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):
- 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.
- 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.
- Wall Street Journal – clear conservative / libertarian bias, but generally good journalism and clearly marked facts and opinions.
- 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.
- Reuters – decent factual information without too much political slanting.
- The Guardian – UK news with a liberal slant, but pretty reliable.
- 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:
- Websites without a strong established reputation. If you don’t recognize the URL, don’t trust it.
- Buzzfeed – liberal biased site that is untrustworthy. Most of their news is just reposting other news sources information. Often they just make things up.
- 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.
- Occupy Democrats / Politifact / ThinkProgress – extremely biased to the left and often have highly misleading headlines.
- Any website from InfoWars / Alex Jones / Breitbart – these guys are widely known scammers.
- 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.
- Social media (Facebook / Instagram / Twitter) memes – almost always strongly biased, rarely provide source documentation, extremely untrustworthy.
- 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.