Newsmax sees ratings surge after 2020 election

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Upstart right-wing media outlet Newsmax saw its web traffic triple in November as the contested election played out, but it still only garnered ten percent of the traffic generated by its larger rival Fox.

Newsmax traffic jumped 330 percent last month to 13,378,000 over the previous year — catapulting it to second place among right-leaning websites, according to an analysis by The Righting, which tracks conservative sites.

“It’s strategy of positioning itself to the right of Fox News appears to be working in the post-election environment,” said TheRighting CEO Howard Polskin.

Still, Foxnews.com remained the most visited conservative website with 129,851,000 unique visitors in November, a rise of 37 percent, according to The Righting, which crunches numbers supplied by comScore. Fox News was founded by media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who also owns The Post.

Both right-leaning sights trailed CNN.com, which generated 174,772,000 unique visitors in November. The New York Times pulled in 128,474,000 unique visitors while the Washington Post pulled in 113,685,000.

Newsmax has attracted many of the more ardent supporters of President Trump, who has refused to concede the election to Joe Biden and has pushed unfounded theories of widespread voter fraud. The US Senate is set to meet on Jan. 6 to formally ratify the electoral college results that gave Joe Biden 306 votes to Trump’s 232.

Newsmax, which has continued to push the line that the election is still up for grabs, is not the only right-wing website to score big by pushing theories of a stolen election, despite numerous courts ruling otherwise. Radio host Dan Bongino has seen traffic to his Bongino.com rise 619 percent on the month. He is also a backer of social media website Parler, marketed as a conservative alternative to Twitter, which attracted 13,484,000 unique visitors in November.

NewsGuard, a media watchdog that worked with social media intelligence company NewsWhip, found that traffic to all sites rose dramatically during 2020. Website engagement — which NewsGuard took to mean likes, shares or comments — jumped to approximately 16.3 billion, up from 8.6 billion a year earlier.

Sites NewsGuard rated as unreliable had four times as many interactions in 2020 — or 2.8 billion compared to 700 million a year earlier for a rise of 305 percent. Sites NewsGuard rated as green for reliable also saw engagement rise, but only by 69 percent in the first 11 months of 2020.

“Facts did not always flourish in 2020,” NewsGuard said in its year-end report. The three sites with the most engagement NewsGuard said published misinformation on COVID-19 and the contested election were lead by Breitbart.com, followed by TheBlaze.com and anti-China website The Epoch Times.

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