News Networks Got More Biased After Trump, Research Finds

( According to a recent University of Pennsylvania research, cable news is more divisive now than it was ten years ago. Researchers found that this polarization indicator rose following Donald Trump’s victory in 2016.

Networks like Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN were examined and assessed on a biased scale using their guests in the recently released study titled, Measuring Dynamic Media Bias, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Between January 2010 and August 2020, researchers looked at visitors who spent more than 10 hours on a specific channel. Afterward, a “bias scale” was used to rank the visitors based on political donations.

Researchers came to a conclusion based on this “visibility bias” that shouldn’t surprise many viewers of TV news. According to the survey, MSNBC and CNN are far more liberal, while Fox News is more to the right. However, following the 2016 presidential election, these prejudices went entirely out of control.

Additionally, based on the research data, it was found that over time, CNN shifted more to the left than MSNBC. Based on their guests, the researchers noted that Anderson Cooper 360 and CNN Tonight were to the left of MSNBC shows like The Rachel Maddow Show.

“While Fox News always sits to the right of CNN and MSNBC, over time, CNN and MSNBC have gotten closer together. After 2015, CNN is no longer consistently to the right of MSNBC, as it was in 2011 and 2015, according to the research.

The study found that when controversial hosts like Tucker Carlson and Rachel Maddow went to the airways to offer their ideas, it is these prime-time shows where bias is most evident.

Notably, the analysis discovers a shift in bias after 2016, when networks, which had previously followed the same ideological trends while appealing to either a conservative or liberal audience, basically split apart.

For many years, CNN and MSNBC were to Fox News’ left, but they used to follow one another. MSNBC and CNN shifted to the right alongside Fox. They leaned more strongly toward their views regarding news events after Trump. Yphtach Lelkes, an associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication and a co-author of the media research.