Thursday, December 1, 2016
Where To Get Some News -- While You Still Can
I realized I have the perfect excuse for doing what I've wanted to do all along: lay in bed and read like a glutton eating a whole box of chocolates at once. My excuse? All indications point to an eventual shut down of information streams that don't exalt the demagogue with bad hair. It's hard to believe that such a person is about to come to the power to finish the job started by the infotainment glut drowning out truthful reporting and thoughtful analysis since the mid 20th century. In fact, it's disinformation -- propaganda, if you prefer -- that brought him to power.
I think we had best read all we can now before the Internet goes dark.
We also need to make sure that our youngest humans learn to read and think, and to associate these activities with love they will never get from a screen.
We can also continue collecting books and paper copies of manuscripts worth reading. Samizdat anyone?
It's with these thoughts in mind that I respond to a family member's suggestion that I compile a list of useful sources for real information that exist online today. I'm sure I'll miss many, and I encourage readers to contact me with suggestions I've overlooked.
What got me started on this reverie was not the corporate campaign against so-called "fake news" but rather reading two timely essays by Masha Gessen in the New York Review of Books Daily.
"Autocracy: Rules For Survival," which has been widely circulated since it was published on Nov. 10 and "Trump: The Choice We Face" on Nov. 27.
NYRB Daily is not a publication I read regularly, but the first essay was all over Facebook and the second was shared on Twitter by a literary acquaintance who reads more widely than I typically do.
It's my social networks filtering the glut of information that I will really miss when the lines of communication go down. When there's too much to read, I pick and choose largely guided by the recommendations of informed activists I respect. So, for what it's worth, here's my list of useful sites. None are without bias. The myth of "unbiased" news reporting is part of the sands upon which our foolish edifice has been built.
In These Times
Indian Country Today Media Network
Black Agenda Report
World Socialist News
Peace In Our Times
The Electronic Intifada
Mint Press News
Uri Avnery's column / Gush Shalom
Military Resistance (one of the best news digests around, I subscribe via email)
The New Inquiry
Bureau of Investigative Journalism
Deep Green Resistance News Service
Rise Up Times
Rewire ("high-quality evidence-based news, analysis, commentary, and investigative reporting on issues of sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice"
Commercial news websites that have a lot of corporate content but still provide information I don't see elsewhere:
The Guardian US
Comments are moderated (so there will be a slight delay) but I welcome your critique of my list, and any additions you care to suggest.