What is a “reliable” source of information? When you want to look beneath or beyond the headlines – where do you go for grounded, first-hand, actual-factual information?
It is increasingly difficult – not only to find the primary, factual sources of information – but to recognize them in the first place. Popular culture has become so attuned to repeated and regurgitated analysis, interpretation and opinion passing as news that we don’t stop to distinguish the reality behind the bloviation any longer.
Here are 12 sources, which have earned their respectable reputations through investigative reporting and the maintenance of high journalistic standards of integrity.
“All the News That’s Fit to Print”…that slogan graced the masthead of The New York Times for more than 100 years. The Times is now 162 years old and has moved successfully into online publishing, despite bumps and obstacles along the way. It is still America’s flagship news source, translated into dozens of languages – the first place people world over look for news of the United States. The Washington Post runs a close second – 136 years old and also now online. These two papers have nearly defined the term “investigative journalism” over the years and have the Pulitzers to prove it.
Magazines allow more time for their writers to compose longer format articles – for more in-depth reporting. They also include analysis and interpretation by reputable thinkers – generally from more than one side of an issue. The Atlantic has been in business for 157 years and holds a singular reputation among American thought leaders. It has published – among others – Harriett Beecher Stowe, Oliver Wendell Holmes. Martin Luther King, Jr. Mark Twain, Emily Dickenson, James Fallows and Ta-Nehisi Coates.
The Christian Science Monitor began life as a newspaper in 1908 and became a weekly magazine in 2008. Its reputation for solid reporting on international and financial issues remains unchanged, however.
Mother Jones and Bloomberg News seem like odd bedfellows but they are both highly respected for investigative and financial reporting, respectively.
Internationally, the BBC rules the airwaves and owns the best reputation for the highest journalistic standards, if not always the slickest production values. Al-Jazeera (English) also maintains high standards and deservedly has a stellar reputation for fairness and for covering stories nobody else covers. Reuters is an international news-gathering service of the highest reputation for accuracy in reporting.
In the U.S., PBS Newshour has the best reputation for fairness and accuracy, as well as for in-depth information. Among the so-called “mainstream,” The NBC network has the most highly respected reporters and analysts in American broadcast journalism. ProPublica is an excellent, publicly-funded online source of news, statistics and investigative journalism – emergent in recent years with a very high reputation for integrity.