In this era of "Fake News" it's more important than ever to remain properly informed. The coronavirus pandemic highlighted the value in getting the right information early on. I was thinking about making a trip to China in 2020, so in late 2019 I began my research. It was on a US expat Chinese travel website in December 2019, that I first learned about the deadly new virus sweeping through Wuhan, China. This timely insight gave me the opportunity to have a jump on the purchase of PPE and the ability to prepare myself for the arrival of COVID-19 on these shores.
I've learned time and time again of the value in casting as wide a net as possible when it comes to information. I don't care about the politics, just getting good information, fast. I usually start my day with a core group of sites and then expand outward from there, they are:
Drudgereport (You'd be surprised how many big stories break here first)
Google News (For specialized searches, I set the rececency for the last hour)
Yahoo Finance (The message boards are a gold mine of financial information)
Appleinsider (Staying abreast of all things Apple)
The Joe Rogan Experience (I love this long-form podcast. We can hear directly from the person instead of short sound bites and having the host cutting off the speaker)
Twitter (A lot of local events show up here first before expanding worldwide. I learned about the deaths of Whitney Houston, Paul Walker and David Bowie here as well as countless school shootings here in America)
CNN (This is usually the last of the "big seven" that I check each day, just in case I missed something)
Once I'm done with those, I might do a deep dive on a particular subject. Notice I did not list Facebook. It's not even on my radar as a news source. The media uses a variety of linguistic devices to mold public opinion. What are called "anti-war activists" over here, may be referred to as "peace activists" over there. "Homemade bombs" vs "improvised explosive devices." "Police shooting" vs "Officer involved shooting." "Service weapon" instead of "gun." Chemical agent" instead of "Tear gas." "Jihadist" instead of "Terrorist." gun." In America, people aren't "arrested" anymore, now they're "detained" which sounds nicer. Note the difference in framing? See how the replacement words are used to achieve the desired result? This is one of the reasons I search wider and deeper in order to escape the spin.
For more niche information, I might drill down to some of the following places:
France 24 and Dutche Velle (It's illuminating to see the vantage point that news organizations over the pond have compared to their US counterparts. These two allow me to read the European take on world news)
Info Migrants (It's shocking to read about what's happening to Greece via Turkey, with migrants being used as a weapon. This site is sympathetic to migrants plight, but inadvertently gives itself and its tactics away. Grown men are described as "children" in order to win asylum. "Vulnerable" migrants, end up violently raping refugee center workers (male and female, young and older). When migrants attack Greek border guards, they'll portray it as them being attacked first. This is a good place to see pro-immigrant propaganda in action.
liveleak (Some of the strangest, and most topical videos around. You won't see this stuff on CNN)
Tor and various online message boards (This was the only place to find things such as the Christchurch shooting video and other events you'll never see on the mainline news sites)
There are many others, but the point is to evade attempts to interrupt the free flow of information. If I can get at the original source, this allows me to form my own opinion without some talking head getting in the way. Is Google giving you the full story? If not, go around them. Where do you get YOUR news from?
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