A recent AllSides Blind Bias Survey from Oct. 2022 asked Americans to blindly rate the political bias of news reports from The New York Times and The New York Post. On average, respondents rated The New York Times as Lean Left and The New York Post as Lean Right, confirming the AllSides Media Bias Ratings™ for both media outlets.
However, we found that respondents’ perception of both outlets’ biases were very different based on where the respondent lives.
Survey Results: New York Times Rated Lean Left — But NYC Residents Saw It as Center
The overall, normalized average rating for The New York Times was Lean Left: -1.32 on a scale from -9 to +9, with 0 representing Center.
Overall, 49% of respondents rated New York Times as left of center, 30% rated it in the exact center, and 22% rated it as right of center.
However, we saw interesting differences in the perception of the media outlet’s bias based on where the respondent lives.
A national sample of respondents recruited from SurveyMonkey most commonly rated The New York Times Lean Left, while respondents from AllSides’ national audience of readers rated The New York Times as Left. Meanwhile, respondents in the New York City metro area were most likely to rate The New York Times as Center. (Note this geographic data represents raw responses, not normalized averages).
This underscores that bias is in the eye of the beholder. There are more liberals/Democrats in New York City, and their perception of New York Times’ bias is that it is Center, because its bias more closely matches their own beliefs.
The New York Post Rated Lean Right; Some National Respondents See It As Center
We also asked respondents to rate the bias of news reports from The New York Post. The overall, normalized average for the New York Post was Lean Right: 1.26 on a scale from -9 to +9, with 0 representing Center.
Overall, 24% of respondents rated New York Post as left of center, 29% rated it in the exact center, and 48% rated it as right of center.
Like the New York Times, we also saw differences in ratings for The New York Post based on respondent location and sourcing. While respondents in the New York City metro area and a national audience of AllSides readers rated the New York Post as Lean Right, the most common response among a national sample of respondents sourced from SurveyMonkey was Center. (Again, this geographic data represents raw responses, not normalized averages).
Bias is in the Eye of the Beholder
Here is a breakdown of survey results by audience.
New York Post:
- AllSides Audience: 2.73 (LR)
- Metro: 1.06 (LR)
- National: 0.53 (C)
The New York Times:
- AllSides Audience: -3.26 (L)
- Metro: 0.45 (C)
- National: -1.40 (LL)
Again, it’s very important to note that the above are raw responses, so they are not normalized. In other words, metro-area responses are heavily skewed left, because there are more Democrats/liberals in the New York City metro area.
It is also worth noting that the NYC metro-area results and national results are representative samples of their respective populations, and are balanced to reflect that.
During an AllSides Blind Bias Survey, we ask respondents to read news headlines and reports from media outlets with all identifying or branding information removed. Respondents then provide an overall bias rating for the outlet using an 11-point Likert scale, with the point furthest to the left labeled “Left,” the point furthest right labeled “Right,” and the point in the center labeled “Center.”
Overall results are then represented on a scale of -9 to +9, with 0 representing dead Center, -9 representing Left and +9 representing Right.
- Left: -9.00 to -3.00
- Lean Left: -2.99 to -1.00
- Center: -0.99 to +0.99
- Lean Right: +1.00 to +2.99
- Right: +3.00 to +9.00
While the normalized average responses confirmed our media bias ratings of The New York Post and The New York Times as Lean Right and Lean Left, respectively, we found it interesting to note just how different perception can be based on the bubble where a respondent lives. With so many liberals in New York City, it makes sense that this group sees The New York Times as Center, while the rest of the country puts it to the left.
Support Media Bias Research! If making media bias transparent is important to you, please support our work by making a donation. We can’t continue to do this work without the support of our readers. Click here to donate or become an AllSides Sustaining Member.