Before we fight persecution, we must become knowledgeable. There are extensive books, documentaries, websites, social media pages/groups, podcasts, articles and profiles that seek to provide an understanding of the various issues that plague the world. I recommend that you continue to pursue these resources. Below are just a few suggested media resources that are large-scale, consistent and contemporary which encompass of all the above.
After we become knowledgeable on issues, we should begin to start challenging them. Visit the Take Action! page to learn more.
Note: These are in no way a complete list of essential resources, let alone media resources. I encourage you to continue pursuing a variety of media and profiles.
The Press is essential for informing the public on important issues, uncovering the injustices we must fight against and holding to account, the actions of humanity. However, media organisations often deviate from this mandate. News can tend to be sensationalised, manufactured, inaccurate, badly reported and important stories are often neglected. Most of the media sources below are far closer to the former description of the press.
In-Depth Investigative Stories
For in-depth investigative stories: International Consortium of Investigative Journalists
Naturally, almost every news organisation will have occasional investigative stories. So, I would encourage an engagement with any investigative story when it surfaces. However, the ICIJ is a necessity for global stories with major impact.
International Consortium of Independent Journalists (ICIJ)
The International Consortium of Independent Journalists (ICIJ) is a fully independent global network of more than 200 investigative journalists in 70 countries who collaborate on in-depth investigative stories.
The ICIJ aims to have real-world impact through investigations, most famously, the Panama Papers. They have exposed smuggling by multinational tobacco companies and by organized crime syndicates; investigated private military cartels, asbestos companies, and climate change lobbyists; and broke new ground by publicizing details of Iraq and Afghanistan war contracts.
Most media organisations output daily news. The following news organisations, I believe, output news with the strongest independent integrity.
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative. They host teams in over 100 countries to tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. Many media organisations and journalists source their stories from the Associated Press.
AP informs its staff on emphasising specifics rather than generalizations or labels in their reporting. They cover a wide variety of stories through strict fact-based multimedia content.
Reuters provides society with the news it needs to be free, prosperous and informed. They strive to preserve independence, integrity and freedom from bias in the gathering and dissemination of information and news.
AlterNet is an award-winning news magazine and online community that creates original journalism and amplifies the best of hundreds of other independent media sources. AlterNet’s aim is to inspire action and advocacy on the environment, human rights and civil liberties, social justice, media, healthcare issues, and more.
AlterNet aggregates reporting from various independent and non-independent media organisations to create a holistic pool of daily news. However, unlike randomised media aggregators, AlterNet requires the stories to be strongly reported and not simply, relevant.
For multimedia commentary: Democracy Now!
Democracy Now! is a national, daily, independent, award-winning news program hosted by journalists Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez. They are the largest and most thorough independent media collaboration. Primarily, the various media coverage (web articles, podcasts, video coverage) delivers commentary on contemporary global issues.
Democracy Now! is funded entirely through contributions from listeners, viewers, and foundations. They do not accept advertisers, corporate underwriting, or government funding. This allows them to maintain our independence.
DN! does produce daily news, however, they are truly phenomenal in multimedia commentary through their podcasts and YouTube Channel. I would recommend watching regular episodes of their channel on YouTube for truly independent and strong commentary on global events, including a wide array of diverse guests.
Engage with the media
Not even the above resources are infallible. Consistently practice discernment with any news site.
- Often, news articles have links to other articles. Open the links in a new tab and read through the linked article.
- Often, broadcasted news will host a guest. Find other interviews or articles with that guest. In fact, if the guest speaks to your politics, it may be worthwhile to follow their profile, get involved in their activism, read their books or research or find out other ways to become involved.
- Don´t try to memorise the news. As long as you are generally informed enough to create an opinion, you can be satisfied. Also, if you engage with a particular developing story enough times, you´ll remember it without having to try.
- Prioritise stories that address your politics. Ideally, it would be helpful to know everything that´s happening in the world. However, we simply aren´t able to. Rather prioritise engaging with the most important stories and the stories that engage with your politics. I would recommend reading a diverse array of news but when it comes to doing in-depth research, follow-ups and engagement, you´ll have to prioritise.
- Try to find people to converse with that also follow news stories. This way, you can have discussions on the stories and collectivise to start challenging the issues.
- Try to write opinion pieces for local publications. The more you read and follow stories, the more knowledgeable you become on these stories. This will enable you to write a strong commentary on the issue.
- Don´t become overburdened. News can be depressing. Being lost in news will harm your wellbeing. Also, trying to do more than you can handle might prevent you from creating any change at all. Remember that although the purpose of being informed is to take action, the purpose of taking action is to create change – and being overburdened does not create change.
- Most people won´t engage with important news. You can´t force people to know things they don´t want to know. Trying to barrage them with information against their will is an effective way to make them care about the issue. Rather, take action yourself and inspire them to develop an interest in the issues.
- A story never ends. Most stories exist over periods of news cycles. So, you will only have the full story after engaging with the story for several days. But more than this, the story doesn´t end when people stop reporting about it. The issues the story was highlighting continues to exist in the world.
- Take action. Fight persecution. When we become knowledgeable about issues in the world (or even our local community), we have a moral responsibility to challenge them. That´s the only way our societies will progress.
In truth, the best resource you have available is yourself. You have the opportunity and ability to create some level of progress within your local community and to some degree, the world. All you require is the will. Visit the Take Action! page to find out more.