A recent analysis done by Media Matters took a look at the editorial columns carried in American newspapers. Interestingly, it found:
“Sixty percent of the nation’s daily newspapers print more conservative syndicated columnists every week than progressive syndicated columnists. Only 20 percent run more progressives than conservatives, while the remaining 20 percent are evenly balanced.”
“The top 10 columnists as ranked by the number of papers in which they are carried include five conservatives, two centrists, and only three progressives.”
“In three out of the four broad regions of the country — the West, the South, and the Midwest — conservative syndicated columnists reach more readers than progressive syndicated columnists. Only in the Northeast do progressives reach more readers, and only by a margin of 2 percent.”
Media Matters is a self-described “progressive” organization, but this seems to be just a matter of contacting papers and keeping a tally. Some might say that columnists like David Broder and Cokie Roberts should be categorized a liberals instead of moderates. I agree with their categorization on that, but even if you counted every single “moderate” as a “liberal,” it looks like conservative columns would still enjoy a heavy 60% to 40% advantage.
And what about Minnesota? The analysis found that we have the 9th most liberal editorial pages in the nation. However, the conservative voice on Minnesota editorial pages was still slightly more dominant than the liberal voice.