The Top Ten Independent News Sources In The UK for 2024
By TruePublica Editor: One of the most-read articles TruePublica has published was about independent news sources in the UK, written in 2018 and then updated in 2020. Since then, a lot has changed in the top ten independent news sources in the UK.
This article is about identifying these independent news sources in the UK to help navigate a rapidly changing news environment and to help shape your worldview from politics and the climate crisis to economics and full-on investigations into abuse of power, corruption and so on.
There is no doubt that over the last decade, there has been a government-led climate of hostility towards oppositional voices, which has included the increase of draconian libel laws and discernible censorship. This has led to a once vigorous environment of independent news in the UK, which has withered away unlike many other democratic countries. As for the corporate media, Britain is now known to be one of the worst countries in Western Europe for overall press freedom, evidenced by its place in the global press freedom ranks, where the UK stands at 26th behind countries like Namibia (22nd), Samoa (19th) and Timor-Lest (10th). The fact that we live in a ‘post-truth world,’ driven largely by social media – trust in traditional sources of news has collapsed. And with deep fakes, artificial intelligence and other systems of misinformation gathering pace – it’s not difficult to understand why many people are both confused and concerned about genuine news reporting.
To identify these top ten independent news sources in the UK – I’ve used certain criteria to reach these results. However, these recommendations are not about the daily news cycle, which is now 24/7, these recommendations are about acquiring information about what is really going on in the real world, both domestically and internationally.
First, I’ve stayed away from the obvious tin-foil hat brigade and those on the hard left or hard right of the political sphere. Whilst some of the ‘alternative media’ have decent output, I am not recommending news sources that have published flat-earth anti-vax click-bait stories. Next, the organisation needs to be British-based, independent of corporate or political funding and must provide a quality output of news reasonably regularly.
Today, without spending a lot of money, it is almost impossible to get website visitor numbers with any degree of accuracy, so this criterion has not been used in this article.
And just to reiterate, this list is put together to offer a variety of information sources, to gain a better, more rounded view. For general news in the UK, it is important to read both right and left-leaning versions (not on the extremes) of the same story just to make sure that you have a balanced viewpoint. Of course, do not forget your own local newspapers, magazines and websites.
I have included Full-Fact appearing even though it is partially financially supported by Google (its biggest single donor) and the likes of Facebook, and WhatsApp to name a few. However, small private donations are FullFact’s biggest source of income, followed by quite a few Foundations and charities. I’ve also added the LSE for reasons you’ll see below. The LSE gives a different angle to politics and political policy, which is definitely worth a look.
In my opinion, the top ten independent news websites by the above criteria in Britain are:
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Top Ten News Organisations
Byline Times – Byline Times is a monthly newspaper founded by journalists Peter Jukes and Stephen Colegrave. The paper also maintains a news site with the same name, which is free. Both the newspaper and the news site, which are run by a group of journalists, prioritise investigative journalism.
OpenDemocracy – openDemocracy is an independent international media platform. It produces high-quality journalism which challenges power to inspire change and builds leadership among groups underrepresented in the media. Headquartered in London, OpenDemocracy has team members across four continents.
Bureau of Investigative Journalism – The Bureau of Investigative Journalism is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that holds power to account. Founded in 2010 by David and Elaine Potter, it tackles some big subjects through deep reporting that uncovers the truth.
The London Economic – The London Economic is a digital newspaper with a metropolitan mindset, supporting liberal, progressive, pro-European and pro-business viewpoints. It advocates what it describes as a “kinder, more compassionate politics, and aims to counter the spread of far-right rhetoric dominating the mainstream media.”
FullFact – FullFact are a team of independent fact-checkers and campaigners who find, expose and counter the harm that fake news and information do to society. They particularly hunt out bad information that promotes hate, damages people’s health, and hurts democracy.
Tortoise Media – Tortoise Media, which was founded by The Times editor and former BBC News director James Harding, is a very good independent news source in the UK.
Media Lens – Media Lens has a different angle. They show how news and commentary are ‘filtered’ by the media’s profit orientation, by its dependence on advertisers, parent companies, wealthy owners and official news sources. They check the media’s version of events against credible facts and opinions provided by journalists, academics and specialist researchers.
London School of Economics – Politics and Policy. Its central aim is to increase the public understanding of British politics and policy by providing accessible academic commentary and research. “We have no editorial “line” beyond a commitment to communicating social science research and commentary in ways that enhance public debate and understanding.”
The New European – The New European was launched days after the June 2016 EU referendum result in an attempt to rebalance the right-wing extremes of much of the UK national press, which offers pro-European in-depth analysis of Brexit, its implications and progress, as well as celebrating European life.
New Internationalist – The New Internationalist are a totally independent cooperative and proud to be co-owned by their own team and thousands of individual donors. It specialises in sharp analysis and global coverage of today’s most urgent issues. From conflict and migration to climate change and democracy.
TruePublica – Of course, don’t forget TruePublica. It remains part of the list of independent news sources in the UK and publishes news, analysis, commentary and research on events of public interest (hence the Latin – ‘Publica’) with the purpose of raising awareness of misinformation, disinformation, fake news and propaganda.