In this day and age, knowing where to get news from is a good skill to have. I’ve compiled my sources here for folks to have a look at.
Most of my sources tend to be center to left-leaning, largely because I can’t find decent conservative sources. I do follow The Atlantic and The Economist, which I’m told are more conservative sources, and I would follow the Wall Street Journal, except they have a hard paywall and I’m already paying for all the sources I can afford. If you’ve got a few spare bucks to toss around, that one might be worth adding to your repertoire. I also follow Bloomberg, which, since it follows a lot of financial news, tends to lean rightwards.
I have a sneaking suspicion that a couple of my foreign policy sources are a bit more conservative, but these days, it’s getting hard to tell. It seems like anymore “conservative” refers to the “frothing at the mouth Breitbart/Infowars” stuff, which should be avoided at all costs, so finding sensible conservative voices can be tricky.
As much as I avoid hard right sources, I also try to avoid hard left sources, although I do include Mother Jones on my list. I like Kevin Drum, and they occasionally do some pretty good investigative journalism. I also follow sources like Vox and TPM, which are more left, too, although it seems like they generally try to be fair.
Besides newspapers, I also follow a whole bunch of journalists on Twitter, and they share news from all sorts of places – usually mainly their own publications, but also often from publications I don’t read regularly.
How to Follow the News Online
RSS readers allow you to subscribe to websites’ articles. The reader checks regularly and fetches any new stories that have been published, then hangs on to them for you until you can go read them. You get all the articles, chronologically, stored neatly and saved for you.
You can follow news sources on most social media sites, but in my experience this is pretty inferior to a feed reader. So much information blows by so fast on Twitter that it’s hard to keep up with anything there, and the way Facebook curates articles for you will cause you to miss tons of stuff. If you want everything, where you can pick and choose what to read, when you want to read it, organized the way you want it, you want a feed reader.
Journalists on Twitter
I keep a public list of journalists, pundits, and writers for major blogs here, which you’re welcome to subscribe to. The lineup on that list rotates occasionally as I find new sources to add or get rid of people who aren’t offering anything useful, plus there are a few reporters on there local to me who may not interest you.
Ars Technica – Mostly covers “technology news, tech policy analysis, breakdowns of the latest scientific advancements, gadget reviews, software, hardware, and nearly everything else found in between layers of silicon.”
Associated Press – “The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Our teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting.”
The Atlantic – Mostly covers politics, business, foreign affairs, and cultural trends, usually does so longform.
BBC News – The BBC is the British Broadcasting Company. It’s government-funded, highly respected, and is great for getting a non-American-centric view of the news.
Bloomberg – “Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.”
The Brookings Institution – “The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, DC. Our mission is to conduct in-depth research that leads to new ideas for solving problems facing society at the local, national and global level.” They cover a variety of topics including US news and politics, the economy, world affairs and more.
The Center for Public Integrity – “The Center for Public Integrity was founded in 1989 by Charles Lewis. We are one of the country’s oldest and largest nonpartisan, nonprofit investigative news organizations. Our mission: To serve democracy by revealing abuses of power, corruption and betrayal of public trust by powerful public and private institutions, using the tools of investigative journalism.”
The Christian Science Monitor – “The Christian Science Monitor is an independent international news organization that delivers thoughtful, global coverage. We want to inspire people to think about what they’ve read long after they’ve left the page. To share what they’ve learned with others. And to do something that makes a difference.” Don’t let the name throw you off – it’s not religious, and they do good, moderate news and reporting.
The Conversation – “It is an independent source of news and views from the academic and research community, delivered direct to the public.” They cover a wide variety of topics, usually longform, relying on experts in their fields.
Council on Foreign Relations – Foreign affairs analysis done by seasoned experts.
The Economist – Covers a variety of topics and is generally considered a more conservative outlet, but the sensible type of conservative, not the frothing Breitbart kind.
FactCheck.org – “We are a nonpartisan, nonprofit ‘consumer advocate’ for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics.”
FiveThirtyEight – Run by Nate Silver, you get sports, news, politics and a smattering of other topics, covered from a statistical, “data journalism” perspective. They also do some good longform stuff, specializing in analysis.
Foreign Policy – Does what it says on the tin: covers global affairs.
Lawfare – Lawfare is a blog run by national security and legal experts and offers some excellent expert analysis of current events, mostly on law, national security, and politics.
Media Matters for America – “Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.”
Mother Jones – “Mother Jones is a reader-supported nonprofit news organization [that does] independent and investigative reporting on everything from politics and climate change to education and food (plus cat blogging).” Hard left bias and mostly does opinion pieces or news mixed with opinion, but also occasionally kicks out some really good investigative reporting.
News and Guts – “A news, media, and production company created by journalism icon Dan Rather and dedicated to insightful coverage and conversation.”
The New York Times – I mean, it’s the New York Times.
Nieman Journalism Lab – “The Nieman Journalism Lab is an attempt to help journalism figure out its future in an Internet age.” Covers the latest trends and innovations in journalism, and is run by the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard.
NPR – National Public Radio, home to a variety of excellent radio shows/podcasts, as well as some excellent reporting from around the world on a wellspring of topics.
Politico – Politico covers politics and policy in the US (and in other locations on different sites).
Politifact – One of the preeminent political fact checking sites in operation today.
Poynter – Run by the Poynter Institute, Poynter reports on reporters and reporting.
ProPublica – “ProPublica is an independent, nonprofit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest.” Their topics can vary pretty widely, but it always turns out excellent longform journalism.
Reuters – Reuters specializes in business and finance, but also covers world and US news and politics. “Reuters is the news and media division of Thomson Reuters. Thomson Reuters is the world’s largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on Reuters.com.”
Science – Science is the magazine for the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
SCotUSBlog – “SCOTUSblog is devoted to comprehensively covering the U.S. Supreme Court without bias and according to the highest journalistic and legal ethical standards. The blog is provided as a public service.”
Snopes.com – The gold standard for debunking Internet bullshit. They also do some “just the facts” type reporting on US news and politics.
Southern Poverty Law Center – “Southern Poverty Law Center monitors hate groups and other extremists throughout the U.S. and exposes their activities to law enforcement agencies, the media and the public.”
Talking Points Memo – TPM started out as Josh Marshall’s blog and eventually grew into an excellent (if somewhat liberal-leaning) news organization that covers US policy and politics.
TechCrunch – “TechCrunch is a leading technology media property, dedicated to obsessively profiling startups, reviewing new Internet products, and breaking tech news.”
Vox – “Vox.com is a pioneer in explanatory journalism. We help you understand the news and the world around you.” Vox is an excellent resource for articles, charts and videos that explain the news. They offer context, analysis, statistics and tell you why the news you’re reading matters. Tends to lean a bit left.
Washington Institute – “The Washington Institute seeks to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them.”
Washington Post – Y’know, the Washington Post. Excellent news and politics coverage, stay out of the “we’ll let any old fool post” blogs sections.
Wired – “Get in-depth coverage of current and future trends in technology, and how they are shaping business, entertainment, communications, science, politics, and culture at Wired.com.”