It is probably not going to come as a galloping shock to anyone reading this that people tend to like the media outlets they perceive as being aligned with their political beliefs. This is not surprising because it is a generally accepted part of modern media consumption, and it is not surprising because it also speaks to the larger realities of personalization and “à la carte” consumption, wherein people are no longer restrained by limits of geography and choice (your town had its newspapers, your television got its few channels and your ability to keep up with current events was heavily dependent thereon) but are instead able to pick and choose the outlets they like, respect, believe in and want (reading articles from these sites, following these people on Facebook and Twitter, watching only these channels and ignoring or actively muting all that exists beyond that carefully constructed universe).

pew news sources by ideology 10 21

Still, we live in a world filled with other people, and many of these other people have different beliefs, and when these beliefs go hand-in-hand with a willingness to trust or distrust other news outlets based on the perceptions and/or realities of their coverage, that can, in turn, lead to a situation where two people who spend an equal amount of time consuming and considering the news can also come away with the very real sense that they live in two separate but somehow co-extant worlds, because the things they follow and track and hear about and worry about and get worked up over can be so distinct and unrelated as to engender two separate but somehow neighboring views of the world. This chart, which comes from a new Pew Research Center study on political polarization and media consumption, neatly sums up this situation (which, again, is not new, but is still quite useful in explaining why some people obsess over stories that other people have simply never heard about): My colleague Aaron Blake has much more on the split between conservatives and liberals here (noting that conservatives tend to be much more inclined to consume media from outlets with which they agree politically) and here (placing media outlets along the political spectrum). And, of course, you can read the entire study here.