Last month, to broaden my perspective
beyond that presented in the American news media, I put out a Call for Knowledge
for Non-American News in English
. I received just
under a dozen submissions and now am ready to report the
Non-American News in
As a reminder, the
topic of this Call was: What are the best sources of
non-American news in English on the web? To be
included, a source needed to meet the following criteria:
- The bulk of the site must be in English.
An English version of a site in another language is
acceptable only if the bulk of the site is translated.
- The site must be freely available on the web.
Paid subscriptions are not allowed, but free registration
a la the New York Times is acceptable.
- The site must originate outside the United States.
Additional points will be given for sources outside the
former British empire.
- The site must be a credible source of news and opinion. Propaganda sites
sponsored by a government, crank sites which contain only
opinions, and weblogs are disallowed.
I received a wide variety of sources, which
I categorized into general news sites, opinion sites, country sites,
and metasites. (And my apologies to one entrant, who sent the
mail to the wrong address and asked for it back so he could send it to the
right one ... unfortunately, your message was eaten by buggy
antivirus software.) To judge the submissions, I built an internal
web page that I used to browse for news for several days and
tracked which ones I felt gave me the best information.
The results of this totally subjective ranking were as follows:
Sites. I categorized sites as "general news" if their
focus was journalism - researching and presenting news and events -
and served an audience broader than any one country.
Best News Institute for War and Peace
The Institute seemed to have the best
organized and balanced presentation of issues. The submitter
supports recovery and development in crisis zones by providing
professional training, financial assistance and an international
platform to independent media, human rights activists and other
local democratic voices."
Definitely an interesting site, but requires
a subscription and is focused on defense. The submitter commented:
"The ultimate source for defence, aerospace and transportation
information. The site requires membership for complete
articles, but the abstracts are still significantly
Opinion Sites. General
"opinion sites" had more of an axe to grind - often presenting
direct opinions or personal testimonials. From the horse's
mouth - but read with a grain of salt.
Best Opinion Out There News
The directness of these points of view
makes this the most appealing opinion site. The submitter
commented: "A great site
for unfiltered frontline and firsthand perspectives about the
conflict du jour. Some dispatches are written by folks with an
obvious ax to grind, such as the correspondents from an Afghan
women's opposition group. But others are touching, including the
missives from a pediatrician treating patients in Afghan refugee
camps. The site also visits other war zones, including chilling
accounts of children growing up in the midst of Northern Ireland's
National Sites. News sites serving a
specific national market. Have your skeptic filter on (not
that it shouldn't have been on before!) but worth a read.
Best National The Moscow Times
While I like Japan Today, the
Moscow Times was the best source of news from a different point of
view than the west.
Japan Today (http://www.japantoday.com/e/?content=home
As a student of Japanese culture, I
found some of the articles on this site fascinating; however the
perspective is too familiar to me to really challenge my views.
From the submitter: "This is one of my favorite sites for news from
Japan...They have a very interesting range of articles and I
especially like that they will e-mail you top stories at your
A really interesting
site, well worth a visit. From the submitter: "Check out the
Another very interesting site,
though it is the official Iraqi news site and can't take best of
category for that reason. From the submitter: "[a]
headline:'Stupid American Sanctions."
Down whenever I tried to access it. From the submitter: "kind of rant-y, but there is
info in there."
Metasites. Sites that help you find
Best Metasource The
A very comprehensive site. From the submitter: "This search was made
infinitely easier with the Paperboy, which helps find some p oints of view that
you won't see on CNN or
- The News Directory ( http://www.newsdirectory.com/news/press/ )
Another good site, though not as
comprehensive as The Paperboy. From the submitter: "Although Japan Today is NOT one of the
foreign, English language publications listed here, this is a HUGE
source of information. They list on-line English publications
worldwide, organized by continent and sub-divided by country.
The above link is specifically for newspapers, but if you scroll
to the bottom of the page, you'll see that they also link to
magazines and TV. It's just up to you to decide whose perspective
you want to read! "
The Winner -
Institute for War and Peace Reporting
Kudos to Bob Kinnett for the
pointer to this site, which seemed to have the best mix of a wide
variety of views backed by solid journalistic
gets a $25 gift certificate for Borders and a Library of Dresan
T-shirt. Bolot Kerimbaev, Bob
Kinnett and Gordon Shippey submitted
the best of category entries, and will each receive
a cookie (not the browser kind).
Thanks to everyone for all of their entries! Please join my
next Call for Knowledge: April Fool's
Day Hoaxes, already in progress!
See you in 15.
- The Centaur