Alternatives to The Guardian
June 5, 2021 12:49 AM   Subscribe

As the title says, I'm looking for suggestions for alternative news sites to The Guardian. I'm in the UK, politically left, and am happy to pay for an online subscription. For context, I've cancelled my Guardian sub due to their trans rights coverage.
posted by Faff to Society & Culture (16 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
There’s nothing British-based that has a similar centre-left editorial position. Some people I know who were previously Guardian readers like one or more of Al-Jazeera, HuffPo, the Canary, PA/Reuters, BBC. If you are in the UK a print subscription to Private Eye might be good.
posted by plonkee at 1:14 AM on June 5, 2021

The Financial Times is surprisingly left in some respects, and has some very good reporting and analysis. A subscription is more expensive than the Guardian but I am happy to pay to keep good journalism going. For the same reason, I subscribe to Private Eye and the London Review of Books - the latter not news, but left-leaning and covering a wide variety of loosely literary interests.
posted by altolinguistic at 1:22 AM on June 5, 2021 [3 favorites]

Seconding Private Eye. I don't read the Independent as much as the Guardian, but possibly the Independent doesn't have the same bug up its butt about trans issues as I can't remember anything like that on the Independent?
posted by johngoren at 1:49 AM on June 5, 2021

I like a lot of Private Eye journalism but some of their cartoons can be a bit Charlie Hebdo, i.e. stuck in the 60s....
posted by runincircles at 2:49 AM on June 5, 2021 [4 favorites]

I subscribed to Private Eye for about 20 years, but stopped because among the truly excellent journalism they can be very old-fashioned, with a strange tendency to sneer at everyday things like beards or people riding bicycles, and reported an unmarried woman having a child as if this was scandalous. It might have changed in the last five years but I wouldn't assume it's going to be progressive on things like trans rights.

Sadly I can't really recommend anything - the UK media is in an appalling state.
posted by BinaryApe at 3:10 AM on June 5, 2021 [2 favorites]

Private Eye has been vociferously anti-trans rights, even more so than The Guardian, amplifying TERF views and voices. They are also almost exclusively white upper middle class (in the U.K. sense) posh boys, who make little or no attempt to give a broader perspective.

The BBC agenda in Scotland has been appalling, and even in a broader UK sense they could in no way be described as left leaning.

To second BinaryApe, the UK media is in a parlous state, and I wish there was a positive answer to your question.
posted by JJZByBffqU at 3:36 AM on June 5, 2021 [12 favorites]

Right there with you, it's maddening. I don't think there are any mainstream UK news outlets that do trans issues well.

This may or may not be what you're looking for, but I'd suggest looking into smaller publications. I'll recommend New Internationalist and New Humanist as a starting place, and I've heard good things about Delayed Gratification, but I'm afraid I'm just not as plugged in as I used to be so it's worth looking for others. The content of the stories doesn't generally track with the mainstream news agenda but that's arguably a good thing, I think you get a broader perspective.
posted by AllShoesNoSocks at 4:08 AM on June 5, 2021

The hard (headed) young lefties at Novara Media? Certainly better on trans rights than most of the British press.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 5:14 AM on June 5, 2021 [5 favorites]

Although I'm not a huge fan of news delivered in video format, is worth following even if most of their content is in the form of Youtube videos.

The problem with a lot of news sites is they are competing with the Daily Mail, who publish hundreds of new articles every hour, which gives them a better google ranking and more traffic.
posted by Lanark at 7:22 AM on June 5, 2021

There's despair upthread, but there are good but small options:
- First: check out your local newspapers. The larger ones can have just as good coverage as the nationals, and while not as left-leaning as some other options, quite a few are much more even-handed than the nationals. Random example of a piece in the Yorkshire Post on trans hate crime which is not horrid (and hey, looking at the other news pieces, if I lived in the area, knowing that Flamingo Land was overcrowded would be useful)
- National options:
Byline Times - probably the most newspaper-ish I'm going to rec
Gal-Dem - more magazine, but specifically "committed to telling the stories of people of colour from marginalised genders"
Red Pepper - again more magazine, very international facing
Then there are the sites which have a specific focus but are nonetheless good sources of news in that area, like Open Democracy, Bellingcat, Disability News Service (has had one TERFy story but got a lot of pushback), Each Other and I'm sure I'm missing others I check.
posted by Vortisaur at 8:52 AM on June 5, 2021 [1 favorite]

Maybe the New European?
posted by biffa at 9:03 AM on June 5, 2021

Seconding Novara Media.

I follow a few journalists on Twitter - Owen Jones, Ash Sarkar, Rachel Shabi, Laura Barton, Aditya Chakrabortty - and get a certain amount of content from the stuff that they mention or retweet there.

The only reason I still get the Guardian on a Saturday is for the puzzles. It’s been rubbish for years. It was never really a left wing paper - just the closest we had.
posted by rd45 at 9:25 AM on June 5, 2021 [3 favorites]

Seconding Byline Times, I've found them to be pretty good and very solid on fact checking as far as I can tell.
posted by BlueNorther at 11:31 AM on June 5, 2021

The New Statesman does very good political reporting and analysis from a progressive, liberal perspective. It has historically been not great on trans issues, but has improved substantially since Helen Lewis left a year or two ago - so if you've previously written it off, it may be worth another look.
posted by dudekiller at 3:55 AM on June 6, 2021

Thirding Novara, as I believe their stance on trans rights is pretty clear.
posted by Ten Cold Hot Dogs at 4:22 AM on June 25, 2021 [1 favorite]

It has historically been not great on trans issues, but has improved substantially

In case anyone happens to be reading this, I thoroughly withdraw this statement, as the NS seem to have done just about everything in their power in the last few months to prove me wrong.
posted by dudekiller at 9:21 AM on January 11, 2022

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