In an era where politicians happily take bribe money from special interests in the form of campaign contributions (or in the form of bribes) and in an era where no media source, mainstream or otherwise, can be trusted more than any blog on the internet, there is a serious need for serious people to get serious about where they get their news.
In a world where facts have been put aside in the interest of being the first to break a story or where career journalists sacrifice major stories because their employer won’t run them or because it will prevent them from getting an exclusive interview with the subject in question later on, you need to be able to be sure that the news source isn’t as corrupt as the politicians they report on.
Here is a list of places where you should be getting your news:
Democracy Now! Is the premiere source of news for anyone that is tired of watching or listening to morning news shows (which are the most awful form of “entertainment” ever devised). Hosted by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, the show is available online as soon as it airs and is simulcast across television stations and radio stations all around America. Check it out for yourself at DemocracyNow.org. Highly recommended.
For your New York City news, you need not go farther than The Gothamist, an independent newspaper that covers the greater New York City area. The website finds the most important news in other sources and does their own stories as well, check it out at Gothamist.com.
For television news, forget for-profit news channels and overpaid anchors, BBC and PBS are publicly funded (unlike PBS, however, BBC does not need government funds to survive) and do not need to go with the “juicy” stories like John Edwards and Paris Hilton to boost ratings. The journalists employed at these stations are true pros and really cover the news well.
PBS is available on every TV set in America, be sure to check out News Hour with Jim Lehrer nightly but even more importantly: check out Frontline, the best documentary series on television bar none, as well as Bill Moyer’s Journal and Charlie Rose. You can see past shows at PBS.org.
BBC is available on most cable and satellite television packages as well as on their website at BBC.co.uk.
Another underrated news source is Al-Jazeera English. The station got a bad rep because its Arab world counterpart was linked to terrorists even though they were just covering terrorism in their coverage. The English version is based out of Britain and does a great job of covering the stories no one else will. I’m not sure if it is available on cable and satellite packages here in the US but you can check it out at http://english.aljazeera.net/.
The Daily Show
For a fake news show, it certainly covers the facts of the story much better than anyone else in the mainstream media. While under no circumstances should Jon Stewart be your main source of the news, the show does great interviews and a great job of weeding out the B.S. From the actual story. The Daily Show airs Monday through Thursday at 11 p.m. on Comedy Central and all episodes available at TheDailyShow.com.
Also, don’t forget to check out Real Time with Bill Maher, Fridays on HBO.
An organization focused only on in-depth investigative reporting, they do a phenomenal job and their stories end up in major newspapers all across America: check them out at ProPublica.org.
There are a lot of top journalists who do phenomenal work that aren’t in the mainstream media. Here is a list of journalists whose stories you need to be following:
Seymour Hersh, The New Yorker: He has been a top investigative journalist for decades and is the man who broke the My Lai Massacre story. He has a ton of insider sources within the Pentagon and the government and The New Yorker has one of the strictest fact-checking policies in the business. You can take a look at his previous work here.
Greg Palast, BBC/Freelance: Palast writes for all sorts of publications and does reports for the BBC. He does an amazing job of getting his hands on documents and sources that no one else can or seems to try to. You can follow all of his reports at his website, GregPalast.com. Don’t forget to donate!
Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone Magazine/Web: The Rolling Stone has a rich tradition following big stories going all the way back to Hunter Thompson. The best part of the magazine and Taibbi is that they don’t pull any punches when it comes to sorting out the truth. Check Matt’s work out here.