"Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is just public relations." - George OrwellI honestly cannot stand watching the news anymore. I can no longer stand all of the misinformation and crap they are throwing at us while larger issues are at stake. It's not what the mainstream media reports on that enrages me, it's what they don't report on.
A free press and proper journalism is the cornerstone of a free society. The job of the media and of journalists is to inform the public of what is happening in the world and to expose the truth so that citizens can make informed decisions in choosing their leaders. Anything less is not good for the public or for society. In most of the American media today, journalism is not living up to its job. The mainstream media reports on some issues while ignoring others. Why? Money of course!
A celebrity scandal draws much higher ratings than some Afghan children killed by a US airstrike, even though the latter is more important. Therefore the media prioritizes the former because it's more profitable and more likely to grab peoples attention. There is no way of avoiding this. The only two remedies are A) Non-profit news organizations B) State media. Although the former already exists, they don't have the power and influence of large media agencies, and therefore don't have as large of an audience. Some countries have state media, but there is danger in putting total control of the media into the hands of the state. The state may end up censoring the media at their will, in order to hide government flaws or injustices. China and Russia already do this (with Xinhua and Russia Today respectively). The only solution is to have a state run media agency, but allow absolute press freedom by allowing private news agencies to practice journalism freely. This way, even if the state media is hiding something, the private media can report on it instead. Finland for example, has the freest press in the world. They have a thriving private news industry as well as state run media outlets.
Nevertheless, if you want the most comprehensive news coverage and want to be as informed as possible, stick with non-profit news agencies and independent journalists.
Many of you may have heard of The Daily Show and the Colbert Report on Comedy Central. They have become a popular news source for many young people, but in reality they are comedians, not journalists. Although they like to report on news stories not seen in the "mainstream" media, the truth is they only report on the stories they can make fun of. Their problem is that they don't take issues that need to be taken seriously, seriously. For example just last night they did a bit on the leak of Obama's "kill list". The fact that the President of the land of the free is signing off on assassination orders of American citizens on a regular basis should not be taken lightly, but they used it to mock how Congress was focusing on the fact that it was leaked, rather than the leak itself, instead of diving deeper into the issue of the President of the United States committing war crimes.
Here is a list of some alternative media outlets where you should turn for your news. Some may be biased, but all are filled with in-your-face truth.
- The Guardian
- Common Dreams - Probably the most progressive
- EFF Pressroom - A VERY important organization in today's world
- Dark Politricks - My personal favorite
- Mother Jones
- Huffington Post
- Truth Dig
- Truth Out
- The Drudge Report
- Dissident Voice
- Washington's Blog
- Veterans Today
- Al Jazeera
- This Can't be Happening
- Russia Today - Just don't trust them on Russian News
- America Blog - Political blog linking to and commenting on underreported news stories
- Think Progress - Too overtly gay, feminist and mainstream Obama suck-ups IMO
- The Socialist Worker
- Waging Non-violence - Focuses on Non-violent protests
- Right Wing Watch- Might be a bit biased
- Prison Planet - Approach with skepticism
- Richard Stallman's political notes - Technically not a news agency, but he links you to important stories you should know about