People across the political spectrum blindly rated the bias of content from ABC News, CBS News, USA TODAY, National Review, and Reason in the April/May 2021 Blind Bias Survey.
During an AllSides Blind Bias Survey, participants from all sides of the political spectrum are asked to rate the content of a media outlet blindly, so they are not influenced by preconceived notions of a brand's bias. Blind Bias Surveys are one of the most robust methods used to inform AllSides Media Bias Ratings™. Read the blog to get an overview of our results, or read the whitepaper to review our methodology.
Media outlets evaluated for bias in the April/May 2021 Blind Bias Survey were:
How A Blind Bias Survey Works
The results confirmed our Lean Left ratings for ABC and CBC News, as well as our Lean Right rating for Reason magazine. On average, respondents rated USA TODAY Lean Left, which differed from our rating of Center. Respondents rated National Review Lean Right, which differed from our rating of Right.
The results triggered Editorial Reviews of USA Today and National Review. Editorial Reviews allow the AllSides team to review more content from outlets than a Blind Survey does. The USA TODAY review was inconclusive, and we opted to do further review a month later; we opted to keep National Review rated as Right.
About the Survey
A total of 1,467 people took the survey — 144 participants with a self-reported Left bias; 349 with a Lean Left bias; 432 with a Center bias; 414 with a Lean Right bias, and 116 with a Right bias.
For this survey, AllSides collected two types of content from media outlets: top headlines from two different days at the same time of day, and top stories the outlet ran around two major national news stories on two different days. Stories and headlines were stripped of branding and any information that would allow participants to identify the outlet. Participants were asked to rate the bias of the source on a scale of Left, Center, Lean Right, and Right.
Limitations and Other Methods for Rating Bias
Note that blind surveys do have limitations and they alone do not always determine our ratings, because these surveys ask respondents to assess a relatively small snapshot of the source's content in time. The surveys don't include photos, content published over a long period of time, or other elements. Therefore, we also use other methods to arrive at a final bias rating, such as Editorial Reviews, third party data and independent reviews.
AllSides uses multiple methods for calculating media bias ratings.
Our blind bias survey, described in the graphic below, represents our most robust media bias rating method, but it is not the only method we use. A source might openly share its bias, or it may be determined by third party research, an independent review, or an editorial review. Take a look at the multiple methods AllSides uses to measure and rate media bias.