What are the most fair and unbiased news & facts sources for you?


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Profile j mercer
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Message 1404548 - Posted: 18 Aug 2013, 5:35:25 UTC

I have wanted to ask this for a while. There are some very sharp folks here and I would like to know what you think. It would be interesting if there is any consensus with the broad views expressed here.

I ask because I am at a loss and it seems to me they all have lost the plot and put “their” own spin on everything. I watch, listen, and read several sources locally, nationally, and globally and try to gleam what I think is the better information but still come away not feeling like I know what is really going on.

Is there even such a thing as fair and unbiased news and facts sources any more?



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Profile James Sotherden
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Message 1404556 - Posted: 18 Aug 2013, 5:49:09 UTC

Not any more.
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Profile Gary CharpentierProject donor
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Message 1404565 - Posted: 18 Aug 2013, 6:07:44 UTC

In reality there are only 3 sources for news. AP, UPI, Reuters. Frequently only one of them will report a given story. The means whatever bias that news wire reported had will appear in every story written from the wire service report. Not good.

If all three report the same given story, then a reading of all three is the closest you can get. Even so official bias can not be ruled out.


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Message 1404648 - Posted: 18 Aug 2013, 10:46:35 UTC

The only way to get the facts of a story without the story givers bias or slant is to use more than one source. Reuters is generally considered to be fairly good as is the BBC. Although in recent years the BBC has been accused of left wing bias. The British Times & Telegraph are establishment newspapers that are fairly well respected as is the New York Times. Tabloid newspapers misreport news with lurid headlines to sell copy, although it has to be said that the Mail has an excellent website and often has breaking news before others. I don't really know much about AP or UPI, or any USA wire services, as I'm UK based. I'm reliably informed that Faux News is pretty dire.

The only way you will get real unbiased news reporting is via a not for profit outfit i.e. some sort of UN funded International news agency, which I can't see ever happening. Otherwise news providers will be tempted to tell their readership what they know they want to hear, or put their own political slant on it. Even government statements will either play down bad news or hype up good news.

If you just want the basic facts of the worlds main news stories any of the mainstream news agencies are a good start. If you want more in depth coverage then you can look at the BBC or on-line press sites. If you prefer to sit with a cofee and read about it then you buy a newspaper. If you can wait until the weekend then the Sunday Times and it's supplements gives a pretty good in depth report on the weeks main news, but it's heavy reading and expensive. Most UK newspapers go to press about 1 a.m. so anything on your breakfast table is already 7 or 8 hours old, I expect it is the same in other countries.

Most mornings I pop over the corner shop to get milk or a couple of things, and I very quickly scan the front pages of the papers on the rack, to see whats happening in the world. Back home I check the BBC web site, to see if there is anything else new there. If there is a major breaking story I'll run BBC News 24 which is live on the web and also on Freeview on the TV. I pretty much keep tabs on what is happening, and I can then decide my own opinion or take on it after digesting a cross section of views from others.

I ask because I am at a loss and it seems to me they all have lost the plot and put “their” own spin on everything. I watch, listen, and read several sources locally, nationally, and globally and try to gleam what I think is the better information but still come away not feeling like I know what is really going on.

Yes I agree with you, and I think a lot of people feel the same. You have to realise that the provision of news to the world is a business that needs to earn money to pay shareholders. News providers are not philanthropists, therefore for various reasons bias will creep in. And of course last but not least there is government censorship. In some countries the news is run by the regime and only gives out the party line, and suppresses news that might damage the regime. Other areas and the Western world are freer to report things. In the UK we have "DA notices" which are an official request to news editors not to publish or broadcast items on specified subjects for reasons of national security. Then of course you have political lobbying, where a reporter is encouraged not to publish certain facts as a favour, in exchange for private advance knowledge of something else, which they can release from "an un-named source".

Good luck J mercer :-)

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Message 1404655 - Posted: 18 Aug 2013, 11:08:26 UTC

There's an old saying....

"Believe nothing that you see and only half what you hear"

More true today than it ever was in the past.

The trick is to ascertain which half is the truth.
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Message 1404753 - Posted: 18 Aug 2013, 16:43:50 UTC - in response to Message 1404655.

Great input everyone. Thanks for sharing.

Growing up in the 60’s I was fortunate to have lived outside of the US (near London) for a few years and got a good look at how the rest of the world sees the US. Needless to say as a teenager I was ashamed at what I learned. As dependents of US military we were well indoctrinated to be little ambassadors as such. GAWD what an eye opener, I could not see it till I got out of the US and away from its influence.

I do use BBC a lot. I think they report on US better than the US reports on itself. I’m not saying they are the gospel for US news they just seem to have less propaganda about the US. It is quite a contrast watching the big three (NBC, ABC, CBS) national news and then watching BBC US edition. But I think even the US edition is a little off from the BBC that is telecasted in the UK. I have to agree with Chris S in that BBC has changed in the last few years. I was not quite sure what direction it has gone.

And yes Sirus B, Edgar Allan Poe had it right. LOL!!

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Message 1404759 - Posted: 18 Aug 2013, 17:57:27 UTC - in response to Message 1404565.

Gary, I keep forgetting about Reuters. They do not show up as often it seems.

If all three report the same given story, then a reading of all three is the closest you can get. Even so official bias can not be ruled out.


If only they all would report on the same more often but they seem to stay away from each other unless one has more dirt than the other. LOL!

It is refreshing to see most, even with different views, see it some what as I do.

For me it is not so important that we agree but that we take the time to try and understand. I like to think that I can disagree but I do try to understand the other positions. It can be an eye opener to try and walk in another's shoes. I have been humbled more than once. (^;
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Message 1404771 - Posted: 18 Aug 2013, 18:53:41 UTC
Last modified: 21 Mar 2014, 20:54:13 UTC

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Message 1404780 - Posted: 18 Aug 2013, 19:13:50 UTC - in response to Message 1404771.

It is disappointing Guy. It seems it is even worse with local news outlets. The one newspaper towns & cities have become some of the worst up here in Washington State. Your popcorn bag becomes your barf bag before you can get through the local paper and or the local news hour is over. (^;

If the reporting does not make you sick what is being reported on most sure idly will.

I am a cup is half full person so all is not lost in the slightest.
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Message 1404789 - Posted: 18 Aug 2013, 19:46:05 UTC

I've been meaning to jump into this thread and mention when ever I watch BBC America or visit some of the news sites in the UK, they do appear (to me) to have a more even handed, level headed way of describing what ever the issue of the day is.

Welcome Guy!

Yes, the BBC is still regarded worldwide as being a fairly good reporter of the news, but they have been accused of left wing bias in recent years. I think for international new they do tell it how it is. It is maybe the more in depth local stuff that their slant comes in. Providing news to the public is a big money game, and as in all sorts of big business, greed and politics rears its ugly head at some point or other.

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Message 1404802 - Posted: 18 Aug 2013, 20:09:17 UTC

I find that every news outlet nauseates me, except for FOX News.
Fox News makes me want to move to the US and petition the Lord to save US from Liberal Socialist Limbaugh hating Tree hugging Pinko Progressives.
My doctor gave me a Prescription that i take when needed, on an empty stomach and no FOX News in the previous week. It helps.

I'm now limited to getting all the news that's worth printing from the DailyColbertMaher Daily/Weekly.
So Sad.


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Message 1404806 - Posted: 18 Aug 2013, 20:19:44 UTC

Fox News makes me want to move to the US and petition the Lord to save US from Liberal Socialist Limbaugh hating Tree hugging Pinko Progressives.

Now don't hold back, say what you think ... ;-)

My doctor gave me a Prescription that i take when needed, on an empty stomach and no FOX News in the previous week. It helps.

Well it would do. My doc cured my recurrent rash by advising me to stop buying the Daily Mail.

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Message 1404816 - Posted: 18 Aug 2013, 20:45:45 UTC - in response to Message 1404802.

I find that every news outlet nauseates me, except for FOX News.
Fox News makes me want to move to the US and petition the Lord to save US from Liberal Socialist Limbaugh hating Tree hugging Pinko Progressives.
My doctor gave me a Prescription that i take when needed, on an empty stomach and no FOX News in the previous week. It helps.

I'm now limited to getting all the news that's worth printing from the DailyColbertMaher Daily/Weekly.
So Sad.


lol, its a sad state of affairs when the comedy network is a better news source than the actual news. However, I am not a huge fan of Maher. I've found he misleads to make a point and the facts are bad enough without doing that.

Also he comes across as a bit of a sexist arsehole.
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Message 1404836 - Posted: 18 Aug 2013, 21:14:12 UTC - in response to Message 1404816.

Also he comes across as a bit of a sexist arsehole.

I wouldn't know about the sexist part, i don't see sex.
I don't know if i'm a boy or a Hot Babe.
People tell me i'm a boy and i believe them.
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Message 1404845 - Posted: 18 Aug 2013, 21:22:05 UTC

I mentioned three wire services earlier. There must be some others.

As a consumer of news you must be aware of where the story originates. Read the by line and also see if there is an attribution "and wire service reports" or some such. Know what wire service the news source you are looking at subscribes to.

In discussing this we must also realize there is international news, national news and local news. On the international front many large news organizations have their own reporters in national capitols. They write their own story. At the national level, the coverage of the news organization suffers if it isn't their home country. One man can report it all, even if he is aware of it all.

At the local level, you are at the mercy frequently of a single source. Not reassuring for fair and balance. Also the local guy is frequently the new hire who is still wet behind the ears and looking for the scoop to move up the ladder, liberties are easily taken. Personally saw a reporter at my local paper arrive at an accident scene. He grabbed a passerby and asked what happened. That was the news story. Didn't ask any of the people involved, didn't speak to the police or fire people. Didn't even speak to a second passerby. Story was wrong of course. Sloppy and in a hurry.

You also have 3 broad categories of news. Political news, which is these days really just opinion pieces. You have the soft news, Actress has Nip Slip! Cat rescued from tree. Then there is hard news. Plane crash, film at 10!

For political news, rarely is there a fair or balanced source. The only time it is fair is where the are reporting hard facts, such as poll numbers. Everything else is opinion.

For soft news, most of it is verifiable as is hard news. This ability to verify tends to make it fair. Some of it however is just reprinting press releases. That is claptrap of course.

For hard news, nearly every source realizes they must get it right, and this applies even to faux news. Right means fair and somewhat close to balanced. They know if they don't they will get lambasted by their competitors and worse loose market share.

For all of them, the race for a scoop causes BS to get put out. If they wait to verify, their competitor prints it and they loose sales.

The last issue is how they decide what is news. Frequently that is the personal bias of the editor. So you need a diverse selection so all the stories important to you can be found.

If you want to try and put together a bunch of places to compare and contrast to pick out the true parts, you will need to look at a bunch of places. I'll give a list but understand every single one of them is biased on some subjects or areas. NHK, CCTV, RT, DW, BBC, Al Jazzerra, VOA. Note none of the USA's networks are here as they all tend to give short shift to international news unless there is blood flowing in the streets.

Google and Yahoo both aggregate news from multiple sources. Read the same story from several and then start making decisions on who you think is fair.

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Message 1404846 - Posted: 18 Aug 2013, 21:24:05 UTC - in response to Message 1404836.

Also he comes across as a bit of a sexist arsehole.

I wouldn't know about the sexist part, i don't see sex.
I don't know if i'm a boy or a Hot Babe.
People tell me i'm a boy and i believe them.

lol
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Message 1404860 - Posted: 18 Aug 2013, 22:48:58 UTC - in response to Message 1404648.
Last modified: 18 Aug 2013, 22:59:11 UTC

Tabloid newspapers misreport news with lurid headlines to sell copy

Though frequently the UK tabloids had the best sports reporting when I lived there.
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I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that ...

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Message 1404876 - Posted: 18 Aug 2013, 23:41:41 UTC - in response to Message 1404845.

The only time it is fair is where the are reporting hard facts, such as poll numbers.

Are you sure these poll numbers are the facts?

Isn't it possible to manipulate the polls by the questions asked and the order in which the questions are asked?

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Message 1404881 - Posted: 18 Aug 2013, 23:50:45 UTC - in response to Message 1404876.

Isn't it possible to manipulate the polls by the questions asked and the order in which the questions are asked?

That has been demonstrated many times.
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Message 1404884 - Posted: 19 Aug 2013, 0:03:00 UTC - in response to Message 1404845.

Nice break down Gary.

I have been pushing more and more foreign language sources through a translator.

Polls are to easily manipulated.

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