Political Perspectives of Magazines and Journals

Some periodicals will have a specific political or cultural bias. This may be reflected in their choice of issues to report on, their tendency to express certain political or cultural opinions and advocate certain types of solutions to social problems, or both. If your research project requires you to examine a given topic from one or more political perspectives, the following list of titles might be useful. Please note, however, that the categories listed below are quite broad and not all periodicals in a given category will necessarily be in close agreement on all issues.

Liberal / Progressive/ "Left wing"Conservative/ "Right wing"
American Prospect American Enterprise
Atlantic Monthly American Spectator
Commonweal Christianity Today
Dissent Commentary
Harper's Forbes
Monthly Review Fortune
Mother Jones FrontPage Magazine
Ms. Human Events
The Nation Insight on the News
New Leader National Review
New Statesman National Journal
New Yorker New American
Progressive Policy Review
Public Citizen Public Interest
Science & Society Weekly Standard
Tikkun The World and I
Utne Reader  
Z Magazine  

Many popular magazines will attempt to include a variety of perspectives within every issue, and therefore cannot be identified on the whole with any specific political agenda. Examples include Time, U.S. News and World Report, and Rolling Stone. However, each of these periodicals may reflect other biases, not identifiable on a simple conservative-liberal scale, which determine what type of news and opinions they are likely to contain and how the writers tend to treat their subjects.

For more information about the biases and emphases of individual magazines and journals, do a Wikipedia search for the publication title or consult the reference book, Magazines for Libraries, available at the library reference desk. Another way to try to find out more information about any periodical is to find the website for the periodical (search Google to find the website) and look for links such as "About Us" or "Who We Are".

Some political magazines and journals are associated with "think tanks" (also referred to as policy institutes or research centers)-- organizations that develop research and/or analysis of policy issues, usually from particular political perspectives. List of think tanks from Wikipedia.


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