Great Places to Find (Real) News

You may be asking yourself, does real news even exist? Are all facts alternative? Is Russia fake news???

Not to fear. Yes, real news does exist. There is such a thing as an actual legitimate fact. And no, an entire country cannot be fake news.

A great way to find out what the facts are of a current event is through news alerts. All of the news sites have apps unless otherwise noted. No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, the must have news alerts on your smartphone are:

1. The New York Times: The Times is great for comprehensive coverage of current events around the world.

2. The BBC: This British news source provides information about a broader range of issues in their news alerts because of (you guessed it!) colonialism. British interests extend to corners of the globe that are not often highlighted by U.S. media outlets.

3. Al-Jazeera: Based in Northern Africa/Southwest Asia, or the Middle East, Al-Jazeera provides an angle that most western sources don't. It also provides coverage of stories that you might complain about never appearing in western media sources.​If all you pay attention to is those three sources’ news alerts, you'll have a pretty good understanding of what is happening in the world. If you want to dig a little deeper, there are a couple things you can do. First of all, economic literacy is essential in a globalized world. I would 10/10 recommend subscribing to The Economist if you have the means to do so. The Economist is my single favorite news source because it not only provides a detailed economic analysis of literally every region in the entire world and global and local financial markets and currencies, but it also provides an analysis of international relations and crises. The Economist is a Liberal (note the capital L) publication. That means that it adheres to a “free market,” democracy-loving ideology. It speaks in the language of and is written for the global elite. But it's a valuable publication because gives the reader insight into the minds of both international business people and world leaders. Although you may disagree with its ideological slant, the content is important because it provides you with the institutional knowledge to change the status quo. ALSO IT HAS AN AUDIO VERSION OF EVERY EDITION. This is a huge deal for me because I'm dyslexic and read at the pace of a snail. The audio version allows me to get through the Economist when I otherwise would not be able to. Also, they all have British accents. Honestly, it's the greatest thing I've discovered in a long time and I talk about it constantly because it's so great.

Other important economic publications that you can have set to news alerts without a subscription are Bloomberg News and the Wall Street Journal. The Bloomberg app is like crack for any Econ nerd. You can track stocks, bonds, currencies, whatever with this app and find news articles as well. The Wall Street Journal publishes business news and informs readers about the state of US business in particular. If you disagree with Rupert Murdoch and think you hate the Journal, don't read the opinion section. But do read everything else because financial literacy matters.

For partisan, sometimes not-so-super real, possibly alternative news, check out your good old Fox News, MSNBC, The Guardian, Mic, and probably a few more. I would not recommend looking at these places for news. I personally have Fox News alerts on my phone because a vast majority of Americans consume their news from there, but it is not something I read regularly.

For news in an accessible and fun way, check out NPR and Vox.com. Vox has loads of great videos and graphics to explain complex problems, in slightly over simplified terms, but well enough that you come away with a thorough understanding of the issues. NPR is wonderful, and provides both unbiased news coverage and podcasts, and “liberal” programming.

My favorite NPR podcast is called 1A. Every episode is a debate on a question with experts from all sides of the problem. If you're not sure how you feel about a certain issue, 1A is a great resource because it explains an issue and then delves into a discussion over the merits to different solutions. Another great debate podcast is Debates^2 (it's debates squared but I'm writing on my phone because my laptop is not working and could not insert the squared two). In this show they prepare their positions beforehand have teams of experts that debate the question at hand. I prefer 1A because I think it's more balanced and has less of an agenda, but they are both great.

The best advice I can give to someone who is wanting to know more about the world, but afraid of being overwhelmed with options and opinions is to focus on mostly nonpartisan sources. Sometimes a newspaper will have a biased opinion section, but honestly, that is not always a bad thing. If you know that an opinion piece is, in fact, an opinion, you can go into it being more critical, or even simply more understanding and open to a position you haven't heard before. And if you disagree with someone, find out where they get their news and spend a few days poking around on there. You might learn a lot.

 

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