Life is busier than ever before and news breaks even faster. With digital news sites and social media spreading information faster than you can blink, it’s harder, but also more important, to keep up with the news. Most of us are online most of the time, so news websites have long overtaken print journalism as the primary source of our news.
Keeping up with the news is even harder today because of the proliferation of ‘fake news' sites. It's difficult to know what's real and what's not and many people are tired of having to filter for bias in their news supply. If you're interested in keeping your finger on the pulse of what's going on in the world and you need to be able to trust your information, you have a difficult task ahead. Here are some recommendations for the best ways to keep up with the news without being overrun by stories that aren't news.
Read Only the News
If you’re not interested in opinion, editorials, or thought pieces and all you want are the straight facts about where there was an earthquake or how many people attended a rally in China, you might do best by going straight to the source of the news. Well, you can’t actually travel the world yourself reporting on events, but you can get your news from the same place that your chosen newspaper gets it. Wire services like Reuters and AP are frequently quoted in other news outlets because they run an international network of reporters who get the news first.
It used to be impossible to subscribe to Reuters directly, but now they run their own website. Although some bias inevitably creeps into every news agency, Reuters sticks to the facts and is strongly committed to journalistic integrity, including fact-checking before publishing.
Read All the News From All Sides
The truth is that there’s no such thing as a news story without bias. Everything, from the choice of words to the decision about what counts as newsworthy, is affected by the prejudices of the journalist and the news outlet. So, if you really want to get a balanced picture of what’s going on in the world and you don’t want someone else to decide for you what stories you should be hearing, the best approach is to treat news as a smorgasbord.
Online news aggregation sites like Google News share articles from multiple news outlets around the world, using algorithms instead of letting humans decide. You can tweak the settings so that you only see political news, for example, or focus on US news rather than international reporting. This way, you’ll be able to find out about all the news worldwide instead of having some stories hidden from your eyes. You’ll still be reading human-written articles which contain some (or more) bias, but instead of getting all of your opinions and facts from one single slant, you’ll be sampling many different takes on the same matter.
Choose Your Agenda
Given the fact that every human being can’t help but feel some bias one way or another, some people insist that it’s impossible to find unbiased news. Since every news article carries the prejudices and agenda of the writer and/or news outlet, it’s best to pick an outlet that has a known bias so that you can correct for it. For example, public perception is that Fox News is right-wing and CNN and NBC are left-wing. The argument goes that because you know that you’re hearing news with an agenda, you can pick out the real news from the slant.
Although, despite their perception as leaning one way or the other politically, various surveys state that major TV news outlets are considered to be mostly trusted news sources by the majority of Americans.
In the face of so much bias and slant, many Americans have started to get their news from international news outlets. The British BBC has become viewed as one of the most trusted and objective news outlets available, alongside another UK-based paper, The Economist. If your main interest is in international news, you’re likely to get more information about more places through a non-US news outlet.
Choose a News Source Committed to Ethical Standards of Reporting
It’s important to recognize the difference between bias and unsubstantiated facts in reporting. Although the New York Times is regularly accused of liberal bias and the Wall Street Journal is seen as staunchly right-wing, both papers are committed to journalistic integrity and fact-checking. The Washington Post, NPR, and the BBC join them as news outlets that invest time and money into following up sources and verifying that their facts are correct before running a hot story.
The Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and NPR are all news outlets which employ investigative journalists who can spend time digging up stories. In terms of Pulitzer Prizes, the Washington Post, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal are the big 3 winners. The effort that goes into this is usually acknowledged – in recent surveys, the Wall Street Journal and the BBC topped the list in terms of how many people trusted it as opposed to distrusting it.
Constantly Updated News
News spreads quicker than the blink of an eye and travels the world before you even have time to read a headline. News junkies who want to always be in the know rely on RSS feeds from news sites that are always being updated with the latest breaking news. Reuters, as the news source for most news outlets, is one of the best options to choose from.
News aggregation sites like Google News are also a good choice. Because they gather articles from thousands of news sites around the world, they are quick to pick up on breaking local stories that haven’t yet become international news. Other options include large news agencies like the BBC, which has reporters in most countries in the world so that it’s frequently among the first to share big headlines.
Keep Your Finger on the Beat with the Best News Websites
Whether you're in search of unbiased news or want to keep yourself constantly updated, online news websites are the way to go. With our suggestions, you can stay informed about real news from all around the world or just your local area.