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Most and Least Credible News Sources

  1. General Discussions Senior Member Homeworld Senior Member  #1
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    Most and Least Credible News Sources

    In light of all the current events discussions that go on in this forum, it seems to me that people tend to have certain preferences as to which source to believe over others. So I wanted to tender the question: Which news source do you trust and use the most? Is there one that you don't trust at all? Please don't just list off newspapers, give an explanation and, if possible, a particular story or piece of coverage that you thought was particularly good or bad.

    For me, I like to watch the BBC whenever I can get it. I feel that it has a more clear segregation of fact and opinion, as opposed to CNN which tends to mix both and in doing so contaminate the story with CNN's bias. I also like how the BBC will cover stories that occur outside the American sphere of concern because channels like CNN only tend to cover things in the US, Middle East and Europe on occasion. My least trusted news source is Fox News. Yes, I know it's cliche to hate Fox but as a non-American I thought the criticisms of Fox were overstated for humorous effect. Oh boy was I wrong. I watched it a couple of times at a friend's house and the only news I saw between conservative pundit shows was about how a littler girl in Utah lost her dog to a dognapper. I didn't watch much before I changed the channel in disgust.

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  2. #2
    I'm super cerial Energizer Bunny's Avatar
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    Personally, I also go for the BBC because I believe it to be pretty much the most impartial news source out there.

    If I'm indulging my leftie tendancies and want to read something generally left leaning in nature, but still factually accurate and amusing, The Guardian is great. The Guardian's website is absolutely excellent and wins many awards with good reason

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/

  3. #3
    Is watching TheDeadlyShoe's Avatar
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    I don't bother with TV news at all anymore. I turn to a local Alt-Weekly (The Stranger, though it's super gay) for local news, and sometimes purchase the Seattle Post-Intelligencer to mix it up. (I like the PI more than the Seattle Times, but the Stranger is typically more interesting and informative than either.)

    I get most of my national and international news through blogsurfing and occasional visits to network websites. The network sites are 95% Associated Press/Reuters anyway, the only difference is what they choose to edit out. The blogs put up the same stuff but sometimes have additional expert commentary and/or snark.

    I also listen to NPR (National Public Radio) about an hour or two a week while driving. They usually have pretty interesting stuff. I stay away from the discussion panels though. They are - believe it or not - worse than TV.
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  4. Gamers Lounge Senior Member General Discussions Senior Member  #4
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    I like metro, and their motto: "In the moment of truth, always keep it short".
    They tend to deliver news impartially, without giant discussions or opinions about either religion or politics. Good source for news, and then I can look up opinions if I really want them.

    I also find forums like this to be a good source of information, whether it be of world catastrophes or opinions of new games, movies, etc. I find that the greatest opinion is the combined opinion of many.

  5. #5
    Forum punned-it Retroboy's Avatar
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    Fox news.

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    I find print media is generally a bit more reliable than interactive parts, simply because it's generally the case that the newspaper has a bit more time to provide information on the story and more facts can come in. So, looking at various "general news" information sources, I'll rank them in order of what I consider reliability.

    Least to most reliable:
    Digg - social news has proven to be more bread and circuses than actual facts. What's popular doesn't correlate extremely well with what's new.
    These forums - often give a well rounded although imprecise perspective. Usually incorrect facts are exposed by others, but it often takes some slogging to get to them. A significant step up from Digg even so.
    Wikipedia - good for a casual introduction to any topic.
    Local newspaper - too many "little stories" and crappy spins by columnists.
    National newscasts - CBC for me.
    National newspaper - Globe and Mail, in particular. Their website is also pretty good for accurate perspectives.

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  6. #6
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    I find CNN to be rather useful.
    I don't have the experience to know whether it is reliable though. But I do know its alot better then Fox. so it cant be bad.

  7. Technical Help Senior Member Modding Senior Member Homeworld Senior Member  #7
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  8. #8
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    www.abovetopsecret.com - always 100% reliable, well presented views of completely real events.

    J/K. If anything that thing rates lowest in credibility.

    Personally I would go to a place like Wikinews which is presumably like Wikipedia controlled by a rabid mob of source-checking autocracy. Or the network sites like Reuters or AP.
    Generally though, I don't bother with news too much. I read the free papers once in a while while using public transportation and otherwise just get my news by word of mouth or from simple coincidence.

  9. #9
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    I actually Like Fox News, because it is a minority when it comes to cable television, in a way. I also like Glenn Beck on CNN because he is frank and honest. While others may bash me for liking Fox and Beck, remember, a conservitive will not agree with a republican 100% of the time, just a liberal will not agree with a democrat 100% of the time. I do not agree with Fox all the time, but I do often find myself in line with Glenn Beck.

    As for my least trusted source of news, probably the Huffington Post. What hate spews from there is filth, in my opinion.

    Also: aljazeera.net
    Last edited by NeCoHo; 18th May 08 at 7:37 AM. Reason: Fixed link. For some odd reason it works in my bookmark page. Thanks Demonic Spoon.


  10. #10
    Your link doesn't work.


    Here is Al-jazeera's English front page

    Al-Jazeera's good, although there's some slight bias, it's very minor.


    American cable news is just shit. CNN and Fox are both pretty okayish (but not great) IF you use their website instead of watching them. on TV, it's just pathetic. MSNBC I am not too sure of, but I do know they go on about celebrities at least as much as the other stations.

    It's not -that- bad if you go online, but if I'm doing that I'll go to the BBC. BBC's the best in my opinion, although Al-Jazeera seems to cover some stories the BBC doesn't and is nearly as good.

  11. #11
    Cows & Guns Vaarok's Avatar
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    I refuse to acknowledge that any news is news until I get it from four or five disparate sources, and I try to avoid CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, and BBC, though I find the last least offensive of the Big Networks.
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    My country is full of useless newspapers that only reports major global events and useless local stuff. For some reason, i ended up using this forum as my substitute newspaper.

  13. #13
    I read the BBC everyday. When you compare it to CNN, MSNBC and Fox "News" it is way better. Although I avoid that "Have your say" section unless I feel the need to hurt myself. The problem with the US cable news networks is that since they are 24 hours a day they tend to focus on really dumb stories (like paris hilton) just to fill in time. I also don't like how they have all of these opinion shows (although I do like Olbermann). I think that they use these to often instead of actually focusing on news, and that it in the end helps dumb down the news.

    My favorite TV news show is The News Hour on PBS. They tend to ask really thoughtful questions and focus on all types of stories. Their series on how the US military does procurement was really interesting and eye opening. They just have a much higher quality than the other major news groups, and their analysis is often quite good. They also tend to have really good panel guests who don't yell and scream at each other.

  14. Child's Play Donor General Discussions Senior Member  #14
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    The two sources i trust the most are both swedish, the national radio news called 'Ekot' and the largest newspaper called 'Dagens Nyheter'(means todays news). I am slightly biased there because i also work at said radio on occasion but on the other hand that means i can confirm they are very professional.

    Outside swedish news sources i go for BBC.


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  15. Gamers Lounge Senior Member General Discussions Senior Member  #15
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    The BBC, for impartiality (although the Have Your Say section is, as Torbert points out, self-harm inducing) and the Guardian, which indulges my pinko-commie leftist views but also happens to be pretty credible and intelligent. I like to venture onto the Daily Mail and the Sun (amongst others) websites sometimes as an exercise in masochism or if I think I need to feel like butting my head against a brick wall. Having only ever seen snippets of Fox, I can guarantee that if I ever watched a solid half hour of it I'd go on a killing spree.
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  16. Dawn of War Senior Member  #16
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    Fox news, BBC/Sky news, Wall Street Journal.

    CNN is good as a stand by, or for gathering data... you just have to relax and breath deeply through the commentary. (fox has its moments of WTF too. Too many retired generals ) MSNBC is just pathetic.

    On the web, When I want to explore a topic, Wikipedia is a great place to start... lots of good info on the front page with (usually) great external links and sources off the bottom of the list.
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  17. #17
    I usually end up using MSNBC, but only their online news. Watching any major news network on TV is usually an exercise in futility. They are all much better online where you can skim past the bias and get to the facts. (Although, like someone already mentioned that could be because almost all of the stories are AP or Reuters, with some official government releases mixed in.)
    Last edited by Bobacanoosh; 18th May 08 at 9:44 AM.

  18. #18
    Best= BBC. Reliable, quick and unbiased.

    Worst = Fox. Sensationalism incarnate.

  19. #19
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    Drudge Report, doesn't attempt to conceal the fact that the news of often sensationalist bullshit

  20. General Discussions Senior Member Modding Senior Member  #20
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    The Economist is where I go if I want really good articles on a particular topic. Quite trustworthy, and the only source I've yet seen that will explicitly say "It is the opinion of this newspaper that..." making it quite easy to tell opinion from fact, something I very much appreciate. I would argue that it is one of the best news sources out there, most of their articles are free to read online and the quality is simply excellent. I could not reasonably ask for better quality journalism in a weekly publication.

    For tidbits, I pull down the BBC RSS tracker that comes built into Firefox a couple times a day to read about current events.
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  21. #21
    The few times I have read the economist their facts seemed alright, but they were really stuck-up. (much like Scientific American) The also seem to fall into the camp of free enterprise can solve everything. Normally this isn't a problem since that's often close to true, but I couldn't help the feeling that they didn't always cover the intricacies of the short term problems of that approach.

  22. #22
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    Everyone likes the Economist until it starts talking about something you're in a position to know about. Then you're like, "Wait. They're getting this ever so slightly yet importantly wrong..." and you start to wonder. Still, it's pretty good overall, especially if you want to know the official Snooty Briton position on anything.

  23. #23
    TheDeadlyShoe speaks truth.

  24. Dawn of War II Senior Member Dawn of War Senior Member  #24
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    yea that is about right on the economist :/

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  25. #25
    Member Lomax's Avatar
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    For my news needs, I generally check the Neue Züricher Zeitung, or rather their homepage, mostly. They have a pretty high standard of objectivity I think, for a media source. Swiss neutrality FTW
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  26. #26
    Member DougyM's Avatar
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    BBC news, read/watch it every day.

  27. General Discussions Senior Member  #27
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    Agreed with the Economist.

    Although it was pretty funny to hear two of my Republican relatives say something like "It's pretty liberal, but a good magazine." before I had read too many articles. Then some of my lefty relatives said "It's a pretty good magazine, but they like markets too much." Keep in mind that they were using liberal in the Americanized "lefty" sense, and that "free-market" is synonymous with conservative (though I rabidly disagree with that characterization).

    That made me remember a study on bias that I read about a while back, in which a group of pro-Israeli and a group of pro-Palestinian college students were shown a documentary on the formation of Israel. The documentary makers made absolutely sure to present a fair, accurate account. The result was that the pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian groups both claimed it was biased against them and in favor of the other side. The somewhat surprised researchers concluded that any deeply held belief will skew one's perception of reality, even to the point where facts become perceived as "biased".

    So when I read the Economist and hear people I know to be left-leaning call it too free-market, and then hear people I know to be right-leaning call it too liberal, it makes me wonder if they're getting it absolutely correct.

  28. #28
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    Eh. "Both sides don't like it, so we must be in the center" has long been a staple of the self-proclaimed centrist pundits. In the end, that approach tends to favor whoever is more extreme or more willing to lie. One side can shift the imaginary center rather easily by shifting their apparent position.

    In any case, being in the center doesn't mean you're right.

  29. #29
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    The economists web news service the Economist Intelligence Unit (I think it might have been renamed) is truely beyond compare and was the go to economic news source for at least two banks I have worked at.

    Shame the magazine does not have the same reputation, but it is a good read on the train. The articles trend to be a strange mixture of theory and facts which use science to disguise a biased approach that differs in its slant for each section (and sometimes each reporter!) e.g. politics, markets, currency etc. I think some people find it hard to seperate The Economist from academic, peer reviewed, periodicals (such as Economic Review) and realise that is still journalism.

    Amusingly my father (head of ISMA at the time) recieved a susbstantial settlement from The Economist in 1993 after misquoting him then misrepresenting him entirely in the accomponying article on incoming Japanese market legislation which caused several days of jitters on the futures markets in The City. Turns out the writer had an ideological/academic bone to pick with futures in general and used some eccentric Japanese legislation + pop's credability to air it.

    Strange how much weight weekly industry mags could carry before the internets became mainstream......

  30. General Discussions Senior Member  #30
    terrible, terrible damage Starfisher's Avatar
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    It's not about being in the center or people trying to balance themselves in the middle. It's about a straight fact being taken as biased. For example, during the 2006 Israel-Lebanon war, there was an article entitled "Israel ceases aerial bombings" that mostly stated the facts as known at the time. It also had a picture of a Lebanese rescue worker pulling a dead kid from rubble.

    Emails flew. Pro-Israeli folks claimed that the photo, and by extension the article, was a blatant example of anti-Israeli bias, that it was pure propaganda, etc. People rooting for Lebanon claimed that the article was skewed in Israel's favor, as it made it sound like Israel was being magnanimous for halting the bombings, didn't accurately convey the devastation, etc.

    The problem here is that the article wasn't opinion or analysis. It was just a fact piece. People responded to facts as if they were opinions, and searched the framing of those facts in order to find bias against their side. I think it's called the hostile media effect: people who have strong opinions also believe themselves to be reasonable perceivers of reality. When someone else disagrees with them they assert agenda, conspiracy or bias to explain the discrepancy between the reality they believe and the reality they are presented by the other person. Rarely do people actually consider their own biases, and how they might be affecting their own perception of things. Instead, they assume that those who disagree with them must be biased, because the truth is so obvious, amirite? No? Then you're biased!

    So, in essence, when I find something that manages to incite an equal but opposite reaction in people of differing political beliefs, I tend look more closely at it than I would one that satisfies one side or another. When two biased sides manage to get angry about the same set of facts, it's probably a good indication that the facts are accurate and that the two sides are being nice little monkeys in their response.

  31. #31
    Member Caesar's Avatar
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    I like Reuters and the Economist.

  32. Dawn of War Senior Member  #32
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    @Starfisher : I think your example also highlights just how much the modern war is played out in the media as much as on the battlefield. Perception of a conflict almost matters more than who wins now... everyone knows it... so everyone stakes huge claims to bias over factual information because they dont know exactly who it benefits. Theres a thesis in there somewhere

  33. #33
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    I agree Uberjumper on Fark. Aside from Google's main news page, it's where I get the majority of my news from.

  34. Homeworld Senior Member  #34
    The BBC is just as sensationalist as most other media outlets, and their reporting of things they have a vested interest in (usually media, drm, piracy, rights issues) can be quite lop-sided. They act as a mouthpiece of corporations quite often, blindly quoting them without getting a quote from the other perspective.

    Still, they are better than most. Personally, I like the Guardians web content.

  35. #35
    I will have to read their technology section more, as I have not really noticed much of a bias about that stuff, but then again I don't read those articles anyways because they tend not to interest me to much.

  36. #36
    Member SOFDC's Avatar
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    Each seems about as credible as the others. Meaning they aren't. The very basic gist of the story i'll take at face value, the details, not until i've got several different things confirming it.

  37. #37
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  38. #38
    Member Takashi_Kurita's Avatar
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    In my experience, BBC is just as full of shit as Fox and CNN, and the Guardian is *really* full of it. I suspect those of you who harp about how it's "impartial" are only doing so because you're Britons, or you're American but you *wish* you were a Briton, which is nearly as bad.

    Anyways, my news philosophy is: Everything with a grain of salt. Ignore editorials completely, exam the actual new stories. See if the other networks, and more importantly online news sources and blogs, corroborate what they're saying. Build up a composite picture of what's happening based on what the different outlets are saying about something.

    I tend to rely heavily on Defensetech, Defensereview, and GlobalSecurity.org as my alternative, non-mainstream-network news sources for fact checking, although they have their hiccup moments too. They're pretty quick to admit when they're wrong, however.
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  39. #39
    i like to try to get coverage from the nytimes, bbc, and cnn, which usually works out well enough, mostly because the between the three of them i can get several slightly different points of view.
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  40. Gamers Lounge Senior Member General Discussions Senior Member  #40
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    CNN.com's main story:
    McCain: Obama foreign policy 'reckless'

    news.bbc's main story:
    MPs debating hybrid embryo laws

    FOX News.com's main story:
    Obama: 'Lay Off My Wife'
    Also featuring:
    Child Porn Law Gets OK — Mostly
    and:
    Sex Changes ... for Kids?
    and finally:
    Marine Cheats Death

    Yeah, Takashi, you're so right there.

  41. #41
    I do check other news sites although I don't go to blogs for the most part because 99% of the time the people who are blogging just seem to give talking points for one party or the other (at least here in the US). I do like globalsecurity they tend to do a really good job and they go farther in-depth on stories like military contracts and all. Although to compare the BCC to Fox news I think is a little harsh sure they do have their problems, but they are far better than fox.

  42. #42
    Member Takashi_Kurita's Avatar
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    Yeah, Takashi, you're so right there.
    Yeah, I am, because who gives a fuck about embryo laws? I don't, and neither do most Americans. Nor should we care. It's pretty low on the list of priority subjects, when it comes to what's going on in this country, and even in the world.

    We care about what's really going to affect our lives, which is who gets elected in November. What people are saying about the candidates, and what the candidates are saying about each other, actually matters.

  43. #43
    You know that embryo law story is a UK story right? Many Americans DO care about that type of stuff as well, it is quite controversial in the US.

  44. #44
    In my day, we made our OWN war Robert Frazer's Avatar
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    Torbert, Kirjava, the reason why the BBC is mentioning that topic isn't because of any deep-set superior intellectual commitment to The Crucial Matters That Decide Human Existence, but simply because the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill is currently having a torrid time in Parliament. The BBC isn't raising the issue because its reporters are masters of philosophy - it's contemporary and topical, and being approached in a way no different than any other journalist for any other issue. I'm sure that if Congress was handling a similar bill American newspapers and networks would display it on their headlines and tickertapes too. Why would (why should?) American news sources focus on British news with limited international import, anyway?
    Last edited by Robert Frazer; 19th May 08 at 1:20 PM.
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  45. #45
    Member Lomax's Avatar
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    If I'm not mistaken, the point Kirjava wanted to make is that FOX News headlines are on a subterranean level. Also, it is a bit dangerous to consider the words of politicians as important as laws. Because one is binding, the other...

  46. #46
    @Robert

    You said more clearly what I was trying to say . In the US when those laws are brought up it sparks a fairly serious debate at least for a little while. I was just trying to bring up that saying that americans don't care about that is not true. So while in the US it does not matter as much that the UK law is having trouble in parliament people in the US do follow this stuff.

    Sorry if my first post was not as clear as it could of been.

  47. #47
    Senior Member TheDividedGod's Avatar
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    I'm finding the documentary work that is shown on the CBC, along with more general news reports, to be fairly intellectually stimulating and, like someone mentioned about the economist, they are open about where their biases stem from. they also pick much more appropriate times to raise those issues and speak from a position of bias than most other news sources.

    Also, al Jazeera is anything but impartial. I find the network to be good, and the programming, the actual content and subjects, are always interesting, but the anchors and the independent reporters and journalists are generally quite righteous, even indignant in the way they display relationships between specific local events and, say, the palestinian/isreali conflict. Often I find myself judging the connection to be unreasonable or othewise irrelevant to the actual news piece, not to mention the obvious lacing of opinions and unsupported statements throughout the articles. Again, though, I'm speaking of individuals, mostly the independents/correspondents that they occasionally feature, not the network itself.

    A perfect example is the current front page article of the english site, "Isreal and the Nahkba". Reading their rundown of what happened at camp david is like an exercise in counterfactuals and "what if" hypothetical historical scenarios.
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  48. Gamers Lounge Senior Member General Discussions Senior Member  #48
    Doltformer Kirjava's Avatar
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    Frazer- I see your point and acknowledge it. Mine was not that the BBC is, necessarily, a paragon of all that is wise and knowledgeable, but rather that Takashi's claim that it's as "full of it" as FOX News is spurious and incorrect. Forgive me for pointing out to those, like Takashi, who (it would seem) aren't aware that the BBC is a British news institution first, and therefore does not necessarily focus on issues that are most pertinent to Americans, although I guarantee you that Obama/Hillary winning the Democratic ticket will be the top story the day it happens, and US politics tends to occupy quite a visible spot on the website. There is a reason that it has a reputation as a high-quality high-reliability news provider worldwide. I simply don't know how you can compare it to FOX and say that they're on the same level. Yes, it has a measure of liberal bias in places, I accept that, but you don't need to have a degree to figure out for yourself what's fact and what's opinion. I contend that the basic stories published by the BBC are, on the whole, factual and middle-of-the-way.

    Edit: Lomax understood. See his post for a TL;DR version of mine. But it is only a paragraph...

  49. #49
    Frontline on PBS has the best documentaries, although if the CBC has theirs online I will check them out as well. I really liked Frontlines special on the war in Iraq that they had a few months ago.

  50. Dawn of War II Senior Member Dawn of War Senior Member  #50
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    The BBC do like their journalist and short sighted spin as much as the next news site. The difference is that they think slightly more than everyone else, and post stories of some relavence or interest.

    I tend to go with the BBC for world news, and specific news sites for..well specific catagories. In particular, if I want Video game news thats what Kotaku is for. Politics? Guardian does a nice job on that (on the days I attually CARE about politics).
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