This election has revealed that I do not know as much as I think!
October 24, 2016 8:25 AM   Subscribe

I need better news sources and am sometimes at a loss as to how to evaluate stuff on the internet. I am looking for left-leaning but fact-based news and opinion sources that discuss ongoing events and get fairly detailed about issues, events and policy - not the Economist, not Foreign Affairs, not Harper's or the Atlantic or the Guardian.

I already have adequate access to centrist economic and foreign policy writing and to progressive think pieces/cultural pieces. I have access to all the left opinion pieces I need.

I feel like I'm missing both non-centrist on-the-ground reporting of events and complex analysis based in detailed historical understanding.

Specifically marxist, anarchist, etc standpoints are fine, even welcome - but sites that are mostly people being huge jerks to each other, sites that are mostly people endlessly relitigating Kronstadt or last year's demo or sites with a "feminism is a bourgeois deviation, rape prosecutions are garbage" bias are not welcome in the slightest.

I am especially interested in reporting and commentary from residents of other countries. My French is good enough to read Francophone sites, but that's about it.

I would be interested in specialist reporting - websites that focus on one thing, like prison organizing, environmental issues in Russia, etc.

In an ideal world, these would not be sites where a lot of time is spent in infighting amongst posters and commenters, but I can ignore that.

Recommendations that are not a perfect match to the description above are fine if you think they're really worthwhile.
posted by Frowner to Media & Arts (21 answers total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
OpenDemocracy is good and fairly pluralistic, 'left-leaning', UK-focused
posted by Ted Maul at 8:44 AM on October 24, 2016

Check out DemocracyNow!
posted by monologish at 8:57 AM on October 24, 2016

> reporting and commentary from residents of other countries

maybe i wouldn't say it's explicitly left, though (although a general leftist view comes "naturally" from how it functions).

(the place for leftist news in chile is probably, but it's spanish language).
posted by andrewcooke at 9:12 AM on October 24, 2016

Response by poster: (I can sort of con news in Spanish because I've taken a couple of semesters and it's similar to French, so Spanish language sites are at least starting points, since I can get things like "hm, people are concerned about shortages!" out of them.)
posted by Frowner at 9:22 AM on October 24, 2016

For thorough and dispassionate analysis of this US election in particular I depend on
posted by nicwolff at 9:30 AM on October 24, 2016

Mother Jones and ProPublica leap to mind.
posted by phoenixy at 9:36 AM on October 24, 2016 [4 favorites]

I think you are local-ish to me, so for local-ish stuff, I really like MinnPost, if you aren't already aware of them. They seem to have scooped up a lot of quality journalists that have otherwise lost their newspaper jobs.
posted by jillithd at 9:50 AM on October 24, 2016

Spiegel Online has an International (English-language) section.
posted by bluebird at 9:52 AM on October 24, 2016 [1 favorite]
posted by Postroad at 9:56 AM on October 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

The Canadian Social Research site has a really good e-mail newsletter with Canadian and international coverage of social policy issues. (Run by one retired civil servant; no comment sections, no spam, just good coverage of the things it seeks to cover.)
posted by kmennie at 10:23 AM on October 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

I enjoy Doug Henwood's work, which comes from a democratic socialist perspective. He has a newsletter which is focused on economic/financial events, and a radio show/podcast which is a bit more broad-ranging and often includes interviews with people involved in current events around the world. Yanis Varoufakis was a frequent guest prior to his stint as the Greek finance minister, for example, and provided a lot of context on the lead-up to the Greek economic crisis of the last few years. Recently I have been getting into the This is Hell podcast, which has a similar lineup of guests but is more frequently updated.

You probably already know about Labor Notes, but I think it's under-rated as a source for nuts-and-bolts information on union organizing in the US.

(full disclosure: I know some people who've been guests on these podcasts and people who've written for Labor Notes)
posted by enn at 10:24 AM on October 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

MacLeans is a Canadian weekly, and I've found some of their special reporting to be top notch, and they are generally pretty centrist/fair and have both left- and right- leaning writers [wiki].
posted by porpoise at 11:02 AM on October 24, 2016

I haven't found more news sites in English beyond what you already know and aren't looking for, but I have better luck finding analysis that then helps me understand the news, even if it's not always up to the moment. These analysis sources do clue me in to current events I wouldn't otherwise hear about, and better prepare me to understand the news. I don't know if this is at all useful to you, but some of my sources for analysis, basically at random, are: Africa is a Country, Planetizen, Naked Capitalism, Crooked Timber, Tits and Sass (can't link at work), The New Inquiry, Juanita Jean, 3 Quarks Daily, Triple Crisis, the Duck of Minerva, The Society Pages, Tablet (I totally disagree with them on Israel but I do still find this site of interest for bringing issues to my attention), Discover Blogs, Motherboard, and lots of other stuff that either doesn't update very often or seems to be gone now or maybe isn't as topical as these?

Are podcasts of interest? I have been listening to The New Books Network for extensive interviews with academics. Obviously only some would be focused on the specific topics you're looking for.

I actually get a lot of info from a very carefully curated list of people I follow on Twitter, where I can find tons of really smart thinkers and journalists and writers especially POC/women/queers, but I do find Twitter to be a brain vortex which ultimately makes me feel like I stayed up all night on stimulants and watching TV, even though as I say, I follow a lot of really smart thoughtful people there.
posted by latkes at 1:17 PM on October 24, 2016 [4 favorites]

I've found Jacobin to be quite useful for socialist and socialist-leaning news/opinion, in particular about Europe (I find them more of a mixed bag about U.S. issues, but still thought-provoking).
posted by the return of the thin white sock at 6:07 PM on October 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

Nobody usually throws money at open leftists to run think tanks (and would they agree to run them, anyways?), but the closest things I can think of are bodies that promote "progressive" policies (which may or may not be entirely opposed to, say, a Marxist agenda) like:

Economic Policy Institute
Center for Economic and Policy Research
Institute for Policy Studies
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 6:51 PM on October 24, 2016

posted by aniola at 11:41 PM on October 24, 2016

If you're interested in Middle East/North Africa news reported with a deeper understanding of historical/cultural/political context (and by people who actually speak the relevant languages) I strongly recommend both Jadaliyya and MERIP.
posted by karayel at 2:59 AM on October 25, 2016 [2 favorites]

Also Muftah (more news/current events focused) and Ajam Media Collective (more arts/culture focused, and specifically addressing Iran and Central Asia).
posted by karayel at 3:03 AM on October 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

For South Asia (and beyond) The Caravan and Himal are both excellent. The Kafila blog is also a good resource for left politics & perspectives in India.
posted by karayel at 3:06 AM on October 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

The New Left Review?
posted by kmt at 7:36 AM on October 25, 2016

Dissent magazine has two podcasts you might like - Belabored (on union/labor rights current events; been around for about 3 yrs) and Hot and Bothered (on broader protest/activism current events; recently launched).
posted by melissasaurus at 4:48 PM on October 25, 2016

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