If you use AllSides, you likely already know the political bias of your favorite media outlets — and use our balanced newsfeed to get a broader perspective. But what about other people in your state — are they getting their news mostly from outlets on the left, center, or right?

We used Google Trends to uncover the most-searched media outlets in each U.S. state in 2021. Then, using AllSides Media Bias Ratings™, we determined approximately what percentage of media outlets searched in your state are on the Left, Center, or Right. Here’s what was uncovered.

 

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These findings are eerily similar to the presidential election in 2020. There were a few changes: Alaska, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, North Carolina, and Texas went to Donald Trump in the election, but more searches for left-leaning publications than right-leaning ones were conducted in these states in 2021.

A few things are worth noting. One, searching for a news outlets' name does not imply that the outlet is more popular or more trusted for reading the news. For example, we found a small but noticeable increase in searches for CNN when Andrew Cuomo, the brother of CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, resigned as Governor of New York.


Another thing worth noting is that the news media landscape is largely dominated by left-wing outlets. Most outlets we’d consider well-known or “mainstream” are rated by AllSides as being Left or Lean Left. These outlets tend to do more breaking news reporting, have more money and resources, and have more of a historical legacy than outlets we rate as Right or Lean Right. People may only be searching outlets that are well-known, or known for having breaking news coverage.

Another thing worth noting is that the news media landscape is largely dominated by left-wing outlets. Most outlets we’d consider well-known or “mainstream” are rated by AllSides as being Left or Lean Left. These outlets tend to do more breaking news reporting, have more money and resources, and have more of a historical legacy than outlets we rate as Right or Lean Right. People may only be searching outlets that are well-known, or known for having breaking news coverage.

 

State-by-State Bias Breakdown of Searched Media Outlets

Based on the data analyzed, we can draw conclusions on which states search for left-leaning media outlets more often than right-leaning outlets. Hawaii, Vermont, Maryland, and California, for example, all top the list for states with the highest proportion of searches for news websites rated by AllSides as Left and Lean Left. On the other hand, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, and West Virginia were the states most likely to search up Right- and Lean Right-rated outlets as a proportion of all news media searches.

The states with the highest proportion of searches of Center-rated outlets were Oregon, Alaska, Vermont, Washington, Massachusetts, and California — about 9% of Google searches for news outlets in these states in 2021 were rated as Center by AllSides.

 


It’s hard to miss in the chart above that Left- and Right-rated outlets dominate searches in every single state. Fox News (Right) and CNN (Left) make up the majority of Google searches for outlets on the AllSides Media Bias Chart™ in 37 states.

Fox News and CNN were also the two most-searched news outlets in each state in 2021 on average – by far. And in 28 states, Fox News came out on top as the most-searched news outlet.

Here’s which news outlet was most searched on Google in your state (color intensity represents the percentage of searches in 2021 for the respective outlet — darker blue means more searches for CNN, and darker red means more searches for Fox News. White — such as in the case of Florida — means 50/50):

 

United States Trends of Searching for Biased Media Outlets

Using the data, we also calculated the dominance of searching for partisan news outlets across the entire United States in 2021.

Right-rated outlets grew in search popularity compared to outlets in other bias groups. Dominance grew about 14%.

Search popularity for Center-rated and Lean Left-rated outlets stayed about the same, while popularity for Left- and Lean Right-rated outlets decreased as a proportion of searches for media outlets analyzed.

 

 

How AllSides Conducted the Analysis

Powered by Google Trends (read the methodology here) and the outlets displayed on Version 5.1 of the AllSides Media Bias Chart™, we calculated the percentage of searches in all 50 states for each outlet. Outlets for which there was not enough data for the search term in Google Trends were excluded (e.g. Jacobin Magazine, The Christian Science Monitor, The American Spectator). Other outlets that were excluded were those for which the search term(s) for the respective outlet had a high incidence of being for something other than the outlet itself, using Top Search queries for Google Trends (e.g. “The Atlantic” or “Time”).

Outlets used in this analysis that are rated Left were Vox, HuffPost, The New Yorker, MSNBC, CNN, and The Daily Beast.

Outlets rated Lean Left were NBC News, ABC News, Washington Post, CBS News, The New York Times, The Guardian, Yahoo News, USA Today, The Economist, Bloomberg, and Politico.

Outlets rated Center were Axios, Newsweek, Reuters, Real Clear Politics, The Associated Press, NPR, The Wall Street Journal, and BBC News.

Outlets rated Lean Right were The Epoch Times, The Washington Times, The New York Post, and Newsmax.

Outlets on the Right were Daily Wire, Daily Mail, The Federalist, National Review, Daily Caller, OAN, Breitbart, and Fox News.

Each outlet made up at least 0.05% of the total searches for news outlets analyzed in each state.

In order to be as objective as possible, some outlets were analyzed using multiple search terms in Google Trends. For example, search terms used for The Associated Press were “The Associated Press”, “Associated Press”, and “AP News.” For CNN, search terms used were “CNN” and “CNN News.” For OAN, search terms used were “One America News Network”, “OAN,” “OANN” and “OAN News.”

For questions regarding this analysis, please contact Andrew Weinzierl, AllSides’ Research Assistant and Data Journalist, at andrew@allsides.com.

 

 

 

Andrew Weinzierl is AllSides’ Research Assistant and Data Journalist. He has a Lean Left bias.

This piece was reviewed by Antonio Ferme, AllSides Weekend Editor (Center bias), Henry A. Brechter, Managing Editor (Center) and Julie Mastrine, Director of Marketing and Media Bias Ratings (Lean Right).