Trustworthy News Sources Vs Fake News

I have been getting into political debates over the last couple of years with family and friends. I would argue with them without any progress on either side.

Finally, I realized the issue was not a difference in political philosophy, but on what news sources we were using. I regularly read many different news sites and also try to look at their source documentation. Every news source has varying levels of bias and truthfulness to the facts. All of these source listed below I read regularly.

Below is my summary based on extensive reading and research on which news sources are most trustworthy. One very important point is that printed news tends to be MUCH more accurate and truthful versus television or radio. I would highly recommend getting all of your news from a printed paper or website.

This list is ordered from MOST TRUSTWORTHY to least (I personally subscribe to the top 2 now):

  1. The Economist – mostly just the basic facts. Heavily leans to the conservative / libertarian direction. Opinion articles are clearly marked and can be avoided easily. Expensive, but I find the subscription worth it.
  2. The New York Times – this site has a clear liberal bias in it’s opinion sections and sometimes you will detect a smaller liberal bias in news articles. However, their research is very good and they provide you source documents to review as well. This article on Fred Trump is a great example – basically they provide you the source documents showing how Donald Trump used criminal tax fraud to avoid estate taxes a year or two before his father Fred Trump passed away. Whether you are liberal or conservative, you can read the facts and source documents and decide for yourself. Worth the subscription fees.
  3. Wall Street Journal – clear conservative / libertarian bias, but generally good journalism and clearly marked facts and opinions.
  4. Washington Post – another great resource for investigative journalism. With Bezos backing now this has only continued to improve. They have a liberal / big government slant, but facts are clearly marked vs opinions.
  5. Reuters – decent factual information without too much political slanting.
  6. The Guardian – UK news with a liberal slant, but pretty reliable.
  7. PBS / NPR / BBC – all public news sources that are held accountable by democratically elected officials. They lean towards liberal / big government, but facts are clearly marked vs opinions and are reliable information sources.

Below are extremely untrustworthy sources:

  1. Websites without a strong established reputation. If you don’t recognize the URL, don’t trust it.
  2. Buzzfeed – liberal biased site that is untrustworthy. Most of their news is just reposting other news sources information. Often they just make things up.
  3. Fox News – I used to be a big fan of Fox News, but over the last few years it appears that this source (especially the TV channel) has fallen to be extremely skewed and untrustworthy. Most of their headlines are actually just opinions of their talking heads. All opinions are skewed extremely to the conservative side. This site also posts lots of emotionally inflammatory non-news content as clickbait and to get your emotions involved (local small time crime shared on their national site especially when black on white, sex related content, etc.). I personally believe Fox News is now directly influenced by hostile dictatorships in Russia and in Saudi Arabia. This is the most mainstream news source that I believe is completely corrupt.
  4. Occupy Democrats / Politifact / ThinkProgress – extremely biased to the left and often have highly misleading headlines.
  5. Any website from InfoWars / Alex Jones / Breitbart – these guys are widely known scammers.
  6. Sean Hannity / Glenn Beck / Rush Limbaugh / Michael Medved – I used to listen to these guys regularly before figuring out that not only do they have an extreme conservative bias, but they often outright lie. Sean Hannity misled about using Michael Cohen as his attorney for example.
  7. Social media (Facebook / Instagram / Twitter) memes – almost always strongly biased, rarely provide source documentation, extremely untrustworthy.
  8. Forwarded emails – these are almost always fraudulent or incredibly inaccurate. I strongly recommend not trusting any “news” or facts you might read in a chain email thread.

Published by

Joel Gross

Joel Gross is the CEO of Coalition Technologies.

2 thoughts on “Trustworthy News Sources Vs Fake News”

  1. I believe the most objective news listed above is the Wall Street Journal. The Economist was a favorite of mine and I recently let my subscription lapse. This is a British publication and wavers from the right libertarian to the left libertarian especially left when it comes to stories relating to the U.S.A. The national Fox News, the Washington Post, and The New York Times have all clearly shown their leanings and cannot be trusted alone – if you watch National Fox News, you’ll need to read the New York Times or Washington Post to balance your thoughts. It’s not exactly what they say as much as what they don’t say and who they don’t interview or don’t source. This is especially true with NPR who, over the past 10 years does not balance their stories out with opposing views – one view, one source – 30 years ago that wasn’t the case.

    I have visited many cities throughout the U.S. and I always like to turn on the local news channels to see how the local culture leans. Fox News in Los Angeles (KTTV, channel 11) doesn’t dare show any conservative leaning, but Fox News in Dallas clearly does.

    Try this: When reading, listening, or watching news, be on the look out for what they don’t say and who they don’t interview – is it balanced? For example: everyone knows that global warming is happening (not fake news), but less than half the scientists qualified to give an opinion believe the situation is human induced (last I checked). But they all agree that pollution is a problem for the world. NPR (and others on your list) talk about evolution and the big bang as if it is fact (not theory) and use scientists that support their story only – not opposing scientists. However I agree that your favorite list of news is worthwhile but it should be put in perspective. All of them need more balance to properly measure the current human condition or how you feel about the news you are receiving.

    You may like those sources for reasons less objective. For example, I don’t like the idea of killing innocent babies (abortion) because the outcome of one’s promiscuous behavior is inconvenient, and, I believe that we are a rich & strong nation because of our diversity, but the U.S. should have reasonable immigration policy that insures that bad & lazy people, don’t get in our country – properly vetted. So, I like to receive news that furthers this interest. I won’t get that news at the New York Times.

    1. Thank you for the very thoughtful reply Kerry! I don’t watch television news, so I haven’t gotten the flavor of different local news stations. I should probably look at some of those local news sites to help me start to get a better understanding of differences between areas. I also agree with your perspective on news that doesn’t interview opposing sources. I think one concern with opposing sources is that if you take this to an extreme, you might interview the KKK for an opposing view on MLK day. But I get your point as it applies to more common issues.

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