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Ask HN: What are your news sources other than HN?
240 points by aswathrao on Dec 31, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 263 comments
I am a regular Hacker News reader. But I like to explore similar options news for Sci-tech and Geo Politics.

What other news sources you use ?

I read The Economist. Reasons and benefits I have seen so far are:

1. It's weekly. "World this week" section is more than enough to have a summary of what has happened throughout the globe and I can get this information in less than 5 minutes. If you are interested in being more up-to-date, you can also try Economist Espresso, which is daily.

2. It's not only about world news, but also has different sections such as Technology, International, Book & Arts which gives me a wider range of topics to digest on a weekly basis.

3. This is, in my opinion, the most important bit: Because I'm digesting a wider array of topics but only spending an hour or two every week, I have observed a surprising benefit on human relationships as well:

Kick-starting a conversation with a person I don't know.

As a not-so-social person I have always struggled finding a topic to chat about with a person I have met recently. Now, first thing I do is to ask this person where he/she is from, or what their hobbies are, and all of a sudden I make a connection with an article I have recently read on the magazine and try to learn more from that person. This is a wonderful way of building a relationship as well as learning quite interesting facts about the culture or the hobbies of that person.

I started regularly reading The Economist a few months ago and it's absolutely transformed my relationship with media and the news. I had previously given up on consuming any media other than HN. One of my close friends challenged me to think more about my relationship with others in the world outside of my small circle of friends and family which led to me deciding to subscribe to The Economist. It has been one of the best decisions I've made all year.

In addition to the points mentioned I'd also add:

1. It's clear about it's own bias and doesn't pretend to be completely neutral in its reporting (though it is generally quite balanced). That gives me a chance to read certain articles a little more carefully when I know they are likely to clash with my own world-view and biases (i.e. the controversial article "Inequality could be lower than you think").

2. They are absolutely fantastic at injecting a little humour in otherwise quite serious journalism. For example, this headline: "Soaring pork prices hog headlines and sow discontent in China"

3. It has a good amount of intelligent comment and debate on a massive range of topics that has opened my thinking up to ideas and perspectives I hadn't previously encountered or wrestled with in any meaningful way.

I hadn't expected regularly reading a newspaper would be as enjoyable and as challenging as it has been. It's been a lot more valuable than I would have thought. I'd highly recommend it.

While the Economist is often recommended, somehow I increasingly find articles posted from the Economist to be very shallow takes - as if a high school literature student was asked to turn in an essay on a given topic. I have rarely felt satisfied after reading any Economist article in last couple of years through I don't know if this represents a growing understanding of the world on my part as I grow older or standards in the Economist declining. I don't necessarily feel the same issue though for NYT or WaPo articles.

Exactly this. Made me unsubscribe to paper issue few months ago.

Also noticed that they often display clear unjustified political bias, which didn't happen before. Not sure if it is intentionally or not.

Nonetheless, it remains one of the best sources for me.

Have long read The Economist and it has definitely influenced my world view probably more than anything. +1 to everything you said—it’s a huge help in conversations.

Recently, their app has included audio recordings of all their articles the day a new issue is released. That’s made it much easier for me to digest nearly the whole thing each week.

I'm similarly attached to the WSJ's weekend edition. It's a good highlight reel for the week's news, and avoids most of the hyperventilation the NYT seems prone to.

If you've read both, how would you compare the two?

Over the past few months I've been consciously reducing my time spent on news sites/reddit/social media. It's been a huge benefit to my available time & overall level of focus, but that change has definitely left me craving some more legitimate & compelling articles to read and I've been feeling a bit "out of the loop". The Economist sounds like a wonderful recommendation & I've just subscribed based on reading your comment -- thanks so much for the suggestion!

IDK Reasons, but the Economist is a great news source.

The Economist podcasts.

I try to avoid it. It's too much of a time sink and there's almost zero pieces of actionable information.

I know it's offensive to claim it's merely entertainment but in concrete terms there's no material difference resulting from tuning into daily banter that's any different than watching some serial drama on television.

I understand why you'd reach this conclusion. I would like to offer another viewpoint for you and others reading this to consider.

Simply put, you are underestimating the impact you have on those around you. Every media literate and well-informed critical thinker has the ability to dramatically change someone's perspective. Not just by knowing what to say, but even more importantly how to listen.

Empathetic 1:1 conversation that is respectful is literally the only way to help people escape their bubbles. If you don't know wtf you're talking about, you're missing every shot you don't take.

Essentially, this would be fine if you lived alone, but in reality when you insulate yourself from politics you're just setting yourself up for frustrating moments where you know that your racist uncle is wrong but you have neither the facts nor the confidence to address his ignorant points in a way that doesn't just boil over into hurt feelings.

In short: this attitude taken to the extreme is an abdication of social responsibility. Much like herd immunity, you don't need to be a hero... just not part of the problem.

Yes, empathetic 1:1 conversation is critical, and yes you can have a huge impact on those around you. But this has nothing to do with keeping up to date with news. Facts will not change your racist uncle's opinion. 99% of the news you consume will have absolutely 0 effect on your ability to convince others to be better.

Develop a vision for your life. Become an expert in topics that are important to you. Read good books, befriend interesting people, and focus on problems where you can make a large difference, and inspire others to do so as well. Daily news plays no role in this.

You are, forgivably, projecting several assumptions onto my words. Give me an attempt to clarify my intent further.

As I explained in another reply, I am not advocating for keeping up to date with the news so much as I refuse to absolve smart people from accepting responsibility for confident media literacy, and it's hard to be media literate without at least parsing what's being reported so that you can reason about it, even amongst people who are in your bubble. I am suggesting that if you think you can avoid this step and still be able to hold your own in a discourse, you are willfully proving the Dunning-Kruger effect.

Our goal should not be to enter a conversation intended to change the racist uncle's opinion. That is, indeed and sadly, a fool's errand. But it's also the wrong tactic.

I would argue that the #1 goal of such a family dinner should be to listen compassionately, being the progressive that defies all of the stereotypes about elitist, know-it-all coastal intellectuals, and choose your battles really, really carefully. At the very least, the other people observing are judging every subtle nuance of what's going down, and even though uncle racist will still likely be a terrible person after dessert, the other six people at the table will find themselves much more confident that you quietly made him look like an asshole.

The left is far too hung up on the shallow win of a "fully pwned" outcome, where the racist uncle is sobbing and begging for forgiveness and promising to lead a better life. Not only is this a stupid goal, it's insulting to the fact that your racist uncle probably has some ideas that are not fully wrong. The notion that the left is right and the right is dumb is roughly 95% of the problem.

I am typically not quick to delegate my points to video, but I was really impressed by this Big Think: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFfWv0EnHQw

Has any racist uncle ever been turned? Or is that also a waste of time and effort?

I do agree that a responsible citizen must stay informed. But you need to direct your efforts to the possible and impactful.

I left a longer reply on another comment, but if you're interested and willing, I think that this Big Think clip sums it up (for me): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFfWv0EnHQw

That was interesting, thanks.

News isn't critical political theory though.

If you wanted to become well versed in, say, Marx, you don't get there through watching the news, you just read Marx.

Go on eBay, buy a couple used books, read them instead. They'll have quite a bit more insight than a Twitter stream

I'd prefer that you not put words in my mouth when it's such an important concern. I didn't come close to suggesting that news == critical political theory.

Media literacy is actually the opposite of just consuming a lot of news. There is absolutely a skillset that must be developed and exercised which allows an individual to see patterns and tune their BS detector. News - even FOX "news", contextualized - is all necessary and loaded with information. It just isn't the information Rupert Murdoch and pals consciously engineer.

Late thought: I want to say that as someone who reads or listens to 3-4 books a week, there are a lot of mediocre, terrible books out there. Many non-fiction books are based on opinion instead of research.

Just because something is printed and bound doesn't make it inherently better than a profoundly insightful series of tweets.

Then again, don't believe everything you read in the comments on Hacker News, either.

This is my point of view as well. Even (especially?) for things like politics. I might read a quick summary about whatever the current big issues are every few weeks and around elections, but that's it.

Issues that may affect me (which are more local in nature) will naturally come up in conversation, so I don't think I'm really missing out on anything. I'm not in a position where I can change anything, so why bother wasting my attention on these things?

I do the same. If some news is important enough, it'll eventually percolate to HN, or I'll hear about it from someone else.

The way I see it, almost all news is completely irrelevant to my daily life, not actionable in any way, usually depressing, and often very inaccurate. It provides negative information - after consuming them, you end up dumber and more confused than you were before. So I stay away.

This is why we can't have nice things. Like democracy.

But I also have to limit my exposure to political news. Otherwise I get too depressed.

Democracy is achieved through active participation in building and maintaining institutions exercising power, not in passively consuming broadcasted editorial content.

It's depressing because consuming content in isolation doesn't materially affect anything. You can't watch your way to political action. It's empty and everyone knows it.

Donate money to causes you care about, attend meetings, help organize things, exercise power.

It wouldn't hurt to have some idea of what's going on, though. Ignoring politics entirely isn't likely to lead to political action.

You don’t have to follow news to make good political decisions. If people read philosophy as the same rates they follow fake political drama, we’ll be in a better place.

Can you imagine if kids were taught logic, philosophy, and psychology at school? It would be a different world.

We don't have a democracy where you need to stay up to date with events, if this were Switzerland you'd have a point, but in most countries you only need to get the summary once every 4 years. I'd even argue that people will make better decisions if completely stepped away from everything and got some perspective before the election instead of constantly being emotionally involved all the time.

Ignorance is bliss.

I don't think the for-Profit 24 hours news channels are helping Democracy.

With that much talk time they have to speculate about what's actually going on. When they speculate wrong it's labeled "Fake News".

Currently USA news media creates division to get eye balls.

Reading a summary of the news weekly keeps you just as informed at watching 24/7

I came here to say something similar. At least with watching some TV shows or movies, you’re more likely to get de-stressed and/or entertained. News is usually the opposite, creating more frustration, tension and stress about things where you may not be able to do much to help. Whatever is called “news” in today’s world is more of sensational, controversial and divisive stuff. Anything to create an addiction and keep people coming back and arguing is what it’s turned into.

It’s good and also useful sometimes to know what’s happening around, but obsessing with keeping up with news everyday is a huge drain.

> there's almost zero pieces of actionable information.

I don't agree with this. The news is filled with actionable information. If nothing more than constant reporting of problems, many of which could be solved with new businesses - there is value in knowing about that if only to be better positioned to start businesses.

The world is full of people in pain, and often the news reports on that. That is actionable information. Other people's pain is not your entertainment. It is actionable information about how to help improve the world and reduce suffering.

Also, the news and happenings of the world do affect you every day even if you don't know it or notice it.

"You may not care about politics, but politics cares about you"

I kind of agree with this, but:

> The world is full of people in pain, and often the news reports on that. That is actionable information. Other people's pain is not your entertainment. It is actionable information about how to help improve the world and reduce suffering.

There is far, far more of this than is actionable, and most of it isn't really actionable from this distance. You end up with "white saviour" disease.

The news is also full of my fellow voters saying that those in pain are lying, or that we should inflict more pain on them as a matter of policy. Those are somewhat hard to stomach.

Sure, if you approach it with a problem-solving mindset, you can ignore the content and the noise and the inaccuracies of the news, and dig into an issue to be addressed that underlies the story.

But there's only so much thing you can act on at any given moment, and actions take a lot of time. In particular, you can execute one, two business ideas at a time; perhaps three if you're Elon Musk. So once you're engaged in action, what's the point of following the news? You aren't going to act on anything else for the next couple years anyway.

How many times in your life have you personally watched a news story about somebody suffering that caused you to leap off your couch and take action?

A bunch of times have news stories caused me to donate money and write angry emails to politicians. Especially the horrifying 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

I agree with you. I get an email USA news summary from The Guardian in the morning and a few minutes looking at that is suffices. I like democracynow.org also but only give that a good read a few times a month.

When a US politician does something I find offensive, I do take a few minutes to check to see if they are running for re-election in which case I try to donate $5 to their opponent. Otherwise, I am happy being “apathetic” to politics.

EDIT: I volunteer one day a week at my local food bank, and that helps tie me into local events and what is happening in town. Local news is the most important news to me since I have virtually no effect on the world outside of my local community.

Assuming you have at least minimal social interaction, if anything actually important happens, somebody will tell you. So there's really no reason to pay attention to news at all. It's pure entertainment and time wasting.

I like that view. Most informations are forgotten in a hour or so.

Totally agree, I use 2-3 hours per day reading these sites, include HN, and I think HN is enough for most parts.

The problem is that online news sources are (almost) all the same - low budget, second tier silos of mostly trainee journalists. They have an emphasis on clicks and outrage and constant updates to keep you engaged and are a secondary (or tertiary) driver of revenue. The only exception I know of are The New York Times and maybe The Intercept.

My tip is to read a (or more) actual (read: printed) newspapers:

- they are printed daily or weekly (e.g. The Economist), keeping you out of the "Breaking News" loop every 60 minutes; - they have more weight within the news organization because they are the primary driver of revenue; - are therefore written by actual professional journalists in a proper journalistic process.

I recommend just picking up any news paper and comparing that to the online presence of that news paper, you will notice the tremendous difference.

In my opinion, a lot of the "media mistrust" comes from the constant barrage of so-called "news" articles with the primary goal of being shared on social media and bubbling up in Google News. Just check how many news articles are 1:1 copies of AP or any other news conglomerate.

https://newshound.co/editions/en-us/ is pretty good for seeing how many news articles published by different outlets are actually written by AP/Reuters/etc. and only modified slightly. I think the site was originally intended to allow users to choose the article from their preferred outlet, but I rarely find myself interested in reading any of the grouped articles.

I like the same thing about https://techmeme.com/ if I click the arrow next to a story, it shows me everyone covering it, but they use editorial discretion to chose the "best" coverage, whether that be the first copy, or the first good copy.

Similar website like https://www.zaqs.org/home.html, You can customize the news sources and track original content news websites.

There’s a reason it seems online sources are the same. Step outside the conglomerates, and choose independent news.

See the following list for a “growing number of independent news sources available to anyone with internet access. The following are only a sampling of those alternatives. Most state that they are “non-partisan, independent and non-profit.” Some are more transparent than others; a couple even outline a code of journalistic ethics their company follows.”


The Intercept started out strong, but has also devolved into reactionary clickbait-y crap as of late (also hosts pieces written by unrepentant race-baiters like Shaun King). Really sad as I used to like them.

It seems those with hard paywalls that don't have to rely on clickbait-y headlines are able to have a bit more integrity (who would have known?!). Foreign Affairs is generally pretty good for actual analysis on world events (it's politics, yes, but they are good at what they do).

Try out Le Monde Diplomatique if you like Foreign Affairs

99 comments in "Ask HN: What are your other favorite communities other than Hacker News?" https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20023209

Thanks for this - that's exactly what I was hoping to find when I clicked into this.

While I didn't find a whole lot of the content I had intended, I think what I did find was interesting, none-the-less. The general opinion here seems to be "news sources suck[0]", especially if it has anything to do with politics/politics-masquerading-as-economics[1]. And community-driven sites tend to become dominated by the fringe of one political persuasion or another. HN does a good job, here, though a look at "new" yields a few headlines who's content can be summarized as "Your politician iz teh satan11", they rarely bubble up, and the ones that do -- even the ones that (headline-wise) I'd probably never click through in another context, I end up appreciating more often than not.

[0] I tend to agree with this and blame much but not all on the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect: https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/65213-briefly-stated-the-ge...

[1] Replace "economics" with anything else. HN's policy against political-related posts aside, I think this community tends toward skepticism and a lot of political is facts/truth twisted to fit an agenda/bias (intentional or not).

The BBC has a wide range of podcasts (available internationally), including ones about geopolitics and science.

Due to the nature of the medium and the BBC's generally more serious and composed disposition these podcasts tend to be about actually relevant information rather than the outrage-inducing, largely irrelevant rubbish commonly fed by "Now ... this" media.

I'd advise steering clear of anything related to UK politics published by the BBC.

There's been a clear pro-right trend for a number of years evident most clearly during the most recent election and Scotland's independence referendum of 2014.

In my experience, everybody complains that the BBC is biased, which probably means they're fairly neutral.

That's not how it works. One side's accusations can be completely unfounded while the other side's aren't. See this twitter thread for the evidence and decide for yourself: https://twitter.com/docrussjackson/status/120699288684119245...

trying to think of a lazier, more harmful analysis than this both-sides bullshit but I've got nothing

Do those on the right say Fox News is biased?

Regardless of political affiliation, intelligent people realize that every source has a bias and usually an agenda.

Other people think anything that they disagree with is "biased" and accept only information that confirms what they already believe.

To answer your question: do those on the right say Fox News is biased? Some do, some don't.

I'm on the right, I believe Fox is biased-right.

(Of course I see a lot of left-lean in a bunch of others.)

I do understand there are different POVs but there is also fact vs non-fact.

Example with Photo: https://www.thedailybeast.com/fox-refers-to-el-salvador-guat...

Fox News Headline: "Trump Cuts Aid to 3 Mexican Countries"

Issue: There is only one "Mexican Country" -- Mexico.

Regardless of political leaning, there is an issue with news like this.

I'm right leaning on some issues and left leaning on other issues. If you want right-leaning news, The Wall Street Journal is a far better source for right leaning news. I used to subscribe to the WSJ. Now I subscribe to the Financial Times which conveniently side-steps most US politics alltogether.

That was funny, but from the page you linked to it seems that was a bungled caption onscreen for a few seconds, hardly a "Fox News Headline" or "news".

Not to mention the appalling coverage of Jeremy Corbyn.

What was appalling about its coverage? Any sources or evidence? From what I understand they go to great lengths to remain as impartial as possible so curious what it is in particular you are referring to?

BBC's coverage (and that of other media) of Corbyn has been overwhelmingly negative ever since he announced he is running for Labour leadership.

Having said that, I think what's more interesting is the BBC's accidental editing of his main opponent in the recent election. That is, the first time they "accidentally" aired 2016 footage, and the second time they "accidentally" edited out the audience laughing at Boris Johnson after he was asked a question.

On both occasions the BBC apologised but I'm not sure it mattered. Obviously this does highlight that since the BBC is willing to do this, how many other times have they done this that hasn't been noticed?

Mostly allowing themselves to be led around by unnamed "sources".

Laura Kuenssberg's Twitter feed was particularly bad. Reporting on advance postal votes: https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/dec/11/bbc-denies-pol...

Misreporting a punch, contradicted almost immediately by video: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/dec/10/photo-...

The official BBC line is that these are "mistakes", although they all seem to err in one direction and there is no investigation or plan to reduce the mistakes in the future.

Subjecting everyone except Johnson to interview by Andrew Neil (who is also chairman of Conservative magazine The Spectator) https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/dec/01/boris-johnson-...

> Subjecting everyone except Johnson to interview by Andrew Neil

The BBC doesn’t have the power to subject people to interview by force. If he declines an interview which he is not obligated to give what should they have done?


(a) not announce "interviewing all the leaders" until all the leaders were confirmed. This could be a competence rather than a bias issue; wasn't it Fyre Festival who were announcing acts who they hadn't booked to perform?

(b) empty-chair him

(c) given that Gove and Stanley Johnson (who has no formal position in the party, he's just Johnson's father and now a minor celebrity) turned up to protest outside, they should have been challenged instead

(also, "someone who already edits a partisan political magazine" should be disqualified from senior BBC positions if you're pretending to be impartial)

I am not in the UK Conservative Party but I actually know a few people who are and I hear enough of what going on in the party. I don't particularly like the conservative party however I signed up for account because of egregiously wrong you are.

a) Various leaders agreed to go on a show. Boris Johnson doesn't have to go on the BBC and the BBC can interview who they wish. Andrew Neil likes to make fools of people on his show. He has done it to many politicians of all colours. It is really just a higher brow version of "Ben Shapiro defeats Liberals with facts and logic". Jeremy Corbyn was stupid enough to go on there and get himself shafted by Neil.

b and c) Gove and Stanley Johnson was sent by their party to the debate. Channel 4 (which is mostly publicly funded which most people don't know) did the whole ice sculpture as a stunt. They already bought the sculpture. The

As for the BBC having a "right wing bias". Nothing can be further from the truth. You can go on the website yourself and there are thousands of stories talking about typically left wing talking points.

I am actually building daily news site analysis tool by cobbling together some sources. I am using some fairly simple word analysis techniques (most of the effort is scraping the data from these sites and deciding what constitutes a real news story) and most of the language on the BBC and the Guardian are similar. I suspect that most of them just copy and paste stories tbh.

> I am using some fairly simple word analysis techniques (most of the effort is scraping the data from these sites and deciding what constitutes a real news story) and most of the language on the BBC and the Guardian are similar. I suspect that most of them just copy and paste stories tbh.

There is a more serious underlying problem you've spotted, which is "jounalism as stenography". Lots of people can put out press releases, which then really do get copy-pasted into articles. Same with "wire copy" sourced from AP or Reuters. This can be abused by bad actors to get obvious or difficult-to-refute falsehoods into the public memetic consciousness by repeating them.

> This can be abused by bad actors to get obvious or difficult-to-refute falsehoods into the public memetic consciousness by repeating them.

This is exactly why I started the project also I know there are hit pieces that are coordinated between the news-sites. I wonder how much other news that is reported is also coordinated reporting. However I have no direct proof of this and I cannot start from trying to prove something that I suspect. First I need to collect and analyse data fairly.

So far I've just used newspaper to do the hard work of scraping for me (https://github.com/codelucas/newspaper) some basic filtering techniques e.g. I discard everything that has a question mark at the end of it (Betteridge's law of headlines and an MySQL to store articles etc. Then I run the second script to do some basic string analysis. I am going to be building a small web app to display the results.

So far it is early days (It about 4 or 5 python files and a config file) and I have got two other projects I am working on that probably need completing first.

Perhaps it was more the lack of scrutiny offered to his opponents.

This just doesn’t seem to add up to me. You think that the BBC, based in London, the absolute epitome of the middle-class metropolitan liberal media Oxbridge elite, founded on a socialist principle of media provided by the state, an organisation that helped to pioneer left-wing satire, home of the News Quiz, a broadcaster that commissions programmes for Mark Steel, Marcus Brigstocke, the late Jeremy Hardy, is actually right-wing?

It indeed does not add up, it's an absurd statement.

The BBC is pro government. It was pro Labour for many years recently. It’s still fairly unbiased compared to most sources.

That's a trend reflected in voting patterns. What is the BBC supposed to do, ignore the fact that a massive number of voters rejected the Labour Party's platform, fail to note that Labour had their most dismal outing since 1935 while losing seats for the first time in many places in the north of England, and fail to comment that the UK Left is a dumpster fire and a hotbed of anti-Semitism?

> There's been a clear pro-right trend for a number of years

Then why has there been more complaints from the right than the left this year about the BBC?


It's the Boaty McBoatface of metrics. The narrow demographic of those who write letters of complaint and organised efforts to complain will dominate.

> ...from the right than the left this year about the BBC?

You do realize that the single claim that you're citing as evidence for the BBC being biased towards the right is from a publisher that is left-leaning?

That's like asking Trump if CNN is "fake news" and citing his only opinion as evidence that CNN is biased against him which is hardly credible.


To my (American) eyes, the BBC has a liberal bias. YMMV, of course.

The BBC received far more complaints on coverage on the recent election from Conservative (right) supporters than any other group:


The right wing in the UK is usually the group most critical of the BBC (AKA "Brussels Broadcasting Corporation").

I would agree that the coverage during the Scottish referendum in 2014 was biased but I think that this is because the BBC is naturally biased towards the status-quo.

Any organisation that can produce The Thick of It being critical of politicians and W1A about its own antics can't be all bad....

Complaints are, like any "flagging" system, being weaponized to move the Overton window. There's plenty of people willing to write in and complain any time the BBC says that global warming is happening, that shouldn't be taken as a need to "correct" that.

> I think that this is because the BBC is naturally biased towards the status-quo.

Yes. And fearful of losing funding.

It's worth noting that the linked article does offer selection bias as an explanation – suggesting that conservative supporters were more likely to write letters, supporters of other parties less likely to.

Number of complaints seems a pretty poor measure of bias, but it is one that is often used to reinforce the idea of the BBC's impartiality.

Well, as someone who doesn't support any of the UK major national parties I'd say that the BBC was fairly good at making pretty much all of them look equally unappealing!

In the post-trump era, right wing complaints against an organisation aren't necessarily a sign that that organisation is doing a good thing. Complaints from the factions in power in the UK at the moment are usually just a sign that their actions 'arent right enough' rather than not being right wing full stop.

Also, the BBC News wing has separate management, some of whom were appointed during Cameron's time in office. So the drama and comedy produced by the BBC can be independent of its news editing.

If you are to be looking at new sources from the BBC, just stick to BBC World News. At its best, I find that the quality of the online sections and articles from the BBC are beyond woeful and extremely cringe-worthy everytime I dare to visit and read from the site or watch their news channel.

You'd expect that having the privilege of a royal charter they have a duty to be fair, impartial and balanced. But as shown in recent events and previous scandals, they are becoming a questionable source and still can't help giving coverage towards Twitter spats that isn't worth paying a TV license for.

The BBC also has a useful smartphone app. Each day it offers just a few items related to the US; can scan through them in a couple of minutes; seem free of any American left/right tilt.

Even thought I'm kinda "ideologically aligned" with Página 12, I wouldn't consider it unbiased when it comes to country politics (quite the contrary, up to the point of not reporting news in some cases) from Argentina (As it is clearly aligned with the "peronist" movement). There are 2 newspaper that from my point of view do a better job of presenting news in a un-biased way.

One is www.ambito.com (That it originates in a financial newspaper, but their politics reporting is very good).

the other is www.tiempoar.com.ar

Cualquier recomendación para Chile?

The intercept is by far the best news outlet. Most of their staff is incredible except a few pseudo journalists like Mehdi who are riding the anti-Trump train.

Trying to understand politics by watching the Web stream go flowing by is pointless. You need high-quality, big picture stuff that requires effort to produce and consume.

In the US, the NYTimes and the Washington Post are the best sources.

To ensure you're exposure is 'fair and balanced' I would add the Economist for a more conservative, but not xenophobic or straight-up nonsensical viewpoint. It has the nice additional bonus of being more global.

Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy are excellent journals for, well, US foreign policy. Finally, the New Yorker has fantastic longer-form articles on American politics.

Just thought, I would put this here.





Search engines are progressively getting worse or I am finally becoming an old boomer. I can't search anything without being bombarded with amp links focused on something completely unrelated. I tried duckduckgo, yes it is better but still not comparable to the results I was getting back.

If anything's a good metric for "propaganda or fake news", it's that they all use amp.

What about Wall Street Journal?

Great news content. Very rupert-murdoch-driven editorial bias

I've been reading WSJ for a long time because of their news reporting (I'm vaguely left wing on the American left-right spectrum). Recently however I've been pretty shocked to see them taking a right wing party line in some major stories, including this one about recent events in Bolivia (widely denounced as a coup by those on the left): https://www.wsj.com/articles/bolivias-accidental-leader-trie...

The WSJ has great content. But, with the WSJ, Economist, and even WaPo, I stopped subscribing to each because the editorials / opinion pages were vile. Look, I'm all about critical dialog, but when propagandists are given a soap box to spread nonsense (IE: flat out gaslighting lies), the purpose of the press in public good is abused. As the saying goes, people are entitled to opinions, not facts.

conservative bias

> bias

…is not by definition bad. Every publication publishes with bias (recognized and announced or not). Prejudice and unannounced (or not well-known) is what you want to avoid. Reading a "conservative bias" is a good thing, if only to better understand that point of view, regardless of if you agree or not.

Agreed! I respect Andrew Sullivan, who said something like "transparency is the new objectivity."

And NYT and WaPo each have a bias as well, often very similar.

And why not at least listen to people with more than one point of view?

Financial establishment kind of conservative, not what many would think of American conservatism in general.

I disagree with that. The stuff from the newsroom is basically identical to what you'd read in the New York Times, and doesn't seem very conservatively biased. Put the NYT's CSS on there and you'd not think anything was out of place. There is a little bit more of a focus on "business" articles; what company is buying what other company, how well the semiconductor industry is going to do this year, etc. I never see that in the NYT... but that is certainly not a conservative bias. It's just what they choose to cover.

The editorials are what you'd expect in a conservative newspaper. 50% of them are rah rah about how great Trump is (today's sampling: "Trump Finally Fires Back at Iran"), and the other 50% is how taxes are evil (today's sampling: "How Tariffs Hurt Manufacturing").

I am not sure who reads these or why newspapers pay these opinion columnists / editorial boards. They are always so extreme that they just drive readers away and let them brand the newsroom as "fake news" or "biased", when in reality the newsroom and editorial boards don't even talk with each other. The NYT did a series recently about how the editorial board and opinion columns operate, and it solidified in my mind that they shouldn't exist. It just lowers the reputation of the news-gathering portion of the business, as people associate an editorial they disagree with as bias in the news-gathering.

I read both the WSJ and the NYT because people on HN had me convinced that one was more biased than the other and that I was missing out on deep insights perpetrated by some sort of cabal. A year of reading both has told me that the conspiracy theories are not accurate. Both seem happy to hold the government to account. Neither routinely fabricate stories. You can subscribe to one or the other and not miss a thing. Don't read the editorials unless you are super liberal or super conservative and want some porn along with your morning coffee.

I subscribe to both as well. They both have journalistic integrity and try their best to report facts without bias, but I think it's a little disingenuous to suggest that their own biases don't unintentionally leak into the publications.

> It's just what they choose to cover.

I think these choices matter. Based on the stories they choose to run, the NYT comes across as undoubtedly intersectional, a bit globalist, and pro-market in the Bill Clinton sense. In contrast, the WSJ doesn't write much about social issues and is a more explicit proponent of free trade. It's a subtle distinction -- I'm sure the staff of each are amiable toward each other and mingle freely in New York City -- but if you had to collapse all their viewpoints into a single point on a 1-dimensional scale, they would land on slightly different places on the left-right political spectrum.

Conservative Perspective: WSJ, Economist, The Hill, Reason, and National Review

Krystal Ball from The Hill is a gem.

Reason is libertarian, not conservative.

Tangent, but I wish we'd come up with better labels for our viewpoints in the US than "conservative" or "liberal". It's been on my mind a lot lately.

"The Once and Future Liberalism" explores this idea in depth: https://www.the-american-interest.com/2012/01/24/the-once-an...

"Liberal" is maybe the most overloaded word in politics. "classical liberalism", "economic liberalism", "liberal democracy", what the American right means when they say "liberals" - all WAY different.

I feel sure it's going to happen in the next several decades. More and more people on the left are not liberals or are even anti-liberals. The right is currently dominated by a wing that's not traditional-conservative. Arguably that's been the case at least since Reagan, actually - the word "conservative" has dramatically shifted in meaning over the last 75 years.

But it’s heavily lefty sided and lacks perspective.

NYT will happily publish "high-quality big picture" antisemitism of the oldest and most eugenic sort: https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/dec/28/bret-stephens-...

NYT publishes all kinds of inflammatory stuff it its Op-Ed section. I don't think you should read the Op-Ed section too seriously (or at all). It's not up to the same bar as the rest of their reporting. It's their way to compete for clicks in a click-driven economy. Stick to the news sections.

Reuters (https://www.reuters.com/) is currently my favorite news source.

No paywall. Relatively fast loading, not too annoying site. They're heavy on news, light on opinion, agenda and propaganda. They generally cover anything of consequence globally.

They are also my go-to for intra-day news.

I use Economist for longer-cycle opinion and news.

I really like the french newspaper "Le Monde Diplomatique". https://mondediplo.com/

It has an english version.

I'm actually reading it in french. It's a well documented monthly newspaper. Articles aren't here to create some bullshit buzz, but deep articles on many subjects mostly politic, economic, geo politics but ther topics are covered (internet, healthcare, ...)

Yeah I used to struggle through Le Monde in French. It was eye-opening to get a very different perspective on everything: art and culture as well as politics.

I am also a reader of the monde diplo. They have a Spanish version too. We must recognize the small left-wing bias though, but the articles are always of very high quality and all the sources are included. This is by far the beat source of information for international politic and it should be a model for other newspapers.

"We must recognize the small left-wing bias though" Yep, I'm fully agree with you, that's must be said.

I've found a feed reader to be particularly useful for getting news in one place. Have been using The Old Reader for over a year now (RIP Google Reader :_( ).

I glance at the headlines to make sure I am aware of current affairs but only go further to reading articles if I need more information or the headline/summary is interesting enough.

I don't appreciate news sites that don't have Atom/RSS feeds.

Some sites: http://www.sci-news.com/feed http://itweb.co.za/rss https://sdtimes.com/feed/ https://cms.qz.com/feed/edition/africa

Mostly other aggregators

https://twitter.com (follow the right people)

https://reddit.com (follow the right subs)


I'm not in the habit of checking in on individual media outlets, but when I see content from WSJ, Bloomberg, or The Information on any of the above aggregators, I generally like what I see.

Is it sad to admit to BBC satirical news programmes. This generally works - they cover the "biggest" stories of the week, and if it strikes a chord I can go google for more.

However it failed spectacularly a few years back - A political enemy of the UK prime Minister David Cameron had written a book claiming Cameron had put his (Cameron's) penis into the mouth of a dead pig for a university prank. This had been banned from being repeated in UK media but twitter and non-english sources were full. So satirical programs were simply full of jokes about pigs, oink oink noises and more. They got hilarious reactions from those in the know but I simply had no idea why - it was weeks before the explanation broke somehow

> Is it sad to admit to BBC satirical news programmes

I for years got all of my main news from HIGNFY, Mock the Week and Private Eye. I got most of the nuance, without the outrage. Shame we don't have anything in the UK like The Daily Show, otherwise I probably wouldn't frequent any news sources other than those that skewer it all.

May I add "Dead Ringers" and "The Now Show" to the list of (BBC) satirical news shows. These shows absolutely nail it for me.

and the News Quiz

I really enjoy "Le Monde Diplomatique", it's a french monthly newspaper, mostly about foreign politics. It's translated in more than 25 languages and it started as a newspaper made for diplomatic circles.


After finally cutting myself off of Twitter, my main source for news has been the Wikipedia current events portal:


It's as close as can possibly be to unbiased, only lists significant events, and it covers world news rather than only focusing on America.

My secondary sources are reddit's /r/OutOfTheLoop, and the chyrons I see whenever I happen to walk by a TV that is playing the news (I learned of the Trump impeachment this way). If something doesn't come up in one of these three sources, it's probably not important enough to be worth the stress/anxiety that following the issue would cause.

Does anyone know if there is an RSS feed of the Current Events portal?

I use this in my RSS reader, from an open source web app I made a few years back: https://news.vinc.cc/search.atom?q=wikipedia+events

There is a recent changes atom feed. Does that do the job?


why leaving Twitter? i just joined months ago after ignoring it for years, but yeah most of the content is just time waster besides local police, firemen and transport authority

Perhaps they're not typical sources of news, but I enjoy ProPublica[1] and The Intercept[2] for deep investigative journalism.

[1] https://www.propublica.org

[2] https://theintercept.com

Axios has a number of email newsletters that are very good. They come out daily or weekly on specific topics. I like the email format where I can expect a good overview of what is happening in a topic (news/politics in the AM, tech news, science weekly, etc). For me, these have been good overviews from a variety of primary news sources. I also really like the email format. I can choose to consume the information on my schedule and don’t have to worry about constantly checking website for more information. Plus, by the time the news hits Axios, the story is already relatively mature. They also release breaking news bits when major events happen (like SCOTUS rulings), with context.

Bonus feature - they show you an estimate of reading time for each message too. That can be helpful when planning your time.

I have been compiling a list for quite some time now that I have been planning on doing some sort of scoring system of. There also many video sources that are great resources as well.

That said, I will tell you the main lesson I have learned in my obsession for better understanding of the big picture; don't follow outlets, follow journalists, no matter where they go. So I was reading Greenwald long before The Intercept, and if he published somewhere else or gave an interview or talk I'd watch it. The same for others like Seymour Hersh, Robert Fisk, Nassim Taleb, Chris Hedges, Matt Taibbi, Aaron Mate, Whitney Webb et al.

Find the ones that hit hard and keep their integrity. Disregard outlets. Use RSS/atom to avoid the crappy websites that often accompany the content.

- I skim/read a national newspaper every day in the morning for around 10-30m - https://www.TheHindu.com (no this one's not religious at all - quite the opposite :D).

- BBC news (I try to listen to the daily podcast in the evening). I've a radio too.

- Sham Jaff's https://www.whathappenedlastweek.com/ every week.

And then there are friends who never let you miss any event of importance or otherwise.

PS. HN, for me, is other things but not at all a news source.

Economist is very good. They are strongly liberal economics biased in their opinions, but they don't hide it. Their coverage of facts is usually excellent. It's obvious when they are opinionated and when on the other hand quoting expert opinion. I'm a bit on the left, politically, so I like reading 'what the other side is thinking' as well. As a bonus they publish bunch of letters from the readers, where they are criticized for this or that error by their readers, including state officials and university professors.

> but they don't hide it.

This is what I very much appreciate about the Economist and why I subscribe.

Solid handling of the facts and well-announced bias, when present. They say "based on these facts, this is our editorial opinion" (almost literally), and I find it refreshing.

Quit news. Quit politics. Don't have a "media diet." Make stuff and try to be around people who make stuff instead. To lay a single cobblestone path is to have more virtue than a million hot takes. Most causes are not thought-out enough to advocate, certainly not to scream about. The cobblestone path may outlive you. Politics and news, for all of their rage and sense of urgency, turn with the leaves.

If you want to do good in this world, work on technology, or art, or building something beautiful or durable, like a family. Good comes through these things, not from the political churn, not from quests for power.

If you want to keep up with things, keep up with technology (hi HN), keep up with real people who are doing stuff. It doesn't have to be hyper impressive stuff, just living and making things. Twitter is the most intellectual, and underrated, social network, because people follow too many political accounts and celebrities instead of other people, so if you're looking for an action item that's a good start.

Follow real people. Do real things. Try to inspire and be inspired. Leave the news behind.

I absolutely cannot believe that the top answer is "ignore the news and spend more time on Twitter".

This is "Live, Laugh, Love" levels of pseudo-enlightenment.

It is important to know what's happening in the world. It is important to know about decisions being made that affect the country you live in, and it is astonishingly ignorant to assume that politics and media are as bad where I live as you seem to think they are where you live.

To plan for tomorrow you need to know nothing, to plan for five years you need to know the news, to plan for ten years you need to know politics, to plan for twenty years you need to know history.

I love this, it resonates so much with what I think and do. Is it a quote or your own creation? If the former, can you share the source (DDG seems to fail me); if the latter, I'll attribute it to "antman" or who?

It's mine, you can share it without any attribution if you like

Yeah, I assumed the Twitter part was a joke. I can’t imagine a better way to feel horrible than Twitter. It’s definitely a platform for generating heat and very little light.

As for the news, I can understand the notion of a diet. I try and catch at least some of the PBS Newshour each day. It’s the closest thing I’ve found to unsensational, non-editorialized, old-fashioned reporting. If I’m pressed for time, I catch the news summary.

Truthfully, I consume a bit more reporting than just that, but when I start feeling overwhelmed, the PBS Newshour is my diet.

I actually have to disagree. I think it really depends on who you follow. For a long time I didn't use twitter at all, but I've recently become active.

The hardware hacker community (think Hackaday types) on Twitter is pretty awesome and a lot of fun to follow.

Stuff like the below comes through all the time, and the discussions with people making things are great.

https://twitter.com/MrRobotBadge/status/1212038632246251520 https://twitter.com/johndmcmaster/status/1211923709910376449 https://twitter.com/mifune/status/1168604582748073986

Being informed and aware are valuable goals.

I’m skeptical that the news industry has such significant deviation in outcomes globally, especially while having similar business models.

I’m genuinely curious: is there a particular news source you’ve found that delivers on evaluating global events/decisions, selecting the most relevant/important ones, and explaining them in an educational/useful manner?

The news is in the business of calling attention to things. Whether that attention is informative or useful is not something they take responsibility for.

Watch journalists when they are interviewed, they have a familiar line: they are calling attention to an issue - that’s their job - whether or not it is important is up to the reader.

When I get caught up in the drama of news I use Journalism 101 to remind myself I’m not actually gaining information in exchange for my attention:

A. Is this story about an event that has occurred (or is it speculation or reporting the speculations of others)?

B. Is the coverage establishing what occurred with independently verifiable facts? (Extra points if you can then find those verifications easily).

C. Does it bring context from people who have been directly effected by that event?

D. What did you learn about the nature of that event that you didn’t already know?

When I applied basic journalistic standards to my news consumption, it went down precipitously.

One can arguably be better informed about what is going on in the world and the decisions that are being made by focusing on building.

Builders share what is going on in the world with each other - such as discoveries that can help solve common challenges.

They share decisions that can effect their ability to solve problems - like new regulations and laws.

Chasing some global perspective that we must constantly keep up-to-date on, that’s the fantasy.

Building, as grandparent suggests, is how we engage with the world around us.

This isn't meant as an ad hominem attack but a general moan about moans about the media: not enough people distinguish between news reporting and opinion and analysis pieces.

RTE, The Irish Times, The Guardian, The Economist, The Financial Times have fairly good, fairly trustworthy reporting on a wide range of topics.

All have their strengths and weaknesses, to be sure, and the selection in an of itself shows my own biases and worldview to an extent.

I generally don't want to read through a newspaper and agree with everything in it, because then either the content has been dull to the point of tedium, or I've just created an echo chamber for myself where I learn nothing new and I'm not challenged enough about the downsides of whatever opinion I hold.

The Economist has some of the best reporting I've seen on Central Asia, for example, but I often disagree with the more libertarian editorial lines they take on many issues. I'm not nearly as left wing as the Guardian, but they do great work highlighting social injustices that I might otherwise ignore if I'm mainly reading business news.

Great recommendations all, been a while since I’ve been on the Economist. Thanks for the reply!

It's important to know what's happening in the world. It's not important to project what you know (or what you think you know) on blast via social media. I think that's where the unhealthy obsession people have with politics has been coming from lately.

Can I have your twitter handle?

Twitter can be fine, it can be priceless. The problem with Twitter:

Their client is bad and they mostly killed off good third party clients. I build my own client to solve this, most people can't or wont.

I want a client that prioritizes the things I follow and read the most (i.e. everyday), @newsyc50 or @newycombinator, @zerohedge, @arstechnica, @techmeme, @pkedrosky. @kdnuggets, @reuters, @variety, @politico. @zerohedge is the controversial one of the bunch. My client shows counters on unread messages for each so I know when new tweets are available and they are one click away.

Next I surface trends from the larger body of follows I'm interested in but don't have time to read. I process everything through spaCy and use its increasingly very good entity recognition to find the trending topics in my feed, much better than Twitter's BS trending. When something is tweeted from 5 or 6 places its a trend I may be interested in. I can adjust this threshold up and down.

I lookup each entity in a local Wikipedia database so if its someone or something famous its one click to read about them in depth. If there is no match its probably someone or something new to the Internet which is also interesting to know.

You need a critical mass of follows for this to work, like several thousand. It is a chore to find several thousand interesting people and organizations to follow. Most people aren't going to do this work which is why most people hate Twitter. Following that many is also noisy so you need a client that prioritizes for signal.

Don't read replies to a tweet unless its really interesting, there are a few interesting replies but they are usually pointless, noisy and/or toxic.

Filter out replies by people you follow most of the time. Most of the time. though not always, these replies are noisy and uninteresting.

I have a smooth scrolling feed I just look at to see what everyone is talking about. It was a bit of of a pain to implement when they killed off the stream API, though I replaced it by polling the feed just below rate limit.

I poll everyone I follow if the client has been off for a while to fill the holes in my timeline.

> It is important to know what's happening in the world

What made you think so?

Don't get me wrong, I don't disagree per sé. But I find it harder and harder to find reasons.

For me, what happens in the world affects how I direct my (short & long term) investments. The sentiment on recession probability has led me to tweak my long-term investments, and the trade war news has impacted several day-trading actions (it's a hobby).

> It is important to know about decisions being made that affect the country you live in.

It's mostly not. The vast majority of daily political yammering and scandals has no effect.

People mostly use politics as a way to dodge real problems in their life that they could be solving. You see this most clearly with the way people bat about words like "capitalism" into nonsense definitions. Their criticisms are almost always manifestations of personal issues.

More generally, people mature when they stop believing politics will solve their problems. It is very sad to see people who spend years hoping their candidate will get into office to reorder the world for them (spoiler, they won't), when they could change how they live today to actually reflect their own values.

As for breaking news, etc. If its actually important, it will get to you anyway, I promise.

You don't have to spend time on Twitter, but if you're looking for internet places to go like the OP is, you can find things there that you will never find elsewhere. I'm answering his question sincerely. You can make new friends and start new collab projects through places like Twitter and Hacker News. I've done it! You're not gonna get that reading CNN or BBC or whatever. You're probably not going to get any actionable, meaningful information from news sources like those, especially day to day.

Twitter is 100% amazing, hugely underrated, and a return to the mode of being that we had pre-1500's, where most knowledge was obtained through dialogue instead of one-way broadcasts, and I will die on that hill.

Saying that twitter is anything like the sociopolitical dynamics of pre-1500 is just as ludicrous as your other statements. You're acting like hiding in a hole and ignoring the issues around you is the right thing to do.. and trying to sell it like you've discovered this new and better way to live.

I disagree. I've written a little about this: https://medium.com/@simon.sarris/are-we-still-thinking-795bd...

In pre-modern times one talked to more people, sometimes in a single day, than one would ever read in one's lifetime. Today it's the opposite: we will always read/see/hear from more sources that we cannot converse with than we will ever speak to. Twitter allows you great opportunity for dialogue again. It's the first social network that's gotten good at this way of interacting.

Declining to read news sites and ignoring capital P Politics is not hiding in a hole. Perhaps its having priorities that are too different than the ones you're used to, but if that's the case I hope it gives you pause.

The rebuttal here isn’t that declining to read news is hiding in a hole, it’s that getting your world-view updates (“news”) by following individuals on Twitter is worse.

For instance, it’s been argued that the “low-information” Twitter bubble is partly culpable for Hillary’s loss.

Having read your assertions here and your link, it seems your premise is based on a misunderstanding of historical and modern sociology of both conversation and information propagation.

You’re focusing on mass media as though it replaced conversation. It’s not at all clear that it did.

People still converse verbally as much as they used to, but with today’s mobility patterns the interlocutors they encounter in person both among acquaintances and at random today are more diverse than those they rubbed shoulders with 500 years ago. And each of those can converse with a more diverse group in turn.

By sifting through and following a subset of Twitter, you’re (however unintentionally) narrowing your aperture, and you tend to end up consuming bon mots like bonbons rather than engaging in deeper dialog opportunistically or spontaneously.

Before Twitter, its mode of communication was called micro-casting:


You’ve drawn a line between TV or radio and Twitter as though it’s conversational, but once you account for the ratio of pub to sub, from followed to followers, you see it’s not the same mode as conversation. On the contrary, you’ve just self-selected your own personalized micro-channel, and are recommending others do the same to the exclusion of thoughtfully curated information from a long evolving school of journalistic practice.

At the same time, despite Netflix, Twitter, or Facebook, the art of serious and coherent conversation endures, ideally informed by both individual interests and shared news of significance:


From the town crier to the newsprint to today’s subscriptions to Reuters, ProPublica, economist, guardian, wapo, nyt, etc. (see link for independent sources), curated and contextualized news has informed local conversation, national debate, and societal outcomes.


That value is being challenged by advertising driven content mills, which degrades the quality of news, but selecting vetted journalistic sources is not particularly different from selecting which Twitter quipsters to follow.

Some sources are tilting at the ad supported windmill, trying to find alternative economic models for journalism:


To quote from that link, “... at the end of the day, we live in the real world. It’s what makes journalism so essential and durable: a free society’s demand to know what’s happening will never cease.“

It still sounds like you think I'm experiencing American style politics and media.

It's silly to act like tabloid press and opinion pieces by vested interests are the same as dry fact-based reporting on the passage of bills through a parliament.

My country has had coalition or minority governments since my parents were children, and we don't have first past the post voting. People here don't have "their candidate" as such either, because we have multi seat constituencies. People increasingly don't even have a political party (of which there are several) that they reliably vote for.

I disagree very strongly with the notion that people mature when they effectively give up on politics. That's a dangerous message. People mature (for good or ill) when they put time and effort into making changes to their communities that affect others, whether that's getting a new bus stop, rezoning land, or changing laws or tax rates in some direction. That stuff is always and inevitably political.

> You're probably not going to get any actionable, meaningful information from news sources like those, especially day to day.

Not day to day perhaps, but I did once learn from the news that a certain French airline company had just gone bankrupt. This was about a month before I intended to fly with them, so I had enough time to rebook the tickets, avoiding the stress and additional expenses. Learning about this bankruptcy in time was very helpful, as the company did not care enough to send a warning email to its customers, so if it were not for the breaking news headline, I would have to buy the replacement tickets on a much shorter notice.

Skimming through the headlines can pay off in some unexpected ways, and does not take too much time/effort.

news has become less than useless. The majority of news is designed to illicit outrage rather than inform. Look at any major news org or even comedy org and the entire set of content is designed to get people to be infuriated.

No thanks.

"This is "Live, Laugh, Love" levels of pseudo-enlightenment."

It's worse than that. What they are advocating is surrounding yourself with a comforting bubble that feeds you a steady dose of pablum that confirms your existing biases. Twitter has been an extraordinary source of ignorance bubbles and has been an extremely negative force on the conveyance of accurate information.

A couple of weeks ago the GP had the top post to a story about the oceans warming, which is remarkably telling given this post. In it they casually dismissed the report of the world's scientists, paraded an ignorant counter-conclusion, and called it a day. This is straight from the AGW-denier playbook and you can see in the GP exactly how such people are made -- "Ignore what your eyes and ears are telling you. Listen to what the tiny subsection of ignorant people are pitching".

Their philosophy is how the world got "pizzagate". Where people like Jordan Peterson have cults.

> It is important to know what's happening in the world.

The dose makes the poison. If it's important, you'll hear about it. 99% of what you think of as important you will have forgotten in ten years. Look at old newspapers, old news magazines and it will give you a healthy dose of perspective.

I disagree with the Twitter part but the rest is great advice. You can fill your life with consuming (even if it feels important, like today's news) or you can fill your life with creating. The choice is yours.

Or you know, follow politics and meet with your elected representative and push for issues that you care about to make the world better for everyone.

Plenty of despots sent plenty of soldiers over cobblestones carefully set into the ground.

Though I do agree that following news reports over every gaff and tweet are pointless, even if they are entertaining. Understanding the pros and cons of something like the Trans Pacific Partnership is valuable though. Some people in our society need to be informed and there is a dearth of computer literate people in our political parties, at least here in Canada.

I agree in a scale-dependent way, where "politics" is really offhand for "non-local politics", which is my fault for assuming that's what most people who say politics or Geo Politics (the words in op's post) mean. I think local politics are underrated, and national (often including state) politics are vastly, vastly overrated time sinks.

(full disclosure: I'm active in local politics, I was appointed to the bicycle-pedestrian committee for failure to keep my mouth shut)

Note that on the big scale, for 99% of people, their political options mostly consist of voting, and even the most careful reading of daily news isn't going to change their voting patterns. They've already decided what they think is best for the world. You can still vote without participation in the looney bin machine, if that's your preference. If you want to change people's minds, even politically, the best way to do it is probably not repeating political (news) stuff, but actually living a certain way.

> push for issues that you care about to make the world better for everyone.

Yes. Or make it worse, if you get it wrong :) (cue Seeing Like a State, etc)

> where "politics" is really offhand for "non-local politics"

Who ever said that? Assuming that you are an adult, the you're completely capable of participating in both local and non-local government. For whatever that's worth to you

>Or you know, follow politics and meet with your elected representative and push for issues that you care about to make the world better for everyone.

It's impossible to make the world better for everyone, just those you care about (and that's only if you're fortunate enough to not trigger counterproductive secondary effects).

That said, I think GP is suggesting that you take your antenna out of the waveguide of impotent turmoil and bickering and focus your attention and energy on intentional, concrete objectives. Actually meeting with a representative to drive an objective forward is exactly in line with what is being suggested.

> Most causes are not thought-out enough to advocate, certainly not to scream about.

I agree 100 %.

Your comment reminds me of these two comics : [1] & [2] which I love and revisit from time to time.

1: https://zenpencils.com/comic/50-neil-gaiman-make-good-art/

2: https://zenpencils.com/comic/119-john-green-make-gifts-for-p...

As much as I couldn't agree more with some of the points you make on quitting the toxic current affairs and the constant negative forecasting of the world made by the news media, I just disagree with the idea of simply reclusing from the real world and focusing only on tech-centric content, where this will bring a one-sided understanding of certain stories which forgets those who disagree with us and risks failing to understand why they do, which creates echo-chambers.

The tech that we create is starting to reveal the nefarious side of its uses and that is unfortunately real. The standards and rules put in place to keep them safe involve those involved in politics and legislation. If we as just tech creators ignore the implications, then we will be later held to account for this, despite the license saying other wise. It isn't as simple as that to ignore the importance of such things in this industry with possible regulation on the way.

> Twitter is the most intellectual, and underrated, social network, because people follow too many political accounts and celebrities instead of other people...

That's debatable. Perhaps for other things, but not for general communication. But that debate is for another HN thread.

The fact is, any tech that has a direct impact on the world would be hard for politicians, bad actors, activists and news corps to ignore and will most certainly question or exploit it to their agenda and those in power will ultimately hold us accountable.

This is generally good advice but I disagree about Twitter being an intellectual place. I was there for so many years and had to quit because even if I wasn’t following political people, some politics would always end up in the timeline one way or another. You can’t avoid it (still will get the “you don’t follow the right people” bash, doesn’t matter, it is what it is). Then you also have to deal with the char limit, larger than the past but still limited, and you may end up with 50 chained tweets to make a proper point, and certain people will take one out of context and you’ll end up receiving death threats. And Twitter itself isn’t really a neutral company when it comes to politics. All in all, not the right place for being intellectual IMHO.

Also disagree with the full disconnection of the news. I think a weekly summary is fine, you can skim and see if there’s anything relevant. Most of the time, there is nothing worth spending your time. Bias and clickbait in journalism is really low-level and boring nowadays, and you don’t need to follow it all. But you still may want to know something about the society you live in besides the people you end talking to.

>Twitter is the most intellectual, and underrated, social network, because people follow too many political accounts and celebrities instead of other people

I mostly agreed up until this. These days it feels like on Twitter, everyone is political at least some of the time. Even a lot of otherwise interesting people who talk about technology 95% of the time, politics just HAS to slip in the other 5%. I don't even really blame them, certain groups treat you like a political enemy if you aren't constantly kowtowing their politics, it's like paying protection money to the mob. Most of these types have personal blogs where you can get their high effort technical posts without the low effort political trash, I'd say go to that instead of Twitter. Fuck Twitter.

You had me up until Twitter.

Twitter is the nonstop first date where everybody is working hard to look like somebody who is "in the know" and has their life together. Yes, there are "real people" there but they are few compared to the a sea of bots, narcissists and PR-talk.

This is nothing but will full ignorance and proud idiocy.

Its complete surrender to absolute power without any hint of necessity.

Politics matter, if you like it, or not. They lay the groundwork and build the frameworkfor anything in technology, art and your family.

Any attempt in these fields are completely depended on politics. They will all turn to ashes (literally) at the snap of a finger, if politics wants to. All attempts there are futile if you are apolitical.

I really should have said "Quit political media" instead of "Quit politics", to stave off the usual comments.

I think that's an extreme position. Instead of that, why not delay all news articles by few days or a week. Anything mostly noise will be gone and any important issue will still be broadcasted few days or weeks later.

I would agree except instead of Twitter, I would say look for a weekly newsletter that provides a broad summary of the type of news you are interested in.

This is the best comment I have seen on HN in a long time. I agree with everything you said, but that isn't the reason this is the best comment. I appreciate that someone else knows what things last and what is just short lived dopamine highs. (news drama, politic drama, etc)

How could it be the best comment when it doesn't even address OPs question?

OP asked for "X"

This reply says, "dont X, X is bad"

It is the same as every off topic top comment.

Your mileage may vary but the most helpful commentary I have gotten in my life is usually couched in that format: when I am asking for X, but had not considered Y enough, or at all, and someone replies suggesting Y instead, and then I realize new possibilities.

You are right that it does not answer OP's question. I stand by my words, it is still the best comment I have seen. Sometimes it is right to "dont X, X is bad", as it is an opinion which people may freely communicate. I will happily accept my text turning grey for expressing my opinions.

Reminds me of Stack Overflow.

Great advice, just not for everyone though. I personally agree.

Sage advice

You watch/read too much Jordan Peterson. You can care about issues and try to make the world a better place, while also taking care of yourself.

Telling people not to care about politics is itself a political endorsement of the status quo.

I pretty far left, even for European standards, so this is my news:

- https://morningstaronline.co.uk/ (UK Left news)

- https://www.theguardian.com/international (Int. News)

- https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world (Int. News)

- https://taz.de/ (German left newspaper)

- https://www.sueddeutsche.de/ (German centrist)

- https://www.theregister.co.uk/ (For IT news)

- https://techcrunch.com/ (For Startup News)

- https://www.nytimes.com/section/smarter-living (For Lifestyle articles)

I would strongly suggest that anyone in the UK finds a non-UK news source, and SDZ is a good choice. Irish Times also works - not remotely left, but outside the UK bubble.

Do you mean https://sdz.today/ ?

It seems to be down at the moment.

No, I forgot that the abbreviation doesn't have a D in it. https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&tl=en&u=h...

Local paper: SF Chronicle print edition. It's very good, great local issues coverage, which I wish people would pay more attention to, in general. Voting in California (especially Oakland, where I live) is never easy (42 questions last time!) and I felt like I knew what half of them were in advance, which is no small thing :)

Economist for world news. First-class politics coverage. I always laugh at their briefings. It's like, OK, here we go. "Briefing: Climate change". I wouldn't be surprised if we get "Briefing: World peace". Weighty and substantive.

Stratechery for tech news. It's great. I also read AVC (Fred Wilson's blog), Jason Crawford's new "Roots of Progress" from time to time. Less often I check out Remains of the Day or Wait But Why.

If I'm really feeling ambitious I read foreign affairs. Straight from the US council on foreign relations (CFR). That's the real deal.

I don't pay much attention to US national news. I don't care what nonsense Trump said. I do care intensely about local issues like transit, schools, pensions, and land use (zoning).

I subscribed to the print edition of the Wall Street Journal largely to get off the screen and consume less fragmented hot-takes.

The news and business reporting is amazing. The editorial board is very “Fox News”, but as someone who’s fairly liberal I get to see outside the bubble.

Edit: Oh, and Dan Neil’s car reviews every Saturday are one of the most relaxing reads of my week.

My list for mostly political and non-corporate media.




Genuine question from someone who probably (given your choices) agrees with you politically most of the time: do any of these strike you as acceptable news (i.e. non-editorial) sources? If so, why?

The Intercept - absolutely.

Current Affairs is certainly more editorial.

Jacobin is somewhere in between.

I don't scan HN as religiously as I used to do it in the past. I prefer to check Ask HN most of the time as there are more useful threads in it than the main page.

To the original question, I explore Reddit subs of my choice.

For science



a little less technical science news - newatlas.com

I get access to pressreader.com via my local library a/c

I watch CGTN,

while it's definitely pro china, I still find it to be by far the most valuable news television.

It focuses on Africa and Asia, which I otherwise hear very little about. The value of the news for me is mostly not whatever the news is, but the facts surrounding the news.

For example when they covered the election in Senegal, I learned a ton about Senegal as a result. The news about the election was not the important part in this case, it was learning about the country.

I wrote longer about CGTN here: http://mathiasbonde.com/?p=96

> I’m really ignorant regarding most issues outside of the west.

I agree. We kinda are. That's why is nice to read all these alternative sources. You don't have to agree with them, but at least you'll ask yourself more questions. Thanks for the link and the advice. I'll definitely watch some CGTN.

BBC and guardian for international news, then tons of local sites and Twitter for local news, Ars Technica and verge for general tech news and Gsmarena, phonearena and gizchina for Android/mobile news

i narrowed my interests since I lack time, previously used to read about architecture/buildings and science sites, but it's just too much information and if there is something really important it will go to regular news sites, otherwise it's just stuff with application in years/decades, which I don't care

I used to spend majority of my time on Twitter, and reading NYT. But it's too much to pay attention to; I couldn't care about anything happening in the world.

Now most of my time is spent reading local newspapers, newsletters from local publications, and issue-specific publications (climate change).

I'm choosing to care about fewer things and deferring to rest of the world to care about others.


- The UI (especially mobile) is pretty terrible so it's hard to get hooked

- It generally only reports global news that means something rather than talking heads or identity politics

- They have published some articles critical of themselves or affiliates, which in my opinion demonstrates objectivity

Also when I'm commuting to work, I'll listen to the local NPR station on the radio which covers some local topics.

I like Reuters because it seems to be one of the more neutral news sources in the US.

I wish this question would've been asked 1 week later as I have been trying to find a good weekly summary for years. I got fed up & created my own. I finally published it this weekend, but had to wait 4 days for approval. Anyway, here it is: https://www.wnu.news/

To directly answer your question: https://scitechdaily.com/ http://memeorandum.com/ (and culture from https://redef.com/ https://aldaily.com)

Like the "avoid it" answer, I also like to read criticism instead of news, whether it be book reviews, movie reviews, album reviews, video game reviews. Partially to increase my literary skills, and partially to help me notice more around me as I consume entertainment. A&LDaily New Book reviews in particular. I read a lot more book, film, and game reviews than I read, watch, or play.

Longform and Longreads are great ways to find more magazine like researched stories, instead of daily infotainment style "news."

Full List










The aldaily media list (https://www.aldaily.com/media/) and redef sources chart (https://redef.com/charts/sources/total) are also good pages.

For film specifically https://letterboxd.com/ https://www.rottentomatoes.com/ https://www.metacritic.com/

About a hundred websites for various technology news (some of the stories I share here) grouped by interest and signal-to-noise ratio (subjectively determined by me) plus a few related to politics and my hobbies (photography and hiking/camping) all consumed in QuiteRSS on both Windows and macOS.

(Am I supposed to post the OPML file for the tech news?)

Caspian Report on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/CaspianReport Condensed news which are more like essays, 15-20mins for each topic, they set the historical context for the current events in a very objective way.

I like some of the channel's older content. The newer stuff is a bit opinionated for my taste.

Although it is in german, the „deutschlandfunk“[1] is very informative radio with no advertisement. I mostly listen to it on breakfast, but you can most all articles on the radio on their website.

[1] https://www.deutschlandfunk.de/

Personally, I enjoy reading The Week over the weekend to get the news of the week: https://www.theweek.co.uk

Together with that I like to read the free news site from my home country to keep up-to-date what's happening over there.

For French readers: I have created a HN like for French news with the same interface than hacker news and a similar time/point based algorithm for auto sorting most popular articles.

Link: http://news.keymetrics.com/

Originally meant for my own consumption, I made an aggregator that I would like to get my news from, in a form and shape I prefer. then my friends started using it and they really liked it. Now available to everyone.

[1] https://embit.ca

Once upon a time I trusted the "news", and to be fair, it seemed more balanced than it is now. Maybe that was just naivete.

Today? Hard to find any "news" that isn't slanted. The weather perhaps? "News" has become propaganda.

The Prepared, by Spencer Wright. Weekly email digest of really interesting things from the world of engineering and manufacturing. https://theprepared.org/

For the USA, the Federal Register is the "daily journal of the United States Government". No spin, just the actual rules.



Because twice daily it lists several outrageous stories from all sides of the political spectrum. I truly believe every news source today is biased, the only way to get any kind of balanced view is to scan them all and triangulate.

Audible.com to learn about topics through books while in the car or on a walk. I buy paper copies of the books I want to share or reference. I try to alternate nonfiction and fiction (usually science fiction and historical fiction).

Other than memeorandum (techmeme mentioned several times but not memeorandum??), there's The Weekly Sift (https://weeklysift.com/)

Slashdot, The Verge, Vox, Tech Crunch, Ars Technica, TechJuice.pk (Pakistan).

https://www.allsides.com/unbiased-balanced-news is a news aggregator with a focus on balanced news.

A potentially interesting project: a Show HN OPML file generated from the sources posted on HN and weighted based on frequency of posting and up-votes for articles from those sources.

I don't have any. If something is truly important to my specific interests then my friends who share those interests will alert me to it. All news I get is word of mouth.

I like Bloomberg radio. Most of their stuff is through a global markets lens, so their stuff is less about how things should be and more about how they actually are.

I use News Items (for-pay). https://newsitems.substack.com/

DiscoverDev for great technical blog posts. The Intercept to get an alternative media. Fox News to understand people I disagree with. The Economist.


Summarises news (mostly from a US perspective) concisely with options to dive deeper

I like the Hackaday blog: https://hackaday.com/blog/

an interesting chart on media bias now at version 5.1


https://www.uptopnews.com/ to get a quick tech overview.

I have a heavily cultivated set of custom subreddits (local, photography), but I tend to gravitate to hn for tech more and more these days.

A new account looking for other places with geo political discussion? I am becoming more cautious about how freely I share some knowledge.

There was this study a while ago about how readers stuck to the bubbles they knew. So conservative readers read Drudge Report, and Liberals read Huffington Post.

However, there was one news source that their network analysis had found to be read widely by both conservatives and liberals: the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

I don't know if this is still true, but its worth a browse.

Other than that, I agree with the sentiment here that NYT and WaPo at least go through the effort of fact checking.

Worse than that: Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube think they are doing us a service by inferring our bubble based on what we consume and then give us an ever-smaller bubble thinking it's what we want. What I want is full-spectrum coverage of topics: I want to know what the American left, right, and conspiracy fringe think of something, what the Euroskeptics and EU-supporters think, what the prevailing opinion is in Moscow and Tokyo -- and then draw my own conclusions if it's important to me.

i guess I'm a moderate then, because I wouldn't waste my time with either Drudge or Huff-post. The latter i've found amusing at times in a Yeah-I-Hate-That-Too kinda way, but you just can't take it seriously.

Everyone on hacker news is a hedonist who retired from politics or any political discourse.

No one has said it yet to my surprise. Arguably the most trusted news outlet in America today is the financial times. Wall Street Journal at one time was a competitor, but it feels like less so today. I would support the argument made previously in this thread, that the news orgs in print and paywalled online produce better content because they don't have to run the rats race of outrage and ads - FT is one of those.

Financial Times is great! Not worth the price if you dont split it with others, though.

Techurls.com Devurls.com Feedly

I still check out slashdot.org / reddit.com / flashback.org (Swedish)

I'm still on Slashdot as well. The discourse is less civil, but more straight. Still, I prefer the civility of HN :)

The Guardian (English), The Conversation, Information (Danish).

Matt Levine @ Bloomberg

"Money Stuff" is hilarious.

HN and Benedict Evans’s newsletter for me

i started vising maagnit.com last week. good mix of mainstream and independent sources, all video though.

Washington Post, Engadget, Mac Rumors

I subscribed to a couple of newsletters to stay up to date. The TLDR I read on a daily basis. JavaScript Weekly is also very good if you're interested int webdev.

Here's a good list of different newsletters: https://github.com/zudochkin/awesome-newsletters#technology-...

One similar site I use is https://lobste.rs/

- Twitter - Reddit

Getting your politics from twitter is a horrible idea. Even if it wasn't full of trolls and bots specifically intended to mislead, it would still be an endless spew of pointless, often fake, outrage where the only thing that matters is keeping Jack Dorsey rich and keeping twitter-itself afloat.

caspian report on youtube


https://voat.co/ as uncensored aggregator for global sociopolitical news.


How on earth can anyone present fox news as a serious news site? It's the living incarnation of for-profit shock journalism. It doesn't even pretend to have actual content. (I'd be just as irritated if someone said comedy central... Which is probably slightly more accurate, but still utterly idiotic)

Fox News is by far the most popular cable TV news network. Many people also read their website.

Would you like to share your news sources?

"By far" - false

"Popular" - lol, chinese state media is an order of magnitude more popular, do you think it's an order of magnitude more trustworthy?

I personally read the economist, ny times, and wsj for short-cycle online content. I listen to npr in the car, and then... I don't know, read constantly? Everything? Tech blogs? trade journals? History books? Literature? Religious shit? I struggle to keep up with the world in a meaningful way. Don't you?

Fox anything drowns itself in the vulgar idiocy of certitude. I can imagine no lesser epistemological sin in 2020.

Read and listen to get data, not to absorb obvious horseshit


I am a real person and I enjoy both. Lose the dismissive attitude to escape your filter bubble.

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