How to Find Reliable News Sources in Today’s Stormy Info-Sea

As a child growing up in a household with a respected and celebrated journalist (my father), I learned from an early age the importance of media accountability, fact-checking, and primary sources in news reporting, and how subtly and effectively language – emotional words in particular – can be used to “spin” any story. You will understand that it’s therefore always been my practice to question news sources and ask others where they get their information. This applies to not just COVID, but everything. Fortunately, there’s a terrific website which can give you reliable and objective ratings for a great many of the news sources worldwide.

Rating example screenshot

The mediabiasfactcheck.com site is the gold standard in rating news sources for reliability. If you’re one of the (sadly few) people who yearn for the most unbiased and accurate news reporting you can find, and want to avoid the internet echo-chamber effect of isolating yourself from voices which disagree with your own preconceptions and beliefs, here’s the lowdown. I strongly recommend you take a few moments to understand the methodology involved, visit the many most factually accurate and least biased sources listed, and perhaps search and check the ratings of your own habitual news sources. For example, here’s the rating for the venerable news agency Reuters (reuters.com), which just about every news outlet in the world subscribes to as a primary source of fatcual information and breaking news:

Reuters rating screenshot

Mediabiasfactcheck is an easy site to use with an extensive multilayer top menu, and covers everything from small-town TV and radio stations to national newspapers and websites around the globe. Here are the prime features you’ll want to check out:

The website’s methodology, with a few comparison charts, is quickly explained here:

https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/methodology/

A comprehensive listing of the least biased and most factually accurate sources worldwide is here:

https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/center/

Least biased source page screenshot

 

Simple search – search bar where you can enter the source whose rating you want to see; use the upper, “Dedicated Media Search” bar to search (enter source name and press Enter):

Simple search page screenshot

 

Filtered search: search bar where you can set your own filters:

Filtered search page screenshot

I’m of course aware I’m preaching to a choir of sensible readers here, as those who are already convinced of the accuracy of the sources that agree with their unshakeable beliefs will only feel reinforced in being privy to the TRVTH that others are too stupid to see. If Breitbart or Moveon.org is where you get most of your information, you’re probably not interested in any of this. That’s okay: it’s a free country.

For myself, I’m extremely picky about sources, and you should be too if you have any interest in trying to form a clear picture of world events. I recommend following at least six reliable sources in more than one country to help a form a wide and comprehensive picture of world events based on fact rather than spin, speculation, manipulation, and downright misinformation.

Play with it and have fun! I hope you find this as useful a tool as I do in navigating the minefield which news has become.

Comments are in all cases moderated.

3 Comments

Filed under Material World

3 responses to “How to Find Reliable News Sources in Today’s Stormy Info-Sea

  1. We definitely need more of these articles in this age of misinformation.
    I’m not sure if our intellect is gradually decreasing along with the changing media content. There must also be a correlation between Mr. Trumps precidency and the declining IQ of the outside world.

    Anyway. Great article.

    • I’m so glad you found my post interesting and useful, and thanks for taking the time to comment. 🙂
      I’m not certain about intellect; I think what is decreasing — plummeting even — is our society’s analytical and critical thinking skill. I see extreme politicians (right or left) as not causes but symptoms of societal currents. The inability to think critically and actually pay enough attention to what is going on, and to be thoughfully engaged (COVID is an excellent example of this, as well as the election of “strongman”/world-is-black-and-white leaders) is our doom. The fact that people even *think* of getting their news from social media appals me, and yet the majority today does. The internet and social media are huge problems, but I believe the root causes of the problem lie with an educational system that utterly fails to teach even the most basic critical thinking and anayltical skills. This may have worked in an age (pre-CNN) when the only media was traditional and mainstream, and the news cycle slower, thoughtful; a time when the main sources generally understood accountability. But in today’s raging and uregulated battleground of mid- and dis-information, the average person operates — and that includes *voting!* — at a purely visceral level, entirely based on the most emotionally persuasive and most recent, voices. It’s not a pretty picture.

      Best,
      D

      • Well put!
        I agree with what you say.
        Social media and alternative news sources (although it’s great to fact-check using a wide array of sources) contributes to the, let’s call it “truth-dissonance”.
        It’s also what gave birth to the newly resurrected expression “fakenews”. I hate that goddamn word because of its association with Mr. Trump but nonetheless its still a word that is the core essence of the deeply rooted societal issues we see today.

        I don’t know how the educational system looks in the states but here in Sweden we are quite good at fact-checking. At least its important in university.
        Now, it may or may not come as a surprise but it doesn’t really apply in reality (in the real world outside the bench) because as soon as a student or anyone else gets infront of a keyboard or notepad everything that’s called critical thinking is thrown out the f%($& window.

        But what can one do but be the bystander of this burning world?
        Those in charge divide and sows discord as to keep the pendulum of injustice in constant swing and here we are – inches away from a screen and a breakdown.

        Best regards

        Alterity

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