PROGRESSIVE GRAFFITI at JoAnnChateau.com

120+ Bold Independent Progressive News Outlets

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Network news is glossy and easy to digest. But when you’re ready to advance to the Big Picture, you add independent progressive news to your daily news consumption. Exposure to diverse viewpoints is the foundation of an informed opinion. To be very clear, it’s “independent” vs. “corporate.”

LAST UPDATED: April 11, 2021

Let’s be very clear. Corporate media is not “objective;” they are not the “referees” trying to provide “all sides of the story.” Corporate media are profit-making entities owned and controlled by the ruling class and some of the wealthiest people in the country. And, like all private corporations, they have an agenda.”

~ Bernie Sanders, Where We Go from Here: Two Years in the Resistance
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The Value of Independent News

Why are independent news outlets valuable? They’re funded by audience members and nonprofit organizations. Thus, they are protected from commercial control, which allows independent outlets greater journalistic freedom and the ability to offer viewpoints that contrast with the status quo narrative that’s found in corporate media.

Voilà! You get news from the ground up, instead of the top down. You hear news and commentary from community and global activists, university professors, scientists, book authors, and grassroots policy makers — experts whose life’s work have been devoted to an area of political or social importance. They’re the thinkers and doers who offer well-considered insights and solutions to our problems. You can’t be fully informed, until you give them a listen.

Independent news organizations may represent any political bias. This article features independent progressive news organizations. There are many, many excellent independent progressive news and commentary outlets. You’ll find the best listed below, according to main venue.

Mainstream network news is no longer regulated, and is more commercialized than ever. Perhaps it’s a little-known fact, but the FCC Fairness Doctrine was overruled in 1987!

[The] Fairness Doctrine… (1949–87)… required licensed radio and television broadcasters to present fair and balanced coverage of controversial issues of interest to their communities, including by devoting equal airtime to opposing points of view… Also, candidates for public office were entitled to equal airtime.

~ Matt Stefon, Britannica.com

The evening network news gradually changed over the last 30 years or so — while you were watching. It has a decided corporate perspective, or bias, which aligns itself with the interests of Wall Street, the military industrial complex, pharmaceuticals, fossil fuels, and other wealthy special interests. This corporatized media is thrilled to rake in excessive profits, and is blind to its own complicity. Therefore, it fails to report objectively on the damage that unregulated capitalism wrecks upon human beings and the planet. The corporate news media fails the purpose of a free press.

Our press was protected by the First Amendment — the only business in America specifically protected by the Constitution — not primarily to amuse and entertain, not to emphasize the trivial and the sentimental, not to simply “give the public what it wants”–but to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to state our dangers and our opportunities, to indicate our crises and our choices, to lead, mold, educate and sometimes even anger public opinion.

~ John F. Kennedy, Presidential Library & Museum

Independent progressive news counteracts the corporate bias. When added to your regular news consumption, independent progressive news enables YOU to be objective about what’s really going on in the world.

People used to enjoy reading actual newspapers. Today, a newspaper will also publish its digital version online. More joy.

The Value of the Independent Progressive Perspective

The true value of the independent progressive perspective is that it’s NOT an establishment, corporate, liberal, conservative, or alt-right perspective. A progressive viewpoint comes from outside the elite status quo circle, and it represents a huge chunk of the general population. It’s a “people’s perspective.” Independent progressive news and commentary is both produced by, and created for, regular people. That is, NO wealthy special interest groups are involved.

First, independent progressive news outlets challenge an elitist viewpoint, which characterizes corporate mainstream news. Independent progressive news and commentary report from the bottom, or grassroots, where movements of change are conceived and nurtured. The progressive perspective challenges powerful leaders at the top, or The Establishment, whenever power is misguided or misused to the disadvantage of regular Americans.

Second, an independent progressive perspective goes beyond the liberal view. Progressives support economic justice, in addition to human rights and dignity-for-all. While liberals do support human rights, they are fiscally conservative. Since economic opportunity is the catalyst that gives real teeth to protected rights, it’s a major dividing issue between progressives and liberals. The other financial divide is Big Money in politics. Progressives see it as nothing less than legalized corruption. Liberals are often comfortable with Big Money and oblivious to any deleterious impact it has on democracy. Liberal news programs (much like many conservative news outlets) are aligned with the wealthy status quo, that is, The Establishment.

Finally, independent progressive news outlets consider peer-reviewed science to be a highly reliable and objective source of information. Referring to the much-flaunted “climate debate,” for example, we may argue that good science (or the lack of it) is a distinguishing characteristic between the progressive viewpoint and the conservative viewpoint.

In summary, independent progressive news programs fill the information gap — because they’re non-elite, anti-corruption, pro economic justice, and respectful of science. Unless you belong securely among the top 10%, independent progressive news is for YOU.

There’s no new corruption under the sun. “Vote Progressive and Kill the Trusts” – Daily Chronicle, London County Council Elections, 1907. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons.)

Evaluating a News Source

When looking at news stories, regardless of perspective or bias, ask yourself the following questions:

It may take a lengthy period of time to study and compare the overall quality of news outlets. A perspective, or bias, is not a bad thing. Every news outlet is biased, and quality news outlets don’t pretend to be unbiased. They are, after all, targeting an audience with that same bias. The important journalistic factor to look for is objectivity.

Objective, factual reporting cannot be one-sided. No commentary, interpretation, or argument — regardless of bias — holds up, unless it accounts for all the pertinent facts that are available. You may want to consult Media Bias/Fact Check. It’s a useful resource that gauges a news outlet’s reputation for factual reporting (as well as political bias).

Be alert for information gaps. Sometimes, the entire mainstream media (MSM) ignores HUGE stories. For instance, MSM underreported global warming for decades. And in 2015 and 2016, MSM neglected to report on the Bernie Sanders phenomena, with his game-changing fundraising strategy (no corporate money) and huge rallies. So, always ask yourself, “What aren’t they telling me?”

According to Project Censored, “news that didn’t make the news” is censored news. Every year they select the top 25 important news stories that were underreported. Check it out: The Top 25 Censored Stories of 2019-2020.

Former MSNBC anchor Ed Schultz was ordered to NOT cover Bernie Sanders’ official announcement of his 2016 run for President.
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120 Top Independent Progressive News & Commentary Platforms

You’ve thought about bias and objectivity, as it pertains to media news outlets. You’re eager to get at more independent progressive news reporting. Thank goodness, the Independent Progressive News and Commentary list is just below!

The progressive news outlets are organized according to their main venue. That is, whether they’re accessible through print, radio, website, etc. In the digital age, most outlets are available through multiple venues. Everyone, regardless of location or media device, should be able to access some form of quality independent progressive news and commentary.

The number of independent progressive news and commentary outlets listed may be more than, or less than, 120. There are many, and the number is growing. I have indicated what I think are the top 12 essential sources for independent progressive news and commentary.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Independent progressive news depends on viewer/reader financial support. If you have the means, please consider donating to your favorite progressive media platform.

App (Mobile Application)

Multi-Platform

Newsletter

Podcast

Print Publications

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Radio Stations (A Sampling)

Talk Radio Shows

Talk Radio has a great capacity to persuade listeners. People listen to it while they’re doing other things, like driving or working with their hands. Such activities often put people into a light trance, which allows the critical thinking left-brain time to rest.

Uh-oh.

It’s too bad most talk radio shows are conservative or far-right. In the video below, Ralph Nader and Thom Hartmann explore why there is so little progressive radio.

Why So Little Progressive Radio? | The Ralph Nader Radio Hour

Television

When a progressive journalist makes it to regular TV (antenna, cable, or satellite)… Wow! Check your local stations.

Website

YouTube

Tips for Independent Broadcasters

Almost anyone can start a podcast or create a YouTube channel. If you know progressive politics, and have the gift of gab, go for it! It’ll be a Great Day when independent progressive news outlets overcome, and outshine, the mainstream news media.

But remember, no matter how worthwhile your content may be, it still needs to be conveyed with a degree of skill. Here are some presentation tips, from the perspective of the audience:

Generally, we use tics [verbal habits] when we’re trying to give ourselves time to think. But if you speak slowly in the first place you’re less likely to need that extra time. Also, slower speech will give the monitoring part of your brain time to “watch yourself” and avoid the tics. And, guess what? You’ll be doing your audience a huge favour if you speak more slowly because you’ll be easier to understand. Slower speech will also make you look calmer and more in control.

~ Daphne Gray-Grant

These speaking tips are about being polite — that is, not rudely irritating or boring people, not rudely wasting their time. Occasional lapses are OK; it’s only human. But be aware of annoying speaking habits that routinely spoil your speech (and make you boring).

Be as casual and relaxed as you like, while you talk. But you must hold people’s attention, or you cannot deliver the message.

Original Sources & Expert Opinions

Objective political research requires that we consult original sources, whenever possible. Original sources provide facts. While facts may be interpreted in a variety of ways, the facts never change. Agreed upon facts allow honest, intelligent debate. Here are some original sources that are readily available to anyone following politics:

It may be tough to find original sources or data, and to interpret it. On to the experts…

As you study a topic, pay special attention to secondary sources who are experts in the field. Experts are highly experienced at evaluating the veracity of a source, sifting through tons of information, debating their equally adept colleagues who hold different views, spotting weak arguments or suspect statements, and making intelligent sense of it all.

Experts devote entire careers to a specialized field. They are scholars, university professors, policy developers, frontline community leaders, and investigative reporters. They research, investigate, teach, organize, lecture, and write books. Their work is highly scrutinized by peers within their own field. They develop reputations. If an expert is worthy, his or her work is generally respected by peers — even if they hold opposing views. Such experts possess authority. Their opinions carry weight.

Pyramid of Knowledge

David Pakman explains the pyramid of knowledge — and why it’s important to expand your pool of information resources. Obviously, one must avoid an information bubble, or info echo chamber. But also, go deeper.

David Pakman talks about the pyramid of knowledge, and why our information “diet” should include many sources.

Follow Progressive Political Candidates

Establishment news networks often ignore progressive political candidates. You can learn about them by following independent progressive news outlets. You may also bookmark Progressive Graffiti’s list of “REAL Progressive Candidates of 2021 & 2022.”

The revolution will not be televised.

Gil Scott-Heron, 1971

Thanks for reading independent progressive news platforms. Please share “Progressive Graffiti” articles, that you particularly appreciate, with your friends and social networks. Sharing quality information, from the Left point of view, helps to advance the Progressive Justice Movement.


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