Do anybody here know of any websites that factually explain current political events and the history behind them (besides Wikipedia)? I find it hard to read opinion when I don't have understand the issue itself and its history. (Please don't list "Factcheckorg". It's an excellent website, but it only addresses controversial issues and only corrects misconceptions. And textbooks are expensive and don't directly explain current events).
I think that one of the most impartial web sites is factcheck.org, found at http://factcheck.org/ . This project is a product of the Annenberg Public Policy Center. Its purpose is to look for lies and factual misinformation in political speeches and advertising.
I tend to disagree with the idea that the major network sites are a place to find unbiased reporting. As they compete for advertising dollars and ratings I find them increasingly biased and sensational. It is becoming more and more common to read about a news report or article that is based on rumor or even a complete lie, quotes that are misrepresented, or sound bites clipped to reveal a completely new and unintended meaning.
I think the best policy is to seek our your political news from a diverse group of sources and view them with a critical eye. Media bias is alive and well.
This has become exceedingly difficult in recent years, as the corporatization and polarization of media outlets, and the relentless blending of information and entertainment into "infotainment" has left us with few objective news sources, and actually, with few news sources period.
I would agree with the above poster about the BBC, as since it is both foreign and non-profit, it has less vested interest in slanting the news towards one political audience or the other. NPR, despite criticism from the right, is also non-profit/subsidized, and therefore less likely to offer naked bias (though it is not immune to it). The other reason I like NPR is that they have longer news segments, with real interviews instead of sound bytes, and the opportunity to hear of news stories that don't make the mainstream. They and the BBC will often cover stories about Africa and Asia and Latin America that are not seen or heard anywhere else. This is especially important when becoming informed about foreign policy and trade issues related to politics.
Cable news is a wasteland, in my opinion, with a notable exception. Fareed Zakaria on CNN is one of the most thorough, objective and intelligent program anchors in news today, in my opinion. Watch his "GPS"--Global Public Square--on Sundays for good interviews from both sides of the spectrum, with little to none of the shouting and fluff found on other programs and networks.
It seems to me that the major network sites (NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, CNN) are more objective than most. This does not include Fox, of course, which is blatantly Republican. That doesn't mean that every story is objective, just that they present more than one side.
Staunch party loyalists generally feel that they are treated unfairly and that news sources are biased against them. That is their own bias. Remember that Republicans used to call CNN the Clinton News Network.
Yeah, it's going to be difficult to find a truly objective news and analysis site. People are so addicted to their personal stances that they will automatically label anything as biased if there is even a hint of partisanship; the sad truth is that if you actually attempt to address both political sides, each of the other sides will label you as opposition.
With that said, the Guardian is reasonable as long as you accept a leftist slant; the BBC is excellent for pure coverage of world news as long as you ignore the commentary; The Blaze (conservative) covers many smaller and human interest stories that you won't find anywhere else; I enjoy an occasional wander through NPR and PBS (both offer great high-profile interviews); the Wall Street Journal is good for financial news (again, ignore the commentary); and you can't go wrong with Bloomberg Business News.
In the end, I think it's better to find a transparently biased news source, rather than one that claims to be unbiased. It is better to understand the motivations of a source rather than accept the lie that the source is truly, really, seriously and honestly unbiased; that standard simply doesn't exist.
Here is a link about censor-free news.
Reuters Political News is one website you may wish to consider. No site is totally objective, but here you will see articles and such from both sides of the coin as applies to U.S. Politics.
Another website you may wish to consider is The Telegraph from Britain. They give an outsider's view of what's going on in U.S. Politics.
For articles on World Politics, consider the online writings from the magazine The Economist. They cover politics in the U.S., Britain, Europe, China, Asia, the Middle East, the Americas, as well as Africa. They currently have special U.S. Election coverage.
The Daily Beast may be a good place to look for impartial news on politics. This online newspaper covers seemingly all the major and minor political news stories and does not have as much of a biased approach as some other major news sources.
There are a number of news sites that do things like this. However, even these will only have background to specific issues that are of great importance at a given time. For example, the New York Times has things like this
that have in-depth explanations about issues such as health care that are of particular relevance at a given time. Of course, there is not going to be any site that will satisfy everyone. Many people would argue that the New York Times is very biased in favor of the liberal side of issues. It would be very difficult to find something that would strike everyone as factual and impartial.