In January 2018 I decided to expand my news bubble and read a different newspaper every week for the year. I did, barring a couple of weeks when I was on holiday and offline. Once I’d done some research, the list included newspapers, news networks, press agencies, and ‘alternative media’ sites.
It’s been a useful exercise. I’ve appreciated the diversity of the world’s preoccupations and interests. I’ve enjoyed the variety of perspectives, and learned just how many good news providers there are. For all the headlines about fake news and the decline of journalism, there are dozens of quality news sources available. I’ve learned the usefulness of reading propaganda, and how to read the news without the noise.
There was a lot of dross too, and I didn’t find an ‘alternative media’ site I’d bother with again, though they may exist somewhere. The best ‘alternative news’ is a quality paper from a different culture – you get different interests and political priorities, but with a professionalism and journalistic integrity that the self-proclaimed alternatives rarely have.
I’ve become a regular user of the Reuters news app, and I have several others from my list that are bookmarked for occasional browsing. Among others, I’ll be returning to the Times of India, the South China Morning Post, Le Monde, DW.com, and the Mail and Guardian. I’m still a supporter of the Guardian, and if I’m buying a physical paper it’s likely to be the i. I’m also one of the 45,000+ founding members of as it launches its English edition, and I look forward to seeing how that goes.
To be honest, I was rather tired of flitting from one thing to another by the end. There’s nothing wrong with having favourite news sources. It’s also good to be aware of their biases and limitations, and to be open to new voices. If you find something worth reading, let me know about it.
Here are the 50 news outlets I drew on:
3 Reuters app (UK)
20 (Hong Kong)
22 (South Africa)
24 AFP app (France)
27 (Denmark and Sweden)
33 (Canada based alt news)
34 (New Zealand)
35 Associated Press app (USA)
48 (South Korea)