Our mission at The Deep is to open people’s minds, get them curious about different points of view, and help them talk constructively about complex issues. (You know, pretty much the opposite of what social media and traditional media companies are doing)
A frequent question we’re asked is where to go to find unbiased – or at least balanced – news and information in a hyper-partisan, highly polarized media landscape. Lucky for you, we’ve got a few great suggestions:
Okay, but we haven't even started the list yet. (Source: Giphy)
Ground News lets you compare media coverage across the media landscape/political spectrum so you can quickly and effectively see where media bias lies.
On their app (and their many useful newsletters), Ground shows you which news headlines are being ignored by the right or the left … and how the same news story is being covered by media sources across the political spectrum (trust us, it’s amazing how a few leading words can influence how different audiences perceive a news story!).
The upshot: you start to realize that people who primarily get their information from the right *literally* live in a different world than the people who get their information primarily from the left.
Follow Ground News on Instagram, buy a subscription to their app, and definitely sign up for their newsletters (our favorite: the Blindspot Report, a weekly email that shows what news stories the right and left covered vs. ignored each week).
A sample of Ground News’ analysis of who is (and isn’t) covering a story. (Source: Ground News)
Ground News will not only help get you out of your bubble – they reveal how unaware most of us are of the biases in our information.
When we have 10-15 minutes to really settle in and dig deep, we immediately reach for Tangle’s daily newsletter.
The reason: it provides a daily, in-depth analysis of one major issue or piece of news, and presents (in a fair and even-handed way) what both the left and the right are saying about it. Then editor Isaac Saul gives you his own opinion – which is always smart and well-informed, even if you don't agree with him. He also welcomes (and often re-posts!) reader criticism, feedback and ideas.
What we love most about Tangle: it distills a ton of info about a topic (and what prominent thinkers on both sides of the aisle are thinking/saying about it) into a single, digestible read. You’ll walk away having a good grasp of an issue — as opposed to a surface-level, one-sided understanding. And the email is always well-researched, nuanced, and reasonable.
(Source: Tangle Newsletter)
The Conversation is a news organization (a nonprofit at that!) that tries to avoid the inflammatory, click-bait journalism that’s dominating the “news” right now. Rather than elevating the person who shouts the loudest, they provide information from experts (read: researchers and academics) in their respective fields. They prioritize articles that demonstrate critical thinking, depth of knowledge, and cogent arguments over inflammatory op-eds.
So how do they do this, you ask? The Conversation’s model is to find articles from academic experts and publish them through a Creative Commons License. By carefully curating the best articles out there, this is one media organization that’s doing its part to make news more reliable – and avoid the shouting of the crazies.
(Source: The Conversation)
Ever feel like humans might not be the most equipped to sort through bias in the news? Well, good news! The folks at The Factual agree and have created an algorithm that lets A.I. analyze news for bias.
According to their site: “Each article receives a grade between 1-100% based on four metrics: the site quality, the author’s expertise, the quality and diversity of sources, and the writing tone.”
So for each news topic, they post a few articles from various news sources, each with a corresponding grade next to it. This is great because they aren’t choosing which pieces you should read: they’re pointing you to various information sources and letting you know how biased the article or story is.
Sample grade for a recent article: "7 Ways To Please Your Man". Jk, jk it was on campaign finance. (Source: The Factual)
1440 news is a news aggregator whose mission is to present balanced and unfiltered content. When you subscribe to their newsletter, you get a daily email briefing of what they deem the most relevant news, presented in a digestible and even-handed way.
As an indie news organization, 1440 isn’t affiliated with any big media corporation. And according to their site, “We believe news is not about proving one side is right – it should inspire an objective conversation that helps you navigate the world around you.” Which is a cause we can get behind.
[P.S.: You might be wondering why it’s called 1440. That’s because it's the year the printing press was invented by none other than Police Academy actor Steve Guttenberg. … Ok, fine, it was Johannes Gutenberg. But we can still have fun while we learn, right?]
Left Right & Center
If you’re more of an auditory than a visual learner, you’ll be happy to tune into Left, Right & Center. As its name suggests, this weekly podcast from KCRW aims to give equal time and weight to opinions on the left, the right, and the center of the political spectrum.
So while you aren’t getting “unbiased” opinions and news, you get to hear the bias in a transparent way. (There’s no hiding an agenda when someone is literally asked to give a point of view from a specific part of the political spectrum.)
Left, Right & Center gives you a chance to hear viewpoints that don’t always match your own, and allow you to decide whether any of the arguments are compelling enough to get you to change your mind.
Sometimes I worry about the sheer size of our spotlights. (Source: Left, Right & Center)
The Argument is a podcast from the NY Times that presents contrasting opinions about one important issue each week. Hosted by Jane Coaston, The Argument features prominent thought-leaders and experts who hold opposing views on each given topic. The goal: to provide an entertaining and open-minded debate to listeners.
Similar to Left, Right & Center, The Argument doesn’t seek to filter out biased points of view. What they do well is show that, just because you disagree, doesn’t mean you have to be disagreeable.
So there you have it! News and information sources that are like a breath of fresh, well-balanced and reasonable air. Think we missed a source? Hit us up in the comments!
(And if you’d like to explore some fun, thought-provoking issues on your own – but want to avoid falling into the “typical” me-vs.-you political conversation – might we suggest The Deep Game?)
July 08, 2022