Everything Is Connected:
In order to make good decisions, it is necessary to have accurate information. The problem with the 'information age' is that we have so much data, it becomes too time consuming to sift through it to find what we need and then verify its accuracy. Here is a list of the best sources that I have found.
Everything Is Connected: Information: Alternative News
It often used to take days, weeks, months, or even years for information about important events to reach isolated towns. Now, we hear it in minutes. The problem is that a very few corporations own almost all news outlets. This means that what we hear is actually very limited. Even when reporters make a good faith effort to report the news accurately, they can't help having biases, some of which are unconscious. It's also not surprising that corporations would not want to report on news that would threaten their bottom line if it became known. The best way to overcome this and learn the whole story is to seek news from a variety of sources and viewpoints. Then make up your own mind. Almost all of the alternative news outlets still in existence are located on the Internet or in print instead of on television. The ones below are excellent. They often carry stories about events that don't appear in the conventional news for weeks or years, if ever.
FAIR (www.fair.org)FAIR is a nonprofit media watchdog. They report on bias and censorship in news coverage, FCC policies, and the ever increasing monopoly among media owners. The site is large with all full-text articles. The group publishes a bi-monthly magazine called EXTRA and also has excerpts from their radio program CounterSpin available.
Media Matters for America (http://www.mediamatters.org) This site has been getting a lot of publicity lately, but if you haven't heard of it yet, you should take a look. It's a nonprofit progressive/liberal website that identifies and corrects factual errors in the news. It's updated daily, and finds several innaccuracies each day! Now you'll know about them, and you won't be fooled. This site is just great.
Independent Media Center (www.indymedia.org) Grassroots network of independent news outlets. It's devoted to reporting on activist movements and events that the American media mostly ignores. Coverage is international, multilingual, and organized geographically. Unfortunately, the latter can make it difficult to find news about a particular subject. Otherwise, it's a great source.
Alternet.org (www.alternet.org) The Alternet was created to be an intermediary between ordinary people and the flood of news and information. No private individual has the time to read every news item published every day. The staff examines it all and presents what it considers to be the most important news stories from the independent media in one place. The Alternet is a project of the Independent Media Institute, a nonprofit foundation.
Common Dreams News Center (www.commondreams.org) Nonprofit organization that scans dozens of publications for articles of interest to progressives. Posts and updates selections constantly--365 days per year. Includes press releases from Progressive Newswire. It was started in the early 1990s by a gentleman named Craig Brown. It grew out of his work as Chief of Staff for former Congressman Tom Andrews.
Also see news in science from publications like Science Daily and New Scientist.
Everything Is Connected: Information: Alternative News: Magazines and Journals
Magazines and Journals
The Nation (www.thenation.com) This is a weekly progressive/liberal magazine, that focuses on politics and social issues. Their motto is "unconventional wisdom since 1865". There are a large number of current articles available online and an extensive, searchable archive going all the way back to the first issue. The full version is published in print, and you can subscribe.
Yes! A Journal of Positive Futures (www.futurenet.org) Yes!is published by the Positive Futures Network. It focuses on environmental and social issues, and as the name indicates, approaches them from a more optimistic perspective. I was impressed that the full text of every issue is available on their website. This is a quarterly, and each issue has a theme. Some recent issues were "Can Love Save the World?", What Would Democracy Look Like?", and "Our Planet, Ourselves".
In Context: A Quarterly of Humane, Sustainable Issues (www.context.org) In Context is very similar to Yes!, but much older. The most recent issue is not available online, but the archive includes full text of issues that go back approximately twenty years. This is a great resource with some classic articles.
Open Democracy: Free Thinking for the World (www.opendemocracy.net) The purpose of this free electronic magazine is to increase democracy and freedom of expression worldwide. Thought and discussion are stimulated on a variety of issues with a multiplicity of articles and columns on topics from the arts, globalization, and the media, to science, religion, money, and economics.
The Free Press (www.freepress.org) Their motto is "Speaking Truth to Power." This nonprofit publication was started by the anti-war movement in the early 1970's. It's published every two months, and the full text of each entire issue is available free online. It mostly reports on political events rarely covered by the conventional media. For example, January 2005 articles included Ohio's GOP Attorney General Launches Revenge Attack on Election Protection Legal Team and Save American Democracy: Curb Corporate Power.
Environmental News Network (www.enn.com) The largest environmental news service on the internet. Includes interesting articles on subjects including wildlife, agriculture, science & technology, and what they call sustainable economy. Many are written by ENN employees, themselves, and others come from various publications and other news services. Their archives include over 40,000 articles available for free online in a searchable database. Updated daily.
Uncommon Thought Journal (www.uncommonthought.com) Serious, thoughtful, and opinionated discussion of important issues. Basically consists of various blogs combined with full-text articles. Also has very nice links section. Site is run by a sociology professor at Portland Community College and links to his college website. Updated regularly.
Everything Is Connected: Information: Alternative News: Radio and Television
Radio and Television
Air America Radio (http://www.airamericaradio.com) This is the first and only national liberal talk radio station. It's only been in existence for a short time, but it's already beating conservative talk show hosts in the ratings! The problem is that the number of broadcast stations is limited, but you can get it on satellite radio or listen to it streaming on the web. The website, itself, has a lot of interesting news, links, message boards, and blogs.
NOW (http://www.pbs.org/now) PBS weekly news show started by Bill Moyers(new host David Brancaccio). Focuses on in-depth coverage of controversial stories you won't see on regular cable or network news. Some recent shows included immigration, nuclear plant safety, evolution, and religion in politics. You can check the TV Schedule section to see if a station near you broadcasts it. If not, you can read the transcripts online. Website also includes links to more information about each week's stories.
Also see the Politics section.
Everything Is Connected: Information: Consumer Information
Better Business Bureau (http://www.bbb.org) Now you can find out about the latest scams, check on a local business--i.e. look up a contractor before you hire them to work on your house--or report one that cheated you online. Very convenient. Free.
Consumer Reports (http://www.consumerreports.org) Online version of the famous consumer magazine. You have to subscribe to get access to the complete website, (the print version is cheaper and very worth it) but the free section is still very useful. They rate all kinds of products from electronics to kid's toys with some online buying guides and information about product recalls.
Web Watch (http://www.consumerwebwatch.org) Consumer information about the Internet. Subjects include pop-up ads, privacy issues, protecting children online, dangers of online mortgage deals, and foreign lottery scams. Posts recent news articles on similar topics from a variety of publications. Also from Consumer Reports, but totally free.
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (http://www.privacyrights.org) Provides information about privacy issues at the workplace, on the Internet, and involving identity theft, telephone services, medical and government records, etc. Includes fact sheets, articles, and recent news. Nonprofit organization.
U.S. Government Recalls (http://www.recalls.gov)
Product recalls from various government departments in one place. Includes consumer products, cars, boats, food, medicine, cosmetics, pesticides, and car emissions. (The last two are under a category called 'Environmental Products'! What a name! Yikes!)
National Safety Council (U.S.) (http://www.nsc.org) Focuses on safety issues at home and work, such as radon, floods, dangerous chemicals, lead poisoning, etc.
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