Recommend an online news site to replace the BBC?

Well they’ve finally managed it, I now find the BBC news website unreadable and I object to giving them any more time and attention, although I of course don’t have any say about giving them my money.

Does anyone have any recommendations for any online news websites with a good and as far as possible unbiased mix of international and local news (I’m in the UK, specifically Northern Ireland).

Thanks :slight_smile:

In what way is the BBC unreadable? that might give us a better idea of what to recommend.

Well I keep up to date with world events at Counterpunch but I imagine I can safely predict that it isn’t what you have in mind.

While I’d rather not go into specifics because people will disagree and that’s not a debate I want to have I find it becoming increasingly biased, I’m looking for a news site which as far as possible just tells what has been happening not what I should think about it.

If I want that I go to the Guardian website (which I do) but at least that is exactly what it says on the tin. Problem is I don’t have the time to read a cross-section of material from different sources to get a balanced view of things, I’m looking for something which is as neutral as possible from the get go.

The BBC is pretty much as neutral as you are going to get from a large one-stop-news-shop. In fact a common complaint is that it bends over backwards to accommodate both sides of the argument even when that doesn’t fairly represent the balance of evidence and probability. It is also not allowed to take a party political position…so I’m not sure I can help you.

As near as I can tell, they are all simply news aggregators, getting their news stories and features from other sources, mostly if not entirely. And they are lazy – not enough staff dedicated to the task if reading carefully the material and making even logical, if not empirically unbiased, judgments about what to paste up. Good journalists cost money, and the online news sources are all about the flow of money one way, not the other.

I used to read the Guardian, because I felt they had pretty good editorial resistance to the shrill and glitzy, but (as I recall) the reason I bailed on them was because their copy was full of careless errors that nobody bothered to proof, at times to the point of incomprehensibility.

I’m sorry but that’s just not possible. All news organisations have biases. For online UK news I look at the Telegraph, the Guardian, and the BBC. If I read a national newspaper it will be the Times (they’re paywalled so I don’t read them online).

For sure. Starting with the constant choices about what to consider “news.”

Only in that different parts have different biases. The BBC is heavily liberal (note, not Liberal) and often left-wing. Anything right-wing and positive is vanishingly rare.

It may not be allowed to, but it did when Labour were in power.

The BBC has many faults, but by and large it does an admirable job.

…say right-wingers. Left-wingers tend to have the opposite complaint - that the BBC is too willing to cater to right-wing views without challenge (noting that the BBC coverage was key to the rises of both Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson). And it’s not as if they’ve been particularly supportive of Corbyn (but then again which media source has outside the Morning Star?).

In reality I think the BBC tries to be all things to all people and often gets it spectacularly wrong. But they do try, bless them.

That’ll be the Labour Party that was constantly at war with the BBC in the run-up to Iraq? Alastair Campbell spent ages trying to find a stick to beat them with before that one tiny slip-up gave him an opening.

Have you checked out Reuters?

I often check out AP and the Reuters, back to back. It is amazing how rarely any story is covered by both of them. It’s like looking at the news on two different days several weeks apart. It is a perfect illustration of how news is biased by the selection of what to report and what to not report.

That’s inevitable, isn’t it? You have to make choices not only about what to report and what not to report but, as among things you are reporting, how much space/attention/analysis to give to each, how much priority to give, etc. And those choices can only be made by appealing to value judgments about what is important, signficant, newsworthy, relevant, etc.

And that’s before you even begin to consider the values and priorities which underpin the commercial pressures that affect news services whose business model involves either selling their content, or selling advertising space on their websites.

Hey, how is 2001?

To the OP, Al Jazeera is basically they Beeb from 10 years ago (literally, they have most of the staff).

In Soviet Russia, BBC replaces you.

I confess I don’t understand your reference to 2001.

As for Al Jazeera, the beeb has shed a load of jobs and it is unsurprisig that other organisations have picked them up.

Overall I stand by my original assessment.

How about reddit’s r/worldnews? Or r/northernireland for more local stuff?

Now, there’s plenty of clickbaity nonsense, and biased articles being linked, but at least they are biased in all sides of the spectrum.

So, okay, not a quality way of reading the news, but if you want variety, give it a whirl.

In case you hadn’t noticed, UKIP draws many Labour voters. And it would be the BBC that refused to put on Ian Curteis drama about the Falklands because it showed Thatcher in a good light. It would also be the BBC that eulogised Labour’s agricultural policy on The Archers. It would be the BBC that had a great celebration laid on on election night in 1992 in anticipation of a Labour victory. How often is there a left-wing majority on the panel of Question Time? How often is there a right-wing majority? (Remember to include the political leanings of the guest celeb.) I could go on.

Johnson and Clarkson also bring in lots of money. Possibly Farage too. All are good entertainment.

That is one point of view, the reason given was that it would come in the direct run-up to the general election and show a sitting PM in a positive light, the same reason given for delaying the screening of “Tumbledown” and its anti-Thatcher stance. And of course both plays have been shown on the BBC and in the case of “The Falklands Play” it was accompanied by a self-critical analysis of the issues surrounding the original decision not to screen.
And remind me again which organisation devoted hours and hours of screen time to Thatcher’s funeral?

I think you are confusing the BBC with individual writers.

you have a cite for that? an official BBC celebration of a labour victory? or was it just preparations for what was expected to be an easy labour victory?

The Question time panel tries to be representative of country as a whole. As such you get mostly centralist left and right views with the occaisional looney-lefty and frothing right-winger.

Remember in just the last two years there were widely voiced complaints that the BBC took both a right-leaning view (against Scottish independence) and a left-leaning view (in favour of remaining in the EU). Which was correct? what does that say about any corporate bias?

Look,no-one will make the claim that BBC items do not sometimes reflect the bias of the writer or writers, I don’t think it is possible for any commisioning editors or directors to present an item totally free of editorial content or bias, but I go back to my original point. As far as news goes the BBC is pretty much as politically neutral as a large independent news organisation is likely to get. The fact that it is regularly accused of bias from both left and right suggest a healthy neutral standpoint. It is not perfect but no man-made organisation can be.

When I’m fed up with Western style news gathering/reporting I head over to Channel News Asia (there’s an app). Yes, it’s Asia centric just as the BBC is Euro centric. But, just like the BBC they do a pretty decent job on international news.

I find it less biased, less sensational, and less reactionary. Of course, your results may vary. Just a suggestion is all!