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DigitalJournal.com Tip #23: Alternative media sites/blogs

blog:6040:11::0
By David Silverberg
Posted Mar 29, 2010 in Internet
If you look for news online, you might be frequenting the mainstream sites, such as CNN or New York Times or CBC or BBC News. That's all well and good, but how often do you check out alternative media? What trustworthy blogs should you be reading?
Below is a handy list of various news sites and blogs useful for any curious Digital Journalist or blogger. They are our favourites, but feel free to add your own in the comments section below.
Note that some of the below sites may be coloured by a belief system or political perspective. Taking a tour of each site will better acquaint you with any bias.
Alternet - Described as a "news magazine and online community that creates original journalism and amplifies the best of hundreds of other independent media sources" Alternet finds the most intriguing alternative media and highlights it on their front page. While they focus on politics, Alternet editors also delve into media issues, health news, food and world news. They even have a section called Civil Liberties.
Politico - These guys get the stories first in Washington, thanks to their high-level contacts. It has some co-reporting partnerships with the likes of CBS and Yahoo! News
Consumerist - If you want to find news relating to retail, consumerism, marketing, etc, this is the place to go. Consumerist often posts stories submitted by users relating to upsetting consumer experiences, and they also feature some tips and alerts. This blog isn't entirely independent - it is owned by Consumer Reports magazine.
Engadget - Early adopters love this tech blog because they see up-to-the-minute reviews of new gadgets. This is a blog for those who want the latest on smartphones and PCs, ebook reader launches, malware alerts and more. Engadget tries to source news outside the US, too.
Mashable - Want to stay updated on the latest social media and Web news? Head to Mashable, a mainstay for every surfing geek. They collect breaking news stories relating to sites such as Facebook while also posting the latest in popular links.
Buzzfeed - Speaking of viral videos, Buzzfeed is your one-stop hub for all things surging on the Web. It might be inane fluffy stuff or it might be timely undiscovered clips you won't see on the MSM. Buzzfeeds updates very often so it's worth checking several times daily.
Treehugger - Well-respected among the enviro writers, Treehugger compiles the latest and greatest news relating to environmental issues. Sometimes the news isn't very timely, but it might still be fascinating. Their op-eds are also worth a read too.
Romensko on Poynter
- American journalists have long flocked to this sub-site on the Poynter Institute page (Poynter is an education institution for journalists and publishers). Jim Romenesko finds the latest media news, whether relating to layoffs, scandals, or citizen media.
ScienceDaily - How can you go wrong with a site compiling all the latest research studies and releases from scientists across the world? ScienceDaily updates constantly with news relating to almost every scientific field, and reports often hit here before they reach beat reporters.
Slashfood - Slashfood is more than just recipes and food porn; it offers readers the latest news in the food industry and its "best links of the week" feature is especially handy for journos hungry to write about food or alcohol news. Warning: scanning this site will make your stomach grumble.
Metafilter - Don't dismiss this site because it sports a 1999 Web design. Rather, check out the many links seeded by Metafilter users, all of whom want to point you to something breaking, weird, fascinating or inspiring. Like many aggregators, this site may link to MSM sites or indie spots.
Fark - Run by Drew Curtis, Fark highlights the quirky stories you won't see anywhere, all headlined with acerbic wit. How could you not click on the link with the Fark description: "When you have a consumable product, it's a good business move to give out free samples. Unless your product is heroin."
Nerve's Scanner
- For entertainment news you might not see in People (or they'll get it two days later), check out Nerve's Scanner blog. Nerve is known as an online mag dedicated to "love, sex and cultuer" and the blog veers into similar territory, each item relating to a celebrity in some way. It's also a great place to see what's going viral.
Fanhouse - AOL's Fanhouse blog is what Sports Illustrated could've been - a slick online hotspot featuring the latest news on every sport, including insightful commentary (that's NOT behind a paywall). And don't you worry, overseas readers, Fanhouse also includes news on soccer, cricket and boxing.
Want to suggest your favourite alternative site? Let us know below!

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