James Governor's Monkchips

American newspapers and slants- help wanted from readers PLEASE

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One of my pals pinged me today and said

“Trying to compile a list of the most highly regarded US newspapers and an indication of their politics. Any headers on the best national – very few I know – and the strongest regional ones?”

I only know a few papers in the US and so it strikes me its a far better bet to ask you all. It might be interesting reading anyway to see what folks think? I would very much appreciate any help.

I am sure it would be a useful resource more broadly, for folks interested in news, PR and so on. If i get some useful stuff maybe i can post it on wikipedia or whatever? although i can imagine some fun as people back and forth on calling papers pieces of excrement, either right or left leaning…

Maybe there is already such a list. If so please send me a pointer.

I tend to think of US papers as more city than region oriented. so insights there also appreciated.

Please comment- its really easy. If you are a reader you must know your local papers. So please, just take a minute to jot a couple of notes down. I would really appreciate it. and so will the original enquirer.



  1. USA Today is right leaning

    Washington Post is left leaning

    LA Times is left leaning

    New York times is left leaning

    Boston Globe is left leaning

    San Francisco Chronicle is left leaning

    I’m personally very fond of the Washington Post.

    Not only do they respresent a great editorial position wrt things such as the War on Iraq and other critical issues, but they have proven their journalistic quality through key moments in the history of American Journalism including Woodward and Bernstein’s expose of the Watergate scandal during the Richard Nixon administration.

    The Post hasnt had scandals like the New York Times, which is liberal, but has management issues.

    The LA Times is very reputable, but I dont find their access to be on par with the post. Washington Post is as a function of geography focused on national politics, and has an incredible team working on that.

    USA Today is junk, and they inflate their subscription number by force feeding the paper to hotel guests en masse…

    Detroit news/free press (news-free press?) is left leaning (labor oriented)

  2. just for the thrill of being on a blog …

    what i sent to Janice. am assuming, hopefully not dangerously, that personal opinion is okay.

    off top of head – Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Herald Tribune and New York Times only newspapers of weight, USA Today trite feeble thing with nothing in it, yuk yuk, National Enquirer probably most national newspaper in America – fab tabloid, but then again it is largely written by ex-Sun staff. much much bigger appreciation of news magazines than over in Europe – things like Time – there are several, their names escape me right now – Life i think??? mega millions of magazines on all sorts of topics. a lot of them very bland. business publications are very good, lead by the Harvard Business Review, which is just fab, if only i got round to reading it more often.

  3. I’ve read a limited number of newspapers and I haven’t read all that much of any one, and furthermore I’m actually not very good at identifying political slant. e.g.: I honestly don’t know just how the Denver Post
    slants, even though it’s the paper we get (I barely read it, but Lori does read it fairly regularly).

    I understand at second hand that the Chicago Sun-Times is progressive and the Chicago Tribune and Dallas Morning News conservative. I’ve lived in both cities, but I wouldn’t have been able to tell you that based on my own judgment.

    I guess it’s universally understood that the Wall Street Times is conservative and the SF Chronicle progressive. I don’t remember what the New York Times or LA Times are, but IIRC the New York Post is progressive (although apparently Public Enemy doesn’t like them 😉 )

    Side note: when I go to the UK, I usually buy one London paper at LHR or LGA, based on what’s on the cover. I’ve probably read them all yet I couldn’t classify them for you according
    to their slant.

  4. Any thoughts on US radio and TV journalism? What’s the take on that? Or has the internet become the most effective medium for readers/listeners/writers looking for independent, thought provoking US journalism?

  5. Star Telegram (right) Dallas Morning News (left) and I agree that papers are more city than region oriented.

    St Pete (Florida) Times (Right)

  6. The Manchester (New Hampshire) Union Leader is probably the most right-leaning newspaper in the US. It was owned by a fellow named William Loeb for a long time, and although he died 20 years ago his conservative influence on local politics here can still be felt; and because of New Hampshire’s position as the first presidential primary election its importance in national politics is far greater than most small city papers.

  7. Where I am based there is only one paper. It swallowed the Globe Democrat years ago to become the sole owner (the local journals and independents newspapers are so small they don’t count)of printed media space here for such a large city. Look at the St Louis Post-Dispatch. They run one of the first published newspaper websites that existed also.


    They now have RSS feeds and all the archives have been and remain Lotus Notes based.

  8. I’d be interested what anyone thinks of the papers in the Tampa FL area. Which of either the StPete Times OR the Tampa Tribune is liberal or conservative ?

  9. Houston Chronicle is right leaning. As for all the biggies like New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post are left leaning. USA Today is somewhat right/ centre .. not really all right.

    So, we can see most media are mostly left leaning and liberal. I think FOX News has made the most of the vacuum and took the right wing market by storm. But interestingly, Left wing scholars like Noam Chomsky consider even all left leaning newspapers to be dubious sources. So, in whom should we trust ? National Public Radio ? (which by the way is fully Left) lol

  10. I came across this website while doing some research. My wife and I are trying to find a newspaper to subscribe to.

    We live in Milwaukee, and the only local newspaper available to us is the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which is a border-line socialist bit of trash.

    I am a libertarian. I am looking for a newspaper that is relatively neutral in political stance. I know what my beliefs are, and I find it very aggravating to have a newspaper attempt to subliminally feed me political propoganda.

    However, I also need a national newspaper that doesn’t include a bunch of local garbage that I’m not interested in (like maintenance on the Golden Gate Bridge), nor local sports (like how the Pittsburgh Penguins are doing). I need national topics and national sports coverage.

    Therefore, I’m afraid that my only choice is the USA Today. The Wall Street Journal only concerns itself with business, while the rest of the national newspapers either lean way too far to the left (not that its their fault), or are filled with local crap.

    If anyone has any other viable alternatives for me, please provide me with this feedback. I would appreciate it.

    1. I read your post with interest. Did you ever find a good neutral paper available in the Milw area?

      1. sadly no

  11. Joe, just curious, did you ever find such a thing?

  12. Where does the Christian Science Monitor stand in the left-right spectrum?
    The Washington Post (my favorite) is no where near as far left as the NY Times.
    The Washington Times is right of center!

  13. The best papers, judged by my personal reading and Pulitzer prizes for writing (not cartooning or photos) over the last fifteen years are listed below. Their biases, as reported by the most comprehensive and logical study of the matter I’m aware of (Groseclose, 2005) follow their names.

    Washington Post: Somewhat Left
    NY Times: Left
    LA Times: Left
    Wall Street Journal: Farthest Left (excluding Editorials, which are almost always strangely the opposite)

    There exists a second tier of newspapers which are apparently quite good, though I’ve only read the Tribune extensively. With their generally perceived (but NOT verified) biases:

    Chicago Tribune: Right
    Miami Herald: Right
    Boston Globe: Left
    Long Island Newsday: Left?
    Portland Oregonian: beats me

    Some papers are large in terms of circulation but pretty worthless if you’re looking for informative, relevant, original journalism. Beyond the above mentioned papers, newspapers in America are pretty darn weak. We tend to use the internet, weekly or monthly periodicals, and television news stations for our news.

    The USA Today is a joke. Who cares if it’s right or left – it’s a waste of time, regardless. It’s written for children. My local paper, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, contrary to a previous poster’s strange opinion, is actually seems pretty neutral to me. That means it’s to the right of most papers. It’s also not very good, sadly. The Washington Times and New York Post are common examples of right leaning newspapers, but again, look elsewhere for journalism. One thing I noticed in my examination of Pulitzers is how many different papers used to win them. It seems the talent pool has been mostly laid off!

  14. Unfortunately, currenly news papers are cutting staffs, cutting circulation days, etc. The newspapers are a late deliver of news, compared to the immediate real-life cable news outlets. No longer do newspapers have “investigative reporters” like Woodward and Bernstein. Now Rolling Stone and some other magazines do have reporters (writers) that deliver well researched investigative reporting, such as Matt Tiabbi. Perhpas it would be a nice change, a real solid service, as well as filling a niche in reporting for the newspapers to focus on investigative reporting instead of “breaking news”. Magazines who also used to fill that niche are shutting down as well. So, perhaps the good solid newspapers should adopt this format and see how that increases their business. I sure would prefer to read those type of stories, well researched in the paper, than re-reading what I saw on the web. Just a thought.

  15. I live in Kansas City and feel our only local the K.C. Star to lean left editorially. They serve my conservative leanings however by delivering the Wall Street Journal to my home.

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