The mainstream media has lost contact with the real world and people are voting with their feet. Trust has plummeted to record lows and even The Sun is having to beg for readers. In this environment the world is ripe for alternative news sites and independent news platforms which can plug the gap.
Here are seven of the most exciting UK news sources, who are shaping the future of journalism.
A non-profit news organisation based in London set up in 2010 to defend proper old fashioned independent news journalism. It works with other news organisations telling the stories which need telling. It was one of the organisations which worked with Wikileaks on the Spy files and it helped expose the global epidemic of antibiotic resistant super bugs discovered by Palestinian scientists.
More recently, the shocking pay levels experienced by Deliveroo drivers. This is not a place where you’ll find stories hitting the headlines elsewhere, but it is a place where you find the stories that matter.
Digital technology has empowered a renaissance in digital independent news journalism and no organisation demonstrates this better than Bellingcat. It’s living proof that, against all expectations, arguments on the Guardian comments section can produce results. It was while slugging it out with other keyboard warriors that Eliot Higgins discovered you could verify images on social media with satellite images.
An idea was born. He started a blog called Brown Moses and started pouring over thousands of images online. This brought him his first scoop when he managed to verify the weapons being used by Syrian forces and proved they were using cluster munitions and chemical weapons.
Today, Bellingcat uses volunteers scrolling through vast amounts of footage online. One of their first investigations was of the downed MH17, in which they managed to demonstrate the involvement of the Russians.
Articles are long form and go into intense detail about how they uncovered the information. Nobody is more transparent about their scoops and where their information comes from.
The BBC’s decision to axe the Mash Report, and the lame rerelease of Spitting Image shows that decent satire will be hard to come by for the time being. Fortunately, we have the internet and Jolyon Rubenstein’s Not the News Channel.
During season 1, each week, he would pop up with a fresh take on the week’s news. Here he is with the latest video on the conundrum of Labour’s current leader.
Launched by Peter Jukes this is a relatively new addition to the indie scene, but they’ve very quickly had an impact. They tell the stories other papers ignore and have been one of the standout news sources during the pandemic.
Their reporting on the PPE scandal has been second to none. Right now,, you can read an expose on Home office expense claims including £669 to a cupcake firm, £849 for Sports Direct and £30,000 to a beauty company.
Tired of right-wing bias in the media? Then give Evolve Politics a go. In 2015 Evolve Politics brought an unashamedly left-wing voice into the media. Alongside the likes of Novara Media and the Canary they played a crucial role in combating the biased coverage of the Labour party under Jeremy Corbyn.
Predictably, the mainstream hated the voice, so much so that you could be forgiven for thinking the words ‘left wing news site’, were an official part of their name. However, the obsession over their political leanings kind of proved their point and showed exactly why there are needed. With the media dominated by the right, a different perspective is crucial.
The Canary is another leading voice of the left. It rose to prominence after 2015 and, like Evolve Politics, countered the right-wing bias of the mainstream media. Today it continues to do an invaluable job covering stories to which the mainstream turns a blind eye.
The most recent is the brutal violence being carried out on the protestors in Bristol. The violence being committed by police on College Green Protestors has been largely glossed over by almost every other news outlet.
Featuring big names such as George Monbiot, Double Down News challenges the failure of mainstream media. It covers the issues which the mainstream refuses to talk about from angles which are being ignored. It has built a reputation for top quality video content taking an alternative view on the issues of the day.
Right now you can see George Monbiot on the evils of consumerism and MP Sarah Sultana talking about the impact the death of Sarah Everard and the fall out surrounding it has had on her and other women.
(Written by Tom Cropper, editing by Michael O'Sullivan)