media

Where do you get your news?

As December advances, I’ve been thinking a bit about what I want to blog about this coming year, and whether there are any topics I should focus on. In 2017 I’ve read up on automation, and written about sustainable transport every week. Thanks to those of you who chipped in on those topics, as requested. Your ideas and suggestions make this a better blog.

One thing I’d like to do in 2018 is run a bit of an investigation into news. I’m well aware of the silo effect, and how easy it is for us to only read things that we’re predisposed to agree with. It’s easy to stick with a news outlet that we’re comfortable with, and not be challenged on our views. And plenty of stories are overlooked in our usual news outlets, while others command far more column inches than they deserve. I’m wondering if I should deliberately read a different source of news each week, and see if I can absorb and learn from a variety of perspectives.

So what should I read? Where do you get your news? Can we compile a list together? I’m looking for 50 news sources, and they can be of any political leaning or international origin, as long as they’re in English and accessible. I do actually want to know what’s going on in the world, so I will need to exercise a certain degree of quality control, but I’m willing to be open minded. I prefer written news rather than TV, but if a station has a decent website I’ll add it. What would you recommend?

If you’ve got a suggestion, drop it in the comments, pass them along on Twitter or Facebook, or email me at Jeremy@makewealthhistory.org. I’ll post a list as it comes together, and if anyone wants to join me in this experiment, let me know. Thanks for your help!

17 comments

  1. You might have heard of The Conversation – half academic, half journalistic and pretty left leaning but my best source of information, data and perspectives, this is the only way I want to keep up to date on Australian news – especially when I am not there…

    I believe they have branches in a few places and I follow the global perspectives and Australian versions… https://theconversation.com/global/

  2. Hi Jeremy, You might have heard of The Conversation – half academic, half journalistic and pretty left leaning but my best source of information, data and perspectives, this is the only way I want to keep up to date on Australian news – especially when I am not there… I believe they have branches in a few places and I follow the global perspectives and Australian versions… https://theconversation.com/global/

    Cheers, d’Arcy.

  3. I subscribe to New Scientist, which is a weekly, accessible magazine covering science news, with most but not all of the stories sourced from the UK and USA. It clearly has an international readership. The range of topics is surprisingly wide and it is not a hard read. Many of the UK daily papers seem to pick up their science stories from there.
    Otherwise I read the ‘i’ as my daily paper as it has articles / features written by people from across the political spectrum.

  4. There is an issue with trying to read widely. Some media – such as certain UK daily papers or some US websites – just make me cringe. Call me prejudiced if you like but I’d hate to have to read them to understand how certain groups think.

    1. The i is my main paper these days, since the Independent ceased publication. Then the Guardian and the BBC. And I take your point, there are some news sources that are so odious in their politics that I’d struggle to put up with them for a week! But I’ll try it if they’re still providing actual news. Hopefully there are 50 quality sources to try before I get to the likes of Breitbart…

  5. Perhaps Al Jazeera (their English outlet)? And wikimedia.

    Via a side project, my husband stumbled upon needing to calculate text sentiment of news. The results calculated how negative/positive or neutral headlines of different news sources are. I looked at a few sources (daily mail, bbc, guardian), and the results seemed to confirm my expectations. But I did find it fascinating to see that there is such a large difference in sentiment between them. It got me wondering about the effect of it on people who, as a lot of people do, start every day by reading the news. Surely, it matters whether you wake up daily hearing about good things in the world, or are presented with a negative or nuanced view.
    I thought I add my thoughts to your news investigation query as an interpretation of it. One that I’d be quite interested in myself. And maybe spark your interest in that or a broader direction, too.

    1. Thanks, I’ve added both of those. My mum always recommends reading the news from the Middle East on Al Jazeera as well as British news outlets, for a rounder perspective.

      I’d be interested in your findings on sentiment. Is that written up somewhere? The general outlook of news is really important to the way we view the world, and we don’t interrogate it nearly enough. If you wake up and the first thing you hear is that the world is going to hell in a handcart and nobody can be trusted, that will have huge effects on your own psychology, your citizenship and even the direction of the country.

      1. I feel very wise, having given the same advice as your mum!
        No, it’s not written up. It was based on a research paper that was interested in news on the stock market, so that’s a bit off topic I’d say, but I could find it for you.
        I’ve just asked the husband and he says what I was looking at was basically a list of words with positive and negative meaning (that was used in that research paper), and a computer program to calculate how many of those words make an appearance in the text. So, it could be added up by hand, too, but it would be labour intensive. But he says, you’re welcome to have the computer script if that’s any help to you. Just let me know.
        But no unfortunately, not an accessible set of data or an article on it, as far as I know (, but I haven’t looked into it either).

  6. Real Media, The Real News Network and Disobedient Media to name but three. Real Media have some brilliant in depth investigative reports into the UK Arms Trade, some of which are reposted on The Real News Network in the States; whose coverage of Environmental issues is second to none. If you are looking for reports on surveillance related subjects: Snowden, Assange, the DNC Hack, Elizabeth Lea Vos has given some extremely good analysis many of the key issues.

  7. Thanks. I’ve actually written for Positive News a few times, and I like what they do. They don’t really do breaking news or current events, but they’re a useful additional or complementary source.

  8. I have lived in various countries – in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean – and it is facinating to see how the UK is viewed / reported on from outside. I imagine this applies to every country; the view from ‘abroad’ is different to the view from inside. This certainly gets you outside ‘ the bubble’.

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