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It is important to distinguish between biased reporting and reporting based on unverified facts. Some news sources, such as the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, are often accused of having liberal and conservative biases, respectively. However, despite these accusations, both publications are committed to maintaining journalistic integrity and ensuring the accuracy of their reporting. Similarly, the Washington Post, NPR, and the BBC are all known for investing significant resources into verifying their sources and ensuring that their reporting is factually accurate before publication.
All of the aforementioned news outlets employ investigative journalists who spend substantial amounts of time researching and reporting on their stories. Moreover, the Washington Post, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal are among the most prestigious winners of Pulitzer Prizes for their reporting.
These news websites and media outlets are widely trusted across the political spectrum as reliable sources of news that have been thoroughly fact-checked. If you encounter a news story from a less reputable source, you can always turn to these established news outlets to confirm whether the story is legitimate.
Considered one of the United States’ newspapers of record, the New York Times was founded in 1851 and is one of the world’s most respected journalistic organizations. Its investigative reporting is among the most decorated in America, with recent Pulitzer Prize wins commending its in-depth coverage of Donald Trump's presidency and the Covid-19 pandemic.
The NYT's website includes the longform features you’ll find in its weekly news magazine. It sits behind a paywall, but the newspaper’s innovative multimedia approach has attracted over eight million paid digital subscribers. The NYT has led the way in showing how traditional print outlets can generate revenue away from their long-established channels.
When it launched on June 1, 1980, the Cable News Network, or CNN, became the 1st 24-hour cable news channel in the United States. Since then, it’s become one of the most recognized media organizations on the planet—its 24/7 news coverage being a hotel room staple.
The CNN website is easy to navigate and free to use, though the tailored ad banners can be a little intrusive. The organization’s coverage of certain issues, such as climate change and gun control, has led to conservative commentators claiming the channel has a left-leaning, progressive political bias.
Reuters specializes in breaking finance and business news, though coverage does also include politics, technology, sports, and lifestyle. The website categories allow you to filter news options by topic or region, while its Reuters Investigates section publishes regular special reports from its 2,500-strong squad of journalists. These are based in over 200 locations around the globe.
Unsurprisingly, as a renowned news wire service, news and information on the site are constantly updated in real time. Video news features prominently on the Reuters homepage, and registered users can also customize the homepage news feed based on personal preferences.
First published in 1889, the Wall Street Journal is a titan of the US newsstands, renowned for its expert coverage of finance, economics, politics, and business news. It’s a favorite among Republicans for the conservative-leaning political bias often reflected in its editorials. Nevertheless, its in-depth analysis and news reporting are considered to be non-partisan.
The site mirrors the look and feel of the newspaper and has over three million paying subscribers—the only way of accessing it. Neat touches include the one-click option to listen to each article, while its range of newsletters—including morning and evening briefings—remains popular with its readership.
Based in London since it began in 1922, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is the world's oldest national broadcaster. Over a century on, the BBC abides by its founding ethos to "inform, educate, and entertain” on its TV, radio, and digital platforms. BBC News Online is the most-read news website on the web, with over a billion annual visits.
As part of the terms of service relating to its citizen-funded license fee model, the BBC is legally required to remain free of political bias in its coverage. This means its high standards of journalism remain a standard bearer for many news organizations around the world. What’s more, UK-based users can enjoy the additional benefit of an ad-free user experience.
National Public Radio (NPR) shares similarities with the BBC in that its roots lie in non-commercial broadcasting. The Washington DC-based media company first aired in 1971, opening with a show about the controversial Vietnam War.
Given its chief focus remains on producing in-depth audio storytelling, the breadth of news content on its website isn’t as extensive as you'll find with the others on this list, but it does include generous coverage of culture and music. It's also the perfect hub from which to browse its directory of award-winning radio shows and podcasts.
Unlike the others on this list, Google News does not produce its own original news content but rather showcases the latest stories from thousands of third-party sources. Just as you'd expect from Google, its automated news aggregation service uses algorithms to determine what stories and sources to feature. This is based on a range of factors—including relevance, source reliability, and popularity.
The site is a breeze to use, with an uncluttered design that you can tailor to your personal preferences, including favored topics, preferred news sources, and news in your area.
Launched in 1996 by media proprietor Rupert Murdoch, Fox News is a conservative-leaning news agency. Murdoch and founding CEO Roger Ailes always intended for the channel to provide an alternative to the impartiality espoused by America's traditional news channels.
However, the network has attracted criticism for its combative style—it’s often critical of Democrat politicians and liberal concerns. The channel’s distinctive colorful graphics and opinionated hosts, including Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity, also feature on its shouty tabloid-style website.
The Fox News website offers an intuitive online route to its television and radio channels, while its "Trending" section tends to demonstrate the network's noted political bias: former President Donald Trump is frequently featured.
The website of the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) features the same wide range of original reporting, analysis, and opinion pieces for which its associated television network is known. A red breaking news ticker along the top of the Homepage recalls the look of the channel that first aired in 1939. Along with politics and US news, its main categories include business, world news, tech, and health.
There’s also a slick in-browser video player that makes it easy to watch NBC live while scrolling down the Homepage. Its “Watch Now” page also allows you to select its various news shows, including Nightly News and Meet the Press.
The newspaper that was instrumental in the downfall of President Nixon continues to be renowned for its unwavering commitment to the highest standards of journalism. Founded in 1877, WaPo was acquired by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos for $250m in 2013. The newspaper has since invested heavily in its digital offering, and you'll need a subscription to read most of its online content.
Despite some initial concerns over Bezos' ownership, the newspaper's reputation for accurate journalism remains intact, with an increased emphasis on data-driven reporting and visual storytelling. Its Fact Checker feature was launched in 2007, promising "the truth behind the rhetoric." It aims to hold politicians to account by helping readers better understand the accuracy of their claims.
Keeping up with the latest news can be a challenge, as each day seems to bring new revelations, controversies, and talking points. To stay informed, many people rely on RSS feeds from news sites that are constantly updated with the latest breaking news. Reuters, which serves as the news source for many news outlets, is an excellent option for this purpose.
In addition to news aggregation sites like Google News, which pull articles from thousands of news sites around the world and can quickly pick up on breaking local stories that have yet to become international news, large news agencies such as the BBC are also a good choice. With reporters in most countries around the world, the BBC is often among the first to report on major headlines.
By relying on these reputable sources for breaking news, readers can ensure that they are receiving accurate and timely information about current events.
Sometimes, when we seek news, we want factual information rather than editorials or opinion pieces. In those moments, it is best to visit news sites that specialize in straight news reporting or to look for articles from wire services like Reuters. This is because Reuters has an extensive international network of reporters who are often the first to break the news, and they are frequently quoted in other news outlets.
In the past, it was difficult to subscribe to Reuters directly, but now they have their own website, which provides easy access to their factual reporting. One of the hallmarks of Reuters is their commitment to journalistic integrity, including fact-checking before publishing. This makes Reuters a trustworthy source for reliable and accurate news reporting.
While many respected news sites carry the biases of their writers or editors, it is important to have objective news sources to turn to. However, we all tend to gravitate towards opinions that reflect our own, and sometimes we even seek out news that challenges our viewpoints. It's not necessary to avoid sites with perceived slants, as long as we are aware of them.
For example, The Wall Street Journal is generally believed to have a conservative slant, while Fox News features fiery personalities that often reflect the right-wing opinions of its viewers. In contrast, CNN and NBC feature commentators perceived to have a more centrist or progressive bend. These sites can be helpful for confirming or challenging our opinions, as long as we are cognizant of any biases that may exist.
Despite being perceived as leaning one way or the other politically, surveys show that the major TV news outlets are mostly considered to be trusted news sources by the majority of Americans.
The truth is, there's no such thing as a completely unbiased news story. The prejudices of the journalist and the news outlet can influence everything from the choice of words to the decision about what counts as newsworthy. So, if you want to get a balanced picture of what's going on in the world, and you don't want someone else deciding what stories you should be reading, 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 human curation. You can even tweak the settings to only see specific types of news or focus on specific geographic areas. This way, you'll be able to find out about news worldwide instead of having some stories hidden from your view. While you'll still be reading articles written by humans, which may contain some degree of bias, you'll be sampling many different takes on the same matter instead of relying on a single slant.
Turning to another country for US news may seem counterintuitive, but there’s a potential argument for making international outlets one of your go-to news sources.
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. With regular American content from both US and international reporters, it can be an informative and often eye-opening place to turn for US and global coverage.
International news outlets can provide a more sober perspective by removing themselves from the emotions, drama, and media circus stateside. Additionally, reading about the candidates' foreign policy issues and other factors that affect the larger world can be done on international news sites.
Every citizen must find a strategy for staying informed as the barrage of breaking news grows daily and both legitimate and dubious news sources proliferate online. Fortunately, assessing your news needs and finding trusted sources can be quickly done. You can turn to the above news outlets and their respective social media sites for all types of news coverage, whether you want sober facts, in-depth journalism, thoughtful editorials, or impassioned commentary. By taking a proactive approach to reading the news and developing a strategy for keeping yourself updated, you can stay on top of all the important news stories as they unfold.