The purpose of Doubtful News is to expose questionable claims in stories you find on the internet. Mostly we deal with major news outlets because those are the stories that people will search on to find additional information. We get those searchers who then can see some science-based, rational takes on paranormal, anomalies and alternative subjects in the news.
The internet is awash in bad information. I’d say there is at least as much poor information as there is solid info, probably more because the solid information gets published in more permanent places. Anyhow, over the 2+ years we’ve been doing this site, we’ve figured out how to judge a bad source from a good one (in most cases). So, we’ve compiled this list, with readers’ help, to remind you of sources that are BEYOND DOUBTFUL – just do not trust them and we don’t want any stories from them. And we’ve also listed further below miscellaneous sources for which you should definitely get a second reference.
The Beyond Doubtful List
Never send us stories from these sources:
- Natural News (Mike Adams, “Health Ranger”)
- Pat Robertson (700 Club)
- Before It’s News
- Info Wars / Prison Planet (Alex Jones)
- Mercola.com (Joe Mercola)
- The Canadian (agoracosmopolitan.com/new)
- All News Web
- World News Daily Report
- World Net Daily (WND.com)
- Empire News (empirenews.net)
There are thousands more sources that say they have “news” but it’s not news or trustworthy due to spin and bias. Sites that are backed by religious organizations, anti-abortion advocates, Creationists, climate change denialists or others with anti-science or pro-conspiracy agendas are obviously not reliable sources.
I can count the number of UFO and Bigfoot blogs that are worth reading on one hand. I can’t list all the unreliable ones. So play the odds, don’t trust any of them. Look for the story in major news outlets unless it has good evidence to back it up. We’ll be sure to let you know if any SOLID paranormal stories show up.
Don’t trust, but verify
Some sources have lots of pictures and high hit counts but their journalism is shaky and I’d rather not link to them. Tabloids, blogs and other aggregate sites may have a real story but I will dig back to an original source and link to that. That includes the ever-popular Huffington Post which is mostly blogs, not good journalism. Be careful passing on stories from them. If you see a piece on any of the following sources, always check for an alternate source by Googling keywords or looking for the original source within the story. If there ISN’T another source, it’s likely too ridiculous to consider and not even deserving of comment (though there are exceptions).
Check for another source if the story is from:
- Daily Mail (U.K.)
- The Sun (U.K.)
- European Union Times
- Siberian Times
- Gawker network of sites
- Mother Nature News
- Epoch Times
- The Blaze
- Drudge Report
- Mirror (U.K.)
- IFLS (I Fucking Love Science)
Most of us know The Onion is fake but there are a TON of satire and joke news sites that people think are real. Here is a handy-dandy list that includes other popular sites for joke news: The Daily Currant, The Lapine, National Report and more. Check it out if you are unsure about a potential satire site (I realize it’s sometimes hard to tell). You can also search the “about” page to see if it is a truthful or satire site. The disclaimer of some sort is usually listed. Please don’t send us satire pieces. We have enough REAL ridiculous news to cover. But, it is news when people fall for satire pieces as real. We’re all gullible, a little bit.
There is no way we could create a comprehensive list to help you navigate the worldwide web of misinformation but this is a start regarding the search for more solid sources. Of course, we are going to question even those solid sources if they are lacking in credibility. As you can tell by our non-lack of content, they often are.
Also check out SkepTools for more on debunking the bunk stories BEFORE you pass on the “bad” news.