As traditional newsrooms have shrunk, a group of institutions and funders motivated by something other than profit are entering the journalism arena. A study of 46 national and state-level news sites — a group that included seven new commercial sites with similar missions — found 44% of the sites to be clearly ideological in nature while 56% were non-ideological. An example of the ideological sites was a family of nine liberal sites that all have the word “Independent” in their names, funded chiefly by the American Independent News Network, which itself is funded by a variety of individuals and foundations. On the other side was a group of 12 conservative sites that share the name “Watchdog” and are funded chiefly by the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity, which was launched in part by a libertarian group called the Sam Adams Alliance. The least ideological in their content were sites that operated entirely on their own and had multiple funding sources and revenue streams, sites such as The Texas Tribune. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.