I'm sure it won't make much of a bleep on your agenda, but I'm most partial to the National Post as far as Canadian papers go. It's by and large conservative, a byproduct of the Conrad Black media empire, but still quite fair and balanced to steal from the most unfair and stilted network around. The other Canadian national print is the Globe and Mail -- it's been around for a lot longer and is a good read as well, a bit more liberal though it's been moving toward the right according to its Wiki article.
Personally I've turned into much more of a magazine man, as far as media outlets that I check online often go. You tend to get pieces that were weighed and researched a lot longer and therefore offer a much more thorough looks at a topic that would instead get a half dozen quick glance articles in a daily paper. I prefer reading a single well written and comprehensive article rather than five narrow articles written by varying levels of talent. The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Economist, Slate, The Walrus, Macleans, and I'm thinking of heading to the library to check out stuff like The New Statesman and THE (The Higher Education); all great publications that I'd recommend. I've also heard good stuff about The Weekly Standard, supposedly the best of intellectual conservatism, though I have yet to delve in.
The NY Times has a pretty well known leftist bias, no? I'm pretty lefty loosey goosey myself, as I'm pretty sure you are as well Jasi, but if you're searching for a publication that offers as many perspectives as possible, the Times might not be your ticket. I'm not really sure what would be though. Cursory Google searches are saying the Independent is a great bet.
I think the problem is that with the least bias also comes the least analysis. You could use Reuters or Associated Press all you want and just get the hard facts, but you aren't going to get much in the way of interpretation.
The Guardian is a pretty good one for international news. They're regarded as leftist but I think they do a good job of straddling the fence, for the most part.
Yeah, I suppose you're right. I haven't read a ton of it, my gf's a huge fan and was thinking of getting a subscription so we bought a few issues. Maybe it's because they come off as consciously and intellectually biased that I don't really mind it. At least an acknowledgement of other POV's I suppose.
Or maybe that's all just bullsh*t excuses for the fact that they really are as leftist as they come and I happen to like them because I'm as leftist as they come -- that last part's a stretch though. lol
I think the Economist does a great job of spreading their biases out evenly. You can't really pin a collective set of ideas to it, because it's got its very own unique set of ideas to which it tends to subscribe. Intellectually honest is basically what I'm getting at. It's probably the best publication in the world for keeping up to date, but it's just so f*cking dry that reading an issue cover to cover would probably kill me.
Ridonks, what you said about the analysis vs bias trade-off is true, I've been thinking about this "problem" for long.
I think it's easier when you have a two line-up system, so that if a newspaper is neither leftist or rightist, it may be unbiased.
In Italy we have also a "centre" party, so a newspaper who isn't rightist or leftist ends up being centrist, thus not unbiased.
But what does being unbiased mean?
- giving the hard facts without analysis?
- giving analyses from multiple perspectives?
- giving analyses from your perspective as long as you are not controlled or structurally leaning for a side?
For example, all of this sad Berlusconi stuff (that I hope you guys are not aware of because it's really degrading for Italy)... I wouldn't consider a newspaper that doesn't take a position on him "unbiased". I do want them to take a position, as long as they can criticize with the same consistency the other political side as well.
PS Me, I'd say I'm on the centre-left. Centrist for ethical issues, lefty for socio/economic ones.
I've followed Silvio for a while now, but all these sexual allegations are just getting tiresome. Everything I've read makes it clear that he's a crooked empire of a politician with very little integrity. One big reason I like reading the Economist's take on him is because they aren't afraid to literally drive his bullsh*t into the ground.
I just came across this picture in my Macleans mag that was hilarious to me. they look like a bunch of thugs, which is funny, because that's pretty much what they are. (though I guess Medvedev can still prove himself as distinguishable in the coming years)
You're right about the term 'unbiased', it's pretty loaded. Taking shots at some and praising others doesn't necessarily constitute bias if the claims are valid and the conclusions are derived from true premises. Does the Economist hold an anti Berlusconi bias? Most certainly. Is it valid? You'd be in a better position to say than me, but from what I understand of the guy, he's one of the easiest politicians to critique in the world and there's a reason for that.
I'm not really sure 'unbiased' is even an appropriate term to use when discussing the quality of media/news publications. I think words like honest, trustworthy, self-conscious, and (i love LA, cuz) over and above all (it's just another day), objective -- in the journalistic sense of the word of course -- are much more useful. Once you find an author you know you can trust (ex for me is Christ Hitchens, who I rarely if ever disagree with, even when he goes to extremes), then you can sort of gauge other authors and publications by that standard, and slowly your list of intellectually honest names accumulates.
Basically I think that even if your third definition isn't actually the most 'unbiased', it represents the sort of quality I seek out most in journalism. And really, it's not -that- difficult to pick out the disingenuous troublemakers from the authors on both sides who define themselves by their own personal integrity. Certain writers just "ring true" when you read them. They do for me at least. You know that even though there's a chance they're wrong, they go to great lengths and do everything they can to ensure that they wind up being right. That's the most important thing.