If you like the news – listening to it, watching it, reading about it, sharing it online – it’s important to have good sources to fall back on, and have a great go-to- website that can help you find the best stories, from legitimate journalists, with no moral or political biases.
It’s not only your social responsibility to share correct news information online, but it’s important to most people to keep their reputation in tact when sharing, because there’s nothing worse than being that person who shares a fake news story without thinking; your online connections will never trust you again!
It may seem easy to get the most accurate news information, but there are some people who have specific political or moral associations that motivate them to intentionally share fake news – and they don’t always make it obvious why a story might be fake. If you need help figuring that out, check out our ultimate guide to fake news to get the whole scoop. But if you’re here to find out where to go for unbiased news, check out 10 of the sites we’ve found below. And don’t forget our tips for knowing if a news site is unbiased at the bottom!
9 of the best unbiased news websites
Any of the sites listed here (in no particular order) pride themselves on being an unbiased source of news, and have proven many times in the past to present objective points of view until hard facts can be presented as evidence. Though no news site is ever free from bias, as a team of journalists, editors, news producers, and dozens of people are involved on each individual piece of content, each of these sites have qualities that make them a great source of unbiased news.
Wikipedia is always under scrutiny for not being a legitimate source of information, because, essentially, anyone can contribute to it’s information source. This, however, is what gives it additional credibility when it comes to news. When your website is based entirely on collaboration, it’s almost impossible to get incorrect information up there for a long period of time; anyone else who is interested in the same topics will find the incorrect information, and make it accurate. When it comes to news collaborative sites (that have some form of verification) are a great source of news.
2. The Real News
If you want an ideological news medium that aims to report unbiased news, it’s hard to find one that states it so eloquently in their mission: “The Real News Network (TRNN) is a non-profit, viewer-supported daily video-news and documentary service. We don’t accept advertising, and we don’t accept government or corporate funding. TRNN is sustained by viewer donations and earned revenue.” This kind of business platform means they will miss out on a lot of revenue opportunity from advertisements and user social media sharing potential, but it also means their news is likely to be unbiased towards any one political affiliation.
Reuters, coming to you out of London, England, has always aimed to provide an unbiased perspective on the news. They are committed to providing a neutral perspective when it comes to values, and intentionally report less information, if facts have not been determined. They are even known for not using the word “terrorist” when news of a bombing occurred, as there was not yet any evidence to support that, though all other news media outlets would report this assumption.
Focussing on events mainly to do with the United States government, C-SPAN, or the Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network, follows prominent events occurring in the U.S., and makes them available for viewing by the general public. C-SPAN is famous for its livestream, where users can watch live film of events that will certainly be newsworthy, as they are happening, or access their archives to watch things that have happened in the past. This method of reporting news allows the users to watch events in entirety without comment or influence from the network, meaning they can draw their own conclusions about the meaning of the events.
5. The Associated Press
The Associated Press, a multinational non-profit news agency, was founded in 1846, and aims to stay true to its unincorporated nature, remaining free from bias. Frequently using the “Inverted Pyramid” method of journalism, the Associated Press reports on the general information related to a newsworthy event, and gives the pertinent details without bias; many other news stations often re-share or re-publish their stories, then adding more crucial details, often related to their own local area or political agenda. If you want the general facts without a lot of argumentative input, The Associated Press is the place to go.
6. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ)
The Wall Street Journal has always been one of the world’s top sources for news, since the days of printed newspapers – and there’s a good reason. When a news medium can establish such a good reputation over years and years of presenting news, it’s because they do it well. The WSJ has legitimate sources, and a large team of people who fact-check and verify the information they put out. They strive to present information without bias, and do so on a variety of news topics.
7. British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
Similar to the WSJ, the BBC has been around for years, and is widely considered to be a legitimate place to obtain unbiased news. The BBC focusses more on world events, and attempts to report breaking news on every subject, as quickly as is possible to do while still publishing accurate stories. Over time, many claims and criticisms have been made by various groups against the BBC, however, the hard truth is that the BBC reports on events from all over the globe, and prides themselves on objectivity.
8. Google News
Google News is a great place to look for news, because it allows you to filter through exactly what you’re looking for news about and what your interests are, and can easily show you what’s going on in your local area or country, as well as news in your favorite categories such as business, tech, economics, politics, and so on. Because Google isn’t its own news medium, but rather a platform with which you can access tens of thousands of other news sites using Google-powered search, the news itself is innately unbiased.
The potential bias actually lies within you, as what you see will depend entirely on how you choose to search for it. Google also tracks your search habits, so it will become more and more biased towards your interests over time. If you constantly search for things related to one political party or moral issue, Google will show you more similar stories first, knowing you will be interested in them. You will also have to exercise caution with any news site to go to from Google, as these themselves could be biased.
AlterNet has won numerous awards, and is known as one of the best sources of news information on the Internet. Their stories tend to focus on specific topics that are prevalent within society, and what they believe to be the most important topics to follow in society today. It has been criticized for having a politically left-leaning bias, however, some of their stated goals are to inspire social change and environmental awareness, which is a possible explanation for why their coverage tends to be on stories that fall within this category.
6 ways to know if your news is unbiased:
1. The article is written properly.
This is an instant giveaway that the article you’re reading is unbiased. Though it is true that a person with good spelling, grammar, and sentence structure can write a piece of fake news, there simply isn’t as much care put into an untruthful article. A qualified journalist knows how to write properly, and they are also worried about their reputation, which means they take more time to review what they have written.
A person writing a fake news story wouldn’t need to take as much time to verify what they have written, because it doesn’t come from facts. Not to mention, they simply might not have gone through the same literary training as a journalist, so always be on the lookout for these kinds of mistakes in the writing. This is one of the most obvious ways you can tell that the author of a news article might not be entirely qualified.
2. There are more facts than arguments.
With a news story, you should be forming your own opinion based on the unbiased facts that are presented to you, not reading someone else’s interpretation of events that occurred. Much of the bias that is present within news articles comes from the author’s opinion or intention, so if the majority of the article is argumentative without supporting evidence, or is full of opinion-based statements, chances are you’re going to find a lot more bias in there than with an article that is a strictly factual reporting of events.
Pick out individual statements throughout the article, especially the first sentence of each paragraph, and evaluate how factual it is. Is the author telling you what happened and letting you decide what you think about it? Or are they telling you what you should think about something that happened? If your conclusion is that it’s mainly the latter, then you’re probably working with a biased news article.
3. The sources are legitimate – and exist!
No matter your own biases, opinions, or affiliations, you should never read an article claiming to be “news” if it doesn’t cite or reference sources. Generalized claims or insinuations are not facts, and without sources that can back up a claim, a news article becomes biased because it relies almost entirely on the speculation of the author. These kinds of articles aren’t trustworthy, so step 1 is looking for the sources and making sure they are present within the article.
After you’ve located them, try to evaluate their legitimacy. Where is the author claiming to have gotten their information from? Do they give you a hard citation, or is it a generalized claim? Sometimes journalists need to protect their sources, but if every article on the website claims a “trustworthy source” provided the information, especially when this person is seemingly close to the person the news story focusses on, this could be a ploy to gain the reader’s trust. Always use your judgement, and think about how the site as a whole focusses on providing you with information about their sources – rather than just for the one article you’re reading.
4. The article doesn’t rely on social interaction.
A news story should be factual, and update you on the things that actually happened. It shouldn’t be based on what other people using the site think is “newsworthy,” nor should other people be able to contribute to the overall framework of the reporting. If you’re using a social news website, you should exercise caution with what you read, and ask yourself if the story would be presented in the same had you read it on another website.
The allowance of social interaction with a news story, though often entertaining and occasionally useful, does create instant bias, and interferes with the account of the events. Avoid sites with voting components, user-generated content, and forum-based information; these kinds of sites are much more likely to have bias than a typical news site.
5. A political or moral bias isn’t stated (or hidden) in the website structure.
Don’t just look at the individual article when hunting for a bias – be sure to check out the site as a whole. Looking at pages like the “About Us” or trying to find a mission statement is a great way to find obvious biases. Some websites won’t be shy about admitting the fact that they support a particular political party, or have a purpose in providing you with the information they do on the site.
Unfortunately, some websites won’t be so obvious about presenting these biases to you, as their intention is to disguise them, making you believe that their version of “news” is simply the truth. Always look through some of the other articles that have been posted on the site, and look for common themes.
Articles that are overly negative or always attacking particular well-known figures or institutions are often biased, as they only choose to report on topics that make certain groups look bad. Though their article may be generally truthful, by intentionally ignoring stories that make their own affiliations look bad, they are presenting you with news updates that are biased overall, which is of particular importance if you enjoy going to the same news site each day to get your information.
6. You can find qualifications for the author.
It’s always a good idea to look up the author and see what their qualifications are. Of course, it is unwise to judge an article based entirely on this, but if you look up the author and see that in their spare time they are the chair of an extremely right or left-wing organization, and have publicly posted about their dislike of a particular party or group of peoples, it might be a hint that their work could be biased.
Try looking up who they’ve worked for, and what other websites they may write for. In many cases, legitimate journalists can be found online through other social profiles such as LinkedIn, or Facebook to see what other biases they may have.
That’s it – you’re officially a pro at recognizing biased news, and know exactly where to go to get a balanced viewpoint of the world’s events. If you’re interested in news updates, we have plenty more where that came from; browse our news and information articles to learn more. If you want to know how to make your searches for unbiased news better, check out our article on how to find unbiased news on the Internet.