There is no end of discussion and debate on the perceived bias of the so-called “Liberal Media.” While I do believe that there are more liberal news networks on traditional media outlets, the most important factor is the number of people viewing-and-absorbing the content, which has changed dramatically due the rapid emergence of social media.
One of the more interesting studies I’ve encountered comes from a company called “NewsWhip.” NewsWhip gathers social data and produces analytical reports that can guide a company’s inform your content strategy. To demonstrate the power of the platform, NewsWhip has generated some informative white papers that you can download at: http://go.newswhip.com/hyper-political_publisher_Offer.html
Interestingly, the biggest content publishers on Facebook do not have the most “engagement.” For those who are unfamiliar with the term, social media engagement measures the public shares, likes and comments for an online business’ social media efforts. Engagement has historically been a common metric for evaluating social media performance. It’s notable that IJR.com significantly beat out traditional networks on Facebook engagement on Election Day, even though media giants like NBC News and the Huffington Post churned out several times more content. Founded in 2012, IJR.com, whose full name is the Independent Journal Review, is viewed as one of the most right-leaning social media outlets in the United States, according to Media Bias Fact Check ( https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/independent-journal-review/ ).
Even more telling are the Election Day engagement metrics across the most popular social media platforms.
As reinforced above, liberal news outlets are better at pumping out more content per outlet (as shown in the last column: Average Article Count per News Outlet), but there is far more engagement with the conservative news networks. In fact, Conservative engagement outstripped Liberal engagement on Election Day by a factor of over 2:1 (452,200,719 to 180,322, 813).
Is NewsWhip an objective source of data? I really don’t know, but they are in the software business, so their basic interests seem non-partisan. I can’t say how they categorized networks as “Liberal” or “Conservative,” nor do I have insight into the degree to which the categorized content was liberal or conservative.
But the point is really this — media bias cannot be determined just by the amount of content that is produced. It’s what is ingested that counts.
Think of it this way. I may glance at healthy foods, but if I only eat fattening ones, guess what happens???