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10 most powerful media outlets of 2017

In this excerpt, we rank the most powerful U.S. media outlets of 2017.



Photo: Pixabay

In 2017, we witnessed, well, pretty much everything — from major advances in scientific research to the downfall of misogyny to even political misinformation, unlike anything we’ve seen in modern history.

Also, we saw a persistent growth of far-right media outlets, like Infowars, thanks to Donald Trump, of course.

In this excerpt, we compiled a list of the ten most powerful news outlets of 2017 that made this all happen. Enjoy.

10. The Hill

Founded: 1994
Headquarters: Washington, D.C.

The Hill, a newspaper founded by Jerry Finkelstein, was labeled as one of the most tweeted news outlets on Twitter in 2017. The outlet, based in Washington, D.C., publishes news on elections, US Congress, and other political topics.

Although the print circulation is only in the tens of thousands, The Hill has seen a significant increase in web traffic over the past few years, especially during Trump’s freshman year. And it appears 2018 will be another big year for The Hill.

9. CNN

Founded: 1980
Headquarters: Atlanta, Georgia

Among the outlets that saw the worst reputational damage, was CNN. The cable-television news giant became synonymous with the term “fake news” after retracted stories.

In early 2017, CNN’s prime-time ratings dropped below Nick-At-Nite. However, the ratings eventually bounced back, where, in December, the cable news giant saw its largest audience ever, according to AdWeek.

8. HuffPost

Founded: 2005
Headquarters: New York City, New York

Last year, Arianna Huffington, the former co-founder of HuffPost, left her throne to focus on a wellness site she launched: Thrive Global. Since then, the liberal news outlet has seen countless changes, including a purge of established journalists, like its Pulitzer Prize winner David Wood.

HuffPost’s web traffic remained steady at a whopping 170 million visitors, or so, a month. Yahoo and Drudge Report made up the majority of their non-social traffic in 2017.


Founded: 1923
Headquarters: New York City, New York

Since its inception in 1923, TIME has grown into the world’s largest weekly news magazine, with its print circulation amassing over three million. The digital edition, however, pulled an estimated 65 million visitors a month in 2017.

The 2017 cover of TIME’s Person of the Year sums up what dominated the news almost on a daily basis. #MeToo, a movement which took off after Harvey Weinstein’s accusations of sexual misconduct, triggered a global trend called “the Weinstein Effect,” where we witnessed the collapse of many powerful men.

6. The Washington Post

Founded: 1877
Headquarters: Washington, D.C.

The Washington Post, founded in 1877, is the winner of dozens of Pulitzer Prizes. The newspaper earned a chunk of its credibility after its investigation of the Watergate scandal, which ultimately led to Richard Nixon’s resignation.

In 2017, and currently dubbed as the paper’s Jeff Bezos era, The Washington Post saw over 259 million visitors a month, with Drudge Report making up the majority of its non-social referral traffic. News on Trump’s presidency brought the most clicks to its site.

5. Infowars

Founded: 1996
Headquarters: Austin, Texas

Infowars, with a history of far-right and former Russian media reporters, saw reputational damage similar to CNN. However, even after a publicly acknowledged counter-intelligence probe, the outlet, founded by Alex Jones, still managed to expand its internet reach.

In 2017, it became evident that Infowars, along with Fox News and Drudge Report, was the arm of Trump’s first year in office, as many close associates contributed to the outlet. Despite its growth, many still dub the outlet as a windmill of alt-right propaganda.

4. Fox News

Founded: 1995
Headquarters: New York, New York

Fox News, the second most watched cable-satellite news outlet in 2017, demonstrated a significant increase in television ratings, even following a hostile period of sexual allegations among staffers.

The digital edition of Fox News saw nearly 295 million visitors a month, with Yahoo and Drudge Report responsible for most of its non-social web traffic. In 2017, Fox News, along with other right-wing outlets, became instrumental in shaping Trump’s first year as commander in chief.


Founded: 1996
Headquarters: New York City, New York

MSNBC, the most watched cable-satellite news outlet in 2017, soared in popularity due to renowned liberal commentator Rachel Maddow.

Throughout mid-2017, Maddow’s show surpassed Fox News and CNN in television ratings. Yahoo and Rotoworld made up the majority of the non-social traffic at MSNBC’s digital edition.

2. Drudge Report

Founded: 1995
Headquarters: Wasilla, Alaska

In this excerpt, Drudge Report, founded by Matt Drudge, had the biggest web traffic of all, which received nearly a billion visitors a month.

Many mainstream news outlets, like The Washington Post and Fox News, got an exceptional amount of their web traffic from the news aggregator throughout 2017.

1. The New York Times

Founded: 1851
Headquarters: New York City, New York

Founded in 1851, the ‘newspaper of record’ was the subject of countless controversies in the political atmosphere. Unfortunately, its print circulation continues to decline.

Nevertheless, the newspaper’s digital edition experienced an increase in web traffic: about 390 million visitors a month in 2017, with Drudge Report responsible for a large chunk of it. Online paid subscriptions are expected to rise in 2018, as journalism moves further into the digital age.

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