FAQ

How was this list compiled

This initial list of sites for the search engine was composed through personal experience combined with the help of:

The Guardian’s 2002 World News Guide which is out-of-date but still helpful in finding some international sites written in English.

Mediabiasfactcheck.com which was used to check the bias of websites and try to come close to a balance of views. I do not agree with all of their assessments but that is the point of having an independent analysis.

Melissa Zimdars' list of “False, misleading, clickbait-y and satirical 'news' sources”.

And additional research into additional, individual news sites.

How were sites selected for inclusion

I’ve tried to provide a reasonable balance of news sources which emphasizes unbiased, left leaning or right leaning sites rather than sites that are fully left wing or right wing news sites. Regardless of their bias, the sites included are thought to be reasonably accurate. The sites may have biases but the stories featured on the sites are expected to be fact checked and not based on ‘alternative facts’, conspiracy theory or fake news. An effort has also been made to avoid hyperbole and partisanship that approaches the level of propaganda.

The breakdown, as of this moment, looks like this:

Of the sites included, 273 specialize in news, current affairs and public policy; 59 specialize in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), 16 are fact checking sites. Three sites (History Today, Wikipedia and Variety) are listed as “other”.

In terms of their political leaning, according to Mediabiasfactcheck.com, 91 are rated ‘least biased’, 80 are ‘left center’, 62 are ‘right center’, three are rated ‘left’ and 3 are rated ‘right’, 50 were rated simply ‘pro science’ and 62 have not yet been rated.

Geographically, 232 are based in the United States, 17 in Canada, 17 in the United Kingdom, eight in Australia and New Zealand, eight are run by and for indigenous peoples, five are regional European Union sites, six are international (primarily United Nations organizations) and 59 additional sites are based in 41 different countries and regions.

What is omitted

It is likely that some sites were omitted from the list simply because they were overlooked. Please tell me about those sites and I’ll consider expanding the list. On the other hand, many sites were omitted intentionally. Sites known for fake news or for relying on fake news sites as sources have been left off the list. Sites considered to be conspiracy theory or pseudoscience sites, “questionable sources” or satire are not included. Sites that rely heavily on unpaid 'citizen journalists' have been omitted due to a great deal of inconsistency. Sites that primarily rewrite and or republish news from other sites are also omitted. Additionally, the number of sites rated left or right (as opposed to left center or right center) has been minimized. Sites from Melissa Zimdar's list of ““False, misleading, clickbait-y and satirical 'news' sources” are highly unlikely to be included. Finally, for a variety of reasons (see below), the three major US cable news networks - CNN, Fox and MSNBC have not been included.

Isn't that censorship?

No. Regular Google, and a variety of other search engines exist. I also would not suggest that people should only read the sites that are included here. This site is meant as a starting point; a place to gather some reliable information on a topic before heading out into the wilds of the broader internet and getting the hot take of everyone on social media.

Why are the US cable news network not listed

The major 24-hour American news networks have not been included for a variety of reasons. Overall, they are not really necessary. Most of what is covered by CNN, MSNBC and Fox is covered in more depth elsewhere. MSNBC has a left wing bias, Fox has a strong right wing bias - to the point of almost being an extension of the Republican party and CNN is somewhere in between. All three though seem to thrive on conflict and differences of opinion rather than substance and context. They tend to be more noise than signal - cranking out a great deal of content, but without the substance of a piece in the New York Times, the Economist or the Wall Street Journal (for example). Additionally, the drive to be first in the 24-hour news cycles sometimes causes them to jump on false rumors without adequate fact checking.


Why is Wikipedia Included?


Wikipedia has certainly had some problems with accuracy, however the staff and editors strive to keep this to a minimum and to correct or omit bad information. With the links and footnotes included it can be a good place to get an overview on a topic and to find additional information. It is not comprehensive but it is a good starting point in a wide variety of areas.

How to suggest a site for inclusion or omission

If you know of a quality site I've overlooked or want to make a case for the inclusion of a site that has been deliberately omitted, get in touch.