Real News from Real Sources

Want to know where to get facts?

Forbes ArticleThe other day, one of my Facebook friends shared a link to an article on Forbes that discussed the difficulty of finding reliable news sources in a world where so many sources are labeled “fake.” The article listed, with objective descriptions, what the author considered honest and reliable news sources. I’ll run down the list quickly here; I urge you to read the article to get additional information about each source:

  1. The New York Times
  2. The Wall Street Journal
  3. The Washington Post
  4. BBC
  5. The Economist
  6. The New Yorker
  7. Wire Services: The Associated Press, Reuters, Bloomberg News
  8. Foreign Affairs
  9. The Atlantic
  10. Politico

There are runners up and financial resources, too. Again, I urge you to read the article to get those lists. (Spoiler alert: CNN is on a list; Fox News, Brietbart, Huffington Post, and Mother Jones are not.)

As I added on Facebook when I shared a link to the article, the real trick is convincing the people who already turn to less reliable news outlets that these news outlets are better and more truthful. Another challenge is getting people to understand the difference between fact-based articles produced by journalists and opinion pieces produced by pundits.

If you’re interested in doing the right thing during these difficult times — and don’t don’t fool yourself: these are difficult times — start by informing yourself about an issue by turning to reliable news sources. (Note the plural there; try to learn from at least two good sources.) Be careful to get information from journalists and not pundits. (In other words, skip the OpEd and political commentary pages/columns.) Go beyond the headlines! Think about what you’ve learned. Discuss it with other people you know and trust who have done the same thing. Then form your own opinions and act accordingly. Acting means calling your congressperson or senators when an issue comes up to vote. These days, it also means showing up for peaceful protests and doing what you can to help convince those sitting on the fence to see things your way and also act.

It’s sad to me that so many people are falling for “alternative facts” fed to them by unreliable news sources, many of which are playing political games for ratings or other gains. What’s even worse is that the “fake news” label is being applied to what are truly reliable news sources.

Stop the ignorance. Get your information from reliable sources and make your own decisions.

7 thoughts on “Real News from Real Sources

  1. Good advice.
    I read the Forbes link and was pleased to see that the BBC was the “global standard” of honest coverage.
    The BBC is paid for by Brits, each household pays the same. The elderly get it free. I watch little TV but listen to BBC radio all the time. What is special about it? It carries no advertising, that makes it free to explore the truth, without bias (within proper English value judgments!).
    I like the US, the space, the people, but your TV is awful, endless ads. And if anyone thinks that ads. are independent of editorship they are deluded. Fake news exists because it drives ad revenue.
    But there is another problem with ‘facts’: some remain unknown to all media; good, bad and indifferent. Let me give an example: take the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. This was sold, at the time, as Kennedy’s victory over Kruschev, the latter apparently backed down and removed the missiles from Cuba. Yee hah, stuff the commie wimps!

    The full truth came out 20 years later. It was a diplomatic deal. The US removed nukes aimed at Russia from Turkey, while the ‘Soviets’ removed the Cuban-bound missiles. The ‘then facts’ sold it as a brilliant US triumph, the later facts, told the truth.
    This ‘grading of facts’ is happening all the time. Trump knows this. He inhabits a slice of time called ‘now facts’. Briefly believeable, then disowned, if challenged.

    • I agree: our TV is awful. And it’s not just the advertisements. (We call them commercials.) For the most part, it’s dumbed-down crap for the masses. Reality TV is absurd nonsense with fake drama churned up for the people who don’t have enough of it in their own lives — or prefer to watch from the sidelines instead of living their own lives. Our current president came from that background. No wonder he appeals to so many people who buy into his bullshit.

      Can you understand now why I don’t have cable or satellite television?

      Our rough equivalent to your BBC is NPR (National Public Radio) and PBS (Public Broadcasting System). Conservatives charge that NPR is left wing and threatens funding all the time. But much of NPR’s funding is from private individuals like me — I usually contribute about $100/year — and corporations. Donations are tax-deductible. So if the government pulls out as a way to “kill” NPR, they will definitely fail and likely push it even more to the left. I honestly think they try to stay centered but that their listeners are too smart to fall for the bullshit any conservative guests try to sell in interviews.

      And there’s a lot of bullshit being spread out there these days. “Alternative facts,” indeed.

      I just want the truth, as often as I can get it. Not interpreted, not watered down. Give me the facts. Let me decide. If I can’t decide on my own, I’ll look for the opinions of others I value.

      I’m just so sick of being lied to.

    • Yes, NPR is often excellent. I have listened to stations in Boston, Seattle and Palo Alto every bit as good as the BBC World Service and often a little less ‘formal’. Good for you for helping to fund it.

      While the farce of draft-dodger Trump (with those mysteriously convenient, yet disappearing, bone spurs) criticising Vietnam amnesiac Blumenthal for exaggerating his military record (!) unfolds, there remain signs of hope.
      For all his wealth, bluster and arrogance, Trump is already starting to unravel. I read that Neil Gorsuch refuses to sing from the Trump book of vulgar fatwas.

      The Supreme Court is going to be busy over the next few years. People will tire of endless attacks on the press, as his reiterated vanity shows Trump to be shallow, prickly and fragile.
      He has already kowtowed to China over Taiwan, and ‘the Wall’ remains (and will continue remain) unfinished.

    • I’m in transit again so I missed much of the Trump/Blumenthal hoopla. Just hints about it on Twitter. Things do appear to be heating up for him. His Muslim Ban loss is a real wake up call. So is the Kellyann Conway ethics violation. And apparently there was a town hall meeting in Utah where a republican reprensative got his ass handed to him.the “resistance” is gaining momentum, I’d be very surprised if he lasts a year, let alone four. And with recent revelations on Flynn’s talks with Russia, Pence might go down with him. I’m hoping. I’d like to see a sane moderate in the White House.

  2. I’ve dramatically reduced my fake news exposure by just eliminating Facebook from my daily routine. Uninstalled it from my phone, took it off the bookmarks on my laptop, parked an old TV station “off the air test pattern” image as my profile pic and homepage backdrop. I didn’t close down my page completely (if that’s even possible, given the nature of the internet) and will probably log in a couple times a month to see if people have figured out how to disagree while still remaining civil with each other.

    After reading a news article on just how much of our supposedly private and personal information is being harvested via smartphone, I wish I’d have never installed it on my phone. It’s designed to be addictive, and I found myself wasting far too much of my time attempting to convince people who are determined to remain ignorant. While I will surely miss out on a lot of entertaining puff pieces and lots of cute baby photos and such, the level of vitriol and stupidity on social media right now is just too much for good mental health.

    • This is all very smart. I’ve reduced my Facebook use considerably, but the thing that really improved Facebook for me was simply not following people who continuously shared links to fake news. Still, getting off Facebook completely is probably the best thing to do.

What do you think?