Getting the news – and getting behind the news

An alternative media list


The mainstream media – the corporate and state-owned media – are anything but reliable. Their reporting may well contain accurate information, but even when (some of) their facts are correct, the overall framing and context are shaped by their ideological function of supporting the capitalist system of which they are an integral part.

Fortunately there are many websites – and print publications – providing alternative points of view. Of course, all media, mainstream or alternative, right or left, must be read critically. Alternative media are quite capable of getting things wrong or publishing nonsense. They also often disagree with each other. This can be helpful. Hearing about different approaches, and thinking about the reasons behind them, helps us understand things better.

Connexions offers the following media list, compiled by Ulli Diemer, as a guide to alternative (and a few mainstream) English-language news sources. It’s a fairly long list, and like anything else, it’s a reflection of individual biases. We hope that it helps you to find websites and media that you'll find useful in finding out and understanding what’s happening in the world.

There is no clear dividing line between ‘media’ websites and other websites. A huge number of high-quality websites provide information and analysis. To find some of them, try browsing the Connexions directory, use the browseable Subject Index, or use the Search feature.

Connexions itself features current content as well as a massive online library of articles and books going back decades. The Connexions home page always features a selection of recent stories on a number of issues. Connexions also gives you the ability to find related resources and background information on almost any topic, via the browseable Subject Index and the Search tool.

Suggestions and feedback are welcome. Please use the contact form.



Daily news & analysis

AlterNet
Daily news and information site. Lots of articles, mostly U.S.-centred, on a wide range of topics. Left-liberal politics.

CounterPunch
Hard-hitting radical journalism, analysis, and opinion. Slogan: “Tells the Facts, Names the Names.” Worth visiting every weekday to get radical views of what’s happening in the world.

Democracy Now
Bills itself as “a daily independent global news hour.” Available via satellite television, community and campus radio, podcast, and on the Internet. Perhaps more American than “global”, but lots of stories and interviews.

Global Voices
News and voices from the developing world. Brings together the work of bloggers, writers, podcasters, and videographers. “Shining light on places and people other media often ignore.”

Inter Press Service (IPS)
A global news agency. “IPS raises the voices of the South and civil society.” Non-mainstream news from around the world. Left-liberal politics, a bit light on analysis.

The Real News Network
A U.S.-based provider of independent news, blogs, and editorials. Videos and transcripts.


News & analysis sites of varying frequencies

Against the Current
Bi-monthly magazine published by Solidarity, a radical socialist group/website promoting dialogue and regroupment within the U.S. left. Oriented toward movements for social and economic justice; radical, socialist, feminist, anti-racist in orientation, promoting discussion among activists, organizers, and scholars on the Left.

Antiwar.com
News and analysis about war and imperialism, and those who oppose them.

Climate & Capitalism
A online journal focusing on capitalism, climate change, and the ecosocialist alternative. Original articles and opinions pieces as well as reprints of articles first published elsewhere. “Ecosocialism or barbarism: there is no third way.”

Connexions
An online information portal featuring thousands of articles, books, and films, from many different sources and websites, related to justice, democracy, ecosocialism, and the history of movements for change. Extensive subject index and search tools to help users find relevant information and analysis on a wide range of topics. Also includes an event calendar and a directory of groups and websites.

CorpWatch
News, analysis and research about corporate abuses and those who are fighting for corporate accountability, human rights, social and environmental justice. Primarily focused on financial services, insurance, and banking. “Holding corporations accountable.”

Countercurrents
An alternative news site based in India. Worldwide scope, with particular emphasis on India. Many articles are from other websites; articles from India are often written for Countercurrents.

Counterfire
The website of a British socialist group. Particular focus on the left and the labour movement, in the U.K. and elsewhere.

DeSmogBlog
A source for accurate, fact based information regarding Global Warming misinformation campaigns. “Clearing the PR pollution that clouds climate science.”

Dissident Voice
An Internet newsletter providing news and commentaries on politics and culture and challenging the distortions and lies of the corporate press. “A radical newsletter in the struggle for peace and social justice.”

The Ecologist
Online environmental affairs magazine covering a wide range of issues, ranging from the environmental costs of industrial agriculture, the health effects of toxins, the effects of economic globalization, and actions by environmentalists and grassroots communities.

Equal Times
Global news, opinion and campaign website about work, politics, the economy, development and the environment, Supported by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).

Europe Solidaire Sans Frontieres
ESSF is an association for international solidarity. The website covers a wide range of topics from its contributors, especially information on struggles and campaigns, as well as in-depth articles.

Global Research
An independent research and media site which publishes news articles, commentary, background research and analysis on a broad range of topics, focussing on social, economic, strategic, geopolitical and environmental issues. The quality of the reporting and analysis varies widely, from solid to crackpot.

Green Left Weekly
Independent Australian publication and Web site committed to human and civil rights, global peace and environmental sustainability, democracy and equality, providing local, national and international news, analysis, and discussion and debate for the anti-capitalist movement.

IFEX: International Freedom of Expression Exchange
IFEX is a network of organizations which work to defend and promote freedom of expression. The website features news and analysis from members of the IFEX network.

Independent Science News
Scientific reporting and analysis from an independent, expert, public interest perspective. Focusing the fields of health, food, and agriculture. Most stories deal with manipulations of the scientific process, the food/agriculture system, and the science media.

Insurgent Notes
A journal of communist theory and practice. Analytical articles and book reviews on working class movements and the Marxist and radical left, both current and historical.

The Intercept
The Intercept was initially launched to provide a platform to report on the documents released by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The site’s primary focus is on government surveillance, spying, and police state tactics. Other issues covered include political corruption, racism, militarism, and the complicity of the mainstream media.

International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ)
The ICIJ is an active global network of 160 reporters in more than 60 countries who collaborate on in-depth investigative stories. Recent series have examined off-shore tax havens, money laundering, corporate crime, polluting industries, and transnational crime networks. “The World’s Best Cross-Border Investigative Team.”

International Labor Rights Forum
ILRF advocates for workers globally and works to promote the enforcement of labour rights and to overcome child labour, forced labour and other abusive practices. Articles on labour rights issues around the world.

International Socialism
A quarterly journal of socialist theory.

Jacobin
“A magazine of culture and polemic.”

LabourStart
Information about labour activities throughout the world. “Where trade unionists start their day on the net.”

Libcom
A high-quality, extensive libertarian communist site designed to be a “resource for all people who wish to improve their lives, their communities and their working conditions.” Some current content, but mostly historical material.

Links International Journal
Analyses and reports about political struggles, and discussions of strategies and tactics within the international left.

The North Star
An online journal/website to discuss strategies to construct a mass, multi-tendency Socialist or Left party in the contemporary USA; democracy under socialism, democracy movements, democracy in left groups; and creative, flexible, organic tactics and organizational practices for the left.

TomDispatch
Analytical articles about power, imperialism, and the state of the world. “A regular antidote to the mainstream media.”

Toward Freedom
“A progressive perspective on world events.”

Upside Down World
“Covering activism and politics in Latin America.”

Wikileaks
Set up to allow untraceable mass document leaking and analysis. Massive collection of documents.

ZNet
A massive left-wing resource with an extensive collection of articles by many authors. Unfortunately the site seems to get continuously reorganized, making it hard to find what’s there.


Regional

‘Regional’ is an arbitrary designation. Many of these sites cover issues outside of their geographical focus area, and most of the sites listed above are stronger in their coverage of some regions or countries than others.


Africa

Pambazuka News
In-depth articles and analysis. “Pan-African voices for freedom and justice.”


Australia

Green Left Weekly
Independent Australian publication and Web site committed to human and civil rights, global peace and environmental sustainability, democracy and equality, providing local, national and international news, analysis, and discussion and debate for the anti-capitalist movement.


Britain

Novara Media
Independent journalism tackling issues such as climate change, racism, and the crisis of capitalism.

Red Pepper
Bi-monthly magazine and website of left politics and culture.


Canada

BASICS News
BASICS is a “pro-working class and pro-people’s community media organization.”

Canadian Charger
A national independent online magazine. “Canada’s national e-weekly.”

The Dominion
The Dominion is produced by a media cooperative, jointly owned and democratically controlled by its readers, contributors and editors. There are local collectives in Halifax, Toronto, and Vancouver.

Leftnews
A Canadian news aggregator site.

Media Co-op
A coast-to-coast network of local Media Cooperatives dedicated to providing grassroots, democratic coverage.

National Observer
Independent journalism, focused especially on energy, politics and the environment.

PressProgress
Progressive news and analysis with a social-democratic orientation.

rabble
An online, progressive news site. Original news stories, features, interviews, commentaries and columns. Left-leaning, but rarely leans farther left than the NDP.

Ricochet
A Canadian bilingual (English-French) independent media project.

Socialist Project
Articles and talks on anti-capitalist struggles and the socialist alternative.

The Tyee
A independent daily online magazine covering B.C. and beyond.

Vancouver Observer
News from Vancouver and the west, with excellent continuing coverage of the tarsands and the oil industry. Has announced plans for a National Observer.


India

Countercurrents
An alternative news site based in India. Worldwide scope, with particular emphasis on India. Many articles are from other websites; articles from India are often written for Countercurrents.

P. Sainath
Sainath is rural reporter in India.


Israel/Palestine/Middle East

+972
A blog-based web magazine jointly owned by a group of Israeli journalists and bloggers.

Alternative Information Center
AIC is a Palestinian-Israeli organization which disseminates information, research and political analysis on Palestinian and Israeli societies as well as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, while promoting cooperation between Palestinians and Israelis based on the values of social justice, solidarity and community involvement. “On the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and co-resistance.”

Electronic Intifada
Palestinian portal for information about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its depiction in the media. News, commentary, analysis, and reference materials about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from a Palestinian perspective.

International Middle East Media Center
Media portal developed in collaboration between Palestinian and International journalists to provide English language media coverage of Israel-Palestine.

Jonathan Cook
Reporting, commentary and analysis on the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Mondoweiss
Coverng the war of ideas in the Middle East.

Redress Information & Analysis
An independent, privately-funded, non-profit-making website dedicated to exposing injustice, disinformation and bigotry, and to providing thought-provoking interpretations of current affairs. The scope is global, but much of the coverage is focused on Palestine and Israel.


Latin America

Latinamericapress A site maintained by Comunicaciones Aliadas, a non-profit, non-governmental organization based in Lima, Peru, specializing in the production of information and analysis about events across Latin America and the Caribbean with a focus on rights.

Narco News
Fostering “authentic journalism” with particular emphasis on the “drug war” and democracy.

teleSUR
Venezuelan broadcaster supporting the social transformation associated with Hugo Chavez and social movements in Venezuela.

Upside Down World
“Covering activism and politics in Latin America.”


Pacific

Pacific Media Centre
News from the Pacific, emphasizing Māori, Pacific, Asia-Pacific and ethnic diversity media and culture production.


Southeast Asia

Irrawaddy
News about Burma/Myanmar and southeast Asia.


USA

Common Dreams
Breaking news and views for the progressive community.

Democracy Now
Bills itself as “a daily independent global news hour.” Available via satellite television, community and campus radio, podcast, and on the Internet. Perhaps more American than “global”, but lots of stories and interviews.

The Real News Network
A U.S.-based provider of independent news, blogs, and editorials. Videos and transcripts.

Truthdig
A Web magazine that provides in-depth coverage of current affairs as well as commentary from a progressive point of view. “Drilling beneath the headlines.”


Blogs & Personal Websites

Some individual journalists and writers. In some instances, e.g. Noam Chomsky, Jonathan Cook, Robert Fisk, their articles typically appear in other media before they appear on their own websites.


William Blum
William Blum is an author, historian, and critic of U.S. foreign policy. He is the author of Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II and Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower, among others. He publishes a regular “Anti-Empire Report.”

Noam Chomsky
Noam Chomsky’s official website, with articles, books, audio, video, interviews. Most of Chomsky’s articles and interviews appear on other websites before they appear here.

Patrick Cockburn
Cockburn is a foreign correspondent who currently writes for the British paper The Independent and whose work also frequently appears in Counterpunch.

Jonathan Cook
Reporting, commentary and analysis on the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Ulli Diemer
A libertarian socialist perspective.

Murray Dobbin
Dobbin is a progressive Canadian political commentators and analyst.

Robert Fisk
The long-time Middle East correspondent for The Independent.

Miko Peled
Peled is an Israeli peace activist. He writes about the situation in Israel/Palestine from the point of view of someone who holds that Israel’s continuing occupation and oppression of Palestinians is insupportable, and that the only solution is a democratic secular state with equal rights for all.

John Pilger
The website of the Australian journalist and filmmaker John Pilger.

Justin Podur
Podur is a writer, analyst, and blogger.

P. Sainath
Sainath is rural reporter in India.

Alison Weir
Analysis on Israel, Palestine, and the American connection.


Media Criticism

We know that the mainstream media lie and distort on a daily basis. Knowing what exactly is wrong or distorted isn’t always so easy, though, if you don’t have the time and knowledge to do in-depth research. That’s where media criticism sites come in: they do the dirty work of documenting and rebutting the mainstream media. Here are a few sites that provide this service. Each of them have their own biases, too, of course!


Media Lens
Criticism and analysis of the mainstream media. “MediaLens is a response based on our conviction that mainstream newspapers and broadcasters provide a profoundly distorted picture of our world. We are convinced that the increasingly centralised, corporate nature of the media means that it acts as a de facto propaganda system for corporate and other establishment interests.”

FAIR
U.S. media watch group that documents and criticizes media bias and censorship.

Mediachannel
Reports, opinions and links on media issues, including media news and links to hundreds of media issues organizations around the world.

Newshounds
Documenting the propaganda and distortions of Fox News. “We watch Fox so you don’t have to.”

NewsSpun
Set up with the aim of challenging the viewpoints prescribed by mainstream media and creating an environment of discussion and debate. “This website does not claim to have the truth behind the news; rather it seeks to encourage a more critical analysis of news from all mainstream sources.”

Newswatch.in
“News for the news people.”

PRWatch
Investigating and exposing the undue influence of corporations and front groups on public policy, including PR campaigns, lobbying, and electioneering.


Print publications

Many print publications maintain websites on which they publish some of their stories. Some of those sites are included on the list above, here are a few others:

Canadian Dimension
A magazine published by, for and about activists in the struggle for a better world, covering women's issues, aboriginal issues, the environment, labour, etc.

Le Monde Diplomatique
English-language edition of the French monthly newspaper. Lengthy articles on world affairs.

Monthly Review
Left-wing monthly magazine.

New Internationalist
Monthly magazine reporting on issues of world poverty and inequality.


Corporate or state-owned mainstream media

The mainstream media have the advantage that they can afford to employ fulltime journalists to report on the news. The number of news stories they publish is therefore greater than anything that most alternative media can manage. Their stories may typically be a distorted mirror of reality, but even a distorted mirror can give you a sense of what is happening, and provide the impetus to find out more. It can also be helpful to visit state/corporate media representing competing state interests. Al Jazeera, RT (Russian TV), and China Daily may all broadly reflect the views of their state or corporate owners, but on issues where those interests conflict with the U.S. and its clients, they may well provide reporting which one can’t find in mainstream ‘Western’ media like CNN, BBC, New York Times, etc.
Here are some of the best options among the corporate and state media available in English. People who want to do extensive research on how particular stories are covered might also want to consider some of the other ‘elite’ media, such as New York Times, AFP (Agence France Presse), and Der Spiegel.


Al Jazeera
Qatari-owned broadcaster. Coverage is within the neo-liberal capitalist consensus, but at least the perspective is rooted in the Middle East, rather than being American-centric.

All-Africa
African news site.

CBC
Canada’s national broadcaster. Diminished by years of government funding cutbacks and governance changes, but still the best source for daily Canadian news.

China Daily
State-owned Chinese site with news from China and a Chinese perspective on the world.

Deutsche Welle
Germany’s international broadcaster.

The Guardian
Liberal British newspaper. Better than any mainstream newspaper in North America, but still very much part of the mainstream ideological framework, prone to excluding, or viciously attacking, any views that are too far left.

PressTV
Iranian state broadcaster.

RT
Russian broadcaster and website with extensive news coverage of Russia and the world.

teleSUR
Venezuelan broadcaster supporting the social transformation associated with Hugo Chavez.



Other places find media include these pages in the Connexions Subject Index: Alternative Media, Alternative News Sources, Blogs/Blogging, Selected Blogs, Independent Media, International News Sources, Labour Media, News Coverage/International, and Progressive News sources.
For a general Canadian media list, see Media Names & Numbers
For media criticism see Media Analysis & Criticism.

Compiled by Ulli Diemer, September 2014 - February 2016