World’s 10 most powerful news outlets

At the start of the decade, news organizations began transitioning into the digital age, not knowing where journalism may lead to. Throughout the 2010s, a precipitous decline in print circulation and digital advertising revenue paved the way for the closure of countless prominent news outlets.

Entering a new decade, the inconceivable transpired through our polarizing climate in politics and mass public assimilation of disinformation. Journalists are now left wondering: what will instill over the next few decades? Will the succeeding decade be the end for independent, quality journalism?

As some attributed the conversion into the digital age as the death of journalism, many will continue to advocate good journalism, even as newspapers will soon be a story of the past and artificial intelligence a jeopardization to media freedom.

Since the transition into the digital age, there’s been a substantive rise in online-based news outlets and blogs. In this excerpt, we compiled a list of some of the most renowned online-based news outlets.

Here are the world’s ten most powerful news outlets on the web.

10. CNN

Headquarters: Atlanta, Georgia

Founded: 1980

Founded by Ted Turner, the Cable News Network (CNN) is best known for its live coverage of breaking news on television. In the U.S., CNN became the first channel on television to offer 24-hour news coverage. With its international reach, encompassing over 212 countries, CNN is also one of the most visited news outlets on the web.

Impressively, first launched in 1995, CNN’s digital presence managed to sustain over 100 million visitors a month, more than the majority of online-based mainstream news outlets.

In the past few years, however, the cable news giant underwent intense scrutiny over numerous retracted stories, becoming synonymous with the term ‘fake news‘ in the political atmosphere during the Trump-era.

9. Reuters

Headquarters: London, United Kingdom

Founded: 1851

Reuters, established in 1851, is one of the oldest international news organizations in existence. Sitting at 13 floors high, its headquarters in London houses some of the most renowned reporters and broadcasters in journalism.

As of 2014, roughly every major news outlet, globally, are a subscriber to Reuters from its many operational locations in 94 countries. Likewise, its online edition thrives in an environment of rapid-spreading breaking news with unparalleled factuality and a monthly readership close to 40 million.

It’s current top executive, Stephen Adler, began his career directing editorial operations for BusinessWeek until his departure in 2012. Since his tenure at Reuters, though, Adler commanded what many constitute is one of the world’s largest international multimedia news providers, respectively, staffing over 2,500 journalists and 600 photojournalists worldwide.

8. HuffPost

Headquarters: New York City, New York

Founded: 2005

In 2016, Arianna Huffington, the co-founder of HuffPost, formerly known as The Huffington Post, stepped down from her throne to launch Thrive Global, a site dedicated to health and wellness.

During her time at HuffPost, the left-leaning news outlet and blog ranked as one of the most popular political sites on the web. In 2012, HuffPost received its first and only Pulitzer Prize from its former senior military correspondent David Wood, becoming the first digital media enterprise to win such an honorary award.

Up until Huffington’s departure, the site was the subject of numerous other honorary awards and racked in a portentous monthly readership of over 200 million. HuffPost’s current editor-in-chief, Lydia Polgreen, is the former editorial director of NYT Global at the New York Times.

7. BBC

Headquarters: London, United Kingdom

Founded: 1922

First launched as a competitor to Sky News in 1997, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) grew into one of the world’s largest broadcast news organizations, known for its radio, television, and online news coverage.

Established by Royal Charter in 1922, the BBC appointed its first Director-General, Sir John Reith. Reith’s legacy, nearly a century later, enabled the British outlet’s domination as one of the most visited websites with its online news service.

As a whole, its brand is a hallmark symbol of British media, with an estimated global weekly audience of 400 million and its figures on social media considered one of the largest relative to other leading mainstream outlets.

6. The Washington Post

Headquarters: Washington, D.C.

Founded: 1877

Founded by Stilson Hutchins in 1877, and regarded as one of the leading daily newspapers in America, The Washington Post, abbreviated as ‘Wash Post’ or ‘WaPo,’ is the largest outlet in the nation’s capital.

Throughout its lifespan, WaPo attained 47 Pulitzer Prizes, 18 Nieman Fellowships, and 368 White House News Photographers Association awards. The paper’s most notable story regarding the Watergate Scandal, led by Robert Woodward and Carl Bernstein, was dubbed as “maybe the single greatest reporting effort of all time,” which led to President Richard Nixon’s resignation.

In recent years, the paper’s digital edition rose to surpass its print circulation. Currently, WaPo is owned by tech mogul Jeff Bezos who purchased the paper from Graham Holdings Company for $250 million in cash. Frederick Ryan of Politico serves as the paper’s current publisher and CEO.

5. People’s Daily

Headquarters: Beijing, China

Founded: 1948

In China, the People’s Daily, its largest newspaper, functions with a daily print circulation of 3 million. Serving the interests of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, the paper also publishes through other editions, including in English, French, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

Headquartered in Beijing, the outlet’s standpoints are directed in accordance with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s governmental bodies.

Its digital edition, the People’s Daily Online (人民网), launched in 1997, is the biggest Chinese news outlet on the web, with an astronomical following on social media, larger than practically all outlets in this list combined. As of 2019, the outlet’s advertising revenue is on the increase with its social growth partially attributing to this significant boost.

4. Fox News

Headquarters: New York City, New York

Founded: 1996

Throughout the 1990s, 2000s, and late-2010s, Fox News, previously owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, in addition to 21st Century Fox, expanded into the most dominant subscription news network in the U.S.

During the Trump-era, Fox News became a paramount force in cable news, rated as America’s most-watched cable network in 2018. Its television ratings, entailing all conservative or right-leaning viewers in America, led to the substantial growth of its radio and online subdivisions.

The digital edition, first introduced in 1995, is one of the most visited news outlets on the web, with its news coverage of sports and politics responsible for most of it. Porter Berry of Fox News Digital currently serves as editor-in-chief.

3. RT

Headquarters: Moscow, Russia

Founded: 2005

In June of 2005, a 25-year-old Russian-Armenian journalist held a press briefing to publicize the launch of RT, formerly known as Russia Today. The journalist, Margarita Simonyan, who serves as editor-in-chief, went on to lead what many can say is the most prominent English-speaking news outlet in Russia, with a global weekly viewership of over 100 million.

In 2017, Simonyan ranked as one of the world’s most powerful women in media by the American business magazine Forbes. “A year ago, most people had no idea who Margarita Simonyan was. Now, she’s being discussed in tech, media and political circles as the outsized influence of her Russian TV network, RT, comes into focus,” according to the report.

RT.com, known by some as a straight-to-the-point news site with high factuality, and others, as a sporadic state-run windmill of alternative perspectives, operates in many regions of the world, becoming an exponential momentum for Arabic, French, and Spanish audiences. Its presence on social media is also one of the vastest. RT’s YouTube presence continues to grow, exceeding millions of subscribers and approximately 7 billion views through all its channels.

2. The New York Times

Headquarters: New York City, New York

Founded: 1851

Standing just outside the Empire State Building, recognized as the eighth-tallest building in New York City, lies the nation’s newspaper of record: the New York Times, often abbreviated as ‘NYTimes.’

Founded in 1851, the paper has become a symbol of American media, having documented landmark periods in history, like the American Civil War and the Cold War. Since 1918, the New York Times has been the recipient of 127 Pulitzer Prizes, beginning with coverage of the first World War up until its recent 2018-2019 reporting of alleged corruption in the Trump administration.

In its entirety, the New York Times employs an estimated 1,300 staffers, while also maintaining an online daily circulation of close to 3 million. The New York Times is one of the most viewed news sites, with the largest amount of followers on the social networking site Twitter.

1. Drudge Report

drudge-report

Headquarters: Wasilla, Alaska

Founded: 1995

During the late-1990s, an internet pioneer’s reporting on political scandals sparked what is presumably the most influential news site on the web.

Matthew Nathan Drudge, the founder of Drudge Report, co-created with the help of Andrew Breitbart, a media mogul behind the early birth of HuffPost and Breitbart News, was once depicted as the most powerful journalist in the world by Britain’s newspaper of record The Telegraph.

Launched in 1995, Drudge rode first-class to the top, producing the biggest news aggregator on the web with its monthly viewership estimated at 1 billion.

As a result of its label as a powerful driver of web traffic to other top news outlets, like TMZ, The Washington Post, Fox News, USA Today, and CNN, Drudge was named as one of the most influential people on the internet by Time magazine in 2018.