match what we already think, or do those news sources cause us to become biased?

How will your group of friends commit to finding sources of news to discuss together that you can all trust?

Share your survey results in the comments section and let us know what you and your friends learned from the exercise!

9 Comments

Erik Fogg

We do politics, but we don't do the thinking for you.