There’s Plenty of Real News on the Web, Too


Fake news? It’s a problem, sure. But not in my life. Even for all the time I may spend on Facebook.

The only news issue I have in my existence is a completely different one: too much real news. And not enough free time to give it all the attention it merits.

This is in contrast to the dire warnings not all that long ago that the Internet might do grave damage if not kill the real news business.

Don’t get me wrong. The decline of the physical magazines and newspapers that were so important in my life, and to some degree my career as a writer and editor, is still a matter of concern. But the Web has turned out in many ways to be a boon for news.

I begin most every day with a look. even if sometimes a glancing one, at a number of news sites. First stop is almost always The Huffington Post, which has become an essential aggregator. Yeah, some of what they run can be silliness and fluff. But for a quick overview of what’s happening in the nation and the world, it’s a fine resource.

I was concerned about its direction a few years back when they were running too many headlines that turned out to be clickbait. But aside from now an occasional one where you have to read down in the story to find the point they highlight on the homepage, the tendency has been curbed. And the site has been at the leading edge

If I’m not at my desk in the early hours of the day, I can still get a fairly comprehensive review of what matters from the Apple News app on my iPhone. Again, like HuffPo, an effective aggregator. I’ve also added the app of the Guardian to my phone, as its excellence makes it an essential site to check in with.

Then there’s the news sites I have jokingly bookmarked in a folder I tagged as “Liberal Media.” In the order that I view them, there’s the news and culture sites Salon (full disclosure: where I’ve published a few articles in the past), Slate and the resurgent Daily Beast. Both have much of interest to offer.

Following them, I usually either go to Alternet (whose stories sometimes run here as well) and Think Progress. The latter has come to the fore as a strong source of political reporting in recent years. The former features some excellent opinion pieces, and acts as an aggregator as well of the best from the Left side of the media dial.

I’ve also been a longtime web subscriber to the New York Times. Yeah, I was a bit miffed when some years ago they went from free access to paid. But it’s worth the $15.99 a month I pay even if I haven’t got time to savor all that it offers.

Because in the Trump era news is so vital, and the Washington Post has wonderfully risen to the occasion, I have also now subscribed to it as well.

Those regular sites barely leave me time to check in at the sites of such fine publications as The Nation, Mother Jones, The Atlantic and others. I also wish I had more time to scan what’s been gathered at the Longform and Longreads sites, which glean the best of in-depth articles.

What I hope is that in the not-too-distant future, the dangers of Trumpism, the GOP and the American right wing are, if not defeated, then at least rolled back. And sense and genuine democracy reemerge in Washington, and I have less urgent news concerns and can read more about all the other things that interest me.

Populist Picks

Website: – As long as I am highlighting web publications here, this site that features excellent first-person stories both original published by it as well as from other sources is a treasure trove of great writing and compelling stories.

CD: A Song I Can Live With by Chip Taylor – The songwriter best known for such genuine classics as “Wild Thing” and “Angel of the Morning” has been one of the most impressively prolific musical talents of the last two decades or so, producing a variety of projects that explore various themes within a stunning range of modes and collaborations. (Disclosure: I did PR writing for a number of Taylor albums a while back.) This collection explores a number of subjects – love, marriage, maturity, writing songs and New York City among them – in songs that Taylor renders in an almost prayerful whisper from his voice, once again proving himself a standout talent in the contemporary folk-rock and Americana genres, proving himself to be a treasure whose entire recent catalog can provide near-endless listening satisfaction.

Rob Patterson is a music and entertainment writer in Austin, Texas. Email

From The Progressive Populist, August 15, 2017

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