News has been an important tool since ancient times. It has changed the face of history as we know it. Today, news media holds so much influence that it can ruin anybody’s reputation in mere seconds. We have seen that in recent times portals like Wiki Leaks, Panama Leaks, and Pandora Papers have shaken world governments to their core. News media holds power to shift people’s narrative, create riots and even topple governments. One such example we see in the form of the “Black Lives Matter” movement in which it was the media that covered all the proceedings starting from the incident, which was the murder of George Floyd that happened back in July 2020. From there, all big media houses like Fox, BBC, CNN, and ABC covered the event. Through news, this incident became a global phenomenon and it followed the movement that is now considered equivalent to the Civil Rights Movements of the 60s. The consequent riots that resulted due to this incident till the trial and verdict of the accused all were broadcast through news media.
It can be concluded that news has given the power to the voices of the weak. The narrative whether positive or negative that is conceived is usually spread through news and as we saw in the Black Lives Matter movement, the fuel to this fire was also added through news and the gradual dissolution was also possible through news reporting of the trial and verdict of the accused. Similarly, if we see in today’s world, free and neutral news media is very tough to find. Since it’s such a powerful tool, it’s often used for malicious purposes or to boost personal agendas. We all saw the previous US president Donald Trump claiming fake news for some channels and singing praises for other portals. The main reason is that ever since the “Russian Involvement” factor in previous US elections came into the limelight of the media, some news channels started aggressive reporting on it, which didn’t suit the interests of Donald Trump that is why till date, he blames the media for losing the current elections against Joe Biden.
A Brief History of News
The oldest evidence of news can be linked back to the 8th century BCE in China where government officials gathered reports that were compiled as Spring and Autumn Annals. The modern form of newspaper can be attributed back to Venice during the 1500s in which handwritten newsletters were used to convey important political, economical, and military news to the general public in other Italian cities. The first official newspaper emerged in Germany back in the 1600s and was tightly controlled by the government. Censorship has always been prevalent in the news media. By 1530, England had created a licensing system for news and banned “seditious opinions” so people of that time used to prefer newspapers that were not from their country, especially Dutch papers that were partially free from censorship.
The telegraph was the technology that pushed news and media into new horizons, which were also followed by the invention of telephone lines. This created significant turnovers in history by reducing the transmission time of crucial pieces of news and information. Just for comparison, the news of Lincoln’s assassination reached England 12 days after the actual event. In contrast, a young British telegraph operator residing in Delhi signaled home regarding the Indian Rebellion of 1857, which reached England within hours, thus reinforcements were sent and the rebellion was unsuccessful. British Broadcasting Company became the first one to transmit radio news in 1922 London. BBC gained significant importance during the strike of 1926 when newspapers were closed and radio was the only source of news for the general public. The first radio broadcaster in the US was NBC in 1926, followed by CBS. These two networks were the biggest in terms of radio news throughout the USA.
With the advent of television in the UK and US in the 1950s, it quickly took over the radio as the primary source of information and all major radio broadcasters shifted towards television with the likes of both CBS and NBC. CNN (Cable News Network) was established in 1980 with a new concept of 24-hour news broadcasting that defined the future of news media. Now, almost all cable providers in the US offer top-tier news channels. A major example is Cox Cable that offers all major news broadcasting channels in all of its cable packages.
Internet, the technology which was developed by ARPANET became accessible to the general public with the release of the Netscape browser. With this, news websites began to pop up and mostly consisted of images of their respective print publications. The 1994 earthquake in California was the first big story that was reported in real-time online. Now, the internet has become the most sought-after source of information, and many news agencies observing this fact have shifted their focus on online news portals. There are now subscription-based news networks that provide users with current reporting and important stories directly in their inboxes or on their websites. This model has been a transformed version of daily newspaper subscription and it is estimated that soon the internet is going to take over the television, becoming the major source of news.
Top News Portals
In times when the news has become a business and there is immense saturation in the news industry, it has become difficult to find mediums that are offering unbiased news. Mostly big media networks have some kind of agenda to push according to which they formulate the news and twist the narrative. That is why we have compiled this list of the most credible news in our opinion that you can follow to stay updated regarding current happenings.
Yahoo News is one of the earliest online web portals, which was created as part of the Yahoo group in 1996, providing news and information from all over the world. In 2001, Yahoo News launched the most emailed page on their web, which was an innovative idea and changed people’s perception regarding online news sources. By 2011, Yahoo News started focusing on original content in plans to become a major media house. In 2021, Yahoo was acquired by Verizon and is now part of its network.
New York Times
New York Times is a press organization that has stood the test of time. It is one of the earliest newsgroups originating from the US and was founded back in 1851 as a print newspaper. It is considered a credible and neutral source of news with 132 Pulitzer Prizes to its name, which is the highest by any newsgroup. Ranked 18th in respect to world circulation and 3rd in the US, it is regarded in the industry as a newspaper of record. Being the industry leader, NY Times has expanded its reach to the web and its website is one of the most visited places on the internet by the fans of partial and unbiased news.
Buzzfeed is the pioneer of the internet media trend, which is now quite popular especially among millennials. Founded in 2006, it focused on mostly viral content and pieces from pop culture, music, and technological trends. It curates news that can catch eyeballs, with an infotainment-based content lineup consisting of articles, videos, and infographics that mainly cater to a young audience.
The internet has been the major means of communication and due to this, it has also absorbed news media into its circle. Now that the world is moving towards internet media, there has been an emergence of a lot of fake news, since the internet is accessible to everyone. In times like these, viewers are recommended to double-check every type of news they see on the internet or look for credible portals that have an unprecedented clean record in the news media, the likes of which are given above.