What progressive media outlets do liberals need to know about in the United States?

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Answered by: Alex, An Expert in the US Liberal Politics - General Category
Liberals or progressives in the United States are always amused when they hear the phrase "liberal media bias" because in fact, conservative or right-wing viewpoints are quite easy to find in the mainstream news media. But some informative progressive media outlets can be found in the U.S, and they range from magazines to radio stations to websites. Also, cable news (namely MSNBC) has its share of programs that have a progressive or liberal perspective.

On cable news, MSNBC's prime-time lineup has a generally liberal point of view; although the popular Chris Matthews could be characterized as a centrist or moderate, Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O'Donnell and Ed Schultz are decidedly liberal in their perspectives. With the departure of Keith Olbermann, MSNBC lost once of its strongest liberal voices (Olbermann's program "Countdown" is now on Current TV). But because of Maddow, O'Donnell and Schultz, MSNBC's evening lineup remains predominantly liberal/progressive. MSNBC isn't a progressive media outlet exclusively, but it is home to some of the best known liberals in cable news.

In the magazine world, the United States' most important progressive media outlets include Mother Jones, The Progressive and The Nation, all of which are still available in the print format but also have a strong presence online. And the Internet has an abundance of highly informative liberal/progressive websites, including AlterNet (which uses original content in addition to reprinting articles from a long list of other publications), Think Progress, Firedoglake, Talking Points Memo and The Daily Kos. Although OpEd News is not as well known as AlterNet or Think Progress, informative articles with a liberal/progressive perspective are added to that website on a daily basis.

AM talk radio remains overwhelmingly conservative; the vast majority of AM talk radio stations in the United States have lineups that are either exclusively conservative/Republican or are predominantly conservative/Republican (with the occasional libertarian host). But liberal/progressive talk radio does exist in the U.S., although conservative-leaning talk radio stations can be found in a lot more markets. The U.S.' better known liberal talk radio hosts include, among others, Mike Malloy, Bill Press, Thom Hartmann, Laura Flanders and Randi Rhodes. Some liberal talk radio hosts have managed to parlay their radio careers into careers in cable television; for example, Rachel Maddow and Ed Schultz's talk radio programs established them as strong liberal voices and led to the television programs they currently host on MSNBC. And Hartmann, in addition to his radio program, hosts a television program that is licensed to the international cable news network RT (Russia Today).

The demise of the avowedly liberal Air America radio network in early 2010 was a major loss for those who favor liberal media outlets, but it didn't mean the end of liberal talk radio; Malloy, Press, Hartmann, Flanders, Rhodes and others are still on the air. And many African-American AM talk radio stations are good examples of progressive media outlets. In some markets, African-American talk stations tend to favor local programs over syndicated programs (for example, host Bill Anderson's morning program, "Wake Up With Bill," on WURD-AM in Philadelphia). But African-American talk radio also has some nationally syndicated hosts who are staunchly liberal, including the Rev. Al Sharpton (who occasionally fills in for Ed Schultz on MSNBC).

The myth that liberals dominate the mainstream media is exactly that: a myth. But progressive media outlets do exist, and liberals need to know where to find them.

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