Quality Independant Journalism
July 16, 2007 6:47 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for independent, but reputable news sources.

I feel as if I cannot trust CNN, and although I like the New York Times of course, and IHT, having an above the fold Israeli/Palenstinian story every day seems a little disingenuous. Yet, outlets such as Truthout, GNN, etc. seem anarchical, political and often unreliable.

I often just go with BBC, PBS for real time news, but would like to check out other sources. Thank you.
posted by four panels to Media & Arts (23 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
most tv news have become total crap. the big papers are still decent sources, but of course each has their own editorial policy. some are more obtrusive than others, of course--i still think you can get fair information from the ny times and i read it daily.

you might have better luck going straight to the newswires, like associated press, reuters, and agence france presse. their product goes out to so many markets that any bias is necessarily pretty diluted.
posted by thinkingwoman at 6:56 AM on July 16, 2007

The Wall Street Journal, though most of its articles are behind a pay wall, does great in-depth, issue-based reporting. The Washington Post has fantastic columnists writing about politics, education, movies, tv, the media and food, and does the news as well as the NYT but without the snootiness.

To mix it up a little, I like to check out the Al Jazeera English web site from time to time.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 6:59 AM on July 16, 2007

Also, what do you mean by "independent"?
posted by croutonsupafreak at 7:00 AM on July 16, 2007

I second the Wall Street Journal. Don't read the editorial pages, they are the usual right-wing nonsense. But the news articles are usually pretty good.

The WSJ is such an odd journal. The editorial page is devoted to the principle of efficient markets, and that markets in the US are optimally efficient. But the business section is devoted to the principle of exploiting market inefficiencies.
posted by vilcxjo_BLANKA at 7:04 AM on July 16, 2007

Every one of the news sources has a bias. Some work harder than others to actually be fair and balanced rather than make a sick joke of that phrase, but to get a balanced view on the news you have to read many different sources and make your own judgments.
posted by caddis at 7:05 AM on July 16, 2007

No market is completely efficient, but all markets strive for maximum efficiency. The United States is more efficient than most. That explains the WSJ in a nutshell - the editorials talk about the efficiency of the US, while the rest seeks out more inefficiencies to tackle.
posted by krark at 7:10 AM on July 16, 2007

I agree with caddis.. there's no such thing as "independent" journalism. Every journalist, whether with a large organization or small (or just some citizen blogger associated with no-one) has a world-view, an ideology, or political standpoint. The best you can hope for is to track sources that at least make an effort to cover multiple angles (some might disagree with me here, but I would say the BBC generally does a better job at this than others), or alternatively to acknowledge that every newsoutlet has some bias, so read as much as you can from as many sources as you can.

Find a piece of news, then read about it on Reuters, read about it on Fox, read about it on CNN, read about it at the Guardian, read about it in the NY Times, read about in the WSJ, read about it on Al-jazeera, read about it on the BBC.

The more you do this, the more you will learn how each organization approaches news delivery, and the more you will learn to filter out more of the spin that is in each one.
posted by modernnomad at 7:10 AM on July 16, 2007

Talking Points Memo. Tends to concentrate on a few isuses, but it investigates them throughly.

Orcinus, though his beat is hate crimes, so he focuses on that.

Google news to get a mix of stories.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:16 AM on July 16, 2007

Variety is good. And yes, all news sources will have a bias of some kind.

Several English-language ones worth monitoring: Agence France Presse, al-Jazeera, Xinhua, RTE, ABC (Australian). AFP and Xinhua have good English RSS feeds.

Try Ha'aretz and al-Jazeera next to each other, Xinhua and Taipei Times next to each other. It's a global net--take advantage of it.
posted by gimonca at 7:29 AM on July 16, 2007

Real Clear Politics is a very good site, filtering from multiple sources.

"Founded in 2000 by John McIntyre and Tom Bevan, Chicago-based RealClearPolitics.com (RCP) has become one of America’s premier independent political web sites. Updated every morning and throughout the day, RCP culls and publishes the best commentary, news, polling data, and links to important resources from all points of the political compass and covering all the important issues of the day. RealClearPolitics has become a trusted filter for anyone interested in politics."
posted by commander_cool at 7:34 AM on July 16, 2007

I'm a big fan of Salon.
posted by oddman at 7:38 AM on July 16, 2007

Democracy Now! for a decidedly progressive social-democratic but entirely fair slant on important (and often under-reported) stories. Lots of interviews with primary sources, and free audio and video podcasts to boot.
posted by bdk3clash at 7:44 AM on July 16, 2007

I am a reformed news junkie who has recently cut back on quantity and gone for quality, so I can understand where you're coming from.

Online, I read multiple articles from the NY Times and Guardian websites daily. I live in southern California so I peruse the LA Times website as well, but as I don't live in LA itself coverage of my immediate local area is sparse. Arts and Letters Daily has a huge list of articles and sources that's worth perusing when you want more than the headlines.

Offline, we used to get the LA Times, but we recently switched to getting the Guardian Weekly in the mail. We think it's fantastic because the stories inside have been developing over a few days or weeks, so there's not the same hotheaded screaming headlines and wire service dependent articles - in fact, the GW gets articles from the Washington Post, Le Monde, and a few other very reputable sources in addition to the Guardian.

We think it's a good balance between in-depth articles on important issues and the other things we like to find in a newspaper - they've got great book reviews, two crosswords, and an AskMe-like section called Notes and Queries. They'll send you a free copy here.
posted by mdonley at 8:08 AM on July 16, 2007

Another pondering on "independent" -- Xinhua, for example, is hardly "independent", except that it's often situated outside of a traditional axis of bias. They're going to have a party line on Taiwan or East Asian issues, but are more likely to be an interesting alternative on the Middle East, for example.
posted by gimonca at 8:17 AM on July 16, 2007

opendemocracy.net is independent, free, and covers global affairs, politics and arts & culture.

The contributors are often academics, specialists journalists and/or practionners. It's more analysis and opinion rather than straight-up news. However, it is neutral in the way that they try hard to have opinions from the entire political spectrum (but I figure they're center left).
posted by Sijeka at 8:52 AM on July 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

To compensate for the impracticality/impossibility of finding an entirely independent and objective news souce, I recently added the Columbia Journalism Review blog to my RSS reader. They do a much better job of tracking bias and undermining sources that lack credibility than I am capable of doing. They have also been covering the machinations behind (and the ramifications of) Murdoch's WSJ buyout.
posted by clockwork at 10:15 AM on July 16, 2007

The Economist.
posted by iviken at 10:16 AM on July 16, 2007

Ditto on The Economist. Love it.
posted by JaySunSee at 12:30 PM on July 16, 2007

Tripling the vote for the Economist, but also the Christian Science Monitor
posted by dismas at 12:39 PM on July 16, 2007

I'm also going to throw in my vote for the Economist. They have a definate editorial position that colours their reporting, but at least it's their own, and they aren't carring water for their corporate or political masters.

I would recommend avoiding Xinhua entirely. It's existence is an insult to journalism.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 1:47 PM on July 16, 2007

Seconding avoiding Xinhua and its offshoots (China Daily, People's Daily, etc.). The overt and hidden bias and sloppy reporting is nothing short of astounding. If you want Chinese news, you're better off with something like the South China Morning Post (although it's going downhill as well).

It's very hard to find truly unbiased reporting. The BBC, the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, and the Financial Times come closer (IMHO anyway) than most U.S. TV news and even big U.S. national papers.

I would recommend picking a few contrasting news sources instead. As long as you are aware of the bias of each source, you should be fine. It drives me crazy when people just assume that their news is unbiased and take everything at face value...
posted by gemmy at 6:41 PM on July 16, 2007

I'm surprised no one has mentioned The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer on PBS. The only news show on American television worth watching in my opinion.

For print I ditto everyone else with The Economist.
posted by wigglin at 2:45 AM on July 17, 2007

Today's Front Pages is to die for.

My favorite newspaper is the Guardian, although it's (horrors!) left-wing.
posted by lukemeister at 6:40 AM on July 17, 2007

« Older Need Grand Central Advice   |   Which career move it better? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.