By a show of hands, who else is exhausted trying to navigate America’s current political climate? You’re all raising your hands, I can feel it, and if you’re not, you clearly haven’t been on Facebook in the last decade.
For me, it feels like there’s a wealth of information available, and yet I’m never really sure if what I’m reading is the truth or just a buzzworthy headline vying for my click. Thinking about it, I honestly can’t remember a time when I opened social media and didn’t see a politically charged post from someone.
And to be real, I love some aspects of it. Young people are really taking ownership of the issues that are important to them and sharing their beliefs on the country and what they want for a better future. In many ways, it’s a really exciting time. That being said, it’s important that we don’t take everything we read as gospel. It’s so easy to latch onto the headlines that support our side and deny the ones that don’t, but that binary mindset doesn’t serve anyone. So how do we even begin to separate the real from the fake? I want to know the most reliable information, I want to be informed, and I want to ultimately vote for candidates who represent my beliefs and will fight for the causes I hold dear.
So with all of the fake news stories running rampant, we wanted to give you a list of the reliable news sources you can count on to deliver the facts. Some may lean slightly toward one side or the other, but overall, these are the most reliable outlets to help you stay informed when things get crazy.
It’s not all about Mister Rogers and Sesame Street on PBS. PBS prides itself on being an incredibly trustworthy and unbiased news source for viewers on both sides of the aisle. In PBS’s programming, viewers can expect to get different perspectives on news stories from a panel that is respectful and cordial with one another (what a novel concept). It’s always an amazing sight to see political opponents hashing out their issues in a way that solves problems and promotes real change.
OK, I know this one is a little weird, but Snopes is actually a really great source for determining what’s true in all the articles floating around our Facebook walls. Snopes’s watchdog mentality puts it in the perfect position to call BS and debunk rumors of all kinds. Snopes operates as a fact-checker and is trusted to expose fake stories before they have a chance to fester and grow. So whenever you see that unbelievable story popping up on your social media feeds, check out Snopes to make sure things are 100 percent accurate.
The Associated Press
The Associated Press is basically the most “news” a news outlet can get. Its reporting style is no nonsense, no frills, direct, digestible and covers stories from around the world. And there’s absolutely no agenda. Make sure to catch the daily section “10 Things to Know for Today,” which summarizes stories every citizen should be aware of.
The Skimm is a personal favorite of mine. Every morning the Skimm emails its thousands of subscribers a cheat sheet of the day’s top news stories. Each little blurb, usually no more than two or three sentences, gives you the who’s who and what’s what. It’s perfect for staying in the loop every day regardless of time (I read mine while waiting for my morning coffee to brew). In addition, because The Skimm’s coverage is fact-based and incredibly brief, there’s less bias to be worried about.
FAIR is an organization that sets out to challenge media bias and expose misinformation. According to its website, FAIR “works to invigorate the First Amendment” through advocating for diversity in the press and keeping watch on media practices. FAIR’s articles tend to focus on neglected stories and on stories from reporters who feel they have been silenced. So if you’re trying to find a site that promotes honest journalism, look no further, because FAIR is on the frontlines making sure journalism is — you knew it was coming — fair.
NPR, which stands for National Public Radio, is a non-profit public radio station that creates radio programming for hundreds of radio stations across the United States. NPR’s live fact checks during debates, speeches and press conferences solidified its spot on this list. And if you don’t want to take our word for it, NPR has recently seen a rise in ratings (a huge feat for a public radio station), which is most likely linked to its delivery of the accurate and unbiased coverage listeners are craving.