It’s a big, big world and it’s changing every day. From the strange and wonderful to the looming and perilous, millions of people in thousands of places are potentially making the headlines every moment. It’s all too much for one person to take in, even at the most superficial level. But the news helps us feel connected to the goings on in the world and stay informed on the events, people and issues that matter to us. What happens in the local community, region, state, nation and across the entire world affects us whether we are aware of it or not. From the weather report to political commentary, the news gives us the facts and updates we need in order to take action on what we are passionate about or to simply make sense of the world around us.
But perhaps more important than what the news says is where the news comes from. For centuries, news was delivered via one of two mediums: word of mouth and print newspapers. Just like members of the community gained reputations and credibility as either trustworthy sources of reliable information or busybodies addicted to cranking the rumor mill, newspapers have been unofficially associated with particular interests and subtle biases. While a responsible journalist will do everything in his or her power to uphold veracity and accuracy, personal opinions and ingrained ideologies inevitably permeate each editorial decision—from the wording of a headline to the framing of a photograph, the way the news is presented to us can subliminally, yet substantially, change the way we perceive the stories that make up the news. Because of this, understanding both the stated and unacknowledged (sometimes even unconscious) agenda of a publisher has become an important aspect of critical and thoughtful consumption of the news.
This issue has become exponentially more significant since the advent of the Internet. Where a citizen might have access to only a handful of news sources a hundred years ago, there are literally hundreds of thousands of news outlets available today via the Internet. While this has been a revolutionary step away from top-down, monopolistic control of information, the positive effects of the democratization of the media has been equivocal at best. On the one hand, the circulation of news has taken a step backwards, with blogs, forums and social media channels functioning much in the same way that unattributable gossip permeates a tight-knit community, except on a massive, worldwide scale. But on the other hand, readers of the news have access to more perspectives, alternative views and second opinions than ever before. If a reader is ever suspicious of a journalists fact checking or objectivity, he or she can always cross-reference the story through another outlet.
Another boon provided by Internet news is immediacy and specificity. News has always happened in real time—but now, we can follow it in real time as well. From intrepid amateur journalists liveblogging a technology conference to a real-time stock ticker announcing the gyrations of the market as they happen, we have instant access to more niche news than ever before. And that’s precisely what you’ll find in our News Directory. Our links and resources bring you news from a variety of outlets on a wide range of topics. Whether you’re dying to know who’s winning today’s football match or if you are concerned about the latest political turmoil in a faraway nation, our News Directory will fill you in.