Rachel Maddow, the Nation, Daily Kos: Winners in AlterNet's Poll of Most Influential Progressives
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It's clearly harder to gain influence without a regular TV platform. A poll that looked at just writers would have these talented progressives in the top 10: Paul Krugman, Naomi Klein, Matt Taibbi (13th) , Seymour Hersh (16th), Jim Hightower (17th), Chris Hedges (18th), Glenn Greenwald (19th), Katrina van den Heuvel (20th), David Corn (22nd), and Jeremy Scahill (23rd).
In the online magazine contest, it's interesting that the Nation and Mother Jones also have print versions, as does the Progressive, which came in at seven. Meanwhile, others in the online top 10 are web only, including (in addition to HuffPo, Salon and TruthOut) Think Progress at six, TruthDig at eight, Common Dreams at nine, and Talking Points Memo at 10. A relative newcomer, but gaining traction, is Raw Story at 11, and in a big accomplishment, TomDispatch, the creation of uber book editor Tom Englehardt, which typically publishes just three major features a week, is at 13, just behind the Utne Reader at 12 , and ahead of the American Prospect at 14 and CounterPunch, at 15.
As for the blogosphere, it seems those blogs with most influence also garner the most visitor traffic, according to various tracking systems. The second five most influential blogs are: Right-Wing Watch, Wonkette, Liberal Oasis, Kevin Drum's blog, which is on Mother Jones, and Juan Cole.com. Digby's Hullabaloo comes in at 11.
One of the weaknesses of the progressive universe is the lack of influential voices of color. AlterNet's audience, along with most of the progressive magazines and blogs, have audiences of color that percentage wise are relatively small -- generally in the 10-15 percent range by on-line measuring companies. Meanwhile the overall population of African Americans and Latinos in the U.S. is roughly 28 percent. There are no people of color who host television shows with big audiences, with the exception of Juan Gonzalez, who co-hosts Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman.
In terms of this survey, ranking the 10 most influential people of color: Cornel West, Melissa Harris-Perry, Juan Gonzalez, Bob Herbert, James Rucker, Patricia Williams, Don Rojas, Rinku Sen, Kai Wright, and Roberto Lovato.
Some demographic information about the survey participants: 52.9% are male, 46.7 % are female. This comes closer to gender equity than most data on who reads and watches progressive media, and .3% or 27 transgender people. The majority of people who participated were over 50 years old, while just about 30% were between 25 and 49. 65% have college or graduate degrees, and 55% read AlterNet every day, while 20% only occasionally, or came to AlterNet for the first time to fill out the survey.
It should be kept in mind that while we did our best to be inclusive, there will no doubt be differences of opinion; first on who is a progressive as well as who was included in the list of nominees. Our apologies to anyone who feels left out. We encouraged people to write in names in all categories, and we will include anyone who got any significant mention in the next survey.
Poll participants were asked to choose the 10 people, magazines and blogs they thought most influential, with 1 being the most influential. Then for ranking in each category, each number 1 vote was given 10 points, number 2, 9 points, down to 1 point for a number 10.
|Most Influential Progressives||Total Points|
|Katrina van den Heuvel||15,057|
|Online Mags||Total Points|
|Crooks And Liars||36,441|
|Ezra Klein-Washington Post||28,268|
|Right Wing Watch||15,682|
|Lawyers, Guns & Money||6,957|
Don Hazen is the executive editor of AlterNet.