My name is Ryan Dube and I am a corporate news media addict. There…I said it. I love the glitzy commercials, the shiny well-funded world news websites with lots of widgets and cool gadgets to feed my mobile phone and my PC with piles of important news headlines, like who won the Oscars last night or how President Obama’s wonderful budget impact my taxes.
You know – the sort of stuff that you gaze over while you’re sipping on your morning coffee, content that all is right in the world, and that the Western World is the center of the Universe and always in the right. In this article, I’m going to share 5 world news websites that completely shatter that unrealistic view of the world.
Last year I was discussing world military events with a friend from the UK. He made a comment about U.S. and U.K. military action in Iraq that I hadn’t heard about. I was flummoxed. Up to that point, I was an avid reader of all of the corporate news media giants – CNN, Fox News, and CBS. I trusted those news organizations to deliver the most important news in the world to my doorstep.
He forwarded me the link from an Independent UK news organization. I read the story, and grew angrier with every sentence – not because of the content but because I hadn’t heard about it. I went back and sifted through my favorite media sites, and eventually found the news story, but it was buried under mountains of other headlines deemed far more important – things like Britney Spear’s emotional breakdown. That experience lit a fire under me – never again would I subject myself to the biased headlines of corporate media.
Independent News – The Way News Used to Be
There was a time – and old-school journalists remember it well – when journalism as a career meant being so passionate about getting the truth in front of the public eye, that one would resort to extremes of self-sacrifice. As world governments, dictators and entire armies sought to pin entire populations down under oppressive regimes – the valiant journalist served as a citizen spy, going where even many CIA operatives failed to go, and reporting back their stories to the entire world.
True journalism broke the back of oppression – it exposed deceit and corruption to the light of day. But today…well, today we have stories about the latest movies out over the weekend, and updates about the Toyota Recall. The media itself is now a bastion of corporate corruption.
However, we have hope in the form of Independent media. There are still organizations that believe in those founding ideals of journalism – there are still journalists that hold true to the principles that keep democratic societies informed about the atrocities and corruption taking place throughout the world. This list of unbiased world news websites is my nod of support and admiration for those organizations, my own small contribution to the destruction of that bloated creature known as Corporate Media.
I’m starting with the UK-based The Independent because it was the news source that my friend forwarded to me years ago. I do believe private funding supports the organization, but from my personal use of the site for news stories, I’ve noticed that they cover many world news stories which many other corporate owned entities avoid. You may find Hollywood gossip-style stories here and there, but nowhere near as bad as U.S. based media sources.
I think my favorite source for unbiased, hard-hitting stories is the world news website TheRealNews. This news program is a flagship show of the Independent World Television (IWT). They accept no advertising (even The Independent can’t say that), and their mission statement is inspiring for any young journalist just entering into the news industry. From TheRealNews about page:
“The movements for the rights of working people, women, children, immigrants, indigenous people, for freedom of religion and conscience, for moral and spiritual values and for peace and against racism are news. The health of our planet will be a story, day after day.”
Now, doesn’t that just make you want to stand up and take your hat off? This is an organization that truly understands and adheres to the founding principles of journalism.
The Independent Media Center just has guerrilla journalism written all over it. I picture brave journalists from all corners of the world, interviewing victims in war-torn countries and other centers of violence simply to get their stories out to the world. The IMC, as it is affectionately called, hosts news blogs from independent journalists throughout the world, including Iraq, Iran, Israel and Palestine just to name a few. Want the real scoop on world news? You know that you’ll get the real story here.
World News is sort of an aggregate of many world news websites, including the likes of Al Jazeera, BBC News, The Guardian and The Times of India. While individual news sources may not be totally unbiased or completely free of censorship, you can rest assured that if you’re getting all of your news from World News, then you know that you’ll be betting all sides of the story.
I know I said The Real News is my favorite independent news source, AlterNet is actually my other favorite. Founded in 1998, AlterNet led the way for all future journalists seeking to break from from the scourge of Corporate Media. The articles there cover significant issues, and it also highlights stories from other independent news sources.
The site’s mission statement is just as inspiring:
“AlterNet’s aim is to inspire action and advocacy on the environment, human rights and civil liberties, social justice, media, health care issues, and more.”
When the world seems crazy and confusing and you just don’t know where to turn anymore to get the truth, websites like AlterNet offer you a refuge. It gives you a place that you can return to and know that you’re not being fed propaganda or political party lines. Independent news is the real stuff, and these are the world news websites where you can get it.
Do you know of any other excellent Independent news sites? Share your favorites with other readers in the comments section below.