22 votes

How do you pick what sources of news you listen to?

I've recently been getting into RSS reading and well, I usually just went with whatever was given in a forum (like Tildes for example). Although, I've recently been looking into news organizations I follow to see if I should actually trust them.

Factors that came to mind to be important was looking at past controversies regarding them to see where they might fail in the future and who owns them. It made me realize that most sources I had actually might not be who I want to follow for news but then well, not many are left and while I do want to cut down on the amount of news I get because it's overwhelming, I also don't want to miss important news.

So how do you pick what sources of news you listen and what are some news you trust and why?

22 comments

  1. [3]
    Akir
    Link
    I've changed the way I look at news altogether. The stuff that most people call news I have recategorized into what I like to call "headliners" Headliners are stories that are so short and simple...

    I've changed the way I look at news altogether. The stuff that most people call news I have recategorized into what I like to call "headliners" Headliners are stories that are so short and simple to grasp that you only need to read the headlines to understand the gist of it. The thing about this category is that they hold very little weight. Those headlines are surprisingly likely to be either misleading or outright fabrications, so by default I ignore them unless it's a fairly big story, and when that's the case I will look for corroborating evidence. There's usually another source of news that will have independently confirmed what any given source is saying - just beware that there are lots of sources who are just reporting on the original reporting rather than doing any real work.

    Overall, I tend to ignore headliners. They are so fragmented and opinionated, I find them to be ur-news; you read it and you become less informed and more partisan. Even if it's a good piece, it usually doesn't actually matter to my life. That even includes if it's a great article about something that should be in the public interest. That's largely because local news is essentially dead - most big stories are national in scope, and that means a 1/50 chance that I won't be able to do anything about it. Beyond that, it seems like about 90% of headliners today are "Trump et. al. commits insult|gaffe|crime but will continue to get away with it."

    What I actually consider news nowadays is longer form investigative journalism. This is the in-depth stuff that has tons of sources and may even involve studies produced specifically to find more about he issues. These are so much better in quality that they usually stand up by themselves, and with the more trustworthy sources I have found myself not needing to check those citations nearly as often. You'll find this kind of stuff more frequently in weekly or monthly publications, but I have found it's easier to digest in podcast form. My favorites are ones co-produced by public radio stations, like Reveal and On The Media. Though to be honest, the world has been so depressing I haven't been listening to them for the past few months.

    16 votes
    1. [2]
      lionirdeadman
      Link Parent
      I would agree with that but I feel like sometimes headliners are something I want to keep up with since they'll include the most recent events which may or may not matter to me of course which is...

      I would agree with that but I feel like sometimes headliners are something I want to keep up with since they'll include the most recent events which may or may not matter to me of course which is the annoying part.

      Before this post, I was trying to keep up with a "reasonable" amount of sources but I was hanging on to headliners when they also gave me options to have more digestible formats like a daily which has helped a lot with both reducing the headliners and keeping up with current events.

      Worth noting that I've never really kept up with headliners or well, current events at all before I started RSS reading and maybe I'll continue doing that and stay focused on topics that I feel more passionate about, I'm not sure.

      1 vote
      1. Akir
        Link Parent
        I don't really intend to have you adopt my news consumption habits, but I did want to provide you one more thought to round up my ideas. I'm sure you are familiar with Fox News. And if you are not...

        I don't really intend to have you adopt my news consumption habits, but I did want to provide you one more thought to round up my ideas.

        I'm sure you are familiar with Fox News. And if you are not American, I am sure you have something similar (chances are you'll have at least one Newscorp outlet). Think about what that kind of news reporting does to a person. Note how it tends to aggravate the viewer and close them off from opposing viewpoints.

        Now keep in mind that every news source in the world has been desperately attempting to clone their extremely successful business model.

        That is the power of headliners. They don't even have to be true to be powerful - they just have to appear to be. The reason why I avoid headliners is actually very simple; I want to ensure that my opinions are my own.

        4 votes
  2. [9]
    Comment deleted by author
    Link
    1. [8]
      UniquelyGeneric
      Link Parent
      Currently on my phone I have apps for Associated Press, NPR, NYT, Bloomberg, Reuters, The Guardian, Washington Post, Seeking Alpha, BBC, NBC, CNN, Al Jazeera, Russia Today, China Daily, and FOX...

      Currently on my phone I have apps for Associated Press, NPR, NYT, Bloomberg, Reuters, The Guardian, Washington Post, Seeking Alpha, BBC, NBC, CNN, Al Jazeera, Russia Today, China Daily, and FOX News. Those are roughly ranked in levels of trustworthiness, but do I really trust any of them?

      Nope. None.

      All media has bias. It would not be created if not to portray the world in a certain light based upon the intentions of the moneyed interests that support these publications. The way that I see it, each news source projects their interpretation of reality like shadows on a screen. By exposing myself to various projections of the “truth” I hope I can reconstruct the actual truth, or at least a close proxy.

      It can get overwhelming at times getting push notifications about many of the same events (the recent SCOTUS nominee is a prime example), and sometimes I need to do a news detox, but I think approaching anything online (or otherwise) with a healthy amount of skepticism aids in critical thinking. There can be a tendency to treat everything as fake news, or get hung up on novel conspiracy theories not reported elsewhere, but I like to think my “wisdom of the crowds” approach can help cut through a lot of the bullshit out there.

      Is it a perfect system? No, but nothing ever is. You have to be constantly vigilant and aware of misinformation and propaganda, but it helps me to understand just a little bit better of the perspective of those I disagree with, and perhaps there’s some value gained from that endeavor.

      4 votes
      1. [2]
        lionirdeadman
        Link Parent
        If you're following this many sources, you might wanna consider using an RSS feeder to have them all in the same place to make it slightly easier to manage and keep up with. Feedly and Inoreader...

        If you're following this many sources, you might wanna consider using an RSS feeder to have them all in the same place to make it slightly easier to manage and keep up with.

        Feedly and Inoreader are free but you might want to consider paying either for more options or going with (what I personally prefer) Feedbin.

        While I understand the mentality of injecting yourself with propaganda to stay on top of it, I think it probably makes you more tired of the news and push you for news detox more often. (Not saying that going away from it all every so often is bad but you might want to more often and that might be unwanted)

        5 votes
        1. UniquelyGeneric
          Link Parent
          I neglected to mention I also have Feedly, Flipboard, and Medium, which have their own aggregation of feeds, but they don’t provide push notifications and are hard to quantify sources without...

          I neglected to mention I also have Feedly, Flipboard, and Medium, which have their own aggregation of feeds, but they don’t provide push notifications and are hard to quantify sources without detailing each feed, so I kept to the branded apps.

          I can 100% attest to “news fatigue” and to be honest, the news these days does not paint a good picture of the future. That being said, my profession requires me to be an unbiased participant in the media ecosystem, so in some way I feel obligated to be plugged in.

          Overall, I generally just let the news come to me and find ways to avoid it when I want. Sometimes that means I disconnect and get some unnecessary feelings of FOMO. Sometimes it means I stick to the good people here at Tildes to retain some sanity. It’s a balance and I’m always trying to optimize it for my mental health as priority #1.

          1 vote
      2. [3]
        skybrian
        Link Parent
        That’s a lot of apps. How do you like using apps to read news? Which ones do you have paid subscriptions for?

        That’s a lot of apps. How do you like using apps to read news? Which ones do you have paid subscriptions for?

        3 votes
        1. [2]
          UniquelyGeneric
          Link Parent
          I have the apps for the sake of the push notifications. I’m not actively opening them up on a regular basis unless I want to see how the story gets spun by one side. I don’t actually pay for any...

          I have the apps for the sake of the push notifications. I’m not actively opening them up on a regular basis unless I want to see how the story gets spun by one side. I don’t actually pay for any of them (which I know is part of the problem the industry is facing right now), but I have considered getting a NYT subscription. I can access articles through the NY Public Library for free (and just using an incognito browser session also gets past the paywalls) so it hasn’t been enough of a hindrance for me to actually go through with it.

          1 vote
          1. skybrian
            Link Parent
            Interesting. I guess you are using phone notifications like other people use email subscriptions, RSS feeds, or Twitter? I've tried following some newspapers on Twitter but they tend to tweet the...

            Interesting. I guess you are using phone notifications like other people use email subscriptions, RSS feeds, or Twitter?

            I've tried following some newspapers on Twitter but they tend to tweet the same story more than once (and I wasn't that interested the first time), so I unsubscribed again.

            It would be nice to just have a list of all the news stories published in reverse chronological order but it seems that news sites don't want to do that.

            1 vote
      3. [2]
        KapteinB
        Link Parent
        I don't think that's always true. Most media are businesses, and exist primarily to make money for their owners.

        It would not be created if not to portray the world in a certain light based upon the intentions of the moneyed interests that support these publications.

        I don't think that's always true. Most media are businesses, and exist primarily to make money for their owners.

        2 votes
        1. UniquelyGeneric
          Link Parent
          Those owners are exactly the moneyed interests I was referencing. Rupert Murdoch has his agenda, WaPo will never attack Amazon/Bezos, etc. AP has a mandate to be impartial (whilst being funded by...

          Those owners are exactly the moneyed interests I was referencing. Rupert Murdoch has his agenda, WaPo will never attack Amazon/Bezos, etc. AP has a mandate to be impartial (whilst being funded by MSM), and NPR has it’s fairly liberal donor base, which make them somewhat more trustworthy in my book.

          3 votes
  3. [3]
    tempestoftruth
    Link
    Who owns the publication is a big one for me. Whether or not they have an open editorial stance is important too. Everyone has bias, and I don't trust people who pretend they don't have any....

    Who owns the publication is a big one for me. Whether or not they have an open editorial stance is important too. Everyone has bias, and I don't trust people who pretend they don't have any. Genuine interest in the content is relevant. I stopped subscribing to pure news feeds out of this misguided responsibility I had internalized to "stay informed," it just made going through my feed feel like a chore. I learned a ton about issues that I can't do much about, which wasn't great for my mental health either. Now I subscribe to a small, highly curated list of outlets publishing analysis which I trust to give me a decent (not definitive) take on what's going on in the world. Some of them don't have RSS feeds so I just check their websites occasionally (e.g. Current Affairs). Through Current Affairs I found Nathan Tankus's Notes on the Crises. Every once in a while I look at the Baffler and Jacobin.

    Even if you're only subscribed to 2-3 news-focused feeds, you'll still hear about the big stuff, on your feed or on places like Tildes. I enjoy having fewer subscriptions or lower overall activity on my feed anyway, hard to find stuff worth reading when you have 500+ new articles to look through every so often.

    5 votes
    1. [2]
      lionirdeadman
      Link Parent
      I agree the responsibility of staying informed are heavy and probably misguided for the most part which is why I've been trying to find more local news which I can try to do something about. Also...

      I agree the responsibility of staying informed are heavy and probably misguided for the most part which is why I've been trying to find more local news which I can try to do something about. Also trying to lower the amount with daily content or more focused sources.

      Also, thought I'd point out that Current Affairs, The Baffler and Jacobin have RSS feeds

      2 votes
      1. tempestoftruth
        Link Parent
        Oh I had no idea! Thank you so much for linking, it is greatly appreciated.

        Oh I had no idea! Thank you so much for linking, it is greatly appreciated.

        2 votes
  4. suspended
    Link
    New York Times, Washington Post, and Axios are the three that I read from the most. I agree with @tempestoftruth that you'll get the big and/or important stories even if you limit the number of...

    New York Times, Washington Post, and Axios are the three that I read from the most. I agree with @tempestoftruth that you'll get the big and/or important stories even if you limit the number of sources that you consume.

    Most of the other news sources, outside of the three that I mentioned, tend to have either click-bait titles or fear-mongering content. Which for me, is a huge waste of time and just adds unnecessary stress to my life.

    5 votes
  5. ohyran
    Link
    Oooof news... I wish I could trust it, I just don't any more. The lack of money makes it hard for few but the biggest hitters to actually be able to conduct journalism instead of pure reporting....

    Oooof news...

    I wish I could trust it, I just don't any more. The lack of money makes it hard for few but the biggest hitters to actually be able to conduct journalism instead of pure reporting. And reporting without journalism is just too easily manipulated and modded to fit the subject needed. Plus "journalist" now just mean "person who types" with the slew of asshats crawling out of the woodwork to fill the gap when journalists have become repeaters.

    I tend to stick to collection sites like omni.se etc - then I pick some odd sources divorced from local politics (like the Stranger which is a Seattle "street-newspaper") that way I can get odd combinations of info.
    At the same time I avoid those newspapers I know are heavily influenced from the top down like SvD here in Sweden or stick to shorter reporting there...

    Journalism is basically dead at this point so its sort of unique or niche subjects, or flat reporting of given info thats relevant. The rest quickly becomes problematic as a source of information.

    So for many things I use sites like Tildes for certain news... I simply trust people to be picky with what they share as interesting, relevant or researched more than a journalist divorced from the result of the factory work they are stuck in.

    5 votes
  6. knocklessmonster
    Link
    I'm not one who actively seeks out news, but I look at several factors when considering a story. First is their bias. Do I know the organization's biases? Left? Right? Dedicated centrist? How...

    I'm not one who actively seeks out news, but I look at several factors when considering a story.

    First is their bias. Do I know the organization's biases? Left? Right? Dedicated centrist? How far/committed to a position?

    Next is the topic in relationship to their bias. Fox News? Reporting on Trump? Are they saying good or bad things? If good: is the language flowery or obscuring? If bad, is it written in anger, or an attempt to report the facts? Is it my local progressive site? Are they reporting on Biden's ability to win? What are they saying about it?

    I'm sure people who go out with the intention of catching up have their preferred periodical, but I'm pretty random in what I look up. I'll usually chase a lead if I hear about something concerning, and won't call myself informed until I've either seen all the perspectives in print or found something that feels truly objective in its reporting on the topic, and this can be from publications across the political spectrum, leaving out obviously far-right or far-left sites that have a tendency to border on opinion pieces that factually reporting. There are some, like my local progressive independent county paper I'm politically aligned with, because they don't tend to be too inflammatory aside from reporting on local happenings that are simply outrageous or maddening, but even they're prone to soapboxing occasionally.

    I also tend to unilaterally trust anything from the AP or Reuters, and check for consensus among independent reports if possible if I see anything hinky.

    3 votes
  7. Autoxidation
    Link
    I've been using The Factual for a couple of months now. I appreciate what they are attempting to do and having the extension that grades articles and the breakdown of why has been nice on sites I...

    I've been using The Factual for a couple of months now. I appreciate what they are attempting to do and having the extension that grades articles and the breakdown of why has been nice on sites I am unfamiliar with, and even on sites I am familiar with since it also takes into account author familiarity with the subject.

    It isn't perfect, but it at least is an additional metric to help filter news.

    3 votes
  8. mxuribe
    Link
    A few places: Hacker News - for headlines that become big enough to spill over to where techies live. Tildes - similar to above...BUT, the commentary and feedback (even disagreements!) are much,...

    A few places:

    • Hacker News - for headlines that become big enough to spill over to where techies live.
    • Tildes - similar to above...BUT, the commentary and feedback (even disagreements!) are much, much nicer and fulfilling.
    • CNN 5 Things daily newsletter - While i have little interest in CNN's main website (or other web properties), i like their daily newsletter. While it has grown beyond just 5 items, it is still brief enough to consume during morning coffee but informative enough. Whatever feelings one might have about CNN, i do like their writing, which seems less formal than their other reporting. I do however acknowledge that someone of differing political leanings might be slightly turned off from some (though not all) of their writing...but i still find it informative enough to read every morning without too much of an agenda.
    • Numerous podcasts - I've really enjoyed the couple of podcasts from MarketPlace such as the flagship "MarketPlace", "Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly", MarketPlace Tech, etc. I've also always enjoyed podcasts from NPR and other public radio stations.

    I will admit that I have tried to shy away from too much news in general. I won't say depresing but certainly annoying - and even before the pandemic and even well before our current president. I do of course wish to stay informed, but it feels like so many places have an agenda, or wish to be so sensational, or just regurgitate someone else's headlines. I noticed mention of AP and Reuters, which i used to enjoy...but can't recall why i stopped reading/listening to their stuff...i don't recall having issues with either one, in fact Reuters had a really neat video channel via Roku that my wife and i watched every other day or so (until they stopped producing it, or distributing it via roku)...so i can only assume AP and Reuters must be victims of my simply reducing overall volume of news intake.

    3 votes
  9. joplin
    (edited )
    Link
    This is kind of specific, but I really like NPR's On the Media. It's a show where they examine the media and the stories they told this week, and they will even call out their own organization...

    This is kind of specific, but I really like NPR's On the Media. It's a show where they examine the media and the stories they told this week, and they will even call out their own organization (NPR) when they screw up. I'd be interested to hear if there are other shows like this from other outlets.

    EDIT: I forgot that they also do a good end-of-year piece where they go over the most important stories that almost nobody covered in the last year.

    3 votes
  10. wcerfgba
    Link
    I found Media Bias/Fact Check recently and it seems like a good resource. I read Reuters and BBC. I feel Reuters particularly has very high quality coverage and seems to not be biased in any...

    I found Media Bias/Fact Check recently and it seems like a good resource. I read Reuters and BBC. I feel Reuters particularly has very high quality coverage and seems to not be biased in any particular direction, and they do a lot of exclusive reporting which is really good.

    3 votes
  11. MikeBos
    Link
    The economist and the financial times are quite high on my list. I'm using two local (dutch) resources for the rest.

    The economist and the financial times are quite high on my list. I'm using two local (dutch) resources for the rest.

    1 vote