ABC News sign
Source: Getty Images

ABC News sign

Not All News Networks Are Liberal — But What About ABC News?

Jennifer Tisdale - Author
By

Nov. 8 2022, Published 10:30 p.m. ET

As most of the U.S. watches the returns for the 2022 midterm elections, it's interesting to look at the coverage from various news sources. While the internet obviously reigns supreme, many households across the country still turn to their televisions for all their news. Some even rely on old favorites to take them through the news cycle. And though familiarity can often breed contempt, sometimes folks just want what they know.

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Way back at the beginning of television, three networks battled it out for viewers' attention. ABC, NBC, and CBS were known as the Big Three and they've spent decades building a base and a following.

At the time, it was easy to differentiate between them but nowadays things are a bit murkier than they once were. Where does ABC News stand politically? Is ABC News liberal? Here's what we know.

ABC building
Source: Getty Images

ABC building

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Is ABC News liberal?

In October 2014, Pew Research Center did a study on the media habits of Americans. Obviously, this is slightly outdated — and it should be noted that things were wildly different in a pre-Trump United States — but this is still a crackerjack of a study.

A chart created by the research center put various media outlets to the left or right based on ideology. ABC News fell just to the left, though not by much. In fact, one could describe ABC News as more centrist than liberal.

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Despite its slightly liberal leanings, 30 percent of the Republicans polled still turned to ABC News as a reputable source. To no one's surprise, 60 percent of the Republicans in the study "got news from the Fox News cable network in the past week." Interestingly enough, the Democrats polled came in at 37 percent for ABC News, with CNN being their preferred television news source.

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Apparently, Americans think all news networks are liberal. If only!

According to an April 2019 Hollywood Reporter/Morning Consult poll, "Network news channels like ABC, CBS, and NBC, which strive toward impartiality in their reporting, were perceived by a significant margin to be 'more liberal' in their political lean than neutral," per the individuals asked.

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Many folks still head to social media for news — though with Elon Musk's recent purchase of Twitter and the chaos that ensued, this could be up in the air as well. The Hollywood Reporter surveyed a "nationally representative sample of 2,201 adults from March 28 to April 2" who said that "they turn to network news as their daily news source over radio, cable, podcasts, and newspapers."

Of course, Raju Narisetti, a professor at Columbia University School of Journalism, made an obvious and interesting point about getting news via social media.

"It is a fatal, self-reinforcing blow that will only deepen as American local media continues to dry up," he said. "I am less worried about poll data on individual news brands because it also represents the overall noise around some of these brands, be it Fox News or The New York Times, as well as the fact that many of the same people don’t necessarily grasp that much of what they actually read on social media originates from original reporting in mainstream brands."

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