The collapse of the Afghan government and return of the Taliban regime took over news media coverage in the U.S. and worldwide this week.

In their coverage, news outlets often focused on the same keywords: Afghanistan, Taliban and Biden appeared most often.

In other ways, reports differed in word choice from left to right. Left-rated outlets used the words women, girls, fear, and rights more; right-rated sources used forces, fight, Islamic and blame more.

Word Choice in Left-Rated Outlets


Left word cloud


Word Choice in Right-Rated Outlets


Right word cloud


How AllSides Did This

We analyzed 11 stories on the right and 11 stories on the left with the word "Afghanistan", "Afghan", or "Taliban" in the title. Stories analyzed on the Right were published by The Daily Wire, Fox News, Washington Times, New York Post, The Blaze, The Daily Caller, The Epoch Times, Breitbart, and National Review. Stories analyzed on the Left were published by The Guardian, NBC News, Mother Jones, USA Today, The New York Times, Slate, AlterNet, and The Washington Post.

In total, we analyzed 5,275 words on the left and 5,074 words on the right. Only words relevant to the story were included; more common words such as "said", "this", "of", "and", "would", and "statement" were excluded.

The number of times a word was collectively used among outlets on each side was assigned a value between 0 and 1, with 1 being the most popular word used throughout. The value assigned is associated with the size of the word in the word cloud. 

Andrew Weinzierl is AllSides' data journalist. He has a Lean Left bias.

This piece was reviewed by Managing Editor Henry A. Brechter (Center bias) and Director of Marketing Julie Mastrine (Lean Right).