Accuracy in Media

Roll Call was the least partisan news source in Washington last year based on comments from Congress, according to an analysis released this week.

Quorum, the “world’s first integrated public affairs platform,” looked at which media outlets were mentioned most often by members of Congress, broken down by party.

Among Roll Call’s mentions, 113 mentions, or 51 percent, were by Democratic members and 106 mentions, or 49 percent, by Republicans.

CBS News came in second, with 53 percent of the mentions by Democrats, followed by USA Today at 56 percent, and Politico and the Washington Post tied at 36 percent.  

At the other end of the spectrum, all 183 mentions of Vox by members of Congress came from Democrats. Huffington Post got 89 percent of its mentions from Democrats, the New York Times 81 percent, MSNBC 79 percent and the Associated Press, once the epitome of straight news, 72 percent.

The Daily Caller was the favorite of Republican members, with 98 percent of its mentions coming from the GOP. The Washington Times was next at 94, followed by the Washington Examiner at 90 percent, Fox News at 89 percent and the Wall Street Journal at 78 percent.

In terms of overall mentions, Fox News led the way by far with 2,720. Second was CNN at 2,024, followed by MSNBC at 1,652, The Hill at 1,148, the New York Times at 749, the Washington Post at 746 and the Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post (156), the Daily Caller (130) and the Washington Times (117) round out the top 20.

Of the top 20 news outlets, only five leaned Republican, roughly in keeping with a study published last March in Business Insider magazine.

In that study, The Economist, which Business Insider considered to be a “mostly conservative” publication, was the most trusted source in a survey of the public. But following it was a long list of left-leaning outlets, such as the BBC, NPR, PBS, the Wall Street Journal, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, USA Today and Google News.

Then came The Blaze, a conservative site, followed by The New York Times, the Washington Post, MSNBC, The Guardian, Bloomberg and the New Yorker.

“Conservative-leaning news outlets seem to be the least trusted among those with a mixed political ideology,” the study’s authors wrote. “Liberal-leaning outlets like Mother Jones and ThinkProgress also rank lower than major media players like The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.”

Alas, the most trustworthy are not the most popular. Americans say they get most of their political news from their local TV, Facebook and major news networks. 

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