News media sources in the U.S. are predictably split along partisan viewership, with Democratic-leaning viewers choosing MSNBC and The New York Times for their news and Republican-leaning viewers choosing Fox and more traditional broadcast channels.
In a survey last fall from the Pew Research Center, viewership for Fox News was 93 percent Republicans and 6 percent Democrats. On the opposite side of the spectrum, viewership for MSNBC was 95 percent Democrats and 5 percent Republicans. The New York Times, NPR and CNN saw similar ratios where Democrats were the predominant viewers. Traditional broadcast news outlets, like ABC, CBS and NBC, saw mixed viewership but still a majority were Democrats.
While commonly understood that some news outlets cater to the views of different political parties, this survey is a good indicator for where Republicans and Democrats get their news on nonpartisan issues – like the COVID-19 crisis.
Fox News, MSNBC and CBS were the news outlets with the oldest demographic of viewership. NPR, New York Times and CNN held the youngest, with the Times holding by far the largest percentage of viewers aged 18-29 with 29 percent. MSNBC held the largest percentage of viewers over 65 with 44 percent.