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The internet has turned anyone and everyone into a news reporter. This has led to a rise in fake news, and the availability of more news than you need. Not everyone can be an expert on how to spot fake news. And sometimes you don’t even know what you should be reading.
One solution is the use of reliable journalists, passionate communities, big data, and artificial intelligence (AI).
Here are a few developers and their smart apps that have made the news simple again.
1. Listle (Android, iOS): Listen to News Articles Read Aloud
You can’t read the news while you’re driving, so Listle is here to fix that. Enjoy text articles turned into short audio pieces by real humans and not AI.
Listle curates articles from top sources like CNN, Vox, The Guardian, and others. Browse through the headlines, along with the audio file’s runtime and the genre or category. You can start listening to the article immediately or add it to your playlist. Try some of the pre-made playlists too. The “read-aloud” news is perfect when you’re driving or suffering a crowded commute with your headphones on.
Apart from the articles already shown in Listle, you can also convert any text article into an audio file. Copy-paste the link to the article and the app will use its AI to create an audio file. You can convert one link per day in the free account, and listen to three total articles. If you like the experience, buy the premium account.
2. OwlFactor (Web): Reliable, Fact-Checked News
OwlFactor is trying its hardest to battle the scourge of fake news and bad reportage on the internet. After releasing CivikOwl, one of the smartest apps to simplify important news, it has now launched a mini website for all your news needs.
Elon Musk once said news articles should be rated for accuracy and biases. OwlFactor picked up this idea. Here, you can set your political leaning, find under-reported topics or those with the most coverage, and choose a grade for the article. These grades are based on several factors like quality of sources, opinionated tone, author and outlet credibility, etc.
Once put together, OwlFactor can become your favorite news aggregator because of how it makes you think about which news you want to read. Topics and articles are easy to browse, and you can even sign up for a daily newsletter with the most credible stories. Use the iPhone version now, but Android users will have to use the website until the app is released.
Download: OwlFactor for iOS (Free)
3. Credder (Web): Trustworthiness as Rated by Other Journalists
In the age of fake news and easy propaganda, trustworthiness is key. A group of frustrated consumers created Credder to address this problem, by asking journalists to rate the trustworthiness of every article, author, and news outlet.
In function, the website is for news like what Rotten Tomatoes is for movies. Credder has its own list of critics, who are journalists and other reputed individuals. The critics’ reaction to an article (which you can see through their attached tweets) determines its trustworthiness on a scale of 1 to 100.
If an article isn’t rated, it displays the author’s or outlet’s Credder rating. You can check out the leaderboard for author and outlet trustworthiness. After registering, you can also submit articles to be rated by critics.
Through this system, you can use Credder as an aggregator for the news. Along with a standard news website design, the main page has categories for world news, U.S. news, politics, business, tech, media, science, and culture.
4. Medius News (Web): Neutral News From Reputed Publications
Andrew Ghobrial was tired of news that was less about information and more about opinion, which is a growing trend in today’s media. So he decided to do something about it and built Medius News to track neutral, information-based news in one place.
This news aggregator uses Ad Fontes Media’s Media Bias chart, which assigns a rating to all major news publications based on original reporting and how factual it is. The chart shows which news reporters focus on analysis and opinion more than just information, as well as those with clear propaganda or misleading data.
By focusing on original fact-based reporting, Medius News is for those who want news as information, and prefer making up their own minds about what they think about it and how they feel. Right now, the site delivers general news, business, sports, and health, with nine articles in each section, updated regularly.
5. Trimmed News (Android, iOS): News Summaries in Stories Format
Trimmed News is using artificial intelligence to tackle multiple problems with the news today. The aim is to build a news-reading app for today’s youth, in a format that is more appealing to mobile users who like snack-sized news bites.
With any news item, the AI tracks reportage about it from multiple sources, such as Reuters, The Guardian, CNN, Fox News, etc. The AI then analyzes and summarizes the article to give you only the information you need.
The new article is presented in the format of a social media story, i.e. using short slides that you swipe to read. It’s actually pretty fun and I found myself enjoying this style of reading news more than a regular article. There are also features like group chat and submitting your news, but forget about those and just use the app to read the news.
Check Alternative News Sources
One of the culprits in the rise of fake news is Google. In its quest to be a neutral platform for discovering websites, the search engine and its Google News off-shoot aren’t running fact-checks. And shady publishers have figured out how to game the system and trick Google into pushing their name higher in the results.
Even with some recent changes to tackle the scourge of fake news and earn some credibility, Google has not yet figured out a foolproof plan to tackle the problem. Hopefully, the above apps should help you move away to a better source of news. If not, try these other Google News alternatives to get your news fix.