Looking through the online news early this morning, I realized that most of the news that I read—no matter the source—has some kind of bias. My typical news resources are Drudge Report, Fox News, CNN, BBC, Techcrunch, and sometimes the WSJ or Washington Post. Though I only visit the WSJ or WP when I can get around their paywalls. I visit all of these sites because I want to get the full spectrum of news at a glance. I often find myself inadvertently mentally comparing the tone of the articles on the front pages of these sites to get a general feel for the editorial slant that oozes from beneath the veneer.
I tend to stay away from news aggregation services by online media corporations like Facebook, Yahoo, and Google News. These are some of the most partisan news sources on the Left Coast. I also stay away from clearly partisan outlets like university newspapers in academia and commercial entities like MSNBC and Aljazeera. CNN, especially during the election cycle, became the go-to anti-Trump outlet and I started to avoid it as well. The fucked up part about the news today, is that even science journalism is biased as shit. One would think that folks devoting their lives to the methodology of the scientific method would be more careful with their opinions. They are not.
For the most part I just want a steady stream of straight-forward, unbiased, and pithy information covering US and world news, politics, tech, science, lifestyle, and money in easily digestible chunks—3 to 5 paragraphs giving the who, what, when, where, and (possibly) the why. I don’t need anyone’s bullshit commentary. I don’t need them to help me understand the issue(s). I don’t need them to do shit but give me the facts.
The only two web-based resources that I can find that are remotely close to my ideal are Reuters and the Associated Press. I haven’t investigated them fully, but I may in the near future. I’m less optimistic about AP being bias free. Here is one very small example of their bias via Twitter. I’ve always hoped that the NYT would be on the leaning-towards-unbiased list, but they are just as heavily slanted as MSNBC. They even wrote an apology to their readers stating they would “rededicate [themselves] to the fundamental mission of Times journalism.” It was the start of a nice apology, then they turn right around and state that they will be… “striving… to understand and reflect all political perspectives and life experiences in the stories that [they] bring to [us].” For fuck’s sake, they still don’t get it. They really need to stick to basic journalism 101 and leave the commentary and feel-good all-inclusive crap to the life and opinion sections.
Another news source that is fairly opinion-free is the WSJ, but I find it to be too expensive. They have an all-digital subscription that is currently priced at approximately $200 for a year of access and they have a student rate that is $50 for a year. I would only want to pay about $5-10 per month for an unbiased news subscription.
I have a feeling that my news outlet search will be unfruitful and aggravating. These days of powerful corporations, media moguls, and opinion-driven “facts” played off as hard news leave me with a pessimistic feeling that I will not find my relatively inexpensive, opinion-free, fact-driven, news unicorn anytime soon.