Unbiased news sources?
December 5, 2021 9:21 PM   Subscribe

I am looking for a more unbiased short-form news service. This particular report on the NBC Nightly News on 12/5/2021 seemed blatantly funded by the fossil fuel lobby.

The segment was a complete one-sided account of the alleged harms of electric vehicles to the environment. It took into account no environmental benefit versus harms analyses, included no credible experts, and no funding was disclosed. It actually led me to cancel my subscription to NBC/Sling right after the report.

I have no live TV news anymore. Where can I get 30 good minutes of quality news that are actually unbiased and actually indicate conflicts of interest?

I have tried PBS Nightly News hour and find it to drag on a bit longer than I would like. An audio-only program is something I would consider, too.
posted by metatuesday to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I can't help you with your exact ask, but for a handful of current affairs stories (typically three) in depth over half an hour I listen to the Economist's Intelligence podcast. They have some left wing opinions (by US standards) when discussing US topics, but I don't find them to be especially biased in the way you describe. They're also very well edited for the audio format. I use them as car based listening more often than not. They publish every weekday, and they age well so if you've skipped a couple of days they're still worth listening to. They have a couple of ads apiece that are easily skipped.

The BBC world news is a five minute radio program published as a podcast every hour. It's too short to fit your bill precisely, but it's still a listenable news programme with the ASMR sound of a BBC newsreader to boot. This one I listen to while making lunch. It's not typically worth listening to twice in a day as it takes about 24 hours for them to cycle through completely onto a new set of stories.
posted by How much is that froggie in the window at 10:39 PM on December 5, 2021 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I doubt there are truly unbiased news sources. For example, while I do enjoy some of the Economist's podcasts (especially the weekly "Checks and Balance" US politics podcast), I also appreciate that the Economist is editorially pro free trade and any coverage of topics that overlap free trade are going to be opinion pieces, not unbiased reporting.

Maybe the best you can hope for is to understand the particular biases of each outlet and take them into consideration. It also helps to have alternative information sources to play off against each other.
posted by are-coral-made at 11:07 PM on December 5, 2021 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Unbiased is hard. The BBC world service might be differently biased.
posted by eotvos at 12:06 AM on December 6, 2021 [4 favorites]

Best answer: NPR is where I go to hear what’s going on that’s actually important. They clearly delineate between news, analysis, and opinion shows. They disclose conflicts of interest on air. Also they mostly ignore bogus “controversies” or shock news that some networks spend inordinate time on.

Related, the weekly WNYC On The Media program is not the news, but it’s a great engaging discussion and critical analysis of how the media is presenting different current topics. It’s carried by many NPR affiliates and is available as a podcast.
posted by freecellwizard at 4:11 AM on December 6, 2021 [8 favorites]

Best answer: I agree that unbiased is rare (and maybe impossible since our own biases cloud our judgment of what's biased/unbiased). And covering only one side of an issue isn't necessarily bad as long as (1) the coverage is factual, and (2) you're aware of competing viewpoints so you can draw your own (unbiased?) conclusions.

The Media Bias / Fact Check Web site evaluates the political slant of hundreds of news sources and includes a "Factual Reporting" rating for each source.
posted by davcoo at 4:38 AM on December 6, 2021 [3 favorites]

Best answer: The Christian Science Monitor is the traditional answer to this question. Contrary to the name, it is not focused on Christianity or science.
posted by mortaddams at 10:37 AM on December 6, 2021 [1 favorite]

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