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Thread: I'm in a news desert

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    I'm in a news desert

    There are "food deserts" that are an urban area in which it is difficult to buy affordable or good-quality groceries. There are also hospital deserts that are by some definitions a community more than 30 miles from a medical facility that offers emergency care. As far as cable new goes I feel like I'm a news desert.

    FOX news has dropped quite a bit of the reporting on Trump and are now in a mode of bashing democrats, and very disturbing to me, have a constant theme of how the government is screwing the little man. Almost to the point where they are deliberately inciting the emotions that divide us. They constantly say thigs like democrats stand for allowing drug dealers and rapists from Mexico to freely come across the border. I'm being generous saying that is hyperbole but it is just one example of a constant flow divisive rhetoric.

    CNN news sprinkles a non-political news story in here and there more than FOX but they focus on attacking republicans in more subtle ways. Instead of just constantly saying things like FOX does, for example democrats want to defund the police, they report on things republican politicians are doing. But it is always in a negative light and NEVER anything positive. For example today's focus is about a Georgia representative that has done some "outrageous" things. Their theme is something along the line of "what is wrong with republicans - they have no morals". That is also a pit us against them theme.

    My point is they both claim to be "news" stations but both are just political bullhorns for their respective sides. Over the last few days I have just not watched either in disgust. I feel like when it comes to current and long time news reporting I'm in a cable news desert. I get most of my news via digital news papers and online articles. On a daily basis I read digital new papers from major US cities and also have links to European news organizations. If you Google something like "French news papers in English" or "German news papers in English" you can see what I'm looking at.

    When it comes to what I have on cable the best I can do are the big three; NBC, ABC, and CBS. In my opinion they lean liberal but at least they are not non-stop anti democrat or anti republican. Sinclair Broadcast Group has bought a lot of them and they lean republican and send them segments they have to do. But their news is only on a few times a day and Sinclair Broadcast Group is tainting that. I would love a 24/7 cable news station that really is a news station.
    Last edited by TysonLPrice; Jan 28th, 2021 at 04:35 PM.
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    Re: I'm in a news desert

    Somebody still has cable TV in this day and age?

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    Re: I'm in a news desert

    Quote Originally Posted by dilettante View Post
    Somebody still has cable TV in this day and age?
    OK...I admit I'm a dinasour, pun intended, bring me up to speed. If I wanted what I said in my post "a 24/7 cable news station that really is a news station" on my living room TV how would I go about it and what are some available broadcasts I could check out?
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    Re: I'm in a news desert

    I'm in a conventional desert.

    I'm anti-TV, so I guess my view might not apply all that much. I occasionally see a news broadcast while staying in a hotel, and am always surprised at what I see. If something "Too Big To Ignore" is happening, then sure, that will be covered. Otherwise, it seems to be entertainment infomercials masquerading as news.

    TV is a visual medium. If you can't show it in pictures, you can't show it on TV. That's why big weather events seem to require reporters to stand in crazy conditions, because if you can't SEE that the conditions are crazy, then how could you possibly know?

    Most news isn't sufficiently visual to make good TV, so it just doesn't get covered. If you can't get a visual, don't cover it.

    The other issue seems to be that there is more 'filler' to a visual story, which means fewer stories per hour. Not sure if that's true, though. Anyways, some celebrity is releasing a new movie, and that's big news, so let's cover that.
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    Re: I'm in a news desert

    Short list at:

    The 8 Best Free Streaming News Channels to Watch Online

    "Best" is pretty subjective, so cast your net wider.

    To equip an old TV buy an entry-level Roku, Fire TV, etc. device. Most current products only have HDMI output though. A few older models had composite analog outputs, but don't reach back too far because the oldest models have limited support. If we still had garage sales they might go for $5 used.

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    Re: I'm in a news desert

    Quote Originally Posted by TysonLPrice View Post
    In my opinion they lean liberal but at least they are not non-stop anti democrat or anti republican.
    That is very much an American perspective. To be frank, they are centrist/corporatist. In America, that means that they land in Democratic territory for the most part, because America is so far right in general. As I've said before, here in Australia, our current and previous two prime ministers have all been leaders of our major right-wing party. Mainstream conservatives here are members of the unironically-named Liberal Party, while the major left-wing party is the Labour Party. Tony Abbott was relatively well right for a PM and I'd say that he's left of Pence. Malcolm Turnbull was relatively well to the centre for a member of the Liberal Party and I'd say that he aligns pretty well with Biden. Scott Morrison - the current PM - is somewhere between the two.

    This is an example of just one of the reasons that the rest of the world points and laughs at America: that so many Republican politicians and supporters are accusing Joe Biden, who is a moderate conservative by global standards, of being a "radical liberal", a socialist or worse. Many of those who instigate it are just flat out lying because they know it's garbage but they also know that the sweaty masses will eat it up.

    The left are not immune to that sort of thing but it really is far more prevalent on the right. Some left-wingers may unfairly compare Republicans to Nazis or Trump to Hitler at times, but have you ever heard anyone in a position of power on the left do anything like the sustained attack that Kelly Loeffler made on Raphael Warnock in referring to him as "radical liberal Raphael Warnock" pretty much every time she mentioned him? She's probably the worst example I've seen but she's far from alone, with people like Ben Shapiro claiming that Nancy Pelosi has "moved radically to the left" and the like. Pelosi was far more left when she was younger and there are videos to prove it, but they're not interested in facts. It's just a sustained misinformation campaign and then those same people have the temerity to talk about unity!? Screw them with a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire.

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    Re: I'm in a news desert

    Are you able to access BBC IPlayer from abroad? BBC News is excellent and very non-partisan due to the way it's funded and managed. It is quite UK centric, though.

    For a more international slant I would go with Al Jazeera (who are, of course, part of the BBC). It wouldn't surprise me if a lot of Americans think they're some fundamentalist Islamic station but that's absolutely not true. That was propaganda during the second Iraq conflict because the US coalition really, REALLY wanted to discredit the only news organisation that refused to embed (which is, of course, double speak for "report only what we tell you").
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    Re: I'm in a news desert

    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyDexter View Post
    Are you able to access BBC IPlayer from abroad? BBC News is excellent and very non-partisan due to the way it's funded and managed. It is quite UK centric, though.

    For a more international slant I would go with Al Jazeera (who are, of course, part of the BBC). It wouldn't surprise me if a lot of Americans think they're some fundamentalist Islamic station but that's absolutely not true. That was propaganda during the second Iraq conflict because the US coalition really, REALLY wanted to discredit the only news organization that refused to embed (which is, of course, double speak for "report only what we tell you").
    I catch a 1/2 hour of the BBC on our public television station every morning and I also have a link the the BBC digital news. I do find them fair. I also have a link to Al Jazeera but that is something you don't want to say out loud for the most part. There is a lot of hate centered around that group in the US.
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    Re: I'm in a news desert

    If you want real local news join Nextdoor. Use this link to give me credit: (LOL)
    https://nextdoor.com/invite/gc5qs92zt3lnj6rip4af

    I watch local NBC from 4pm to 5:30 then I watch the National version that starts at 5:30 .

    Have been known to spend HOURS on MSNBC which is a 100% Democrat site....Me thinks they speak the truth even though it's a whole slanted and biased.
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    Re: I'm in a news desert

    I have Alexa read me the news every morning, followed by the previous day's Marketplace podcast... in a 45 minute span, I pretty much get all that I need from a political, non-political, market, and anything non-sport related that I need. The news brief is AP-driven, so it's largely bi-partisan. Unfortunately half the time I'm also still in the just getting started stage of my day, so I don't always pay attention like I should, so I often miss a lot of it.

    There was a time when I would have had news on 24/7 during the day ... but it isn't what it used to be. It isn't news anymore. It's games and politics. So I just don't.

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    Re: I'm in a news desert

    There was a time when I would have had news on 24/7 during the day ... but it isn't what it used to be. It isn't news anymore. It's games and politics. So I just don't.
    My point exactly. It is a good thing I like to read.
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    Re: I'm in a news desert

    BBC is a joke. It's as corporate directed as our NPR.

    The entire "news" system is biased as heck. Most of it radicalizes one side, the rest focuses on the other side. Both "sides" being largely media creations. It's all about keeping the lower classes divided and impotent while encouraging the upper classes in smelling their own farts.

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    Re: I'm in a news desert

    It's as corporate directed as our NPR.
    ...and which corporation would that be? (other than the British Broadcasting Corporation)
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    Re: I'm in a news desert

    Corporation for Public Broadcasting....but that's not really true. Dil's just wrong about that. NPR isn't a thing, it's a loose coalition of things. Individual stations can create individual shows. Other stations can pick up those shows, or some larger aggregates can pick up those shows and stations can subscribe through them. It's essentially a market-driven meritocracy where market forces are the measure used to determine merit.

    That part of what Dil was saying is right, as long as he hasn't included a sinister cabal pulling the strings. The simple fact is that the market is us, and we are not without our biases. The vast majority of news does not impact us directly. We just changed presidents, but I can't point to a single material change in my life as a result of that. Trump was president for four years, and I can't point to a single material change in my life as a result of that, either. There ARE some people impacted, by SOME of the things a Biden or Trump might do, but for the most part, our lives are always changing and most everything in the news has no direct impact on those changes.

    So, news is mostly entertainment. We have our preferences for entertainment (laughter, outrage, adrenaline rushes, etc.). We are the market, and what gets merit is that which is not boring. Everything else is just statistics.
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    Re: I'm in a news desert

    NPR isn't a thing
    My question was meant to be which corporation Dil thinks has influence over the BBC. I honestly know nothing about the NPR (I didn't even know it was a thing until Dil mentioned it) but the assertion that the BBC is "corporate" (by which I assume he means commercially influenced) seems bizarre since the BBC receives no corporate funding, either directly through ownership or indirectly through advertising.

    So my question is: which corporation does he believe has influence over the BBC?


    So, news is mostly entertainment
    For most outlets I agree but the BBC, having no profit motive, does provide an exception.
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    Re: I'm in a news desert

    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyDexter View Post

    So my question is: which corporation does he believe has influence over the BBC?
    The sinister one, obviously.
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    Re: I'm in a news desert

    For most outlets I agree but the BBC, having no profit motive, does provide an exception.
    Just because it's a non profit doesn't mean there isn't money involved. These people don't work for free, the equipment isn't free. So money is coming in from somewhere, anytime people/corporations are involved then there is bias. I like the BBC, probably because I'm comfortable with their bias.

    I read most of my news, I probably view the AP as the most centered of the sites I visit (Google News, NBC, Fox, CNN). To be honest, I'm probably the happiest when I just don't bother with the news. There is seldom anything actually "new" in the news. Except for natural disasters, but I guess that's not really new either.

    I agree with Ty that there is a non bias news desert but I've never wanted to have news on all day, there just isn't that much news. Besides the older I've got the more I like silence. lol

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    Re: I'm in a news desert

    Quote Originally Posted by dilettante View Post
    BBC is a joke. It's as corporate directed as our NPR.

    The entire "news" system is biased as heck. Most of it radicalizes one side, the rest focuses on the other side. Both "sides" being largely media creations. It's all about keeping the lower classes divided and impotent while encouraging the upper classes in smelling their own farts.
    Some times I have a hard time understanding where you are coming from...
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    Re: I'm in a news desert

    AllSides Media Bias Chart might be one of the fairer "sorting hats" out there. But it is only meaningful in the context provided below the simplistic chart.

    Does a Center Rating Mean Neutral, Unbiased, and Better?

    Center doesn't mean better! A Center media bias rating does not always mean neutral, unbiased or reasonable, just as "far Left" and "far Right" do not always mean "extreme," "wrong," or "unreasonable." A Center bias rating simply means the source or writer rated does not predictably publish opinions favoring either end of the political spectrum — conservative or liberal. A media outlet with a Center rating may omit important perspectives, or run individual articles that display bias, while not displaying a lot of predictable bias frequently. Center outlets can be difficult to determine, and a case can often be made for them leaning one way or the other.

    While it may be easy to think that we should only consume media from Center outlets, AllSides believes Center is not necessarily the answer. By reading only Center outlets, we may still encounter bias and omission of important issues and perspectives. For this reason, it is important to consume a balanced news diet across the spectrum. Learn more about what an AllSides Media Bias Rating™ of Center rating means here.

    Center doesn't mean better. You can think of our bias ratings as points of view, each providing pieces of the puzzle, so that we may have a more holistic view.

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    Re: I'm in a news desert

    That seems reasonable.

    The biggest probable I have with Fox and CNN is it's not 24/7 news. It's 23/7 politics, with just a little news sprinkled in. If you have a major interest in politics then there you go. But it's all driven by what will get them the best ratings so they can make the most money. So this must be what people want. It's a shame both side have gone so far to one side or the other. You can't have a dialog with anyone unless they're on your side.

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    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: I'm in a news desert

    Quote Originally Posted by dilettante View Post
    AllSides Media Bias Chart might be one of the fairer "sorting hats" out there. But it is only meaningful in the context provided below the simplistic chart.
    I don't see The Onion on there.
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    Re: I'm in a news desert

    The BBC has a self-acknowledged in-built left-leaning bias. It's supposed to be 'neutral' giving equal weight/time to both sides but hasn't - especially on it's discussion/panel programs with the pane/audience usually heavily weighted to the left. This may now change with the appointment of a new DG and Chairman.
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    Re: I'm in a news desert


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    Re: I'm in a news desert

    So money is coming in from somewhere, anytime people/corporations are involved then there is bias.
    The BBC is publicly funded but run by an independently appointed board of governors according to a charter. That separation is important because it means that the people making the decisions on running the BBC are not the same people providing the funding, thus the profit motive is removed. Couple that with the charter explicitly stating that the BBC cannot show political bias and you have a model that keeps the BBC truly independent of both commercial and governmental interference.


    The BBC has a self-acknowledged in-built left-leaning bias
    It really doesn't, though a lot of conservatives level that accusation and have done for decades. Indeed, for every voice that says the BBC is left leaning, you'll find another that declares it is right leaning.

    Most of the top news editors presenters at the BBC are actually right leaning including John Humphries, Katya Adler, Robbie Gibb, Andrew Marr, Andrew Neil... In fact Andrew Neil has recently left to set up an openly right leaning outlet. The fact that you probably never realised these people were right leaning is testament to how effective they are at checking their personal biases at the door and approaching the news in an even handed manner.
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    Re: I'm in a news desert

    Quote Originally Posted by wes4dbt View Post
    That seems reasonable.

    The biggest probable I have with Fox and CNN is it's not 24/7 news. It's 23/7 politics, with just a little news sprinkled in. If you have a major interest in politics then there you go. But it's all driven by what will get them the best ratings so they can make the most money. So this must be what people want. It's a shame both side have gone so far to one side or the other. You can't have a dialog with anyone unless they're on your side.
    That sentiment is basically the point of my original post...I have lots of alternative news sources. My cable options suck because my choices are basically FOX and CNN.
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    Re: I'm in a news desert

    You might find this useful:

    How do I find TV listings using Live TV Channel Guide?

    This is for a Roku TV or a TV with a Roku "sidecar" external set-top box or HDMI dongle.

    For a Roku TV this is where you'd watch your local over-the-air channels, but it now also adds the streaming "live channels" from the Roku Channel app that is built into all devices. For the stand-alone Roku devices you attach to a separate TV there is no antenna input so no OTA channels appear there.

    This Channel Guide is a lot like the ones cable TV users are used to. While watching something you can bring the Guide up over the live program and scroll up/down through channels and left/right to see what is coming on later. A sort of "line per channel" view.

    AFAIK everything here is free.

    Many of the news streaming services also have dedicated "channel apps" of their own you can install as well. Some are mainly clips from recent news programs while some offer live feeds. Local TV stations typically offer simpler ones than the regional and national networks do. Many are free, while some limit access based on a subscription fee model.

    That's just Roku. Competitors tend to have similar offerings today.

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    Superbly Moderated NeedSomeAnswers's Avatar
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    Re: I'm in a news desert

    The BBC has a self-acknowledged in-built left-leaning bias

    It really doesn't, though a lot of conservatives level that accusation and have done for decades. Indeed, for every voice that says the BBC is left leaning, you'll find another that declares it is right leaning.

    Most of the top news editors presenters at the BBC are actually right leaning including John Humphries, Katya Adler, Robbie Gibb, Andrew Marr, Andrew Neil... In fact Andrew Neil has recently left to set up an openly right leaning outlet. The fact that you probably never realised these people were right leaning is testament to how effective they are at checking their personal biases at the door and approaching the news in an even handed manner.
    Yeah, I agree with FD here it doesn't really have a left-leaning bias if anything the BBC has a soft bias towards the current Government and by that, I don't mean the conservatives but whoever the Government of the day is.

    BBC does have its faults, in its search for presenting both points of view to a story sometimes it gives equal weight to guests positions that are not backed up by any facts which can be frustrating, on the whole, if you're looking for news in which the news anchor is not going to push a specific political position then its pretty good at that side of things.

    There is still narrative and societal bias in the BBC coverage but that kind of mirrors how society is today in our country.

    Sometimes some guests can mistake critical questioning though for bias which is anyone has seen the Ben Shapiro interview with Andrew Neil is a particularly funny example.
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    Re: I'm in a news desert

    What the heck is "left-leaning" anyway? You must be talking about identity politics.

    There is a clear bias toward neoliberal globalism.

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    Re: I'm in a news desert

    if anything the BBC has a soft bias towards the current Government
    Oddly, I'd have said they have a soft bias away from the current govt. They were certainly critical of Blair after the first few years. I'd say they were pretty neutral with Cameron but they were thoroughly anti-May and I'd say they've been pretty anti-Boris. Mostly, I think they're just not afraid to criticise anyone and everyone. Mind you, I think that we differ just goes to show how soft any bias they have actually is.

    in its search for presenting both points of view to a story sometimes it gives equal weight to guests positions that are not backed up by any facts which can be frustrating
    Yeah, that's certainly true. They'd roll out someone to argue the counter point even if the counter point was "white is black and 2 plus 2 equals 12". That can get really annoying.

    There is a clear bias toward neoliberal globalism.
    You're going to have to cite specific examples because I honestly don't know what you mean by this beyond a slogan.
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    Re: I'm in a news desert

    Oddly, I'd have said they have a soft bias away from the current govt. They were certainly critical of Blair after the first few years. I'd say they were pretty neutral with Cameron but they were thoroughly anti-May and I'd say they've been pretty anti-Boris. Mostly, I think they're just not afraid to criticise anyone and everyone. Mind you, I think that we differ just goes to show how soft any bias they have actually is.
    Oh I agree that they can be critical of whoever is the current government but they tend to be more critical of the current opposition (apart from that brief time when people still liked Nick Clegg)
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    Re: I'm in a news desert

    that brief time when people still liked Nick Clegg
    <sigh/>happy times
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